Sports

KCUR 89.3 covers community-related topics about sports in the Kansas City region. Do you have a story idea? E-mail News Director Maria Carter, maria@kcur.org.

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By now, many Royals' fans know these facts about Kansas City's World Series opponent, the New York Mets: they have tremendous starting pitching, infielder Daniel Murphy is on a historic postseason home run binge, and their season changed when they acquired Yoenis Cespedes in late July. 

But did you know the franchise was once managed by a Kansas City-native nicknamed the 'Old Professor'? Or that they once set the modern mark for regular-season futility? Or that their ticket prices to this year's World Series purport to be the most expensive in Major League Baseball history? 

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

This is not a dream. The Kansas City Royals are headed to the World Series for the second-straight year.

Kansas City eliminated the Toronto Blue Jays four games to two, after winning Game 6 by a score of 4-3 to take the American League pennant. The team will face the New York Mets for the Major League Baseball title.

The clinching win was anything but easy.

UMKC

A University of Missouri-Kansas City assistant basketball coach under fire for allegedly paying for strippers at another program has resigned.

Kyle Palmer / KCUR 89.3

This story was rebroadcast as part of our best-of 2015 series. It was originally reported in October 2015.    

Ask a Royals' fan about FOX announcer Joe Buck, and you might get a response like Adam Jones'.  

"I think it's safe to say he did not call last year's World Series with any kind of objectivity."

Courtesy Photo / Mary Mathews

It turns out, some of the best Royals' stuff comes from family.

 

Every Christmas, fond memories rush over Mary Mathews of loved ones who are no longer with her — and the Kansas City baseball team.  

When we asked fans this week to share their most loved Royals stuff, Mathews, of Grandview, Missouri, took a photo of two simple Christmas ornaments that commemorate the team's 1985 World Series win.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

It was a familiar scene on Wednesday: Once more, a team in ugly orange uniforms had come to the K for a series-deciding finale, and put up an early lead. But this time, the game, like Johnny Cueto, was nearly perfect. The Royals grounded the Houston Astros to claim their rightful place as hosts of the American League Championship Series, which starts tonight. The specter of last year’s heartbreak lingers, but its exorcism continues. 

Yet most of all, best of all, this is fun again.

A new report says five former players and recruits say McGee paid for strippers at on-campus parties.

This story was updated at 2:45 pm to include comments from UMKC officials.   

Right now, things don't look good for UMKC men's assistant basketball coach Andre McGee. 

A new report from ESPN's 'Outside the Lines' program corroborates allegations made by a self-described former escort that McGee paid her to provide strippers and sex for players and recruits. In the documentary, a portion of which aired Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America", Powell says McGee paid her $10,000 for "side deals", including sex with some players. 

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

For the first time since 1998, a father is in one baseball dugout of a playoff team, while his son is in the other. In this case, Drew Butera is the Kansas City Royals back-up catcher while his father, Sal, is a Toronto Blue Jays coach.

The family matriarch is Gina Butera, who planned for this year’s playoffs.

“I actually had a T-shirt designed and it’s blue,” said Gina Butera. “On one side it is the Jays logo and on the side it’s the Royals logo. The back says, ‘Butera’s house divided.’ Yeah, I had no doubt that both of them were going to be in the playoffs. No doubt.”

Jeremy Bernfeld / / KCUR 89.3

Don’t ever count the Royals out.

Down three runs. Who cares?

Just nine outs to go. So what?

Facing a near-unhittable pitcher? Big deal.

A five-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday vaulted the Royals from losers to winners over the Toronto Blue Jays and rewrote with a happy ending what had looked like a lost day for the home side.

The 6-3 win means the Royals will bring a two-game lead to the north as the best-of-seven series shifts to Toronto, and that the club needs just two more wins to book their place in the World Series.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

With baseball’s top offense coming town, the Royals were hoping to hit just enough to end the game on top.

Throwing a shutout will help.

An outstanding pitching performance led the Royals to a 5-0 win Friday over the Toronto Blue Jays and allowed them to take the first game of the best-of-seven American League Championship Series.

Kansas City starter Edinson Volquez fired bullets through the first five innings, allowing just one Toronto hit. Back-to-back walks to open the sixth caused trouble, but Volquez got himself out of the jam and the Royals never looked back.

