Monday, November 2, 2015

The Royals are champions

That's former Twins catcher Drew Butera
celebrating the last out of the World Series.
He caught the last inning after Salvador Perez
was pulled for a pinch running during the
Royals' five-run 12th inning.

And so the season ends, with a truly deserving World Series champion. Kansas City had the best record in the American League, and they played like it for three rounds of playoffs.

It wasn't a bad series for a five-gamer. Two of the games went multiple extra innings, and the Mets had late leads in three of their four losses. Poor Jeurys Familia wound up charged with three blown saves, although in two of them he inherited the jam and he didn't allow a baserunner in Sunday's blown save.

I spent most of the Series listening to either the Mets or Royals radio feeds via the MLB At Bat app. It didn't synch up with the TV broadcast all that well, but I also didn't have to listen to Harold Reynolds. Anyway, there was an ad running frequently on the KC feed that said This is the greatest time to be a Royals fan.

Maybe. The George Brett era was pretty darn good. Brett, plus Amos Otis, Hal McRae, Frank White, Dan Quisenberry, Willie Wilson ... They dominated the old AL West for a full decade and went to two World Series, winning one. It wouldn't have taken a lot for them to have gotten to more Series; they just fell short in the playoffs a number of times.

These Royals have done something the Brett-era Royals didn't: They've gone to two Series in a row. How much staying power this model has remains to be seen. Alex Gordon, who I believe is their best player even if Ned Yost hits him eighth, will be a free agent this winter, and some other key components will start approaching that status in the next few years. Keeping the band together is not going to be easy.

But that's for the future. The players and their fans can celebrate now. And they will.

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