The Kansas City Royals are headed to the World Series. Had you told me that at the beginning of the season, I probably would’ve asked you if you knew they weren’t in the National League. They had the look of a good-but-not-great ball club, the sort that might sneak into the Wild Card and then get swept in the first round. Except that didn’t happen, and the entire Kansas City metroplex (you know, all the way out to Farmer Johnson’s grain silo) is busy singing that song Lorde wrote about George Brett. Yeah, that’s a thing.
I don’t remember the last time I was this conflicted about a baseball team. Normally I’m quick to lump every club into the league into one of two easy to define bins: They’re Fucking Awesome! and Shit, They Suck! The Royals are somewhere in the middle for me. Why am I overthinking this so badly? Well…
I love the Royals because they’re a small market team that built a championship caliber squad The Right Way: by developing talent from within, by making smart trades, and by not breaking the bank in free agency.
I hate the Royals because their manager is basically a humanoid cauliflower who blew more important decisions this year than your average drunk girl on Tinder.
I love the Royals because their designated hitter is nicknamed Country Breakfast.
I hate the Royals because they rely so heavily on base running and small ball.
I love the Royals because Alex Gordon is basically what a bunch of brilliant scientists would cook up if they were told “make the perfect left fielder.”
I hate the Royals because Alex Gordon bats sixth. He racked up a .286 Tav and 5.5 WARP in the regular season. The five guys hitting ahead of him right now, in order: .255 and 2.5, .267 and 1.0, .269 and 2.9, .262 and 1.4, .256 and 0.0. Remember what I said about that humanoid cauliflower?
I love the Royals because third baseman Mike Moustakas, a supposed washout of a former top prospect, has completely revitalized himself and started cranking homers like it’s going out of style.
I hate the Royals because I own Mike Moustakas in a keeper fantasy baseball league and he’s totally going to go bust after I spend too much of my budget to keep him around.
I love the Royals because Yordano Ventura reminds me of a young Pedro Martinez and they have waterfalls in centerfield.
I hate the Royals because I can’t help wondering how they would’ve dealt with an Athletics team with its rotation intact and Yoenis Cespedes in the middle of its batting order, a Tigers squad that still had Doug Fister, Drew Smyly, Austin Jackson, and Jose Iglesias, and an Orioles club not playing a bunch of ham-n-eggers where Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, and Manny Machado should’ve been.
I love the Royals because they’re making this tough for me.
I hate the Royals because they’re making this tough for me.
So fuck the Royals. This is too hard. Go National League.