ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Rams have released wide receiver Austin Pettis, citing roster concerns elsewhere.
Pettis was inactive for Sunday’s victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
He caught 12 passes for 118 yards and one touchdown this season. He made 11 starts in four seasons with the Rams, who drafted him in the third round in 2011.
The Rams also released wide receiver Emory Blake from the practice squad.
(New York) (AP) – Trisha Yearwood and Carlos Santana are among the musicians set to perform the national anthem during the World Series.
Major League Baseball says Yearwood will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Game 1 on Tuesday when the San Francisco Giants play the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Santana will perform an instrumental rendition of the national anthem with his son before Game 4 on Saturday at the AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Former “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips will sing before Game 2 on Wednesday. Country quartet Little Big Town will sing before Game 3 on Friday.
The games will air on Fox at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jeff Kellogg will be the umpire crew chief for the World Series, and four other umps have been picked to work the event for the first time.
Major League Baseball announced the crew Monday, a day before San Francisco and Kansas City meet in Game 1.
Hunter Wendelstedt, Jerry Meals, Jim Reynolds and Eric Cooper will call their first Series. Ted Barrett and Jeff Nelson also are on the seven-man crew.
Meals will work home plate for the opener. After Game 2, he’ll move to the replay room for the rest of the Series, switching places with Nelson. Brian O’Nora will serve as the replay assistant in the first season of expanded video review.
Kellogg is working his fifth World Series. Barrett and Nelson are in their third Series.
Wendelstedt’s father, Harry, called the Series five times. The Wendelstedts are the fourth father-son umpire in Series history, joining Shag and Jerry Crawford, Tom and Brian Gorman, and Ed and Paul Runge.
The voice of the Zizzers Travis Smith has your West Plains Friday Night Football Follow-Up:
Once again the final score of the night was 42-21, the Zizzers defeating the Rolla Bulldogs. The win during Game 9 takes the Zizzers regular season record to 7-2 for the year. Next week you will find the Zizzers at home as they take on their first game of District play.
The voice of the Bulldogs Brad McNew has your Cabool Friday Night Football Follow-Up:
Once again the Bulldogs lost to the Salem Tigers 32-14 which leaves their regular season record at 4-5; a major improvement from their total losing seasons the last two years. Next week you can find the Bulldogs at home as the face off against the Thayer Bobcats in District play.
The voice of the Bears Larry Spence has your Willow Springs Friday Night Football Follow-Up:
Once again the Willow Springs Bears fell hard on the field to the Ava Bears losing the game 61-20, giving them a final regular season record of 3-6 for the year.
The voice of the Eagles Dave Quinn has your Liberty Friday Night Football Follow-Up:
Once again the Eagles defeated the Houston Tigers 55-6 in Game 9 of the season. Next week you will find the Eagles…..
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tim Lincecum walked silently through the bustling clubhouse before Saturday’s workout and stuck his left arm straight out as he passed Jean Machi’s locker, offering a friendly fist bump to the reliever.
No words necessary.
Lincecum, so far an unused reliever this postseason, is doing everything he can to stay involved in the San Francisco Giants’ latest World Series run after he was such an important part of the previous two.
Ask anybody, and it’s a little bit freaky not seeing The Freak on that familiar October stage. A two-time NL Cy Young Award winner relegated to the back of the bullpen.
Lincecum hasn’t pitched since Sept. 28, though he has thrown warmup tosses and kept his routine to ensure he’s ready for his next chance – and manager Bruce Bochy hinted he very much expects to use the right-hander against the Royals.
“I’m just trying to keep that flow in my emotional state, as well,” Lincecum said. “Just kind of stay positive and just take every day for what it is. Every day in the playoffs is pretty special.”
Even if he’s left watching and waiting for his turn.
Lincecum pitched the 2010 Game 5 World Series clincher at Texas. In 2012, he moved to the bullpen for the playoffs and emerged as a reliable reliever when San Francisco won another title.
After landing a new $35 million, two-year deal last October, Lincecum tossed his second no-hitter in less than a year June 25 against San Diego. He went 12-9 with a 4.74 ERA in 26 starts, ending a run of three straight years with a losing record.
His teammates understand this can’t be easy for the guy once nicknamed “Franchise.”
“I do everything I can do to encourage him on a daily basis because at some point in time (his) number could be called and it’s going to be in a big spot. It’s the World Series now,” said Jake Peavy, the Game 2 World Series starter. “We believe in Timmy Lincecum. He’s done amazing things, he’s as big-time as anybody and has had tremendous playoff starts as a starter, tremendous playoff experience out of the bullpen.”
