KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The emotions were still raw, the sting of defeat still fresh from Game 7 of the World Series when Billy Butler stood in front of his locker and spoke in a voice full of conviction.
They would be back, this scrappy bunch of kids. Their return to the playoffs after 29 years was just the beginning, their 3-2 loss on Wednesday night hardly the end. The same team that swept through the playoffs before falling to the San Francisco Giants has brighter days ahead.
“We have so many guys up here that are young, talented,” Butler said. “You saw some young guys take that next step in the postseason, and it’s an exciting thing to see, and for the future of this organization. The future couldn’t be brighter. The whole nucleus is extremely young, and I think they’re going to build off it. I just hope I’m part of that process.”
That’s the kicker: Butler may not be part of it.
The Royals must decide by Monday whether to exercise his expensive club option for next season, and most expect them to decline. That would make Butler a free agent for the first time in his career and leave Kansas City in search of a new designated hitter.
“Even if they decline it, you can still talk,” Butler said. “If it’s not here, it’s somewhere else, but I’d rather it be here. That’s the way it is. We’re a small market. Business is business, but I feel like it’s a little bit more than that here.”
Designated hitter isn’t the only question mark facing the Royals next season.
Staff ace James Shields, who helped to turn around a losing clubhouse culture, will become a free agent. The Royals will likely make him a qualifying offer, but with big-budget teams such as the Red Sox in the market for pitching, the price could be driven up quickly.
That means the Royals could be in search of a starting pitcher, too.
“The next couple days I’m going to go home and enjoy some trick-or-treating with my kids,” Shields said. “I’ll be thinking about that a little bit later, but I’m not too worried about my free agency right now. Obviously I have to think about that and we’ll see what happens.”
Right fielder Nori Aoki will also become a free agent, though it’s possible the Royals re-sign him. Relief pitchers Scott Downs, Jason Frasor and Luke Hochevar could be headed elsewhere and veteran outfielders Raul Ibanez and Josh Willingham are not expected back.
“We’re going to have to make some tough decisions with our roster,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “We’ll continue to look to add players that fit in, but we’re going to have to certainly look to add starting pitching. We’ll try to put it together the way we have.”
That means putting a premium on starting pitchers who offer substance over style, speedy position players who can play defense and provide versatility up and down the lineup.
There are already some solid cornerstones in place.
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain was a breakout star of the postseason, first baseman Eric Hosmer began to realize his vast potential, and Salvador Perez proved to be one of the premier catchers in the game. Throw in a brilliant bullpen anchored by Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland and a staff featuring 23-year-old Yordano Ventura, and the Royals should solid next season.
“What we need to do now, Dayton and his people have built a base,” Royals owner David Glass said, “and we have to sustain that and built on it and keep it going.”
That means ushering along several prospects awaiting their chance in the minors.
Left-hander Brandon Finnegan provided valuable postseason innings as a reliever, but he’s expected to return to starting. Fellow pitchers such as Sean Manea and Kyle Zimmer offer plenty of potential, but injuries and circumstances have held back some top prospects.
They’ll get a chance to show what they can do in spring training.
For now, though, the Royals head into a strange postseason. For the first time in nearly three decades, the question they face is not, “When will you finally get back to the playoffs?”
No, the question now is, “What are you going to do for an encore?”
“It’s a difficult task. Even the teams that win often don’t get back,” starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie said. “We’ll work very hard to get back here. We have a lot of belief in ourselves. We have a lot of talent to make that possible. Each one of us will be working toward that goal of getting a chance to be back in the playoffs and go for a World Series.”
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Royals have acquired minor league catcher Santiago Nessy from the Toronto Blue Jays for right-handed pitcher Liam Hendricks one day after losing in Game 7 of the World Series.
The 21-year-old Nessy appeared in 69 games for Class-A Lansing and Dunedin this season, hitting .231 with a homer and 28 RBIs. He’s spent the past four years in the Blue Jays’ minor league system after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Venezuela.
The 25-year-old Hendricks joined the Royals along with backup catcher Erik Kratz in the July 29 trade that sent Danny Valencia to Toronto. Hendriks was designated for assignment on Oct. 25.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The celebration in San Francisco’s streets following the Giants’ World Series victory turned raucous and violent, with two people shot and two stabbed. Police got pelted with bottles as they tried to disperse crowds.
