World Series Games 3, 4, 5: Good to bad

The Royals just lost Game 5 of the World Series.

I’m watching the Royals Postgame Live show now because I need to knock the bad vibes from my head after listening to the Fox broadcast team all night and their orgasmic bromance for Madison Bumgarner, Hunter Pence, Bruce Bochy and the rest of the Giants. In fact, I’m watching Postgame Live for the third time now, actually, as it’s on repeat.

My friend Sam went off on Facebook tonight with a series of posts about the lack of neutrality in the Fox broadcast booth, and I back every word.
I managed to live 48 years of my life without hearing the names Madison Bumgarner and Hunter Pence. When this series is over I hope to never hear them again ….

"Madison Bumgarner blah blah blah Bumgarner yada yada yada Bumgarner yack yack yack"...If Joe Buck says his name once in an inning he says it 20-30 times. First of all isn't Madison kinda of...a girl's name? Secondly, Bumgarner just sounds...like a cartoon name. …

These idiots talk more about Bumgarner while the Royals are on defense than they do Shields.

So there’s that. Also, I’m tired of their greasy long hair and beards. I’m tired of pretty aerial shots of AT&T Park and the San Francisco Bay. I’m tired of seeing people dressed up in panda suits. I’m tired of hearing about 2010 and 2012.

I used to really like Joe Buck as a broadcaster, but this year any admiration I have for him dwindles with the passing of each inning. From another Facebook poster on Bumgarner-gate …
Joe Buck all but christened him the greatest ever and let the world know he would like to sleep with him as well.
Tonight’s game was almost as painful to watch as it was to listen to. Alcides Escobar missed two ground balls that we’ve become use to seeing him vacuum up and turn into outs – and those very well might have been the difference in the game.

Maybe the only bright spot in tonight’s game for the Royals was Lorenzo Cain making another mind-boggling catch in right field.

Whatever. The series is coming back to Kansas City, and the matchups are back in the Royals favor. Said Ned Yost in his postgame interview tonight: “We've got to walk the tightrope now without a net. We fall off and we're dead. But win (Tues) and nobody's got a net.”

I feel good. … But dang, this is intense. Every night I’m left breathless and can barely think about anything else.

Going back to better times. Game 3 was far more fun to watch. Friday night our university relations family gathered around a bonfire for some fall fun. We dined on barbecued ribs and chicken and a picnic table full of good food while the kids played on the treehouse. S’mores followed for dessert.

Half of us – included me, Kates and Phoebe – showed up dressed in our Royals gear. And I watched the game on my phone, from start to finish, with some of the guys crowded around me, as we enjoyed the conversation and warmth of the fire.

Escobar led off the game with a double and the Royals got the ever-so-important first run. Jeremy Guthrie was brilliant. The Royals added two more runs in the ever-so-important sixth inning. Brandon Finnegan worked his magicHave I mentioned how much I enjoy watching Finnegan?

The bullpen and the defense held. The Royals won 3-2 and took the series lead.

Here are the highlights.

We listened to the ninth inning as we drove home. Then, while Kates put Faye to bed, Phoebe and I held out on the couch, watching the Royals postgame show and the party at the Power & Light District in awe.

For Ned Yost it was a masterpiece
Game three of this World Series is everything about Ned, good and bad, breakout genius and perceived stooge. It was a work of art, really, and come to think of it that’s the best way to take in these playoffs: Yost as a valuable piece of modern art, the kind of thing you’re not always sure how to interpret but at the very least have to respect the success.
Last night, I attended a reunion for my college newspaper. It was a blast. I got to see, converse and spend valuable time with people who were some of my closest friends and with whom I spent nearly every day for 4 ½ years – many of whom I hadn’t seen in at least a decade. And in a beautiful way, it was as if almost no time had passed.

Of course, several people had the game going on our mobile devices at our dining tables as the speeches and toasts played out at the podium. For once, I was not one of those people, but my college roommate and his wife, sitting with Kates and I, did and they whispered the updates to us whenever something meaningful happened. When the dinner portion concluded, the Royals were leading 4-1 and it was looking as though it was going to be their night again.

After revisiting the old newsroom, our group headed to our old hangout, The Pub, which has been rebuilt, for some more reminiscing and to catch the conclusion of the game. … It wasn’t meant to be. The Royals bullpen – including my boy Finnegan – imploded. I stopped paying attention during the eighth inning. The Royals lost 11-4.

The Kansas City Star’s Sam Mellinger nailed it with his column this morning
Nobody notices the zit when the beauty queen does her makeup, and over the last month or so the Royals have done a remarkable job covering their own blemishes.
When the winds are right and the starting pitcher can get through five or six innings and the offense can grind enough offense, the Royals come at you like a hungry grizzly bear. For all but two nights in the last month, the Royals have been a hungry grizzly bear.

But they also have flaws, like all teams have flaws, and when the wind shifts and the starting pitcher fails them and the front-end relievers aren’t good enough to get a lead to the stars, then the Royals either need a how-the-heck comeback or they stumble. In the fourth game of the World Series, the Royals stumbled.

(Updated 10.28.2014) Good reads and stuff …

Giants Near Title, Led by Ace Immune to Pressure or Royals

Royals Notes: Zimmer, Beltran, Sveum … Some interesting tidbits.

Royals bench coach Don Wakamatsu can turn a lineup card into art

A Unique College Pedigree Within the Royals’ Bullpen

Ned Yost has been making ‘most of what he has’ since growing up a Giants fan

Royals vs. Giants: The Future Classic

Kansas City Star photojournalists describe how they make great images from the World Series

J.T. Snow and Darren Baker reunite, 12 years after their unforgettable World Series moment … Aw, this is cute. A great moment in one of my favorite World Series in my lifetime.

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