Thursday, October 16, 2014

Royals, flush

Of course there are things that are more preposterous. I can think of five without even having to really, you know, think:

1. Nixon and Gandhi starring in a "Lethal Weapon" remake.

2. Fox News declining to blame something on Obama.

3. Bill Belichick killing it at The Comedy Store.

4. "The Kardashians" joining the new fall lineup for Masterpiece Theater.

5. A congressperson saying, "No, sorry, that would be a conflict of interest."

On second thought, maybe only Nos. 2 and 5 would be more preposterous than the Kansas City Royals, who have suddenly turned into the 2004 Red Sox. In case you've been out of the solar system, or been too caught up in which NFL zebra is going to call back Percy Harvin's next touchdown, the Royals are the World Series.

(Yes, you heard that right. The Royals ... are in ... the World Series).

They swept the Orioles in the ALCS last night, which means they're now 8-0 in the playoffs so far.

(Yes, you heard that right, too. The Royals ... are 8-0 ... in the playoffs).

This is wonderfully outlandish stuff, especially when you consider that 95 percent of the country couldn't name a current Royal on a bet. Of course, 95 percent of the country probably thinks George Brett is still playing for them. That's how long it's been since the Royals were within a light year of the national radar.

From 1985 until a month ago, after all, the Royals had played exactly zero playoff games. Just two summers ago, they finished 18 games under .500 and16 games out of first place in the AL Central. Two years before that, they were dead last in the division, finishing 28 games under .500 and 27 out of first.

Their run of mediocrity or worse is, to say the least, impressive. Between 2001 and 2012, they lost 90 or more games 10 times and 100 or more four times. And in the last 24 years, they've finished below the waterline 20 times.

And yet: The Royals are in the World Series. And 8-0 in the playoffs so far.

They're doing it with guys named  Alex Gordon and Alcides Escobar and Omar Infante, and also Lorenzo Cain, the ALCS MVP. James Shields is their ace on the bump. Greg Holland, who saved all four victories in the ALCS, is their closer. Jason Vargas,  Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis make up the rest of a bullpen that once again silenced the O's bats yesterday.

Most of us wouldn't know Wade Davis from Jefferson Davis. But it doesn't matter. The Royals are going to the World Series.

The Royals ... are going ... to the World Series.

Repeat as often as necessary to make it real. 

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