Sunday, October 19, 2014
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Former Kansas City Royals employee Rush Limbaugh cheers for Royals, enjoyed watching games which unlike football are still mostly about the game
"Please indulge me on this. This is somewhat personal to me. The Kansas City Royals, how about that, a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles. Eight straight playoff wins, setting a Major League Baseball record. The extra-inning win over the Oakland A's. Three games over the Anaheim Angels, and now over four over the Baltimore Orioles, and to the World Series. They host it, starting Tuesday night in Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium, first time in 29 years.
I was not at the Royals in 1985. I had just left town for Sacramento to set out on this journey, if you will. I worked for the Royals from '79 through '83, so I was there for the 1980 World Series that they lost to the Phillies. It was exciting and, you know, I had an important job there. I was director of ceremonial first pitches, and I was director of escorting national anthem singers to second base before playoff games. They sometimes even let me pick the anthem singers. It was five years I spent there. I wouldn't trade those five years for anything. It was my first five years outside of radio, which I started at age 16.
I met people I would otherwise have not met. I learned things, experience things I never would have. And I had doors open for me simply because I could say, "Hi, Rush Limbaugh, from the Kansas City Royals." People that wouldn't give me the time of day, I'm talking about businesspeople, would open their doors. But it was also good for me because I found out that I'm not cut out for corporate conformity, but I wouldn't trade those five years, and it's so great....
I was looking at the game last night, watching, and that stadium, they've done such a great job renovating it and keeping it new. The place was buzzing. It's one of the best places in the country to watch a baseball game and be part of it. These are young players that don't know they can't do anything. It was great to see, and I just want to take a little brief moment here to congratulate 'em.
RUSH: One more observation about the Kansas City Royals and the American League Championship Series. I've done something the past couple of weeks I haven't done in years, I have been watching baseball games on TV, and a realization hit me last night. It's the way it used to be. I didn't hear any talk of concussions.
I didn't hear the play-by-play announcers or the color commentators lamenting sexual abuse. I didn't hear about whether some player had come out and was gay. I didn't hear about any cultural this or that. It was just baseball. It was nothing more than the sport of baseball. It was on television, it's what was talked about, and all of that sideshow stuff the media has dragged into football (and to a certain extent basketball) wasn't there.
It was... Well, they're gonna frown on me for this word, but it was "pure," and by "pure" I mean in the purest sense. It was almost a throwback. It was the way watching sports on TV used to be, long before the Sports Drive-Bys (media) decided to go get political on everybody. It was really great. Something else I was reminded of: The Kansas City crowd is one of the best-looking crowds in baseball. Seriously.
Look, I know I'm biased here. I lived there for 10 years and I worked at that team for five years, but they're respectful of the other team, sportsmanship and all that, some clever signs. It was all good. It was great TV, it was great baseball, and it was exciting, and as I say: I haven't watched baseball in years. But I got the fever, and I think it's great. Again, I just wanted to take a brief moment to congratulate everybody....
RUSH: Here's Sarah in Overland Park, Kansas City. Welcome. It's great to have you on the program, Sarah. Hi....
CALLER: I've been trying to get through for years. I've been a fan forever, my family, all of us. And of all the things for me to call about, I am so happy you mentioned the Kansas City Royals. I've been waiting because I know about your connection, and I have to tell you, it's just amazing in this city right now. It's electric.
RUSH: It's like it was, I'll bet, back in the late seventies, early eighties, mid-eighties, when the Royals owned the town and when the Royals defined even the self-esteem of the city. I mean, they owned it. Everybody, I mean, the city was totally united based on the Royals and their fortunes, and it was a great time. It was a great period in the city's history. And you're saying it's back now, huh?
CALLER: You know, I was two years out of high school in '85, and I was a big fan, I've always been a baseball fan. Politics and baseball are my two favorite things, besides my daughter. So I was away at college when they won it in '85. And, you know, baseball is just America. My family and I were at the game on Tuesday, the third game, and I've never seen anything like it in person. People were singing, "God Bless America" with the singer in, what, seventh or eighth inning. Nobody knows the words to that song. It was just people were crying and taking off their caps and just so into it, and I think --
(Break Transcript, Commercial break)
CALLER: Yeah. I agree with you, and that's just baseball to me, and, you know, I truly believe America is rooting for this team. They've struggled for so long, and I think Dayton Moore is a genius. I think Ned Yost has managed this team very well. And I think they've both been very patient, as has the owner of the Royals.
