Sideline Report: Blue October

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The Kansas City Royals have not played baseball in the month of October since the year 1985.

The last time the Royals were in the playoffs Back to the Future was in theaters, gas was $1.20 a gallon, and Germany was still two countries. Needless to say, the last 29 years have been a long wait for fans in this area. 29 years of struggle, heartbreak., and confusion as to how everything went wrong. In the 70’s and 80’s the Royals were one of baseball’s best, but ever since then this team hasn’t recaptured the magic of the postseason. Until now.

After last season’s abrupt ending with a record of 86-76, the Royals were looking forward to this year. Three Rawlings Gold Glove winners (Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer) and a late playoff push were things to build on for the 2014 season. The pitching looked strong and with off-season acquisitions in OF Nori Aoki and 2B Omar Infante, Opening Day could not get here fast enough.

It has been a magical run for the team as Kansas City has been treated as a baseball team with excellent starting pitching, an even better bullpen and clutch hitting. Even while being last in Major League Baseball in home runs and walks, they have been able to win games as a team with a new hero every night. The continued success of amazing base-running/stealing, lights-out bullpen and clutch performances in late innings has been very exciting to witness.

It almost seems like an entirely new season when October rolls around for baseball. 10 teams all trying to achieve the ultimate goal of a World Series makes this month so exciting. The Royals finally have joined the conversation, and since this is the first time this has happened in my lifetime, I couldn’t be more excited. The hunt for a title starts with a one-game clash with the Oakland Athletics to see who will move on to face the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the American League Divisional Series. The pitching match-up also could not be much better with two aces on the mound in Jon Lester for the A’s and James Shields for the Royals.

With the pitching rotation of James Shields, Yordano Ventrura, Danny Duffy, Jeremy Guthrie and Jason Vargas, along with the three-headed beast that is Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrara, and closer Greg Holland in the bullpen, pitching shouldn’t be a problem. As long as the team works together and continues to produce runs in anyway imaginable, the Kansas City Royals should have a strong showing in the 2014 MLB postseason. After all, this city has been waiting 29 years too long.

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