San Francisco jumped all over James Shields and the Royals early and then coasted to a Game 1 win. Three thoughts after watching the Series opener…

1. Hunter Pence should be your new favorite player.

He has a cult following. He does weird things on deck. He throws funny because of issues with his skeletal structure. Focus on that, and you would miss this:

(Insert commentary about solid hitting mechanics)

Pence Home Run





Pence Double







Also, he inspired this:

Pence as Marv






2. Narratives and nicknames don’t win championships. Execution does.

I’m not going to pile on “Big Game” James Shields. All I will say is that what makes a great story has nothing to do with what makes a great performance. No matter your nickname, the story of grittiness and determination surrounding your team, you must make pitches, put good swings on the ball, run good routes in the outfield, and make good decisions in the dugout. That’s what wins games. Always has and always will. Why does that matter? Someone reading this is living off something you did in the past. Start working hard again. Don’t let that old narrative and nickname be only something from the past.

3. One game does not a series win.

Honestly, what did we expect? Madison Bumgarner is really good. For the Royals to have beaten him would have been Herculean, given the way he’s pitched in the past two weeks. Take heart, Royals fans, it’s not a one-game series.