Twenty-nine years later, the Royals have returned to the World Series.
Two-time NPB MVP Alex Ramirez has retired, Jun Hongo of the Wall Street Journal Japan reports. The 40-year-old Ramirez played briefly for the Indians and Pirates between 1998 and 2000, but it wasn’t until he headed to Yakult for the 2001 season that his career really got going. He hit 29 homers that year and quickly emerged as one of the most feared sluggers in Japan, hitting 40 or more home runs three times in his career. Ramirez finished his NPB career in 2013 with 380 homers for Yakult, Yomiuri and Yokohama, then played and coached last season with the independent Gunma Diamond Pegasus club.
Chili Davis, Oakland’s hitting coach the last three seasons, has been hired to the same position by the Red Sox, according to a Major League source. The Red Sox, who have not confirmed the hiring, are believed to have agreed to a multiyear contract with Davis, who had also been courted by the Yankees and Rangers for their vacant hitting coach jobs.
The merits of Barry Zito’s seven-year tenure with the Giants have been debated ad nauseam, but he deserves an assist for the contributions the team has received from Tim Hudson this season.
Santiago Casilla keeps his emotions mainly to himself, unlike a large percentage of his counterparts, who favor gesticulations, primal screams or both when they’re on the mound. “I am emotional, but I try to keep that inside,” Casilla said. “It depends on how I feel. I’m not going to show it just so people can see it, but I really am amped up.”
For the first time since the American League Wild Card Game, the Royals will have home-field advantage for a postseason series. But due to the similarity of the opponents, the location of the games could be less of a factor than how it was initially perceived in the AL Championship Series.
With Derek Jeter‘s retirement and the Giants playing in their third World Series in five years, Buster Posey should be the next face of baseball. That’s the theme of separate articles by ESPN’s Jayson Stark and the New York Post’s Joel Sherman. Starks believes Posey is comparable to Jeter in making his team a perennial World Series contender with an understated, but intently competitive manner, the flowing awards and accolades, and his ability to move merchandise. Sherman theorizes Posey hasn’t already assumed Jeter’s mantle because of the position he plays, the market in which he plays, and a lack of a seminal playoff moment. Here’s more news and notes from the National League: It will be tough for other teams to copy “the Giants Way” because the Giants themselves can’t explain their success, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. “That’s a tough question to answer,” General Manager Brian Sabean said
By the time James Shields delivers the first pitch of the 2014 World Series on Tuesday night (6:30 p.m. CT air time on FOX, 7:07 p.m. first pitch), his Kansas City Royals will have had five full days of rest since Greg Holland delivered the final pitch of the American League Championship Series.
So much has happened for Jeremy Affeldt since he landed in San Francisco, it’s as though his days of being signed, developed and brought to the Major Leagues by the Royals are a whole different career. And in a way, they are.