The Latest: Yost sought home-field edge; Mets wear NYPD caps
NEW YORK (AP) The latest on the World Series. The Royals and Mets canceled workouts at Citi Field in New York ahead of Game 3, set for Friday night. Kansas City leads the best-of-seven series 2-0 (all times local):
Way back in July, Royals manager Ned Yost was already thinking about October.
With seven of his own players on the AL All-Star team and his entire coaching staff in tow, Yost was determined to win the Midsummer Classic and secure home-field advantage in the World Series for the American League.
”That was the absolute only thing on my mind was winning the All-Star Game,” he said. ”All my player selections, everything we did built around winning that game so an American League team could have home-field advantage. I felt like it was big for us last year with our fan base, even though we didn’t win Game 7. But I felt like that was huge to have home-field advantage, and I felt like it would be huge again this year.”
Yost guided the AL to a 6-3 victory in Cincinnati behind MVP Mike Trout, and Kansas City finished the season with a better record than Toronto to earn home-field advantage throughout the American League playoffs.
That came in handy as the Royals beat the Blue Jays in the ALCS.
”We worked hard at the end of the year to get home-field advantage in the League Championship Series, which really helped us,” Yost said. ”Yeah, I think it’s a big deal.”
After two games with the designated hitter in the American League ballpark, pitchers will have to hit for Games 3-5 at the Mets’ Citi Field. For Kansas City, that means Kendrys Morales, who had 106 RBIs this year, will take a seat.
”It’s definitely a different game, but I think our team is built well for the National League,” Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said. ”We’ve got a lot of weapons on the bench that we can go to, and just having a bat like Morales on the bench, at any point in time if the situation is right you can just call on his number whenever pretty much. And he’s been pretty good with guys in scoring position, so it’s definitely an adjustment, it’s definitely different, but I think we got a lot of weapons, and our team plays well in the National League.”
Fans are not the only ones looking at ballpark radar guns. Mets manager Terry Collins says players increasing are focused on the digital speed readout.
”You go to any park nowadays, any park, and every team is looking to see how hard the guy is throwing because nowadays there are so many hard throwers that you kind of have a gauge – I have to start earlier, or, this guy, he’s average,”
”I think it’s become a huge part of the game to know how hard somebody is throwing,” Collins said. ”All the film that you have on all these guys, you can’t get a true feel until you get in the batter’s box. But the radar helps, because everybody has seen somebody that throws 99 or 100 or 92, and these guys have a feel, OK, yeah, I know what that’s like.”
Mets manager Terry Collins and Game 3 starter Noah Syndergaard both wore caps with ”NYPD” on them Thursday to honor slain New York Police Department Officer Randolph Holder.
Holder was killed Oct. 20 while responding to a report of shots fired and a bicycle stolen at gunpoint in Manhattan’s East Harlem neighborhood. His funeral was Wednesday.
”Our organization supports the NYPD, as strong as any place I’ve been around,” Collins said. ”I have some very, very close friends where I live in Long Island City that are New York Police Department, so I’m honoring Police Officer Holder.”
”The job they do to keep our family safe and myself safe, we need to honor them some more,” Collins added. ”This is something the organization said we should do today, and I certainly believe in it.”
With a one-sided game in the late innings, the television audience for Game 2 of the World Series was up just 6 percent over last year. Kansas City’s 7-1 win over the New York Mets was seen by 13.7 million viewers on Fox, up from 12.9 million for the Royals’ 7-2 victory over San Francisco in the second game of the 2014 Series. Wednesday night’s game received an 8.2 rating and 14 share, up 4 percent from a 7.9/14 for Game 2 last year.
Fox said Thursday the game’s audience increased by 1 million people in the 15 minutes starting at 10:30 p.m. EDT, when the Republican president debate ended.
The Mets canceled their formal off-day workout after getting back to New York early Thursday morning following the Game 2 loss in Kansas City. Only a few players were in the clubhouse Thursday afternoon.
”When it comes to the workout, I went to bed at 5 a.m. this morning. We’ve played 23 innings in baseball in 24 hours,” manager Terry Collins said. ”I got a third baseman (David Wright) who’s got – we have to worry about his back. The days off help him. I have a center fielder (Yoenis Cespedes) who has a bad shoulder. I’ve got a right fielder (Curtis Granderson) who has a bad thumb. My second baseman (Daniel Murphy) lives and dies with his lower body. So, look, they play hard. So to have them out here today just to run around for 10 minutes, to me doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
The finalists for Gold Glove awards were announced Thursday and not surprisingly the Kansas City Royals have four players up for a coveted defensive nod – tied with the San Francisco Giants for most in the major leagues.
Catcher Salvador Perez, first baseman Eric Hosmer, shortstop Alcides Escobar and left fielder Alex Gordon are all up for the Royals. Right fielder Curtis Granderson is the Mets’ lone nominee.
Escobar is very excited for the honor.
”I’m really proud of myself,” he said. ”Right now I’m thinking I want to win. That’s one of my dreams.”