RUSH: Well, okay, we'll grant patience. We'll chalk it up to patience.
CALLER: Well, they're great players, and I think it's different than other teams, too. The Royals and the general manager want to hire players who really want to win. They have good character. They work hard. It's been a real struggle. They just have worked so hard.
RUSH: Well, here's what's happened. I'll explain it to you in a nutshell. The Royals simply can't play players what the Yankees, the Angels, and other teams can. Well, they're a small market. I don't know the smallest, but they're a small market. They don't have local revenue like other teams do, and despite the revenue sharing tax, it doesn't even begin to make up for it. They have, however, a great scouting department. They sign young players.
It is amazing the quality of the young players that have come up through the Kansas City system, and once they show their wares and they reach their free agency period, they're gobbled up by other teams, and the names are legion. Carlos Beltran is one. Johnny Damon is another. These were all Royals. And, in this case, what happened is this team gelled, while it's very young, this team came together why it's very young before anybody had a chance to test free agency and split. It really is amazing timing when you get down to it.
There was something else that happened this year. Some fan, the Royals have a fan in South Korea that is absolutely a rabid fan and went through hell or high water to get there in Kansas City to watch a game. His story made the news and he ended up meeting some of the players, became a local celebrity while he was in town, and that almost coincides with the team's reversal of fortunes, not entirely, but they had so many great human interest stories this year.
When I worked there, I'll just share with you a little thing here and then, Sarah, I have to move on. But when I worked there, you know, every year you hope you make the playoffs 'cause there's nothing better. The postseason is fun, the excitement, the place is packed, the town's buzzing, it's the best. During a season, you see things -- I did. I saw plays, late-game heroics, home runs that made me think this is the season of destiny, turning an unlikely double play in the ninth inning in Texas, I'll never forget one of those....
I saw so many of those things this season with the Royals, it made me say, even during the playoffs, that this team is destined. And, so far, it's proven out. So the World Series opens Tuesday night in Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium. The town is gonna be buzzing. There's no question about it. It's one of the best restaurant towns. It's one of the best dry cleaner towns. I mean, it's one of the best highway towns, best airport towns. It really is. So, Sarah, I'm glad you're all jazzed about it. I'm sure the whole town is. That's the great thing. I appreciate the call very much, and best of luck."
Image above from RushLimbaugh.com
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High-level, closed door meetings held to revive ban on large sodas in New York City-Wall St. Journal
10/15/14, "Forward Push on Soda Ban," Wall St. Journal, "De Blasio Administration Considers New Ways to Cap Size of Sugary Drinks." Michael Howard Saul
"Mayor Bill de Blasio ’s administration is exploring new ways to regulate the size of large sugary drinks in New York City, holding high-level meetings behind closed doors with health advocates and beverage industry executives.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Royals Moustakas catches foul in 6th, ALCS game 3
Andrew Friedman from Tampa Bay Rays gen. mgr. to LA Dodgers pres. of baseball operations-NY Times
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Monday, October 13, 2014
Kolten Wong's home run in the 9th, NLCS game 2
10/12/14, " getty. Final 5-4 Cardinals over Giants
10/13/14, "Cardinals’ 4th Homer of Night Is Also Last Word in Game 2," NY Times, Tim Rohan
"Kolten Wong Lifts Cardinals Over Giants, Evening N.L.C.S. at 1-1" Tweet Stumbleupon StumbleUpon
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Kansas City Royals were last in Major Leagues in strikeouts as well as home runs in 2014-NY Times, Kepner
"For all the power he has shown in these playoffs, Moustakas was still asked to drop a sacrifice bunt to move the pinch-runner Terrance Gore into scoring position in the ninth inning on Saturday. He did the job, and Gore scored the winning run."...(near end of article)
Image: " position with a bunt in the ninth. Gore then scored the winning run on a double," European Pressphoto Agency. Final 6-4, Royals over Orioles, ALCS game 2
10/11/14, "Reeling Orioles Look to Right Themselves on the Road," NY Times, Tyler Kepner
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Saturday, October 11, 2014
Nielsen broadcast tv ratings had errors for 7 months, software blamed, ABC network benefited-NY Times
First postseason meeting of Royals and Orioles was 'a battle worthy of the wait,' NY Times
10/10/14, " European Pressphoto Agency. Final in 10 innings, 8-6 Royals
10/11/14, "Royals Keep Magic Alive, Beating Orioles With Homers in the 10th," NY Times, David Waldstein
"Amid a sea of waving orange towels and unwavering hope, a new era of baseball arrived at Camden Yards on Friday.