At first, the partying unfolded peacefully Wednesday night with fans gathering in the streets and uncorking champagne, dancing and hugging strangers after their team won its third championship in five years with a 3-2 victory over Kansas City in the winner-take-all seventh game.
“I knew they were going to win. It’s the Giants. They do this all the time,” San Francisco native Barbra Norris, 54, said of the team’s odds-defying victory in Kansas City the night after a 10-0 loss.
But in some areas, the atmosphere grew rowdier as the night wore on. Fans climbed onto buses and smashed the windows on a police car.
Violence left four people injured in separate incidents, but it was not yet known if the shootings and stabbings were linked to World Series revelry, police said. San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr will hold a news conference Thursday morning about the violence.
Authorities said 54-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman were stabbed in separate incidents in the city’s Mission district late Wednesday and early Thursday, respectively. Both were expected to live.
A 19-year-old man was shot in the arm in the same neighborhood Wednesday, and another person walked into a hospital with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound, police said. No arrests had been made yet.
Shortly after the celebrating began, Officer Gordon Shyy, police spokesman, said officers made “a handful of arrests” as fans filled the streets and blocked traffic around the Civic Center, in the Mission District and on Market Street within walking distance of AT&T Park.
Bottles were hurled at police as they attempted to disperse crowds and help firefighters put out bonfires, Shyy said. Multiple officers suffered minor injuries, but Shyy did not yet have an exact number. He also said one was treated at a hospital.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the region around Third and King streets was especially raucous with thousands of fans spraying beer, smashing bottles, lighting fires and setting off fireworks. Police in riot gear lined up three rows deep, and revelers began tossing bottles at them, the newspaper reported.
The wild street scenes lasted into the early hours Thursday. Shyy said crowds were still in the streets in some areas and stoking bonfires shortly after midnight. But by early Thursday morning, he said crowds had dispersed.
Earlier in the night, across from San Francisco City Hall, where the exterior lights had been glowing Giants orange all week, more than 9,000 people gathered in an outdoor plaza. The city set up a Jumbotron for viewing the game and a vendor sold hot dogs – but no beer.
“You come out here to feel the pulse of the city. When it’s the seventh game, you want to get the vibe,” said Geoff Goselin, 61.
The diverse crowd sang “Let’s Go, Giants” whenever their counterparts 1,800 miles away rooted for the home team and chanted a prophetic “M-V-P” whenever Giants ace Madison Bumgarner took the mound.
“Bumgarner is the beast, the man,” Aden Bacus, 41, shouted after the exhausted pitcher secured the final out with the potential tying run on third base. “I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t nervous there at the end.”
Amid the revelry, Mayor Ed Lee said the city would host a parade and celebration for the team Friday.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Bruce Bochy is crazy superstitious. It’s a little-known fact about the unflappable San Francisco Giants manager.
Mere mention of anything about a dynasty during the World Series made him uncomfortable. He felt equally uneasy when his name got linked to the best skippers of all-time – those Hall of Famers he well could join someday.
Bochy doesn’t have to worry about a jinx now. After winning its third championship in five seasons, the new label for his team looks as if it will stick.
“Dynasty” blared the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday.
The Giants closed it out with a 3-2 win in Game 7 at Kansas City on Wednesday night, sealed by Series MVP Madison Bumgarner’s five shutout innings as a reliever this time.
“A lot has to go right. First off, it starts with the talent,” Bochy said. “I mean, you need that, which we have. Then you have to deal with a lot of things maybe during the season. Every manager says, `Hey, we’re fine, we have a good chance to get there if we stay healthy.’ But that doesn’t always happen.”
In a remarkable every-other-year pattern, San Francisco somehow finds its best form in even years. With new faces and old ones, with castoffs and misfits and some key midseason acquisitions.
Few clubs have captured three championships in a five-year span. The last National League team to do it was the St. Louis Cardinals with Stan Musial from 1942-46, so the Giants are the first of the free-agency era.
The Oakland Athletics won three straight crowns in the early 1970s, and the New York Yankees captured four in five years from 1996-2000.
Still, San Francisco was never considered a favorite or the best team in the regular season any of these times. Twice in this stretch, the Giants missed the playoffs altogether.
