Let’s turn back the clock a few years, shall we. Suppose somebody came up to you and predicted that the Kansas City Royals would be playing in the 2014 World Series. Your reaction might have been like many. Perhaps this person making the bold prediction had just consumed too many adult beverages. Or maybe he or she is just insane and needs a mental evaluation ASAP. Yes, it was only a few years ago that this franchise was one of the laughing stalks in all of professional sports. Sure they won the World Series in 1985, but that was followed by nearly 30 years of futility. All those years of missing the playoffs is matched by very few organizations. The Royals defined what professional sports futility was all about. That is why their stunning sweep through the playoffs is so refreshing to see. Starting with their remarkable comeback in the play in playoff game, this team seems to be one of destiny.
Many baseball franchises seem to think that the only way to win a World Series is to go out and spend a fortune on free agents. The Royals did pick up a huge free agent in James Field who deserves a lot of credit for their turnaround, however, they have also developed a lot of young, upcoming talent through their farm system. Mike Moustakas is one of the brighter young stars in major league baseball. These playoffs have really been his coming out party. In addition to these budding young stars, the Royals have several unsung players responsible for their sudden turnaround. Their bullpen is arguably the best in baseball. Give that team a lead in the late innings and it is nearly impossible to beat them. It can said that the Royals turnaround can be a blueprint on how to turn a struggling franchise around. It is not necessarily about spending a lot on a bunch of underachieving free agents. The Royals payroll ranks near the middle of the pack, much lower than the team they will face in the World Series, the San Francisco Giants. Having a bunch of young upcoming players combined with a few free agent pickups, particularly if these free agents happen to be pitchers, can go a long ways in making a team very successful.
When I think of the Royals turnaround, I am the happiest for their long-suffering fans who have endured years of mediocrity. Imagine being a fan of a sports team that loses constantly, year after year. What makes you come back? I happen to be huge fan of our local NBA team who has pretty much the same track record as the Royals. Seeing what has happened to the Royals has given me hope that one in perhaps the near future, I will be joining thousands of rabid fans for a meaningful big game in late May. The Royals are a classic example that droughts in sports can only go on for so long. A team’s success goes in cycles. I do not care if my teams suffers through a few losing seasons as long as there are some good young players who can give us fans hope for the future. If you are a Royals fan, you have to be very excited about the future. This team is built for years of success.
No offense to fans of the Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers or the Atlanta Braves, but the Kansas City Royals are America’s real team right now. I am sorry to all you San Francisco Giants fans out there but how can you not root for the Kansas City Royals in the upcoming World Series? They are the darlings of professional sports at the current moment. Sports fans love rags to riches stories and there is no better example than what the Royals have accomplished. My only question is this, is there enough room left on the Kansas City Royals bandwagon? This sports fan from Minnesota wants to know if I can jump on, at least temporarily until next spring.