|BY GREG WALTERS|
He was the umpire at first base in Game Six who blew a call which many credited opening the door to a rally by the Royals to win the game.
The aftermath in Game 7 was evident.
As crew chief of the 1985 World Series umpiring unit, Denkinger was scheduled to work behind home plate in Game 7, a fact that further upset the Cardinals and manager Whitey Herzog. Some observers suggested that the presence of Denkinger behind the plate affected the Cardinals' gameplay, as ace pitcher John Tudor got off to a terrible start, giving up five earned runs and four walks in only 2 1⁄3 innings. Tudor was so disgusted by his performance, that he subsequently punched an electrical fan with his pitching hand. Todd Worrell (while being interviewed on ESPN Classic's The Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame... about Don Denkinger's involvement in the 1985 World Series) would later compare the idea of Don Denkinger working behind home plate to putting a stick of dynamite back there and lighting it.
The Cardinals made their frustrations clear throughout the game. ABC television cameras caught Herzog screaming and belittling Denkinger from the Cardinals' dugout throughout the contest. Pitcher Joaquín Andújar exploded twice over Denkinger's calls at the plate during the 5th inning, finally being ejected with Herzog after a heated argument over Denkinger's strike zone. Herzog even went so far as to directly tell Denkinger that had he gotten "the call" right in Game 6, the Cardinals would not have been subjected to a seventh game in the first place. (Denkinger then replied that if the Cardinals were batting better than .120 in the Series, there would have been no need for a Game 7 either.) In the immediate aftermath of his meltdown, Andújar smashed a toilet in the Cardinals' clubhouse. The Cardinals were completely demolished by the Royals as Kansas City would go on to win Game 7 in an 11–0 blowout, taking home their first and only World Series Trophy.
That was then. This is now.
The Royals are making baseball history. Their eight game post season winning streak is proof of their pitching and defensive strength. Their run production may be low -- but they have shown an uncanny knack of scoring just enough to win the contests they are in.
Their confidence is growing.
Whether they play St. Louis or San Francisco is yet to be seen. (San Francisco leads that series 3 to 1).
I am a Missouri boy through and through -- the rematch between the Royals and Cardinals would be epic.
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and now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go . . .
Another friend came by Saturday night to watch the game. "Did someone mention something about October?" asked "Frank" of Halloween fame, when he stopped in to show support of the Royals. Even our dog, Wickett, decided it was time to join in the fun.
and Casey at the Bat
and Casey at the Bat
It is all about baseball this week. More significantly, it is all about Royals Baseball and what is proving to be a post season for the record books.
The Royals playing in post season is not the same team that played in most of the regular season. They have been transformed into a well disciplined group of players all coming to the top of their game at the right moment. Consider the following trivia about this amazing transition that is the Kansas City Royals post season baseball team.
Baseball seasons come and baseball seasons go -- but this years post season play has already set records that were unthinkable before the beginning of the series. Consider the following:
- A third baseman who flirted with batting below the Mendoza* line and was sent back to the minor leagues before the All Star Break is now leading both the National and American League in homeruns. Mike Moustakas is that player. He is the Royals’ third baseman. He bats ninth in the lineup. Traditionally, the ninth batter is reserved for your weakest hitter. In the space of just six games Moustakas has become a threat so strong at the plate I would not be surprised to see pitchers intentionally walk him before the series ends.
- The Kansas City Royals outfielders have redefined the word defense. This evening I watched as the broadcaster said a ball was smashed into the gap between right and center field. Miraculously, Royals centerfielder Lorenzo Cain, came out of nowhere to make another diving catch reminiscent of something from the Disney Classic (movie) “Angels in the Outfield”. Each game has had trademark catches by the Royals outfielders, literally robbing opposing teams of victory. As one announcer opined, “the ball, if hit in the air, is not allowed to touch the grass” when the Royals are on defense.
- Billy Butler stole second base! There are some truisms in his life. Things like water is wet, ice forms at 32 degrees, the sun rises in the east. You can add to the list, Billy Butler is one of the slowest, if not the slowest runner in the game. Butler is the Royals Designated Hitter. His bat has suddenly come alive this series with some game winning clutch hitting. He can play a decent first base if needed. His stolen base (which I bet he kept) is as close as you will ever see divine intervention take place on a ball diamond.
- The Royals came into the series known as a team that plays “small ball” (they were last in hitting homeruns in the regular season) relying upon bunts, base running to win games. In the post season they have not abandoned the small ball concept, but have added to it with stellar defense, strong pitching and, get this . . . . the long ball! They lead ALL of the teams, both National and American League in homerun production in post season play.
- Five of the Royals six victories in post season play have been played into extra innings or to the ninth inning as tied games. It as if the Royals do not know how to lose.
Put all of the above together with what has got to be the most versatile pitching staff in the game and you have a team that may go all the way this year. If you have not been watching the series, kick back and take a few minutes to do so.
* Mendoza Line is an expression in baseball derived from the name of shortstop player Mario Mendoza, whose batting average is taken to define the threshold of incompetent hitting. The cutoff point is most often said to be .200.
Paul Livius: “The Royals will win the American League Pennant in five games against the Orioles.”
Garth Bare: “The Royals in six against Baltimore. Wait and see who the National League Champion is before making that prediction."
Greg Walters: “I don’t want to jinx the Royals by making a prediction. At the same time – I do expect to see the Royals and Cardinals battle it out for the Major League Pennant this year.”