After a runner-up finish in the NL West to the Dodgers at 88-74, they took the wild-card card route this time.
On Wednesday night, Tim Hudson became a champion after a 16-year wait and Michael Morse got there following 10 major league seasons.
“It’s the greatest group of guys I ever played with,” Morse said. “It’s a group of guys who believe in each other and the outcome was a World Series victory.”
This city has had a football dynasty. So now the storied baseball franchise is doing its best to catch up with the NFL team in town. The Niners ruled in the late `80s and `90s, winning five Super Bowls.
A unique element for Bochy’s latest winning roster is the talented crop of homegrown players who made it happen.
There are the big names – Bumgarner, Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval. And the emerging ones – Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Joe Panik.
“You look at most of our team – like Joe, me, Buster, Pablo, Belt, Bum. It’s loaded with a lot of good players and a lot of players who are pretty similar in kind of their approach to the game and they’re pretty even-keel,” said Crawford, the shortstop.
“Pablo’s a little bit different but me, Joe, Belt, Bum, Buster, we’re all pretty levelheaded at any point in the game whatever part of the season it is, whether it’s playoffs or midway through the regular season. We don’t really change. That says a lot with how well we’ve done in the playoffs and the postseason in recent years,” he said.
“Nothing’s really too big for us,” he added.
Eight players have been on all three winning World Series teams: Bumgarner, slugging third baseman Sandoval, Posey and relievers Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo and Tim Lincecum. Matt Cain, too, but he was hurt this year.
General manager Brian Sabean, longest-tenured in baseball, can’t put a finger on why the mix keeps working. He is proud of the core of players who were drafted and came through the system and played such a huge part this time.
“It’s a testament to player development and scouting. That’s what we all hope for, that you can plug your holes from within and build your team from within,” Sabean said. “That’s a surefire way to kind of keep things moving forward. It prevents you from having to go into the market, whether it’s free agency or more so the trade market.”
The Giants survived skids in June and September before winning the wild-card game at Pittsburgh. They then beat Washington in the Division Series and St. Louis in the NL Championship series.
It has started with Bochy and his spot-on decision making, from resting the relievers regularly early in the season so he’d have every one of them for the October run, to going with Bumgarner at every chance.
“But you have to play good baseball for six months, whatever, to get there,” Bochy said. “Once you get there, you’ve heard guys say, `Well, it’s a crap shoot,’ but you have to play your best ball. You have to have the pitching. That’s obvious. But you’ve got to execute.”
For the Giants, it’s about every player doing his part and serving a role, because, as Sabean puts it, “We don’t have a star system here.”
“It’s everybody’s got to pull on the same chain and everybody’s got to be ready to play,” he said. “They understand the culture.”
Dynasty or not, Affeldt has solved a potential problem at home.
The lefty reliever and Game 7 winner has three young sons – and, now, three championships.
“My three boys now all get to have rings on their finger,” he said, “And I’m very happy about that.”
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Madison Bumgarner is a throwback to the days before pampering and pitch counts.
Tall, with droopy hair and the look of a gunslinger, he strung together a sequence of World Series performances seldom seen since the games were played in daylight, kids in school listened on radios and Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson and Mickey Lolich dominated.
What a fitting way to finish a throwback season that resembled the pitching-and-defense days of the 1960s and `70s far more than the fin-de-siecle slugfests of the Steroids Era.
“I don’t know if it’ll ever be done again,” Jeremy Affeldt said after Bumgarner came out of the bullpen with five scoreless innings to lead San Francisco over the Kansas City Royals 3-2 Wednesday for the Giants’ third World Series title in five years.
In an age when arms are treated like fragile investments and fear of Tommy John surgery fills every clubhouse, Bumgarner just wanted the ball as often as possible. He won the opener with seven innings of one-run ball, pitched a four-hit shutout over 117 pitches in Game 5 and then whipped 68 more by the Royals in Game 7. He pitched more than one-third of San Francisco’s World Series innings: 21 of 61.
Some grand totals, courtesy of Brooks Baseball: He threw 205 of 291 pitches (70 percent) for strikes. His arsenal of smoke and trickery included 152 fastballs (52 percent), 81 cutters (28 percent), 44 curveballs, 11 changeups and three of those Bugs Bunny slow curves,
“We probably would have won if they didn’t have him,” Kansas City’s Lorenzo Cain said. “But they do have him.”
