Greg Holland, Craig Kimbrel named 2014 Relievers of the Year

Greg Holland of the American League Champion Kansas City Royals is the inaugural “Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year” and Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves is the first “Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year,” Major League Baseball announced today.  Both Holland and Kimbrel participated in a press conference at Kauffman Stadium prior to tonight’s Game Two of the 2014 World Series.
In 65 games this season, Holland fashioned a 1.44 ERA and posted 46 saves in 48 opportunities in helping the Royals reach the Postseason for the first time since 1985.  In 62.1 innings, the two-time AL All-Star struck out 90 batters while surrendering just 37 hits and 20 walks.  In the Postseason, Holland has saved six games during the Club’s eight-game winning streak to the AL pennant.  After a franchise-record 47 saves in 2013 and 46 this year, the 28-year-old Holland now owns the two best single-season save totals in Club history.  The North Carolina native’s 93 saves over the two-year period were the best total among all AL relievers and second in all of MLB to Kimbrel’s 94.
Kimbrel, 26, assembled a 1.61 ERA and fanned 95 batters in 61.2 innings this year, earning an NL-high 47 saves in 51 opportunities.  The four-time NL All-Star allowed just 30 hits, 26 walks and two home runs this season and stranded 12 of his 14 inherited runners.  The Alabama native is the first pitcher in Major League history to begin his career with four consecutive 40-save seasons.  According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Braves’ all-time saves leader is just the third pitcher to register 40 or more saves in each of four consecutive seasons, joining Hoffman (1998-2001, 2004-2007) and Francisco Rodriguez (2005-2008).  Kimbrel’s strikeout percentage of 42 percent ranks as the highest in Major League history for pitchers with at least 150 saves.
The AL relievers who were the runners-up are Dellin Betances (5-0, 1.40 ERA, 90.0 IP, 135 SO) of the New York Yankees and Zach Britton (3-2, 1.65 ERA, 37 saves, 76.1 IP, 46 H) of the Baltimore Orioles.
The NL relievers who were the runners-up are Aroldis Chapman (2.00 ERA, 36 saves, 54.0 IP, 21 H, 106 SO) of the Cincinnati Reds and Kenley Jansen (2.76 ERA, 44 saves, 65.1 IP, 19 BB, 101 SO) of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Balloting was conducted among a panel of nine all-time great relievers in order to determine the first recipients of the revamped awards, which were announced on April 9th.  Rivera and Hoffman, both of whom spent their entire careers in the same League en route to the top of the all-time saves list, were joined as voters by the four living Hall of Fame relief pitchers – Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Rich “Goose” Gossage and Bruce Sutter – and the three relievers who round out the top five in career saves – Lee Smith, John Franco and Billy Wagner.  The nine voters ranked the top three AL relief pitchers and the top three NL relief pitchers based solely on regular season performance, using a 5-3-1 weighted point system.
The new Awards replace MLB’s “Delivery Man of the Year Award,” which was presented to one winner in all of Major League Baseball from 2005-2013, and continue a longstanding baseball tradition of honoring the game’s top relief pitchers.

Ned Yost media session:  October 18, 2014

The Royals held a workout for a second straight day as they prepare for Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday.

The big news on the day is that James Shields will start Game 1, with Yordano Ventura tabbed to open Game 2.

Yost was asked about players tipping their caps when a big play is made.  He says he loves it – the practice is something that started when James Shields joined the team prior in 2013.  As for the skipper, don’t expect to see him tipping his cap…he claps instead.

Four first-time umpires are expected to take part in the series.  Yost thinks that it’s good for the game and that they’ve earned the right to be here, just as the players have.

When asked about his approach compared to past years, Yost says he listens more.  He has tremendous coaches who he utilizes regularly.  He was mentioning that he has the best first base coach in the game in Rusty Kuntz, and at that exact moment, Kuntz was walking over and taking pictures of the media session!

Yost said that he used to wake up at night and think about situations that he can’t control.  Today he woke up in the early a.m. hours and was vacuuming by 4:30!  His young grandson will be in town for the World Series and Yost wants the floor as clean as possible.  Reporters inquired as to whether he’s good at vacuuming, to which he replied that it looks better.

Pennant-Winning Photos: Clubhouse Celebration

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Pennant-Winning Photos: Players celebrate with fans

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Pennant-Winning Photos: Award Presentations

We take a look at the Royals receiving the William Harridge Trophy, as well as Lorenzo Cain being presented with the ALCS MVP award.

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Pennant-Winning Photos: The Final Out!

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Orioles-Royals ALCS  at Kauffman Game 4

ALCS Game 3 Trivia

Game 3 of the ALCS is just a few hours away…Jeremy Guthrie will take the hill in his first postseason start.  Here are a few notes about Jeremy’s outing:

  • At 35 years, 189 days old, Jeremy will become the oldest Royal to start a postseason game, passing the late Paul Splittorff, who made his final postseason start on October 10, 1980 at Yankee Stadium (Game 3 – ALCS) at 34 years, 2 days.
  • Guthrie is also the oldest starting pitcher to make his postseason debut since former Mets righty Steve Trachsel (35 years, 341 days) did it in Game 3 of the 2006 National League Division Series vs. the Dodgers (Oct. 7).
  • A native of Ashland in southern Oregon, Jeremy is the seventh pitcher from The Beaver State to start a postseason game and the first since Jim Rooker, who started for Pittsburgh in Game 5 of the 1979 World Series…Guthrie looks to become the first Oregonian to start and win a postseason game since Mickey Lolich earned victories in Games 2, 5 and 7 of the 1968 World Series for Detroit.

ALCS Game 3 Postponed

Monday’s game has been postponed.  Here’s the release from Major League Baseball:

Game Three of the American League Championship Series between the host Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles has been postponed due to inclement weather and the forecast for rainfall throughout the remainder of the day.
Policy during the Postseason is to use the game ticket marked with the number of the game actually being played at a given ballpark.  Thus, ALCS Game Three tickets can now be redeemed on Tuesday, which will have an 8:07 p.m. (ET)/7:07 p.m. (CT) start.  Game Four tickets can be used on Wednesday (first pitch: 4:07 p.m. ET/3:07 p.m. CT), while Game Five tickets can be redeemed on Thursday.  First pitch of Thursday’s Game Five of the 2014 ALCS has been set for 4:07 p.m. (ET)/3:07 p.m. (CT).

ALCS Gameday Information

The Royals return to KC with a 2-0 lead in the best of seven series.  Here’s info to help you if you are attending this week in KC:

Championship Series Game 3- Monday, October 13th @ 7:07 PM CT
•     Please use ticket marked – ALCS HOME GAME 1
•     Stadium gates will open at 5:00pm CT (2 hours prior to game time)
•     Parking gates will open at 2:00pm CT (5 hours prior to game time)

Championship Series Game 4- Tuesday, October 14th @ 7:07 pm CT
•     Please use ticket marked – ALCS HOME GAME 2
•     Stadium gates will open at 5:00pm CT (2 hours prior to game time)
•     Parking gates will open at 2:00pm CT (5 hours prior to game time)
Championship Series Game 5*- Wednesday, October 15th @ 3:07 pm CT
•     Please use ticket marked – ALCS HOME GAME 3
•     Stadium gates will open at 1:00pm CT (2 hours prior to game time)
•     Parking gates will open at 10:00am CT (5 hours prior to game time)

*If necessary.

ALCS Game 1: Gordo and Moose deliver in the 10th

Another postseason game, another extra-innings thriller!  Alex Gordon hit a clutch homer in the 10th and Mike Moustakas followed with a two-run shot as the Royals won 8-6 on Friday!

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