Tell KCUR: Show Us Your Most Loved Royals Stuff

Oct 16, 2015

Hey Royals fans, you know all those T-shirts, baseball cards, banners and bobbleheads you've collected over the years?

We want to see them.

Tell KCUR: Show us your most loved Royals stuff.

Share photos of your most prized Royals gear and memorabilia on Twitter with the #TellKCUR hashtag or go to our Facebook page and leave your photo in a comment. 

Don't forget to tell us why you love it so much!!

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

By virtue of winning the most games in the American League this season, and a win for the AL team in the All-Star Game, the Royals have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

But does the potential to play more at home really give the Royals a leg-up? Isn’t that just another one of those sports myths, like the one about the team with more heart and hustle always winning?

“The home field advantage: definitely no myth,” says Jon Wertheim, executive editor of Sports Illustrated.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

It just seems the Royals wouldn’t have it any other way. And now they’re headed to the American League Championship Series.

Kansas City defeated the Houston Astros Wednesday to win the decisive game in their best-of-five series.

Down in a two-run hole, the Royals rallied in a three-run fifth inning to go up 4-2 and take a lead they’d never give back.

The Toronto Blue Jays, who beat the Texas Rangers to advance Wednesday, are next up for Kansas City.

The story of the night: Royals starting pitcher Johnny Cueto.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

This story was rebroadcast as part of our best-of 2015 series. It was originally reported in October 2015.    

When the Royals take the field for their do-or-die Game 5 Wednesday night, all eyes will be on the players. But during the game, there will be a largely invisible team at work behind-the-scenes doing everything they can to get the Kauffman Stadium crowd whipped into a frenzy.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

Just because Kansas City has seen this before, it’s not any less thrilling.

With their back against the wall, the Royals scored 5 in the eighth inning Monday and rallied to beat the Houston Astros 9-6.

The win prolongs the Royals’ season for another game. With the best-of-five American League Division Series tied at two games apiece, the Royals will host the do-or-die Game 5 at Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

It’s do-or-die time for the Royals.

After dropping Game 3 Sunday, Kansas City can’t afford another loss in their best-of-five American League Division Series against the Houston Astros.

On the strength of solid starting pitching by ace Dallas Keuchel, the Astros held off the Royals 4-2 Sunday to claim a 2-1 series lead.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

After finding themselves in an early hole, the Royals rallied Friday night to take Game 2 of the American League Division Series and knot the best-of-five game series at one.

The win was a crucial victory for Kansas City, which risked traveling to Houston to face the Astros’ ace starting pitcher while staring at elimination. Now, it’s a race to two wins to move on to the American League Championship series.

First-baseman Eric Hosmer said the win would give the team some confidence.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

The Royals fell behind in the first inning and a punchless offense never allowed them to catch up.

In the end, Kansas City dropped the first game of the best-of-five American League Division Series at home to the Houston Astros, 5-2.

“It’s a five-game series,” said Royals manager Ned Yost. “It’s not a death-sentence to lose Game 1.”

Royals starter Yordano Ventura surrendered two runs in the first inning and another one in the second, leaving the Royals to enter a 49-minute rain delay down 3-1. Ventura did not return after the showers.

Courtesy Kathleen Kunkler

Despite finishing the regular season with the best record in the American League, the Royals aren’t the AL team most-likely to win the World Series, at least according to FiveThirtyEight, the statistical analysis sports blog headed by Nate Silver.

Sportswriter Neil Paine lists the Toronto Blue Jays as the team most-likely to take the title after crunching the numbers. Paine gives the Jays a 19 percent chance to end the season as winners.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Draped in fashion of Royal blue, caps bobbing up and down in a sea of fans, they lined up Grand Avenue and wrapped around 13th Street to squeeze into the noon rally at The Power & Light District Wednesday.

There was Royals swag and spirit, and the chance to get nostalgic with veterans of the 1985 Championship Royals team.

Outfielder and speedster Willie Wilson, five-time All Star second baseman Frank White, and starter Dennis Leanord were among those who shared stories about their careers and cheered on the 2015 team.

