Tag Archive | "Regard"

This One’s For You: The Importance Of Connections

I am just like many fans in the fact that I really get into every game, pitch, and at bat.  It’s what I love to do in the summer.  Watch baseball!  However, for me, tonight’s game takes a back seat to our military.

SoldierVideoChat

It’s the 6th time we have done “This One’s For You” on FS-Midwest during a Cardinals telecast.  It’s our way to say thanks and to show our appreciation for our military.  While we hold major league players in such high regard, the reality is that the men and women of our military are the true heroes.

In year’s past, we have had some of the most memorable moments that I can ever remember broadcasting a baseball game.  It’s family and friends reconnecting with loved ones that they haven’t seen for months or even years.  For example, last season, a soldier’s wife was in our booth and had the chance to see and visit with her husband in Iraq.  She hadn’t seen him for over a year.  She was overcome at the sight of seeing her husband and father to their children.  That transcends any great moment that takes place on the field.  It was emotional, powerful, and made everyone step back and keep the game in perspective.  There are countless stories like just like that that have taken place over the years because of this broadcast.  There are so many stories just like that, that we will hear about tonight and after the telecast is done.

My article here doesn’t do it justice.  Just how important a night like this truly is.  It’s a chance for the troops to break away from their daily grind.  Albeit at 3:30 in the morning their time.  It’s a chance to give them just a little taste of home and to possibly see a loved one in the stands.  Undoubtedly, there will be those troops and family members that will tell us thank you for doing this.  They have it wrong.  We can’t say thank you to them enough.  We can’t tell them enough how much we truly appreciate their service to our country.  So, enjoy tonight and let them know they are missed.  They allow us to enjoy baseball, family, friends, and freedom.  To ALL our military, thank you, This One’s For You.

This post was brought to you by Dan McLaughlin of Fox Sports Midwest
You can follow him on twitter @DannyMacTV

FSMW

Posted in Cardinals, I-70 Baseball Exclusives, This One's For YouComments (0)

Royals Fans Feel Duped

Kansas City Royals fans woke up to an exciting email in their inbox today, they had been given the opportunity to purchase Opening Day tickets.  Once they opened the email, frustration set in very quickly.

The subject line of the email gave fans reason to get fired up, it read “Your Royals Opening Day Ticket Opportunity”.  Many fans had signed up recently for the opportunity to purchase tickets to the Royals home opener and most jumped quickly to the assumption that their name had been drawn in that regard.

Unfortunately, the subject line did not match the body of the email.  As overjoyed fans opened the email to see what they needed to do to ensure their seat at the home opener, they found the following text:

RoyalsTicketOpp

“You are receiving an exclusive opportunity to purchase tickets to every 2013 game, excluding Opening Day, today! Buy tickets before the rush!”

That’s right, the email that stated it contained your opportunity for Opening Day tickets revealed that it, in fact, contained your opportunity to buy tickets to anything except opening day.

Fans have taken to social media with their displeasure with the club over what some are calling a “bait and switch” tactic.  Many felt slighted and wondered how the club could provide an email with such a glaring oversight.  Many seem to feel this is “par for the course” with the Royals business over the last few seasons.

There is a lot of excitement around the Royals going into 2013.  The team should take notice and make sure they are not coming across as “the same old Royals”.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

Posted in I-70 Baseball Exclusives, RoyalsComments (0)

Same-Same-Same-Same-Different

Game. Seven.

The emotion those two words invoke, and the implied level of importance are captured in cliches we’ve all been hearing about for weeks and weeks now. (And yes, the feeling is different than hearing the words “game” “five”.) It’s serious for players, but often is more serious for fans, who are sometimes not so matter-of-fact about teams & games that they neither play for or are a part of, save maybe occupying a seat in the stands.

I will obviously not be playing in the 7th game of the World Series at Busch Stadium tonight…or any other night, for that matter. But as a superstitious fan, I will be trying to do my part to “help” the Cardinals in the quest for their 11th World Championship.

I’ve been wearing the same shirt during games for weeks. I’ve sat in the same place on the couch to watch every postseason game. I’ve not shaved in a month (and it looks awful, by the way), or so much as trimmed it, nor have I gotten a haircut. I’ve only gone to the bathroom after the bottom of an inning ends, never the top. I’ve driven more than 25 miles to be sure I had the same meal. I had 5 gallons of milk in my refrigerator at one time, and even my girlfriend’s kids remind me daily to stick to my routine, be it a meal, or anything else they noticed me doing on the day of a win.

I have my superstitions, and there’s no shortage of them.

I’m not sure that I am capable of writing anything you’ve not heard, read or seen by this point, with regard to David Freese, and all the heroics from last night’s thriller. The 5 blown leads, the ‘down to their last strike’ twice, all of those things have been covered very well over the past several hours. I thought Bernie’s piece in particular was one of many great reads on the topic, and Alyson Footer also wrote an interesting piece today–you should check them both out.

All I can do is write about what I know for sure.

