Gentleman@Home

How could you cheer against these Royals? Hint: you can’t.

Posted on October 8, 2015

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Last year, the Kansas City Royals were 90 feet from tying the San Francisco Giants in the ninth inning of Game 7 of the World Series. This year, the Royals topped the American League in wins and conquered their division by a dozen games. They’ve won a lot in two year’s time.

You might look at these Royals and mistake them for Goliath—the playground bullies, the clear frontrunners, the 1990s Yankees. No, no. The Royals aren’t Darth Vader. They aren’t even Donald Trump.

They’re still the lovable underdogs, the comeback kids, the little engines that could. Before the season began, analysts and pundits treated 2014 as a cute little fluke. They all picked against the Royals. In a poll of 88 ESPN “experts,” the Royals received the fewest votes to win the AL Central. Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections had the Royals at 72 wins. They won 95, which is more.

If you didn’t follow the ALDS between the Royals and Astros, you missed a phenomenon. Game 4 was an elimination game with Houston leading the series 2-1. In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Astros hit two home runs and captured a 6-2 lead. At that point, the Royals had only a two-percent chance of winning. But then, Alex Rios hit a single. And Alcides Escobar hit a single. And Ben Zobrist and Lorenzo Cain hit singles. What did Eric Hosmer do? Oh, he hit a single.

This slow-motion ambush continued until the Royals won 9-6–saving the series and their season. How rare is such as win? In MLB playoff history, only two teams have won after being down four or more runs in the eighth inning of an elimination game. One was this game. The other was also the Royals in the 2014 Wild Card game.

Betting Blue Jays? Count the Royals out at your own peril. Their batters may not crush home runs. (They ranked 24 of 30 teams.) Their pitchers may not blow everyone away. (They finished 22nd in strikeouts.) But, the Royals keep winning. And, they have a blast doing it.

We love the Royals. Here are ten reasons why:

1. Alex Gordon will go wherever, do whatever to catch a fly ball.

2. The Royals loved Fetty Wap before Fetty Wap was cool. BTW, what’s a Fetty Wap? We’re asking for our mother.

source: deadspin.com

3. Our dog—Odie—loves the Royals. Other dogs share his passion.

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5. In support of its team, Kansas City turns everything—foundations, bridges, buildings—blue.

Kansas City has officially gone blue for the #Postseason! #TakeTheCrown

A photo posted by @kcroyals on

We ready!

A photo posted by Gentleman at Home (@gentlemanathome) on

6. A 29-year-old rookie outfielder from Brazil, named Paulo Orlando, only hits triples–well, besides this game-winning grand slam.

7. This ain’t the West, and there’s no draught, which means ice-water baths for everyone.

Two for one! #ForeverRoyal

A photo posted by @kcroyals on

This is what happens when you set a franchise record. #ForeverRoyal

A photo posted by @kcroyals on

Congrats to @cheslorcuthbert on his first major league homer! 💦 #ForeverRoyal #Royals

A photo posted by @kcroyals on

8. Fans almost voted Omar Infante, who was batting .205, as an starter in the All-Star Game. He got inched out by Jose Altuve, but the Royals were well represented with seven players. Oh yeah, the American League won, setting the table for another Game 7 in Kansas City, if needed.

all_star_game_voting1Source: MLB.com

9. That said, you don’t want to get on the Kauffman crowd’s bad side. Just ask Brett Lowrie or Robinson Cano.

10. Salvador Perez. Is. Awesome.

@mrzoombiya1

A photo posted by Salvador Perez (@salvadorp13) on

Hahaha good morning people 😂😂😂

A video posted by Salvador Perez (@salvadorp13) on

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