The rain and controlling Royals’ attitude and running game

KANSAS CITY - It will be a huge surprise if Game 3 of the American League Championship Series is played tonight. I hate to be Debbie Downer, but the forecast doesn’t bring a whole lot of encouragement.

We’ve been warned that the chance of rain ranges from 90 to 100 percent. The Orioles are attaching spikes to their galoshes. During yesterday’s workout, Jonathan Schoop practiced turning a double play while holding an umbrella.

You want a window? Check back next weekend.

Before you ask, Game 3 would be moved to Tuesday, Game 4 to Wednesday and Game 5 to Thursday. The teams would lose the workout day at Camden Yards.

Jarrod Dyson thinks it’s a moot point, since the Royals are going to sweep. He also says the Orioles know that they’re not going back to Baltimore, which is odd, since all of their stuff is there.

It’s a shame that Dyson has turned into a WWE heel. The Royals should be easy to like, given their small-market status, prolonged absence from the playoffs and enthusiastic, long-suffering fan base. They’re a good, young team with exciting players and an extremely bright future. But they may want to tone down the theatrics.

Trust me, there are players in the visiting clubhouse here who noticed Lorenzo Cain’s hand gestures that seemed to be directed Saturday at Orioles starter Bud Norris, and how the Royals skip across the plate after home runs while their teammates rush out of the dugout and jump up and down like it’s the Little League World Series.

I’m waiting for them to start pieing teammates during the games.

The Orioles notice it, but they also concede that the only way to prevent it is to get these guys out. Don’t let them score. Keep the Royals in the dugout.

Don’t like the celebrations? Then go out and beat them. Otherwise, the Orioles just have to take it.

The series might not be 2-0 in Kansas City’s favor if Major League Baseball outlawed swinging bunts, broken-bat bloopers and grounders up the line that scoot inside the bag.

“That’s part of the game,” said catcher Nick Hundley. “There’s no rules against that. They’ve done a good enough job to get it done.

“They’ve done a pretty good job of spraying the ball all over the place, so we’re going to go back to the drawing board a little bit and try to find a way to get them out.”

The Orioles have done a fine job of controlling the Royals’ running game. The responsibility in Game 4 falls upon Miguel Gonzalez, who must give his catcher a chance to throw out runners.

“Buck (Showalter) told us, just try to do what you do best and don’t change anything,” Gonzalez said. “We know they’re going to try to steal bases, but we’ve been doing a pretty good job of keeping them on first base.”

First baseman Steve Pearce has been holding the fastest runners a few steps off the bag, just as Chris Davis did on occasion. He looks like a conjoined twin, then backpedals to take the throw and slap the tag.

buck-showalter-looking-in-distance-alcs.jpgShowalter doesn’t want to talk about it, whether the topic is raised privately among the beat writers or by a national writer in the press conference room. He’s not interested in giving away secrets or strategies to the opposing managers.

“Trying to get a little more range on a ground ball getting out there,” he said.

Good one.

“That’s not being completely true,” he said. “We’ve got a couple of things. There’s not much advantage. You’re just trying to ... what’s the thing, that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?

But enough about my dating life ...

“It’s pretty obvious that the percentages are high in their favor, seems like with all their guys, but five or six of them,” Showalter said. “It doesn’t preclude them from stealing a base. There’s some things you do a little differently when teams have a real strength, but it doesn’t really take that away.

“They do some things, too, that I know they’re trying to counteract some things, but you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul. It just depends on you’re picking your poison there. And like most times it’s like defense is adjusting to the triple option. That’s the reason people don’t run the wishbone anymore.

“It’s fascinating to talk about why they don’t run the option anymore. In pro ball you need four quarterbacks if you did it. I think usually offense is just a defense, and defenses adjust to offense.”

I’m not certain, but I think Showalter deftly changed the subject.

“Pretty fascinating in the future to see how offense adjusted to the shifts,” he continued. “Saw it a little bit more this year. You see hitters trying to do different things. I know some of our tendencies on other players change during the course of the season with some things. They’ll adjust to everything in sports.”

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