  • There hasn’t been a World Series game 7 played in 9 years.
  • There hasn’t been a World Series game 7 played in St. Louis in 30 years
  • For tonight’s game 7 to happen, the Cardinals had to overcome impossible odds.
    • 10 ½ games out of the wildcard in the final week of August
    • They had to win. A lot; Atlanta had to collapse
    • They had to defeat the almighty World-Series-bound-since-December Phillies
    • They had to knock off Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and the Brewers in Milwaukee
  • The National League had to win the All-Star game for St. Louis to host game 7
So many stars had to line up just right for tonight’s World Series game 7 to be played in St. Louis tonight. So. Many. I can also tell you for sure that there is no way I wanted to miss an opportunity to be in the stands tonight. It’s a possible once-in-a-lifetime chance.

I’ve been to the old Yankee Stadium. I’ve been to two major league baseball games in two different cities in the same day. I’ve been to a double-header. I’ve been to National League Division Series games and National League Championship Series games in St. Louis. I’ve been to the All-Star game, the homerun derby, the legends, futures, and celebrity softball games in St. Louis. I’ve been sitting in the stands when a perfect game went into the 8th. I’ve been to a lot of very special games, seeing in person special milestones (and sometimes the milestone plus one). But, I have never been to a World Series game. I’ve had World Series tickets, but I’ve never been to a game.

Tonight, I will be wearing the same shirt I’ve been wearing for these games. I will (or maybe have, by the time you read this) eat what I’ve eaten, avoid shaving, and continue with almost every single one of my superstitious routines. I will not, however, be sitting in “my spot” on that couch for tonight’s game, though a part of me will be nervous for not doing so. I will instead be at tonight’s game at Busch. It is perhaps the most elusive of all games on my baseball bucket list, and tonight, attending a World Series game gets marked off the list. I can only hope that seeing a World Series-winning game also gets checked off tonight. Perhaps then, on Sunday afternoon, I can attend my second World Series parade & ceremony.

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A Magical, Advanced Statistical, Graphical Adventure With The 2010 Royals

The Royals and advanced stats tend to mix about as well as oil and water, so if you are a Royals fan, you may want to shield your eyes from the following graphs of some advanced stats from the 2010 season.

Win Probability Added

A lot of advanced stats attempt to remove the effects of teammates and game situations to get a truer sense of how a player performed with regard to the things he had control over. WPA on the other hand is context driven. Every batter and pitcher is credited or debited the amount of win expectancy gained or lost after every plate appearance. It is a fascinating descriptive stat of what took place, but not a great indicator of a player’s actual talent. If you’re a believer in clutch performers, this stat rewards the big plays. (Click here for a better explanation.)

Takeaways: Joakim Soria comes out looking pretty amazing, which I believe is due to the big increase in win expectancy that comes with making the last out of a close win. Also because he is amazing. How about that Alex Gordon? His hitting numbers were not too pretty, but according to WPA he came through at good times. David DeJesus on the other hand had fantastic numbers at the plate, but you wouldn’t know it from his WPA. It is hard to overstate how damaging it was to the Royals offense to give Jason Kendall 490 plate appearances and for Ned Yost to slot him second in the order.

O-Swing%

Straight from FanGraphs: “The percentage of pitches a batter swings at outside the strike zone.” Simple enough.

Takeaways: Gregor Blanco!? He only had 203 plate appearances after coming to KC, but in 836 career PAs, Blanco’s O-Swing% is even better at 19.6%. The advanced metrics do like Alex Gordon. His batting average has a lot of fans writing him off, but Alex knows how to draw a walk, making him more valuable at the plate than his average indicates. Oh, Yuni. Why would anyone ever throw him a strike?

AL Central wOBA

Here is how the Royals stacked up against their AL Central competition in my favorite batting metric (minimum 150 PAs):

Takeaways: I have no idea what to think about Wilson Betemit. I kept waiting for his hitting to fall to earth, but he just kept hitting. We will all be watching him closely next year to see if he has any more seasons like that in him. This advanced metric does not treat Alex quite as well.

AL Central xFIP

Expected Fielded Independent Pitching is on the same scale as ERA, but takes into account only those things the pitcher has most control over: strikeouts, walks, hit-by-pitches, and fly-ball percentage. One way to think about it is what a pitcher’s ERA might be if he had perfectly average “luck” and defense behind him. (If you are not familiar with straight FIP, you might want to start with this primer.) Here is how starters who threw at least 25 innings in the AL Central fared:

Takeaways: Zack Greinke is still filthy. Luke Hochevar’s spot is very encouraging. Bruce Chen will not be having another season like 2010, and the Royals are right to run the other way if he is after a multi-year contract as has been reported.

And the relievers who hurled 25 innings+:

Takeaways: The White Sox have the top three spots. Bless Kyle Farnsworth for pitching well enough with the Royals that Dayton Moore was able to flip him and Rick Ankiel for Blanco and Tim Collins.

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