With two wins and a save, Bumgarner dominated in a manner not seen since Arizona’s Randy Johnson won Games 2, 6 and 7 against the New York Yankees in 2001, becoming the first pitcher with three Series victories since Lolich led Detroit to the 1968 title.
After throwing 101 pitches in a 15-2 Game 6 blowout, the Big Unit threw 17 more on no days’ rest the next night. He retired Chuck Knoblauch, Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez and Jorge Posada in order, and the Diamondbacks rallied against Mariano Rivera in the ninth to end the Yankees’ run of three straight championships.
No other pitcher has won three Series games in the expansion era, when the postseason changed from a best-of-seven faceoff of pennant winners to a sprawling month that tests depth and endurance. When St. Louis gave Chris Carpenter three starts in the 2011 Series, it was because of a rainout that meant only the last was on short rest.
In the 45 years of the expansion era, Jack Morris had the singular best Game 7 start, a 10-inning, seven-hit shutout that boosted Minnesota over Atlanta in 1991. That followed a win in the opener and a no-decision in Game 4.
“If it was the 25th inning, I think Jack would still be out there,” Twins teammate Kent Hrbek said. “They would have had to drag him off the mound.”
Morris thinks Bumgarner comes from the same big-game mold.
“I want to hug him,” Morris said at Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. “He’s my kind of guy. … He’s got the same emotions, he just doesn’t show them. He’s got a big furnace burning right now.”
In 1968, the last season before expansion and what became known as “The Year of the Pitcher,” the Cardinals’ Bob Gibson threw three complete games against Detroit. After opening with a five-hit shutout, he pitched a five-hitter and allowed one run on three days’ rest to win Game 4.
Gibson permitted a lone infield single through the first six innings of Game 7, again on three days’ rest, then gave up Jim Northrup’s tiebreaking, two-run triple that center fielder Curt Flood misjudged during a three-run seventh in a 4-1 defeat.
Lolich also pitched three complete games and topped Gibson: He threw a six-hitter to win Game 2, a nine-hitter on three days’ rest to win Game 5 and a five-hitter on two days’ rest to win Game 7.
Last weekend, former broadcaster and St. Louis catcher Tim McCarver paid tribute to Bumgarner.
“It’s Gibson-esque, if you will. I know Bob could do that and I saw that from a 60-feet, 6-inch view of him every outing he threw in the World Series. I see the same thing in Bumgarner. I really admire that,” McCarver said.
In 1965, Koufax didn’t pitch the Dodgers’ Series opener at Minnesota because of Yom Kippur and lost to Jim Kaat the following day. Koufax pitched a four-hit shutout on three days’ rest to win Game 5, then came back with a three-hit shutout on two days’ rest to win Game 7.
Going back further, Milwaukee’s Lew Burdette beat the Yankees in Games 2, 5 and 7 in 1957, pitching a seven-hit shutout on two days’ rest in the finale.
And in the Dead Ball Era, the Giants’ Christy Mathewson set the standard against the Philadelphia Athletics with three shutouts: a four-hitter in the opener, another four-hitter on two days’ rest in Game 3 and a five-hitter on two days’ rest in the clinching Game 5.
Of course the game is different no, Bumgarner pitched a record 52 2-3 innings in this postseason, going 4-1 with a 1.03 ERA in six starts and the longest appearance for a save in World Series history, a grind that boosted his season total to 270 innings. Bumgarner is 4-0 with a save and a record-low 0.25 ERA in earning three World Series rings.
“He’s a stud. That’s all,” said Tim Hudson, the Giants’ Game 7 starter. “He’s a stud.”
(West Plains) – The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Volleyball team capped off its 2014 regular season with three straight wins this past weekend, Oct. 24-25, at the Jefferson College Halloween Classic tournament in Hillsboro, Missouri, and will enter postseason play this weekend with a 23-12 record.
The 16th-ranked Grizzlies defeated Seward County Community College, Liberal, Kansas, 25-18, 27-25, 25-22 and Illinois Central College (ICC), East Peoria, 25-21, 22-25, 25-16, 25-15 Friday and finished the tournament Saturday with a 25-17, 25-19, 25-20 victory over Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College.
