October 30th, 2014 at 5:00 AM
By Joe Lemere
The 2014 MLB season is in the books. The San Francisco Giants have beaten the Kansas City Royals in game seven of the World Series and are champions of the world. Again. The Giants' even-year dominance can now go unquestioned, but this year's run was perhaps the most intriguing in terms of baseball history. The reason? Madison Bumgarner.
Everybody today will bee talking about the staggering numbers Bumgarner put together during this World Series and where it ranks in the history of baseball. That's all well and good, but numbers can only be of so much interest. The best part of Madison Bumgarner's 2014 World Series is the legend that it will spawn in San Francisco Giants lore.
It will start with the game seven performance, of course. Remember when he came in for the five inning save on two hours rest? And the job he did was so impressive — especially on the hour-and-a-half rest — that the official scorer changed it to a win in reverence for the man. And when Pablo Sandoval caught that final foul pop and Madison Bumgarner celebrated after the greatest performance in World Series history when you consider the 45 minute rest he had beforehand.Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 29th, 2014 at 5:47 PM
By Joe Lemere
It's do or die. Win or go home. This one's for all the marbles. The Royals and the Giants are all in. Insert any other useless cliches you prefer here. It's game seven time in the 2014 World Series and that's a very good thing.
Rarely are game sevens underserved, and this year is no different. The series has gone back and forth, each team winning in both Kansas City and San Francisco, each team winning close games and in blowouts. It seems, then, that this World Series was predestined to go all seven. Not surprising considering the routes that both teams took to get to this spot could easily be explained as destiny.
A World Series game seven is inherently more intense than any other sport's championship game. Think about it, there is no way a second and 10 rush for a couple yards in the Super Bowl matters. Same with a game seven in the NBA Finals. A first quarter bucket counts the same as one in the fourth quarter, but everyone knows it doesn't matter near as much.Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 28th, 2014 at 5:00 AM
By Joe Lemere
With another World Series game to go before the offseason officially starts, let's skip all that for now and look ahead to next year. One of the best places to look for in-house talent for the upcoming season is the Arizona Fall League, which is having its All-Star Game — which they call the Fall Stars Game — on Saturday. Christian Bergman is the lone Colorado Rockies representative in the game, but will he make the big league roster next year? And will he be the only Arizona Fall Leaguer on the Rockies in 2015?
Christian Bergman showed flashes of being a solid contributor in the majors in his 10 games with the Colorado Rockies this season. Unfortunately for him and the Rockies, he also showed flashes of being in way over his head. If he can iron out that inconsistency like he's been doing for the Salt River Rafters so far, he may be just the guy to fill in the Rockies starting rotation next year.Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 27th, 2014 at 5:00 AM
By Joe Lemere
With their victory in game five of the World Series, the San Francisco Giants have played their last home game in 2014. Home field advantage hasn't mattered much this postseason, but the Kansas City Royals will have their final go at it Tuesday and perhaps Wednesday. As for the Colorado Rockies, the team certainly has the most unique home field circumstances in Major League Baseball, but is that necessarily a good thing? Is Coors Field actually a disadvantage for the Rockies?
Everybody knows about the challenges of playing at altitude, but the humidor has at least tempered some of the long ball activities at 20th and Blake. Home runs aren't the only thing that cause problems in Coors, though. The sheer size of the outfield has caused plenty of headaches as well. The Rockies have the biggest outfield in the majors, almost 30 percent more spacious than Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. That means shallow fly balls turn into base knocks, and with the lack of talented pitchers at the big league level, those extra base hits turn into extra runs which turn into extra losses.Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 26th, 2014 at 2:26 PM
By Joe Lemere
Game four of the World Series yesterday was won due in large part to the San Francisco Giants' catalyst for all things good, Hunter Pence. It all started with the simplest of events, beating out a double play. A play like that on its own won't change the course of a game, unless it's made by the 'spiritual leader' of the team, that is. Guys like Pence can change the outcomes of games throughout the season with his heart and hustle. So the question for Colorado Rockies fans is, do the Rox have a guy like Hunter Pence?
First off, what does Pence really bring to the diamond? Instead of listing off a bunch of attributes or characteristics, Pence's contribution can be summed up quite succinctly: He plays the right way. It may have become a trope over the years, but it really does matter.
As for the Rockies, they do indeed have a player cut from the same cloth as Hunter Pence; Michael Cuddyer. Michael Cuddyer plays the right way. He runs out every ground ball, looks to make the right contact with the lumber, goes hard with the glove, and just generally gives 100 percent whenever he steps out onto the diamond. The only thing that keeps Cuddyer from being the "leader" of the club is the star power of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. And the whole injury thing, too.Read more... Join the Conversation...