A Thank You Letter to the Royals and Giants

KC RoyalsNLCS - St Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants - Game Five

 

Dear Royals and Dear Giants;

Thank you.

Thank you for going to Game 7. Thank you for reminding me that baseball is my favorite sport that I love. A 3-2 win with the best current October pitcher on the planet Madison Bumgarner doing relief work on 3 days rest.  He just pitched one of the best clinching games in our lifetime, in the best World Series pitching performance of all-time.

Thank you for not giving up. The Royals could have packed it in and they did not. When Alex Gordan got a hit with 2 outs, the improbable happened. Gregor Blanco misplayed the ball to the end of the wall. Was it shades of that AL Wild Card play in game where the unthinkable happened time and time again? (See 2014 OAK-KC Wild Card Game for summary). We all wondered and many hearts like mine stopped beating for a second as the next batter, (the walk off winner of the 2014 AL Wild Card game) Salvador Perez came up. Could he be a hero again?

You see for those that will say baseball is boring and complain that the ratings for some games this year are not as good like this poorly timed article http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2014/10/29/record-low-tv-ratings-for-a-world-series-game-6/18140489/ on the eve of game 7 , I ask you this….

Did you know/understand the strategy that Ned Yost later said Alcedes Escobar decided to do on his own without any signs from the dugout in the bottom of the 5th?

He bunted the runner over and gave himself out instead of trying to get a hit and keep the inning going with nobody out. That was simply put the difference between the Giants winning and the Royals losing as nobody scored. The line between that is as razor thin as you can get. These teams played as even as you can, just one team had to lose.

I am guessing you did not realize that strategy if you do not follow much baseball. Maybe it would be a good idea to find a friend who watches the sport next season, ask them to explain the game situations to you, and you will realize knowing some of the strategy, baseball begins to show a different dimension to the game you never knew existed.

Baseball strategy is much like a chess match where you could play by the percentages every time and still be proven wrong. It makes baseball so emotional, so lovable, and oh so much fun sometimes defying logic like the 2014 season and playoffs have shown.

You see for those that say baseball is boring in person and boring on TV, I would present the 2014 Game 7 of the World Series as my argument. Simply take the 3+ hours and watch it. If you could not get into that game and see how it was one of the best endings to a winner take all World Series Game 7, LIVING up to all the hype that many clinching games in sports fall short (ahem the 2014 Super Bowl), then my friend, you will NEVER like baseball and there is no reason trying to prove otherwise for you.

 

For me and many baseball fans like me, Game 7 reminded me of the day I began to try to figure out this game as a kid. Why a relative (in this case my Grandfather) showed me what this game is all about. Since leaning the game my summers have never been the same.

Today as an adult I still love the game. After tonight’s game and when the final out was made, I felt like the same kid that realized the day baseball became my favorite sport, creating a bond with my Grandfather that I will never forget, God rest his soul.

For this experience in 2014: Giants and Royals I thank you wholeheartedly for reminding me why I love this game.

Sincerely,

Brian

 

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