“It was a very good way to end the regular season,” Grizzly Volleyball Head Coach Paula Wiedemann said. “We went into the weekend knowing we were going to play three good teams, and they forced us to figure out a way to win in different circumstances.”
The Grizzlies learned an ugly win is still a good win against Seward. “We didn’t play our best against them. We weren’t smooth, and we weren’t talking a lot. We won ugly, is the best way to put it,” the coach said. “Seward is a good team, they just made too many errors.”
The Grizzlies also learned how to pull themselves out of a hole against ICC, the No. 3 ranked Division II junior college team in the nation. “ICC can play. Watching the way they handled Hutchinson in the last set of their match, we realized we were going to have to communicate better,” Wiedemann said.
But better communication didn’t come until midway through the second set of the Grizzlies’ own match against ICC. Down 22-13, the Grizzlies took a time out to try to regroup, which paid dividends with a little run once they returned to the court. The response forced ICC to take a time out, which allowed the Grizzlies to pull it together for good.
“We got through the first set, but then they got that huge lead on us in the second,” Widemann said. “After those two time outs, the girls really started talking to each other much better, and we just wore them down defensively. We were the only match ICC lost the entire weekend.”
Defense turned out to be the key in the Grizzlies’ win over Hutchinson Saturday. “We kept digging the ball and giving ourselves the opportunity to win transition points, and that really frustrated them,” the coach said.
“Defensively, we got better as the weekend went along, and that gave us the opportunity to do what we do best offensively,” she added. “Offensively, we took very good care of the ball.”
Tournament statistics show the Grizzlies were led offensively by freshman outside hitter Pulotu Manoa, who had a total of 40 kills on 83 attempts with 17 errors for an attacking percentage of .277. Freshman outside hitter Gabby Edmondson followed with 38 kills on 72 attempts with nine errors for an attacking percentage of .403. Freshman middle attacker Penny Liu recorded 32 kills on 61 attempts with seven errors for an attacking percentage of .410. As a team, the Grizzlies hit .354 for the tournament.
Freshman setter Susannah Kelley led the team in assists with 100, and she was second in service aces with three. The leader in that category was sophomore Alyssa Aldag, who recorded four.
Aldag led the team’s defensive efforts with 72 digs – an average of 7.2 digs per game. Redshirt freshman right side/middle attacker Ashley Bishton led the Grizzlies in blocks with six, including three solo blocks. Edmondson led the team in points earned with 44.
Riding a 13-game winning streak, the Grizzlies will enter this weekend’s Region 16 Championship Tournament in Hillsboro as the No. 1 seed and will face the winner of the semifinal match between No. 2 seed Jefferson College and No. 3 seed Mineral Area College of Park Hills, Missouri. The semifinal is set for 7 p.m. Friday and the championship at noon Saturday. If the Grizzlies win, they will host the District N contest Nov. 8 against the winner of the Region 15 (Maryland) and Region 20 (New York) playoff.
“The girls are working hard in practice. Their mind set is where it needs to be. They’re processing things on the court as they happen, they’re talking and making adjustments themselves, and that’s what they need to continue to do. What we do on our side of the court matters, and how we play together is the key,” Wiedemann said.
For more information about the Grizzly Volleyball team, visit the team’s website at http://wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/vb/. Complete team statistics can be found at http://stats.njcaa.org/sports/wvball/2014-15/div1/teams/MissouriStateUniversityWestPlains.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hunter Pence herded his teammates into the center of a clubhouse that was ready to pop. As the Giants hollered and hugged, he kept asking: “Is everybody here? Is everybody here?”
They were, wildly shaking their bottles of bubbly. And with that, Pence shouted the command.
Suddenly, the spray of success soaked this bunch of World Series winners from San Francisco. Pence was in the middle of it all, as always, and Pablo Sandoval wasn’t far behind Wednesday night after the Giants beat Kansas City 3-2 in Game 7.
Pence and Panda, champions again.
A day earlier, after the Royals romped 10-0 to force a deciding game, Sandoval didn’t seem concerned. As he bopped out of the locker room, he shouted to his pal Pence, “Love you, my ninja!”
Popular for their personalities, they endeared themselves to Giants fans with their production against the Royals.