Cousin Phil Seidl: (who lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa but has always been Orioles fan): “Baltimore in seven – just you watch!” Phil and I have a side bet on the American League series. If the Orioles win, he wins a case of Boulevard Beer. If the Royals win, I win a case of Glueck Beer (which was once bottled in Cedar Rapids). I’ve tasted Glueck Beer – I wonder if it is really supposed to taste like the can? Somehow I feel I lose even if I win this bet.)
Want to add your prediction to the list? Send it to the Raytown Report Blog and we will add it to the list.
Casey at the Bat
The following link is to a dramatic reading of Casey at the Bat by Orlando Sentinel sports columnist Mike Bianchi of Ernest Thayer's baseball classic, "Casey at the Bat," which was first was published 127 years ago.
USE THIS LINK CASEY AT THE BAT
The Outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that -
We'd put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat.
But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey's getting to the bat.
But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despis-ed, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.
Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.
There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile on Casey's face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat.
Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.
And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-
"That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one," the umpire said.
From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
"Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted someone on the stand;
And its likely they'd a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand.
With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, "Strike two."
"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.
The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville - mighty Casey has struck out.
|BY PAUL LIVIUS|
The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – October 7, 2014
Police Chief Jim Lynch presented R.E.A.P. with a check for $10,700 from the Raytown Police Benefit Organization.
The Paul Livius Report
Shirley Whitman went before the Board and said she talked with Dr. Markley. She asked why the test scores had dropped so dramatically. She was told the students were tested using the “Common Core” method of teaching, but the students had been prepared using the old curriculum. She also attended the Chamber of Commerce luncheon. She said she had submitted her application to volunteer to help students with math, reading, and Social Studies.
The Board passed a resolution to approve the Speed and Crash Reduction/Hazardous Moving Grant Contract from the Missouri Department of Transportation Highway Safety. The City intends to use these funds to decrease hazardous violation and speed related accidents. The grant contract allows for up to $11,850.00 dollars in reimbursable grant funds for overtime enforcement and to send one person to the annual LETSAC conference.
Mahesh Sharma told the Board some of the highlights in the past year are:
- P-25 radio project completed in compliance with FCC regulations
- Introduction of a new Professional Development Plan for police officers
- Achieved A+ S&P Bond Rating
- Installation of Google Fiber throughout the City
- Continued success with Mental Health Court
- Completed demolition of two dangerous buildings
- Installation and implementation of new financial software
- Completed renovations of tennis courts at Colman-Livengood Park
- Completed construction of communication radio tower
- Froze Police Officers Pension Plan to join a more sustainable Missouri LAGERS Plan
- Implementation of a new 401(a) Plan for employees
- Successful Tuition Reimbursement Program for employees
- Completed City’s first ever full Codification project
- Citizen communication via Electronic Newsletter and Social Media
Mahesh Sharma said employees are the core strength of any organization. As the City Administrator, it is his role to ensure that the City takes care of this asset by providing the best working environment. Starting November 1, 2013, a new 401(a) plan was introduced to all employees to promote a healthy retirement and an effort towards better employee retention. The City is losing the talent pool to neighboring communities due to a wage gap. He is recommending a four percent across the board pay increase. This increase applies to all full-time and regular part-time employees excluding seasonal employees. It also excludes the employees of the Police Department who are receiving no less than a four percent pay adjustment under their new Professional Development Plan. The employees who are under probation as of November 1, 2014 will receive an increase after the completion of their probationary employment period. This is the fourth year in a row that he is recommending the no sewer rate increase. Services are provided by our certified EMS Staff at no cost to our residents. Public Safety Employees are deeply committed to assisting residents and businesses alike. The Police Department has established a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) to assist mentally ill and distressed persons. In summary, the proposed budget totals $28,265,083 for all funds excluding the Park Fund. The budget for the General Fund, the City’s primary operating fund, is $13,589,391— an increase of approximately two percent or $259,204. For more information on the new budget, go to http://www.raytown.mo.us/vertical/sites/%7B418C71C3-E397-4C87-B464-C498EC8900F9%7D/uploads/10-07-14_Web_Packet.pdf. The budget information starts on page 31. Alderman Ertz moved and the Board passed the motion to approve the budget without the Parks Board budget. The Park Board will be meeting and there is no reason to approve the Parks Board budget until a decision is made about the future of Super Splash.
The Board passed a resolution for the expense for the Development Department Renovations by the Wilson Group. Andy Noll told the Board this is necessary to improve customer service and to use the Department space more efficiently. The remodel will remove a wall to allow visual access to the front counter for additional staff members, reorganize the staff area to make filing more efficient and utilize the Department space more efficiently, and a door will be moved away from the main fee counter so that Department staff will not be visible to the customers at the fee counter. The renovation costs will be $26,872.90, with a 5% contingency fee for the project.
The Board passed an ordinance to change the Property Tax levy rate. Tom Cole told the Board there is a need to amend Ordinance No. 5501-14 which was approved by the Board of Aldermen on September 16, 2014 due to the fact that the City received final numbers from the County on September 18, 2014. Finance has recalculated the levy rates using the formula supplied by the State Auditor's Office. These calculations indicated the final levy rate of $0.3671 per $100.00 assessed valuation for general city operations and a rate of $0.1838 per $100.00 assessed valuation for park operations. The 2014 final rates represent a net decrease of $0.0020 from 2013 and a decrease of $0.0066 of what was approved on September 16, 2014 by the Board of Aldermen.
FIT BOTTOMED EATS
My last When In Rome post made us realize that comfort food doesn’t necessarily have to be congruent with heavy, greasy, “I need to take a nap” food. I’ve often wondered how eating something that sits like a rock in your belly and makes you feel like hell afterward was ever awarded the nickname comfort to begin with. READ MORE
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