I’m Not Into Baseball, But The Royals Impress Me


What I know about the World Series fits into a Cracker Jack box, but this week, even I must ask, “So what about them Royals?”

Facing the New York Mets for the title “Best Baseball Players of the Year” (or something like that), the Kansas City Royals got off to a great start and won the first two games of the World Series. Well, I guess they had to. They were on their home turf. I’ve been in Kansas City, and everyone has been wearing blue and white for weeks. The city’s fountains were gushing dyed blue water. They couldn’t have walked around town if they’d lost.

Once they got to New York, however, things began to change. The stadium was filled mostly with people who wanted them to lose. Few blue and white jerseys, no blue fountains. The Mets soundly won Game 3 and, even though the Royals rallied to win Game 4, they were floundering badly in Game 5, unable to score a single run.

It looked like the tide was turning, but Kansas City fans never gave up hope. They never gave up hope because the Royals typically wait around until the other team starts to get tired and sloppy, then takes advantage of every mistake to “keep the line moving.”

At first I didn’t know what the mantra “keep the line moving” meant, assuming it had something to do with beer sales at the concession stand, but they were talking about getting to home plate by methodically moving from base to base. I mean, that is the crux of the sport. Or you can whack the ball so hard it flies out of bounds and get to home plate that way, running the bases all at once.

Powerful home run hits aren’t the Royals’ style. Unfortunately, they are the style of the Mets. So, by the ninth inning, the Mets were ahead 2-0. Things looked bad because (here’s where I show off my vast sports knowledge), baseball only has nine innings.

Well, usually.

Then the Royals scored two points (runs, I think they’re called) and it turns out that if the score is tied, the teams keep playing until the situation is resolved. It’s only fair to the audience, er, fans who each paid hundreds of dollars for a ticket, drove all the way out to the stadium, paid more for parking, stood in a beer line that was perhaps not moving, and were probably going to be late for work the following day.

So now it was all tied up and it stayed that way for three more innings. You don’t have to know much about baseball to appreciate the excitement of a tie game in the World Series. The goal now, more than ever, was as much about keeping the other team from scoring as it was about scoring yourself.

Then, suddenly, the Mets had pitching problems, a ball bounced off the catcher’s mitt and the Royals stormed in with their typical last-minute chutzpah, scoring five quick runs to win the game and the World Series.

Something tells me that those fountains are going to be blue for weeks.