Pence hit .444, scoring seven runs and driving in five. In the winner-take-all game, the all-out outfielder got two hits and scored a run.
Sandoval batted .429 in the Series, scoring six and driving in four. He went 3 for 3 in Game 7, doubled and scored twice.
The 2012 World Series MVP was cheered on by four fans near the San Francisco dugout wearing giant Panda heads – he’s nicknamed Kung Fu Panda.
Whether Sandoval’s boosters get to see him play at AT&T Park next year is uncertain. At 28, the two-time All-Star third baseman can become a free agent and cash in big.
“As far as what happens, I don’t know,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s obvious I love this kid, too.”
“I’ve had him since he came up, and hopefully something gets done. But these are things that take care of themselves in the winter,” he said.
Sandoval completed a three-year contract that guaranteed him $17.15 million, and the Giants have a history of paying to keep their core together.
Pence was in the first season of a $90 million, five-year deal, and two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, limited to one postseason appearance after struggling with his effectiveness, has one season remaining in a $35 million, two-year contract.
Sandoval earned his third championship ring. In 2010, he lost his spot to Juan Uribe in the World Series and played just once in the five-game win over Texas. In 2012, he hit three home runs against Detroit in the opener.
“Well, his role in the first one, it diminished. We put Juan at third base,” Bochy said. “But the last two, you know, great players, they have a way of rising to the occasion.”
“He did that. You could see a difference in Pablo once his postseason started. His focus, his third base play was as good as I’ve seen from any third baseman. That’s what I’m proud of about him, is how he made himself such a good defender,” he said.
Sandoval wound up with the final ball, catching a foul popup by Salvador Perez with a runner on third base to end it. As he gathered underneath it, Sandoval said there was no time to consider what the grab would mean.
“You don’t think,” he said. “You just catch it.”
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Madison Bumgarner’s World Series performance earned him a spot in the Hall of Fame – well, at least for his caps.
The San Francisco Giants ace donated to the Hall caps he wore during his Game 1 and 5 wins against Kansas City plus his hat from his Game 7 save Wednesday night.
The Hall said it also collected the spikes of Game 7 winner Jeremy Affeldt plus Buster Posey’s bat from the World Series finale and Pablo Sandoval’s jersey.
Hunter Pence’s bat from Game 4, when he had three hits and three RBIs, also is headed to the Hall, located in Cooperstown, New York.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Madison Bumgarner was limbering up at Kauffman Stadium this week, getting loose with his San Francisco teammates near the dugout, when Tim Hudson and Michael Morse sneaked up from behind and ruffled the pitcher’s long, scraggly locks.
That was way too hairy for Bumgarner. He quickly spun and playfully sparred with the mischief makers.
They were about the only ones who could touch Bumgarner in this World Series.
“Yeah, it was hopeless,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost acknowledged.
The 25-year-old Bumgarner capped off a most splendid October and earned MVP honors Wednesday night, pitching five scoreless innings of relief in Game 7 as the Giants held off the Kansas City Royals 3-2.
Moments after he retired Salvador Perez on a foul pop with a runner on third base for the final out, Bumgarner insisted he wasn’t worn down. About a half-hour later, he felt a bit differently.
“You know what? I can’t lie to you anymore,” he said. “I’m a little tired now.”
Bumgarner earned a sensational save to go along with two sparkling wins as a starter in the Series. That on top of being MVP of the NL Championship Series and pitching a record 52 2-3 innings in this postseason.
Put it this way: Bumgarner threw two shutouts in October, starting with a win at Pittsburgh in the NL wild-card game. Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann was the only other starter to reach the ninth inning this postseason, and he got pulled.
All tremendous accomplishments, but hard to tell from observing or listening to the 6-foot-5 Bumgarner. He shows virtually no emotion on the mound, blowing his nose as if no one is watching, and seems to be the only person unimpressed by what he’s done.
Funny thing, the slow-moving lefty was carrying an energy bar with him when he kidded around with Hudson and Morse before Game 6.
“He’s such a humble guy, and we rode him pretty good,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
“It’s historic what this kid has done,” he said. “Really, truly amazing.”
