Mission October: The Final Mission, an inside look at the 2014 World Series, premieres tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov. 4) at 8 p.m. Central on FOX Sports 1. Mission October is a collaboration between Major League Baseball Productions and FOX Sports.
Davis, 29, completed one of the best seasons by a relief pitcher in club history, posting a 9-2 record with three saves and a 1.00 ERA in a team-high 71 appearances this season. His 1.00 ERA led all Major League relievers and was the eighth-lowest all-time by an American League relief pitcher. Davis’ 109 strikeouts in 72.0 innings out of the bullpen were a Royals club record, passing Greg Holland (2013) and Jim York’s (1971) mark of 103. Over the past three seasons, the right-hander has posted a 14-3 record with a 1.65 ERA (28 ER in 152.1 IP) as a reliever, which ranks second in the Major Leagues, behind only Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel (1.27).
The Royals announced today that the club has extended a one-year Qualifying Offer to right-handed pitcher James Shields for the 2015 season.
Shields has until November 10 at 4 p.m. CT to accept or decline the offer. A declined Qualifying Offer would mean the Royals would receive an additional selection at the end of the first round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft should Shields sign with another Major League team.
Kansas City’s season ended on October 29, with non-playoff teams ending their season on September 28. The playoff run leaves a short turnaround time frame for offseason decisions, both for the A.L. champs and for players impacted by moves. Billy Butler is a free agent as of today and he reiterated on a conference call that he is not ruling out a return to the only organization that he has played for. Butler understands the decision and knows that he can’t take it personally. A Royal at heart, Butler says he will weigh heavily any offers and make the best decision for his family. He is interested in a multi-year deal and believes that a tough year does not define a player who has had success over many years. Butler played first base regularly in August and believes that he can play the position every day on a championship-caliber team.
Butler, 28, was an American League All-Star in 2012 and ranks third in club history with a .295 career batting average and is sixth in doubles (276) and RBI (628) and seventh in hits (1,273) and homers (128).
Fans hoping to see their beloved American League Champion Kansas City Royals one more time following Wednesday night’s game seven loss got that opportunity on Thursday as Kauffman Stadium hosted a season celebration. Ryan Lefevre hosted the event on the field and guests included Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, Kansas City Mayor Sly James, General Manager Dayton Moore, and Royals owner David Glass. Ned Yost along with several players and field staff were greeted by loud cheers as Yost, James Shields, Billy Butler, Jeremy Guthrie, Lorenzo Cain and even Nori Aoki spoke over the PA system to the fans, all thanking them for a season they will not forget.
For the thousands of fans in attendance it brought a sense of closure to the best season this city has seen in 29 years. The disappointment is fresh and may sting for a while but after the dust settles, people will remember the 2014 Royals season. Many hands sculpted the masterpiece that lead the Royals to game seven of the World Series, on the losing end to one of the greatest World Series and Postseason pitching performances of all time. And Kansas City found itself just 90 feet away from sending the last game of the Major League Baseball season to extra innings. From the front office to the players and coaches and last but certainly not least the fans have much to be proud of no matter how much last night still hurts.
After the on-field celebration of the season, Yost met with the media for a final time to wrap up the season. Yost called this year’s Postseason run “magical” but that it wasn’t until after sweeping Baltimore in the American League Championship Series that he realized something special was going on. Ned’s confidence in his team never wavered this season, even through 98 games when the Royals were 8.0 games out of first place in the AL Central and two games under .500. That confidence continued into game seven.
“I felt right up to the minute Sal popped up that we were going to be World Champions,” Yost said. “We’ll sit back and reflect the next couple of weeks and start to understand how special this year really was.”
The Royals received national exposure with their Postseason run and with their style of play.
“I think the country has had the opportunity to get to know these guys and see what they’re about,” Yost said. “I think this organization has made a lot of new fans throughout the country.”
“What was more impressive than that was that the country got an opportunity to see that Kansas City is a phenomenal baseball town. I think they were a little shocked during the All-Star Game two years ago but they really got an opportunity with this playoff format to see our fans in action. It was amazing to watch.”
Through the highs and lows of a long season, Yost said this year was one of the most gratifying in his coaching career, citing a great clubhouse and guys who were committed to the team instead of individual accomplishments. It is one of the many qualities that got the Royals to the World Series.
