Blue October

Fun facts about the 2014 World Series

Billy Butler

   Blue is not often an appetizing color in food and drink, but that didn’t stop KC establishments from dying just about anything they could serve. The list included:

  • Blue margaritas
  • Blue curaçao or vodka in all kinds of cocktails
  • Blue toppings on pies, cookies and cupcakes
  • Blue (and white) chocolates
  • Blue cannolis (Jasper’s)


  • Remember Laurence Leavy? He was the guy in the orange Marlins shirt behind home plate. The 58-year-old Miami lawyer refused to take eye-popping bribes from Royals officials, who thought he was ruining the camera shot from center field. He paid a small fortune for that seat, so he stayed put.


  • In 1980, George Brett’s hemorrhoids were the awkward medical issue of note during the World Series against the Phillies. In 2014, it was James Shields’ kidney stone. On Oct. 12, an off day, Shields passed the stone. Nine days later he started Game 1 of the World Series in seemingly perfect health.


  • Among the many notable, if not memorable, firsts in the Series was the Game 3 at-bat by Royals bullpen star Kelvin Herrera. It was the first time he had swung a bat in competition since a local game in his native Dominican Republic eight years earlier, when he was 16. And it showed. He struck out on three Sergio Romo pitches. But he did foul one off.


  • Kansas City starter Jason Vargas had his own forgettable in Game 4. With the bases loaded and two out, Vargas took a Jean Machi pitch for a ball and started walking to first, thinking he had earned the Royals a run. Halfway to first base, arithmetic stopped him cold. The count was only 3-2, and the next pitch was a called strike three. It only got worse from there, with the Giants eventually winning 11-4.


  • In Game 6, third base coach Mike Jirschele had to wonder about his communications skills. In the first inning, he waved Lorenzo Cain home, but Cain decided he liked third base better and stopped. The next inning, Jirschele tried to stop Omar Infante, but the veteran cruised behind his coach on his way to a safe slide at the plate. No matter; the Royals won 10-0.


Tweet Tales

   Twitter was virtually clogged with tweets when the Royals started their post-season run.

   Some of the best exchanges involved the Kansas City Police Department. The night of the Wild Card win over Oakland, the cops issued this plea:

  • We really need everyone to not commit crimes and drive safely right now. We'd like to hear the @Royals clinch this.

   When the League Championship Series started, KC’s Finest got into it with their Baltimore counterparts. That Twitter exchange, featuring jabs about barbecue, crab cakes and fan bases, was widely reported. But one intervening tweet won the Foul Ball Award for the postseason.

  • The illiterate twit (name withheld for undeserved protection) wrote: @kcpolice @BaltimorePolice thanx for wasting my tax $$$ making frivelous bets while on the clock probly on computers bought by us ctzn's

   The KC police tweeter showed remarkable restraint by dispassionately noting that she was a PR person tweeting on her own time using her own computer and phone at home.

    Translation: shut up and watch the game.

Manager Ned Yost

Media Yostings

   All kinds of stuff was written about the Royals and manager Ned Yost as they rolled toward the World Series. Most of it was positive; some was garbage. Here are two of the most egregious atrocities, one from each coast.

   In its preview of the Royals-Angels series, the Orange County Register’s Pedro Moura noted KC’s attributes but then added this:

“But they are also in some ways the laughingstock of the sport because of their manager, Ned Yost.”

   Three games later, who was laughing?

    In a feature comparing Yost and his Baltimore counterpart Buck Showalter, the Wall Street Journal chose this headline: The Dunce and the Chessmaster. After the Royals’ ACLS sweep, who was best suited to wear the “dunce” hat?