For the first time since MLB expanded the playoff structure in 2012, we will have not one, but two single-elimination wild card teams.
Both the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals, yes the Royals, both barely squeezed into the postseason.
Wait a second there Johnny. Did you say the Royals are in the World Series?
Yes! For the first time in 29 years the Kansas City Royals are in the World Series.
1985 was the last time the Royals played in a championship match. The I-70 Showdown Series, as it was called, was against the St. Louis Cardinals.
I doubt that more than 15 percent of the student population remembers 1985. Most of you wouldn’t see the light of day for another 10 years.
But here we are! These are exciting times for all baseball fans.
And let’s not ignore the fact that this is the third World Series appearance in five years for the Giants. San Francisco has established a dynasty.
Even though we all remember what the Giants did to our Texas Rangers back in the 2010 World Series, we cannot overlook this club’s achievements.
But…the Kansas City Royals. I still can’t wrap my brain around this. The Royals posted nine consecutive losing records from 2004-20012. And two years later they are in the World Series. Talk about a turnaround. This is a team that saw one of the league’s top pitchers, Zack Greinke, leave for sandy beaches and sunny skies in free agency.
Even more amazing, the Royals had to beat the Oakland Athletics 9-8 in the American League wild card game, swept the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and then swept the Baltimore Orioles. Don’t forget that the Royals are the wild card team, meaning that they were the visiting team in each one of these series.
Add in the fact that the Royals had three extra-inning wins in the LAA series, and you can see how exciting this team is.
As a Texas Rangers fan I don’t have a dog in this race. But I would love to see the Royals win it all this year.