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Sunday Rockpile: Expanding strike zones are changing baseball

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It's a Sunday Rockpile full of playoff sparring and expanding strike zones.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

My how the tables have turned.

Patrick Saunders writes that the Colorado Rockies could learn a lot from the example set by the Kansas City Royals and their run this season. I actually dig most of what he is laying down here, but I can't help but note the irony in modeling yourself after one of the organizations that has actually been worse than the Rockies over the last 25 years. No memory is more fresh than the most recent.

Benjamin Hoichman and Mark Kiszla did a pretty funny back and forth about who will/should win the World Series between the Giants and Royals. I'm only taking half a lap for this one, because while few people in the business drive me crazy more than Kiszla, Hochman is a damn funny dude and I think I would read his recap of a tricycle race if he wrote one.

The Denver Post continues their series (which is almost as awesome as the one here on Purple Row) of grading out the 2014 Rockies one by one. Today was Rex Brothers' day and his grade couldn't get any lower unless they decided to start giving out F-.

This was posted a few days ago, so apologies if this has already made the rounds, but it is worth a repeat if so. Jake Shapiro at Rockies Zingers did some excellent data-driven analysis to discover if Coors Field naturally favors either left or right handed hitters. There are some interesting trends, and unpacking the nuances of playing at Coors Field is always important topic for this team.

And lastly, this piece by the Hardball Times about the expansion of the strike zone is, in my opinion, the most under-reported story in baseball right now. The umpires have way, way, too much influence over the games and the data shows that this is having a massive impact on the way the game is played.