Wow! The Kansas City Royals are on one of the greatest post-season runs ever, and maybe the greatest ever. Playing flawless baseball, they swept the Orioles in four straight. Let there be no mistake: It’s not that the Orioles kicked the ball around and lost, it’s that KC played flawlessly and won, which really is an even more impressive feat.
What was not impressive was the juvenile manner in which the Royals handled their success. Such behavior crystallized for me when in Game 3, Eric Hosmer, broke his bat in the first inning, scoring two runs, taking second on the throw home. After sliding in, he promptly got up and patted himself on the back. There was Jeremy Guthrie’s tee-shirt and Jarrod Dyson’s stream of cocky comments. Fortunately, for Dyson especially, not Early Wynn, Don Drysdale, nor Bob Gibson pitched for the Birds, or Dyson’s ankles would have had bull’s-eyes on them whenever he came to bat. To the Orioles credit, they didn’t gripe about a lack of breaks and they didn’t drill anyone. The only way to respond was to win and since they didn’t, they kept their mouths shut and took it like men. That would be a good example for Kansas City to follow just in case things go badly against San Francisco. After all, the Giants are on an impressive run themselves.
MASN columnist, Roch Kubatko, rightly pointed out that the Royals went from the easiest team to root for to the most difficult. Read his excellent column here.
My Bird Lovers World Series prediction flew south for the winter. Instead, we have a match up of wild card winners. Did anyone out there predict THAT one?! I believe it’s a first, but my pick is the Giants for a couple of reasons. KC has a slightly longer layoff, but they have home field advantage which counts for a little bit. The Giants, however, have Bruce Bochy who will most likely out-maneuver Ned Yost, but who at least had the good sense to stay out of his players’ way against the Orioles. (Although even then, a couple of moves he made were more than questionable, but they happened to work.) And mixing a bit of probability with superstition, it’s in the Giants favor that they’ve already lost two games along the way. They are not on one of those streaks as are the Royals that makes you start to think, “Uh-oh; this has to end some time!”
Two teams, both on a cosmic-sized roll. As has been amply demonstrated, anything can happen and it probably will.