But in the top of the 10th Alex Gordon hit a leadoff home run off Darren O’Day and Mike Moustakas added a two-run shot off Brian Matusz. The Orioles scored a run in the bottom of the 10th, but the Royals held on for an 8-6 victory in Game 1 of the A.L.C.S.
Friday, October 10, 2014
XM channels for 2014 ALCS game 1, Royals at Orioles
Start time, ET: 7:34pm
Home: Baltimore Orioles: XM 89 (Internet 842)
Away: Kansas City Royals: XM 176 (Internet 851)
ESPN announcers: XM 83 (Internet 83)
Postseason tv channels and schedule from Oct. 10, 2014, MLB.com.
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As underdogs, Kansas City Royals are favored by millions of Americans who also view themselves as underdogs. Not that Baltimore Orioles are 'privileged overlords'-Kansas City Star
|Team owner David Glass seen at left.|
"Those long-lowly Royals are America’s new “It Team.”
The nation is speaking, voting online, buying blue. Its sports sages are writing that the Kansas City baseball franchise has become the popular choice of fans whose teams are out of championship contention.
And a decent stack of research supports the leading theory as to why that may be.
Studies call it the “Underdog Effect.” After 29 years of missing out on postseason play, the boys in blue are being viewed, say scientists and pundits, in a light similar to how millions of Americans view themselves: as underdogs.
A 2014 incarnation, maybe, of the racehorse Seabiscuit. Flyover country’s own Rocky Balboa or the Harry Truman of “Dewey Defeats Truman.”
“People love the underdog story,” said sports psychologist Christian End of Xavier University. “It’s about effort. It’s about justice. It’s a storyline pitched to us over and over again.”
It is not that the Baltimore Orioles – the Royals’ rival in the American League Championship Series beginning Friday in Baltimore – rank among baseball’s privileged overlords. They haven’t gone to a World Series since 1983.
But their payroll is $15 million higher than the Royals’. Also, the Orioles have faced performance-enhancement issues and basked this year atop the vaunted Eastern Division with its Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
Whatever the reason, respondents to an online ESPN poll say they’d rather root, root, root for the Royals. Of more than 100,000 votes cast, 68 percent prefer Kansas City over Baltimore in the ALCS. Detroit Tigers fan Rick Grieve, who studies sports fan behavior at Western Kentucky University, has climbed aboard what he called “the Royals bandwagon,” in part because he’s as much a sucker for underdogs as the next person.
But he also said baseball fans of all stripes are mindful of how the small-market Royals got here.
“By doing it sort of the pure way, developing young talent and being patient,” Grieve said. “People appreciate a little more the things in life that take time.”
The Royals are “not high-rollers like the Yankees, paying their way to get the top stars,” he said.
Case in point: The Tigers late in the season acquired Cy Young Award-winning pitcher David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays. Meanwhile, the Royals tapped a Texas kid named Brandon Finnegan, 21, who in June had still been pitching in college games.
Price and the Tigers were swept by Baltimore in the playoffs.
Finnegan, on the other hand, has emerged a postseason phenom.
‘Destiny’s darlings’The Los Angeles Times declared the Royals “destiny’s darlings” and even “America’s team” at the start of the divisional championship series with the home-team Angels early this month.
Since then, sales of Royals merchandise have exploded.