“I’ve never been more proud of a group that I’ve ever been around in my life,” Yost said.
By Nate Rowan
The Royals announced that they have acquired minor league catcher Santiago Nessy from the Toronto Blue Jays organization in exchange for right-handed pitcher Liam Hendriks.
Nessy, 21, appeared in 69 games this season with Lansing (A) and Dunedin (A-Advanced), batting .231 with 17 doubles, 2 triples, a homer and 28 RBI. He also drew 25 walks and scored 29 runs between his two clubs last season. He’s spent the last four years in the Blue Jays’ minor league system, after signing as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2009 out of Caracas, Venezuela. He was named a mid-season All-Star in the Dominican Summer League in his first full professional season, 2010 and the Jays’ No. 11 prospect heading into the 2013 season.
Hendriks, 25, came to the Royals along with catcher Erik Kratz in the July 29 trade that sent third baseman Danny Valencia to Toronto. He was designated for assignment on October 25.
Photos: Mike Moustakas set a club record with his fifth home run of this postseason. Yordano Ventura was dealing, to the tune of 7.0 shutout innings. He became the second rookie since 1948 to work 7.0 or more shutout innings in a World Series game. Lorenzo Cain made another outstanding catch and the crowd was excited all night, including when the 10-0 game went final.
CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCH: Bret Saberhagen, who was the MVP of the 1985 World Series, will throw out tonight’s ceremonial first pitch. Saberhagen delivered a complete-game shutout performance in the decisive Game Seven of the 1985 Fall Classic to clinch the organization’s first championship.
GAME BALL DELIVERY: Jazmen Fowler, 17, from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lawrence (Kansas), will deliver tonight’s official game ball to the mound with Royals Hall of Famer and member of the 1985 World Series Champion Royals Mark Gubicza.
GAME SEVEN PERFORMANCES: Joyce DiDonato will perform the National Anthem prior to Game Seven. Winner of the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo, Kansas-born DiDonato entrances audiences and critics alike across the globe, soaring to international prominence in operas by Rossini, Handel and Mozart and as a fierce arts advocate. DiDonato’s acclaimed discography includes Grammy-Award-winning Diva Divo, Drama Queens, ReJoyce!, and most recently Stella di Napoli (Erato/Warner Classics). Other prizes include a Gramophone Award (Artist of the Year), a place in the Gramophone Hall of Fame, and a German Echo Klassik Award (Female Singer of the Year). Recent engagements include the Last Night of the BBC Proms, the title role of Maria Stuarda (Covent Garden; Metropolitan Opera), Elena La donna del lago (Covent Garden; Santa Fe), the title role of Cendrillon (Barcelona), Sesto La Clemenza di Tito (Chicago), and Angelina La Cenerentola (Metropolitan Opera). Much in demand on the concert and recital circuit, DiDonato holds residencies this season at both the Carnegie Hall, New York and the Barbican Centre, London.
Singing “God Bless America” before the bottom of the 7th inning will be Master Sergeant Jennifer Sherman from Whiteman Air Force base.
BUCK O’NEIL LEGACY SEAT: Kansas City, Missouri, Police Officer James Cisneros spreads his love of baseball to youth across the community, especially in the neighborhoods of the East Patrol Division. He often heads to early morning baseball games after an overnight shift to coach the 11-under “KC Premier Sluggers,” inspiring the boys to be great citizens on and off the field. Officer Cisneros is from a police family, a father of four, and works off-duty security at Kauffman Stadium throughout the season. He also mentors at-risk students from De LaSalle Charter High School and volunteers as a coach at William Jewell College.
BUDWEISER OUR HERO SEAT: Sergeant First Class Dominic Baruelo joined the United States Army immediately after high school at the age of 17, and served as the senior supply sergeant with the 325th Combat Support Hospital in Independence, Missouri. In 2002, Sergeant Baruelo deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and again in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. He and his men were constantly on dangerous roadways, charged with protecting all convoys going in and out of Iraq. Sergeant Baruelo is a highly-decorated native of Russell, Kansas, and has received many awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal twice, the Army Commendation Medal six times, the Army Achievement Medal four times and a Good Conduct Medal four times.