(For broadcasting class.)
The wait is finally over, Royals fans.
Yes, it has been 29 long years, but the Kansas City Royals are going back to the postseason. They clinched their spot with their 3-1 victory over the White Sox on Friday night. The team split the next two games against the Chicago White Sox and ended the regular season 89-73, good for the top wild card spot and only a game short of the division winning Detroit Tigers.
The Royals have not been to the postseason since they won the 1985 World Series. Their General Manager, Dayton Moore, claims to have watched game seven of the World Series from up on a hill across I-70. He took over a disaster of an organization when team owner David Glass hired him in 2006. He had to build this organization from the bottom up, filling literally every hole there was. The farm system was barren, and was not a glimmer of hope on the Major League roster.
Within five years, Moore built what was thought to be the best farm system in baseball. A lot of those players, such as Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez and Greg Holland, are contributing to the Major League club right now, while others were key pieces in some big trades (yes James Shields and Wade Davis, I’m looking at you.)
Friday night’s postseason clinching victory was a vintage Royals performance. They scratched out three runs, all in the first inning. Alcides Escobar led off the game with a single and scored on Nori Aoki’s triple. Lorenzo Cain then singled in Aoki and stole second base. Cain then scored on Billy Butler’s single.
That was enough for veteran Jeremy Guthrie, who breezed through seven innings. Guthrie scattered four hits, allowing one walk and striking out six. Wade Davis gave up a run in the eighth, but Greg Holland nailed down his 46th save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning. The game ended on a Michael Taylor pop up to catcher Salvador Perez, and the celebration was on.
Postseason baseball is indeed returning to Kansas City tonight, and it will be a sight to behold. Enjoy it, Royals fans. You have waited way too long for this. You know more than any fan base in baseball that a trip to the playoffs cannot be taken for granted. So enjoy the ride, and take it all in.