A memorable World Series sweep, plus other Fall Classic notes

Watching the World Series from Kansas City, I thought of a friend from high school whose story has to be told. John Martin grew up on a farm outside of Bryant in eastern South Dakota, near my hometown. He had bushy dark hair with thick eyebrows and a crooked smile. He had a bear-trap handshake, molded from years of never-ending chores. He loved sports, especially ... read more

Answering questions about the Giants-Royals World Series

The World Series opens Tuesday in Kansas City with two wild card teams, the Royals and Giants, playing for the title. Wasn't the new one-game wild card format supposed to make it tougher for a second-place team to make it to the World Series? The Royals, who have won eight consecutive games in this postseason, are playing in their first World Series since 1985, the ... read more

Remembering when a devastating earthquake shook up the 1989 World Series

Twenty-five years ago today, an earthquake interrupted Game 3 of the 1989 World Series between San Francisco and Oakland. I was there as a reporter for USA TODAY, and here's what I remember: The day of the game, a group of reporters chartered a boat from the Berkeley Marriott for an hour ride on the bay to Candlestick Park. It was a spectacular afternoon. We ... read more

Recipe of aggressive play has served Royals well in ALCS

After watching the Kansas City Royals take a 2-0 lead in the American League Championship Series, there's one question that's gone unanswered: How did this team go 6-13 versus Detroit and lose the American League Central? "We're playing our best baseball,'' Royals manager Ned Yost says. The Orioles know. The Royals, who have won six consecutive postseason games, will try to move a win closer ... read more

Down to baseball's final four, predicting an orange-and-black World Series

At the beginning of the postseason, there was a chance for a Bay Bridge Series between Oakland and San Francisco, an Interstate 70 Series between St. Louis and Kansas City, and a Beltways Series between Baltimore and Washington. Now the only possibility is the I-70 Series, but it's not going to happen. The Orioles will beat the Royals in five games and play in the ... read more

An early look at the Orioles-Royals matchup in the ALCS

When the Orioles open the American League Championship Series Friday night at home versus the Kansas City Royals, both teams will have the underdog mentality that will make them each a version of "America's Team." Each is in need of a title. The Orioles last won the World Series in 1983, the Royals in 1985. But at least the Orioles have been to the postseason ... read more

What you need to know about the Giants, Nats' foe in NLDS

Looking for ways to impress your friends with tidbits about the San Francisco Giants? You've come to the right place. Here are 10 things to know about the Giants, who play the Nationals in the National League Division Series starting Friday. * Lefty Madison Bumgarner, who pitched an 8-0 shutout to beat Pittsburgh in the wild card game Wednesday night, is their best pitcher. He's ... read more

Taking a look at the Tigers, the O's opponents in the ALDS

The Detroit Tigers will be in Camden Yards on Thursday to play the Orioles in the American League Division Series. Here are 10 things to know about the Tigers: * The Tigers have a rookie manager in Brad Ausmus, a former catcher known for communication. General manager Dave Dombrowski went with a rookie after the experience of Jim Leyland couldn't bring Detroit a World Series ... read more