Report: Royals Still Beefin' Over Noah Syndergaard's World Series Brushback Pitch

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The thing to remember is that all baseball players are large babies.

Remember Game 3 of the World Series? Probably not, because it was like 18 years ago in sports time. Alcides Escobar had established a reputation for jumping on first-pitch fastballs, but starter Noah Syndergaard promised he had “a few tricks up my sleeve.” I think he had just the one, actually, and it wasn’t an off-speed pitch:

It was a 98 MPH fastball, very up and slightly in. It was obviously a purpose pitch, and just as obviously not meant to hit Escobar.

But the Royals were steamed, and they’re apparently still steamed, a whole offseason later. According to Newsday, the Royals are plotting their revenge, perhaps as soon as Sunday.

[M]ultiple industry sources told Newsday that the Royals have been signaling their intent to seek retribution against the Mets on Opening Night.


This seems fairly silly; if “scoreboard” is the ultimate comeback, the Royals will literally be getting their World Series rings minutes before they have the opportunity to, I don’t know, throw a ball at a random Met or whatever. Baseball players have held grudges for far longer over far dumber things, but this is a good reminder that Most Annoying Team in Missouri is a closer race that most will acknowledge.

Then there’s the possibility that this is all bullshit. Newsday’s sourcing is weird—“industry sources?”—and if I were in charge of things over at MLB, I’d put this rumor out there to stir up drama for Opening Day. Be honest: is there anything more likely to get you to tune into a game or flip over to one in progress when there’s the threat of retaliation and a big bench-clearing brawl? There is not. If this is viral marketing I’m disappointed but impressed. Finally, a way to make baseball exciting!


Now if this is legit, Syndergaard will be the Mets’ starter for the second game of the series on Tuesday—but it’s in Kansas City so he won’t be batting. Still, after Game 3 last fall he did invite the Royals to come meet him in his office.

“If they have a problem with me throwing inside, then they can meet me 60 feet, 6 inches away. I’ve got no problem with that.”