Whoa! You may look at that headline and think that I have turned to the dark side. That I actually want San Francisco to win. That I am looking forward to the next edition of what is turning into a biennial celebration of a ticker-tape parade, or even admitting that the Giants are a good baseball team. I promise you, none of that is going to happen, but what the Giants are doing, even I have to admit, is pretty impressive.
At least the Royals don't have to worry about seeing Madison Bumgarner again. Mad Bum is 2-0, has allowed one run in 16 innings (0.56 ERA) and the Royals are batting just .127 against him. If there is a game seven, it's possible that Bumgarner would pitch, but on only two days rest, it wouldn't be for very long, and he wouldn't start.
The Royals do still have to face Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval, though. Hunter Pence seems to like the postseason (maybe someone made a sign that says that), and the Panda loves it. Pence has 9 hits, 5 RBIs, 6 runs, and 14 total bases (including a homer), and leads San Francisco in all of those categories. The free agent-to-be Sandoval has 7 hits, 4 RBIs, 4 runs, and 9 total bases—second to Pence, but Sandoval has done this before. If you believe what you've been reading before the series, the Giants were not interested in keeping Sandoval. Now they might have to rethink their position, and come up with a contract in a hurry.
The Royals are still very much in it, though. They may be down 3-2, but are at home, and with the pitching matchups in their favor. Giants Game Six starter Jake Peavy has been solid, but has not lasted deep into games, and confidence is not high for Tim Hudson if there's a game seven. The Royals need to swing the bats, though. They've been out-hit 51-36.
The Giants won in five games in 2010, and swept in 2012. They are going deep in 2014. When the Royals won their only title in 1985, they were down 3-2 to the Cardinals, came home, and won in seven. We officially have World Series drama.
It's all about the pigskin: We all know that the NFL is king, and Fox proved that point again on Sunday, choosing to do a football postgame show rather than a baseball pregame show. They didn't even show the national anthem. In fact, when Fox finally switched the scene to A T & T Park, Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds, and Tom Verducci came on the air, with some guy either screaming or singing in the background. You never found out that that someone was Billy Crystal in a tribute to the late Robin Williams, and that Williams' three kids threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Fox acknowledged Crystal's presence later when they mentioned the celebrities in the audience, but didn't say anything about why he was there or the tribute to Williams.
Skimping on ceremony: If you like pregame ceremonies with your World Series coverage, Fox isn't the place for you. Not only did they skip everything on Sunday, but before games one and three (the first game in each ball park), they only showed part of the player introductions. We saw the starting lineups for both teams, but not the whole roster. Did we really need another bold prediction from Frank Thomas, Nick Swisher, and Gabe Kapler that they couldn't have gone down to the field five minutes earlier? Prior to Friday's game, I read that there was a ceremony commemorating the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that literally jolted the World Series and the Bay Area 25 years ago. Fox didn't show it, or mention it. It also would have been nice to see the Roberto Clemente and Henry Aaron Award presentations live. The 'Stand Up to Cancer' moment at the end of the third inning Friday was a nice touch, though.
A better showing: You do have to give Fox props for taming the blatant self-promotion just a hair, but they still seem to place actors on some of their shows in nice seats. They had a shot of former Grounded for Life dad Donal Logue, and before you could wonder who he was or what he was doing there, Buck was all over a promo for the new hit show Gotham. At least no American Idol contestants have sung the national anthem, so far.
Reality bites: It always seems that there is a non-World Series story that comes out every year. This year, it was briefly the surprise item that Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon exercised an opt-out clause in his contract, and is leaving the team. That was getting some attention until it was learned that St. Louis Cardinals rookie outfielder Oscar Taveras was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic. Fox underreported this story. Field reporter Ken Rosenthal made the announcement in the second inning of Sunday's game, but it was never mentioned again throughout the telecast. Giants outfielder Juan Perez, a friend of Taveras, pointed to the sky after his two-run double, and reportedly said “this one's for you, Oscar”. Maybe that one got by the reporters at the time, but we didn't know. Many of the players learned of Taveras' death in the dugout, and some were crying. It wasn't shown.