Among postseason teams over the past week, the Royals are second only to the Dodgers in merchandise sales through MLB.com/Shop, said Matt Bourne, a publicist for Major League Baseball.
At Fanatics.com, the nation’s largest online retailer of licensed sports merchandise, Royals sales have led all other MLB teams’ gear since Oct. 1, the day after Kansas City’s thrilling victory over Oakland in the Wild Card Game.
A hero of that 12-inning contest, first baseman Eric Hosmer, has zoomed up the Fanatics.com charts to be the third-most-popular player among consumers seeking jerseys and other athlete-specific stuff.
Some academics suspect the come-from-behind excitement of the Wild Card Game created a broad new landscape of fans for “America’s team.”
Human physiology could have played a role.
Tight, action-packed games “create this emotional arousal” in spectators, due partly to endorphins and adrenaline flooding the nervous system, said Oregon State University marketing professor Colleen Bee.
She is among researchers who have tracked fans’ reaction to sporting events when one side is cast as “underdogs” or “heroes” and the other is designated “top dogs” or “villains.”
But a magnificent game can boost admiration for both kinds of teams, she said. And in the case of the nationally televised Wild Card Game, only the Royals advanced.
The Underdog Effect is buoyed by other factors, including one called “emotional economics.”
Economists, of course, stand behind the theory: Selecting a team to root for involves a simple but unconscious cost-benefit analysis.
“The underdog is a very safe bet,” said Murray State University professor (and longtime Royals fan) Daniel Wann. “If they win, the emotional benefit is huge.
“But they’re not supposed to win. So you, as a fan, have an excuse if they fail. There’s not much of an emotional cost to that.”
Yet another area of inquiry: Are fans cheering for the underdog, or are they really rooting against the top dog?
According to a 2005 paper by University of South Florida researchers who analyzed student subjects, “support for the underdog was found to be more extreme than rooting against the top dog.”
Still, the Wall Street Journal has pushed the anti-top-dog theory to new empirical dimensions with its “Hateability Index.”
When the 10 postseason teams were determined at the end of September, the newspaper scored each club’s “hateability” based on payroll, past pennant success, Sports Illustrated covers, substance-abuse problems – even the players’ “excessive beards.”
The Journal rated the St. Louis Cardinals as the most hateable team.
The Royals were rated least hateable."
Image above: "," John Sleezer/Kansas City Star
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Thursday, October 09, 2014
2014 MLB postseason games and tv channels from Oct. 10, 2014 to end
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Yogi Berra Museum in New Jersey is burglarized, cash reward for information leading to arrest-Newsday
"A break-in and burglary took place at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center Tuesday night, according to the Montclair State Police Department.
There were no immediate details on what was stolen.
The museum is located on the Montclair State University campus in Little Falls, New Jersey. The museum, home to a trove of memorabilia from the 89-year-old Hall of Famer's career, opened in December 1998.
"We are saddened to learn of a break-in at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center," museum director David Kaplan said in a statement. "We are cooperating fully with the Montclair State University Police Department and other county, state and federal agencies that are assisting with this investigation."
The Montclair State Police Department said in a statement that it would be leading the investigation.
The statement also said that because this is an active investigation, there would be no further details.
The Essex County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's help. Sheriff Armando Fontoura said in a statement that its Crimestoppers program is offering "a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest of the suspects in the case.""
Image: "A Montclair State University police official walks by the Yogi Berra Museum while investigating a reported break-in, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014, in Montclair, N.J. (Credit: AP / Julio Cortez)" Tweet Stumbleupon StumbleUpon
Ferguson, Missouri summer protests "have spilled into the fall" and into Cardinals baseball. Protester outside Cardinals game says, "This is where white America gathers." Cardinals will add "even more security in anticipation of future protests"-NY Times
"As the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals battled during Game 4 of their National League division series Tuesday evening, a group of protesters gathered outside, beyond Busch Stadium’s left-field wall. About 15 demonstrators banged drums and chanted in the memory of Michael Brown, the teenager from nearby Ferguson, Mo., who was shot and killed by the police officer Darren Wilson in August.