The Giants’ 10th overall draft pick in 2006 who was in the big leagues by the following May, an inconsistent Lincecum lost his rotation spot in late August and was replaced by Yusmeiro Petit. Lincecum won his last two outings pitching out of the bullpen, including his 100th career victory Sept. 25 against the Padres.
Even Bochy considers Lincecum, knowing how much he wants to contribute – and how much Bochy wants him to get that opportunity, when the moment is right.
In the NL Division Series and NLCS, Lincecum was the only player on the 25-man roster not used.
“He’s just an unbelievable teammate, he’s so selfless that it inspires each and every one of us,” right fielder Hunter Pence said. “He’s also a big-game pitcher. He has that flair for the spectacular. You’ve seen it with two no-hitters where he lifts us up through some of our tough times and you’ve seen it in the postseason. ”
Lincecum didn’t even enter the 18-inning Game 2 division series win at Washington. Bochy said he would have used him but plans changed once the Giants took the lead.
“Timmy’s done a lot for us, I’ll start with that,” Bochy said. “When you get in the postseason, there is probably going to be a guy, maybe two who doesn’t get a lot of work, but that doesn’t mean he might not play a key role. … I think about Timmy, trust me, the fact he hasn’t been in there because I haven’t forgotten what he’s done or what he could do for us. So far it’s worked out well. But still, I’d like to get him to be part of it.”
Lincecum is still among the fan favorites, and that was evident when a long line of people waiting to see him weaved around a corner and down the hallway for FanFest at AT&T Park last Feb. 1.
When the 2013 season ended, Linecum wasn’t sure he would even be back in orange and black. Instead of testing free agency, he stuck with the only team he has known and the comfort of remaining in a place he belongs and knows so well.
“I feel great,” Lincecum said. “It’s just about staying that way. … I don’t think there’s any way to kind of lose it at this time of the year. Everybody’s kind of, whatever’s left in the tank you’re going to pour it on that field whenever you get a chance. I just try to be myself, keep a light mood. Along with that grind, we celebrate our small accomplishments.”
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Buck Showalter knew he was in trouble when the seventh inning rolled around and his Orioles were trailing the Kansas City Royals in Game 4 of the AL Championship Series.
Three innings later, Baltimore’s season was over.
In each game of the series, the three-headed monster of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and All-Star closer Greg Holland had slammed the door on the Orioles. They did it again in the clincher, a 2-1 victory that propelled Kansas City into the World Series after a 29-year absence.
Game 1 is Tuesday night against the San Francisco Giants.
“That’s one of the biggest reasons they’re playing here,” Showalter said of the “Big Three.”
The Royals had one of the stingiest bullpens in baseball this season, but the back end was especially dominant. Herrera, who usually handles the seventh inning, had a 1.41 ERA in 70 games. Davis, the eighth-inning guy, had a 1.00 ERA in 71 appearances. And Holland had a 1.44 ERA while saving 46 games, one shy of his franchise record set just last season.
They were at their best in sending the Royals to the World Series, too.
Herrera pitched 5 2-3 scoreless innings against Baltimore, allowing just two hits. Davis went five scoreless innings, also giving up two hits. Holland was the only one to give up a run, but he still managed to save all four games, joining Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley as the only pitchers to accomplish the feat since the ALCS went to a best-of-seven format.
“At the end of the game,” Royals starter Jason Vargas said, “we like our chances.”
All three relievers have four-seam fastballs that approach 100 mph, and all three have a devastating secondary pitch. Herrera has a lightning-quick two-seamer, Davis’s new cutter has been dynamic, and the vicious slider that Holland can unleash leaves hitters waving at air.
But that’s where the similarities end. The three of them took very different paths to reach this point, key cogs in a perfectly tuned strikeout machine.
Herrera exploded onto the scene two years ago, a fireballer who never seemed to quite know where his fire balls were headed. What little command he had finally failed him last season, and he was banished to the minor leagues, where he was able to rein everything in.
Since returning to the Royals, the 24-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic has been solid. At one point this season, he had a streak of 30 consecutive scoreless appearances.
“He’s meant so much to this team over the last few years,” Holland said. “He’s tough.”
Just about as tough is Davis, who at one point was considered an after-thought in the trade that brought staff ace James Shields over from Tampa Bay in December 2012.
The Royals tried to use him as a starter, but for some reason he couldn’t get on track. So almost out of desperation, they sent him back to the bullpen, where he’d had success in Tampa Bay. Everything suddenly clicked. By the time the Royals were climbing into contention last season, Davis had become a lock-down eighth-inning reliever.