After winning the opener with seven impressive innings, Bumgarner threw a shutout in Game 5. And when the Royals forced a Game 7, there was little doubt that the guy called MadBum would be called on to pitch again on two days’ rest.
But five innings? Who would’ve believed that?
“Innings, I wasn’t thinking about innings or pitch count. I was just thinking about getting outs, getting outs until I couldn’t get them anymore and we needed someone else,” Bumgarner said. “Fortunately, was able to get some quick innings and I was able to stay in there.”
He gave up two hits, retired 14 in a row, and got 15 outs – that matched how many outs opposing starters Tim Hudson and Jeremy Guthrie combined to get.
Bumgarner boosted his World Series stats to numbers never seen before: 4-0 with a save and an 0.25 ERA, along with three championship rings. In 36 innings, he’s allowed just one run and 14 hits, striking out 31 and walking five.
Bumgarner wound up slinging 68 pitches, and finished with 270 innings this season. He went 4-1 with a 1.03 ERA in the postseason – .
Last weekend, former broadcaster and St. Louis Cardinals catcher Tim McCarver paid tribute to the Giants ace.
“It’s Gibson-esque, if you will. I know Bob could do that and I saw that from a 60-feet, 6-inch view of him every outing he threw in the World Series. I see the same thing in Bumgarner. I really admire that,” McCarver said.
Before Game 7, Jack Morris also praised Bumgarner. Morris knows well about Game 7 – always intense on the mound, he threw a 10-inning shutout in 1991 to lift Minnesota over Atlanta.
“I want to hug him,” Morris said near the backstop, a couple hours before game time. “He’s my kind of guy.”
“He’s got the same emotions, he just doesn’t show them. He’s got a big furnace burning right now,” he said.
A lot of stamina, too.
But in this era when pitch counts are so precious, Bumgarner wasn’t worried about his arm in Game 7. And if he was OK, so was Bochy.
“In fact, I was staying away from him every inning,” Bochy said, “because I was hoping he wouldn’t go, `I’m starting to get a little tired,’ because there’s no way I would have taken him out unless he would have told me that.”
Giants catcher Buster Posey said there wasn’t much conversation on the bench with Bochy, Bumgarner and pitching coach Dave Righetti, either.
“Not much of anything. I think everybody could see how good he was,” Posey said. “They weren’t putting great swings on him.”
No, they weren’t.
“We probably would have won if they didn’t have him,” Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain said. “But they do have him.”
Kadlec, known affectionately as “Mr. Mizzou” to most Tiger fans, earned that moniker because of his long-standing dedication to his alma mater that spanned more than 50 years as a player, coach, administrator and broadcaster.
He first came to Mizzou from his native St. Louis to play football for Hall of Fame Coach Don Faurot in 1947. After earning his degree from MU, he stayed on as a graduate assistant coach for Faurot, and he coached the freshman team until 1954 when he moved up to varsity, where he served through 1969. After a stint at Kansas State from 1960-66, Kadlec returned to Mizzou to serve on the staffs of Dan Devine and Al Onofrio, coaching from 1966-77 on the Tiger sideline.
After his coaching days ended, Kadlec returned to Kansas State as Director of Development, before coming home to Mizzou in 1986 as Director of the Tiger Scholarship Fund, and he was a fixture in Columbia ever since in numerous roles for Athletics, most closely associated with fundraising.
In 1995, Kadlec entered an exciting new venture almost accidentally, when he became the color analyst for Mizzou Football games on the Tiger Radio Network as an emergency replacement when the spot came open unexpectedly just days before the season opener. At the request of former Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione, Kadlec joined Mike Kelly on the call for what he thought would be a one-game stint that ended up lasting 16 seasons in all, until he put down the microphone after the 2010 season.
Kadlec was a 1996 inductee into the MU Athletics Hall of Fame, and in 2005, the grass practice fields behind the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex were named in his honor.
Service information is not yet finalized, but will be passed along as soon as it is available.
Tiger fans are invited to share their memories of Coach Kadlec by visiting the following Facebook site http://bit.ly/KadlecFB.
Here are some of his most well-known calls with long-time broadcast partner Mike Kelly:
2002 Game – MU vs. Illinois
2010 Game – Kick-off return (MU vs. Oklahoma)
2003 Game – MU vs. Nebraska (fake field goal touchdown)