The Royals won 2-1 yesterday over the Orioles to go up 3-0 in the ALCS, bringing them to the brink of a World Series appearance in their first postseason chance since they won the 1985 World Series. Kansas City won a thrilling Wild Card playoff game, then have thus far swept their way through the postseason's next two rounds. Does that remind you of anyone? Let's ask Todd Helton, a key member of the 2007 playoff squad:
Helton relives the 2007 postseason with Thomas Harding, calling it the best time in his career, and has some advice for these Royals: maybe lose a game to avoid rust setting in. He talks about the need to savor each moment of this, because it might not happen again in quite some time. Helton also remarks on what he's been up to in the last year (basically shooting things and sleeping) and his thoughts on the front office changes (noncommittal but hopeful).
Tony Blengino of FanGraphs has some comparisons of the Royals to playoff teams past, but he doesn't mention the Rockies. This makes sense, because the Rockies were likely the best team in the NL in 2007 whereas the teams Blengino is comparing the Royals to (like the 2007 Diamondbacks) were more offensively challenged and in general more similar from a roster construction perspective to this Royals club.
Still, the playoff runs the Rockies and Royals have had are strikingly similar.
Dave Cameron of FanGraphs writes about the kind of a GM hire that the Rockies would have never considered, targeting an external hire that was already in a position of power on another team. For the cash-flush Dodgers, this most certainly is a case of the rich getting richer with one of the best GMs in the game. In case you missed it, Bryan had a really good take on the move yesterday.
Giants fan Grant Brisbee writes that having a bunch of money isn't always the most helpful thing for a GM that is used to spending wisely, in that it generally leads to the acquisition of expensive players. Brisbee writes that Friedman will still have a big impact in other areas, such as the trade market and the farm system. It's a terrifying day to be a fan of a non-LA NL West team.
As for why Ned Colletti got the boot out of the GM role after his team compiled a 94 win season, Craig Goldstein opines that his propensity to take on bad contracts for marginal gain, his lavish spending on an okay bullpen, and the relative dearth of homegrown stars were big contributors.
Former Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd is a potential candidate for the Braves GM role, Jeff Passan reports. Assistant GM John Coppolella and Royals GM Dayton Moore are considered to be the frontrunners for the position.
Enjoy some excellent defensive work, including one by Charlie Blackmon.