Leftridge: Next Stop for Royals, Baltimore

salvador-perez-mlb-alds-los-angeles-angels-kansas-city-royals1-850x560When the dust settled, the unlikeliest thief was standing at second with a goofy, childlike grin…

Not only had he stolen a base, he’d also scored from first on a triple earlier in the game.

It was just that kind of night.

Later, the brittle-but-phenomenal center-fielder made two unbelievable, pandemonium inducing catches.

The best player in baseball finally got his first postseason hit—a home run, even—but it mattered about as much as spitting into the sea.

And the best setup man in baseball—maybe even the best relief pitcher entirely—yielded a run, but it was harmless.

Someone coined the phrase “RoyalsDevilMagic” a few weeks ago on Twitter, and it feels apt. This team feels like it’s practicing some sort of voodoo, like maybe Ned Yost took a trip to Haiti in the offseason in a last ditch effort to save his job.

After the game, the celebration extended to McFadden’s in the Power and Light district where Eric Hosmer bought everyone in the bar (oh, say, 500 people or so) drinks for an hour. Eric Hosmer, who went from goat to GOAT in four postseason appearances. Eric Hosmer, who earned himself tens-of-millions of dollars for the past week’s work.

hollandatbarThe nearly unhittable closer was there, standing in the sea of humanity, staring at a television screen that was broadcasting highlights of the clinch.

Jerrod Dyson probably did a backflip or three.

Anyone who told you that they saw this coming is a liar at best, or at the very least, a psychotic person.

I thought their biggest test would be the Wild Card game against the Oakland Athletics; in fact, I wasn’t so sure they’d win it. Once the Jon Lester dragon had been slayed, however, I figured almost anything was possible.

But while I thought the ALDS against the Los Angeles Angels, Anaheim (who sported the best record in baseball) was a winnable series, a sweep seemed outlandish. I said in my preview piece last week that, in order to win, Kansas City needed to “play their game” and “keep Albert Pujols and Mike Trout from beating them.”

It was generic analysis, the kind of wisdom that solicits warranted refrains of, “Well no shit,” but the Royals did those things, and, well, here we are.

The Royals won a postseason series in their first return to October baseball since 1985, and they made it look relatively easy. They did it by playing their bizarre, antiquated version of small-ball, by doing all of the little things right. The ageless adage about pitching and defense has never been truer. The fact that they’ve sprinkled in excellent speed and base-running prowess with a dash of timely hitting is the icing on some tooth-achingly sweet confection. (Devil’s food cake, perhaps?)

In short, this team is pretty hard to believe.

Wild Card Game - Oakland Athletics v Kansas City RoyalsAccording to the statistical analysis site fangraphs.com, the Royals now have a 30% chance of winning the World Series. The team with the next highest likelihood of winning? The Baltimore Orioles at 16%.


All roads to glory lead through Baltimore.

The adventure begins anew on Friday night.

Now if I can just find a way to put myself into a coma until then, everything will be OK.

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14 Responses to Leftridge: Next Stop for Royals, Baltimore

  1. harley says:

    again…youand daddy were wrong. I mean really wrong…
    we’re taking away your license to be a sports writer.
    don’t jinx the royals….predict they lose…then they win.
    hopefully royals win in 6…have you seen how our
    pitching has done against them this year….
    Herrera destroyed them….this is a cake walk.
    now stay with the plan…you and glaze pick Baltimore….
    world series comes to kc…
    don’t screw things up lefty.
    or else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    we send the jewish mafia (kosher nostra)_ after you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  2. Kerouac says:

    “Next Stop for Royals, Baltimore”

    – double entendre: end the road theirs the prediction here. Was a nice fairy tale while it lasted, but reality called, saying “Zemblanity wants the Royals back.”

    Think 29 years is a Royally long wait? Orioles have been waiting 31 years; something’s gotta give. NL, Dodgers have been treading mediocre waters since ’88 while the Giants & Cardinals have taken turns winning 3 of the last 4 World Series. Someone is going to fail get the monkey off their back.

    KC 2014 reminds a bit of the 2008 Tampa Bay Devil Rays. From the depths 30 games under .500 in ’07, TB finished 32 games above break even in ’08, won the ALDS, then won the ALCS, then traveled to the World Series – where they lost to the Phillies, who had been waiting a mere 28 years themselves their next Championship, since 1980.

    A ‘Show Me’ state showdown (rematch ’85) would be interesting, but will go with an Giants vs Orioles ‘World Series’, San Francisco’s pursuit a third Championship in the last five years vs the O’s dream that franchise fourth their 120 year history. SF hasn’t as much talent some other teams but they are without question the best ‘team’ in the strict sense of that word, and have the experience factor down pat. Long as the victor isn’t the Dodgers (my favorite once upon a time) I will be happy. Be nothing Kerouac despises more is an entity trying to ‘buy’ a Championship; Los Angeles with it’s $240+ mill payroll epitomizes everything wrong with MLB today, while the Royals are proof that there is more to success than merely obscene spending.

    • mike t. says:

      not a fairy tale… but end it may just the same. that said, the orioles are not a vastly superior team and we’ve already beaten two of the best in baseball.

      I like our chances, but no sweep.

  3. Mysterious J says:

    Wait, the Royals are still playing? Didn’t a sports expert here tell us their season was O-V-E-R?

    • harley says:

      both of them…sr. sports expert glaze and his son lefty.
      both said “ITS OVER”…
      check the orioles batting average against royals pitching…
      it will fool you….the royals might have a chance here…
      but according the sr. and jr. ITS OVER..
      as I always say….ITS NOT OVER!!!!!!!

      • Brandon Leftridge says:

        Learn to read, dipshit. Your comprehension levels are grotesque. From last week’s piece:

        “So I’m thinking Kansas City wins it in four.

        And I think the city explodes in an orgy of insanity.

        And I think I probably physically die from happiness.”

        I was off by a game. Just go away, Harley. You add no value whatsoever.

        • harley says:

          lefty is a loser…wrong again and again…I may start writing a sports column…I could not be more wrong
          than you and your daddy glaze.
          you’ve said the royals were dead all year….column after
          column you said the royals were dead..just like
          daddy glaze…now youget a little luck andyou want to
          change your story.
          guilty as charged…perjury and changing your mind every
          month over the season….
          you flip flop more than daddy glaze…maybe we should
          have a paternity test done…..call maury povich…i’ll
          even pay the $100…I know youand glaze are
          related somewhere somehow.
          you both change like the wind and weather in kc.

          and most of the time you’re fu*king wrong…I will
          go search for the articles…you know nothing..
          yet you act like “I know everything”.
          go back to riding your bike….it helps your thinkingprocess..
          you’re probably a nice young kid…but at youre
          age you’re sounding like daddy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Nick says:

    You guys need to call in Gunter Pest; you’ve a serious troll infestation…

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