His electric stuff had the Royals thinking about starting him again. But a season-ending injury to Luke Hochevar in spring training scuttled that plan, and Davis was turned loose in the bullpen. He began mowing down hitters at a record-setting rate.
Davis didn’t allow a run from April 23-June 25, a streak of 20 appearances and 22 1-3 innings. It took 43 appearances, 45 1-3 innings and 179 batters before he allowed an extra-base hit. When Holland sustained a minor injury late in the season, Davis closed out three games.
“He’s a guy that just comes in and goes right after you with his stuff,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He’s a guy that’s a tremendous competitor.”
In that respect, he’s a bit like Holland, who has come out of nowhere to become one of the game’s top closers. He was drafted by the Royals in the 10th round out of Western Carolina, and was in the big leagues three years later. But after scuffling during that first-call up, Holland proved he belonged in his first full season, eventually taking over the ninth inning.
He never gave it up, compiling a 1.86 ERA in 246 games over the last four seasons.
No wonder Showalter and every other opposing manager have learned the best chance of beating the Royals is to beat their starters. If they have the lead by the seventh inning, the chances of mounting a comeback against their “Big Three” aren’t very good.
“Just get us through six in the ballgame and we can turn it over to the bullpen guys,” Yost said. “We’ve got a lot of confidence in everybody we’ve got down there. Our offense has a lot of confidence in everybody we’ve got down there, too, because they know, hey, look, let’s keep it close, let’s get it to the bullpen, and if we can take a lead and get it to the bullpen, odds are we’re going to be celebrating a victory at the end of the day.”
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Of course Don Denkinger plans to watch the World Series. He always does. He’ll tune in to root for the umpires, check out familiar faces on the Giants and Royals, and see how Kansas City is looking these days.
Chances are he’ll see himself, too.
“Nobody wants to have the call that I did in the World Series,” Denkinger told The Associated Press this weekend from his winter home in Arizona. “But I did. And now it’s part of history.”
All these years later, Denkinger’s miss at first base remains the signature moment from the last time the Series was in town, back in 1985. Not Bret Saberhagen throwing a clinching shutout or George Brett getting a bunch of hits.
Nope, Denkinger’s call stands from Game 6 – and sticks with the umpire who was a part of several memorable moments during a distinguished 30-year career.
“I’m not tired of talking about it. I mean, it happened,” he said. “I just know that if the same thing happened now, they’d get it right on replay and it’d be over with.”
San Francisco and Kansas City open on Tuesday night, and it’s a good guess a replay or two of his mistake will be shown sometime during the telecasts.
Denkinger didn’t have the cushion of an instant-replay review on that October night when the St. Louis Cardinals took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning at Royals Stadium, just three outs away from the championship.
Pinch-hitter Jorge Orta led off with a slow bouncer to the right side. First baseman Jack Clark ranged wide to field the ball, and flipped a high throw to reliever Todd Worrell covering the bag.
Orta was still in the air on his final stride when the ball beat him by a half-step. Denkinger recounted he was standing too close to the play – by the time he saw Worrell catch the ball and looked down, Orta’s foot was on the base. Denkinger ruled him safe.
“I wish I would’ve gotten it right,” he said. “But I didn’t.”
The rest, as Denkinger said, is part of baseball lore.
The Cardinals argued to no avail, then made a couple of misplays that led to Kansas City scoring twice to win.
Denkinger was the plate umpire for Game 7 and the Royals romped 11-0, with pitcher Joaquin Andujar and manager Whitey Herzog getting ejected while fuming over the previous day’s events.
Denkinger received threatening notes in the offseason, and the FBI investigated. The next spring, he was back to umpiring and, to this day, is reminded of what went wrong.
“I’m guessing that if it had been Cardinals-Royals this year, I’d be getting a lot of calls,” he said.
In all, he worked the World Series four times. He was the plate umpire for the famed Game 7 duel in 1991 when Jack Morris pitched all 10 innings to lead Minnesota over Atlanta 1-0. Denkinger also had the plate for the Bucky Dent home run playoff game in 1978 between the Yankees and Red Sox.
Denkinger retired after 1998, and now splits the year between his native Iowa and Arizona. He’s been married more than 50 years, and was in the hospital this week with wife Gayle when she needed a stent.
In recent seasons, Denkinger had spoken out that replay technology would benefit Major League Baseball.
Along with getting more calls right, replay has helped umpires avoid the stigma of being “Denkingered,” as some of them have said. Meaning nowadays, a wrong call gets corrected by an umpire in the replay booth, and the games go on without attaching an umpire’s name to the miss.
“I think replay has worked great,” he said. “I could’ve used it back then.”