Harpers470 / Flickr--CC

Twenty years ago, a sports team captured the heart of Kansas City. This squad blazed through the regular season, earning the league's best record. As a result, it claimed home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Its postseason games would be played in front of enthusiastic, boisterous fans hungry for a title. 

Sound familiar? As Royals fans gear up for Thursday's postseason opener at Kauffman Stadium, some can't help but recall other times in the not-so-distant past when a Kansas City sporting franchise has not necessarily taken advantage of home-field advantage. 

After eliminating the New York Yankees in a Tuesday night wild card game, the Houston Astros travel to Kansas City to face the Royals on Thursday night.

The Astros blanked the Yankees, 3-0, so Houston tasted some champagne before leaving New York. And they’re coming for the entrée in Kansas City. That’s how veteran outfielder Jonny Gomes describes it.

“This is a whole different game,” said Gomes. “You think you go to a restaurant or other places, the appetizer is are normally the fastest part of the meal. Here, the appetizer is 162 games. The entrée is pretty quick.”

One night after Sporting Kansas City won the U.S. Open Cup, FC Kansas City captured the league championship in women’s professional soccer.

Amy Rodriguez scored in the 78th minute in FC Kansas City’s 1-0 win over the Seattle Reign. It was a rematch of last year’s championship match in the National Women’s Soccer League.

In all three years of the league’s existence, FC Kansas City has reached the title match and has won two straight titles.

Michael Zupon / Flickr--CC

The Kansas City Royals pulled away in the late innings in their 10-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners Thursday.

The win was a key milestone for the ball club, as the Royals haven’t won a division title since they won the 1985 World Series.

Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain says it’s an important first step this season.

“We definitely set a goal to win our division this year,” Cain said. “We accomplished that. But our next goal is to get back to the World Series and hopefully win. We have a lot of unfinished business.”

Harpers470 / Flickr--CC

 

The Missouri Supreme Court has thrown out an age discrimination verdict in favor of the Kansas City Chiefs and sent the case back for a new trial.

The high court ruled that the trial court was wrong to exclude the testimony of more than 15 witnesses called by the plaintiff, former Chiefs maintenance manager Steven Cox, who sued the NFL team after he was fired in October 2010.

Cox, 61 years old at the time, was replaced by a 37-year-old.

A weekend homicide victim in Kansas City has been identified as Royce Jeffries, who played four years of college basketball at Oklahoma State University.

Jeffries played for Oklahoma State from 1986 to 1990, when Leonard Hamilton was the head coach.

Jeffries set a school record, since surpassed by two players, for the highest percentage of baskets made over his career at nearly 57 percent.

Jeffries was fatally shot while working as a security guard at a bar on 57th and Troost.

wikimedia commons

Sports fans understand inertia; after all, it’s Red Thursday, Blue October is just around the corner, and we’re not moving from the couch. But what about the teams we’re watching? How much does momentum matter? Commentator Victor Wishna propels us through the theories in this month’s edition of A Fan’s Notes.

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry played his first regular season NFL game last weekend — just 10 months after he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Other high profile professional athletes, such Mario Lemieux in hockey and Jon Lester in baseball, have recovered from lymphoma and resumed their careers. Berry’s quick comeback, he says, was completed through his will, and with the help of those closest to him.

The Missouri Supreme Court is scheduled to announce some decisions Tuesday and one of them might involve the Kansas City Chiefs.

Steve Cox, a former maintenance manager at Arrowhead Stadium, is suing the Chiefs for age discrimination. The Missouri Supreme Court will decide on whether key evidence from the plaintiff’s side will be admissible.

“Any time that there’s a legal matter that you’re involved in you’re always concerned,” said Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt last week. “I don’t specifically have concern over that issue though.”

The two Kansas City Royals players who came down with the chicken pox have rejoined their teammates.

Alex Rios and Kelvin Herrera made their first appearance at Kauffman Stadium since they were diagnosed a week earlier in Tampa.

They were cleared by the team’s doctors on Sunday and Royals manager Ned Yost had the option to use them.

“The outbreak wasn’t severe enough in terms of their bodies with a bunch of the little chicken pox things they have,” Rios didn’t play in last night’s game, but Yost used Kelvin Herrera in relief against Minnesota.

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