I suppose now I should have a post concerning what I said would write about in my initial post on this blog: sports. One area of particular interest to me, though probably not the rest of America, is the Major League Baseball wild card race leading into the final week of the regular season. As a life-long fan of the Kansas City Royals this past month has been one of the best in the past 20 years. Admittedly, that is not saying much considering 2013 will be the first winning season for the franchise since 2003. Currently they sit 2.5 games back from the second wild card spot and only have a slight chance of making the playoffs but still having just meaningful games in September is a major an enormous improvement. One season has reenergized a once proud franchise and organization that, before I was born, was a perennial title contender for over a decade.
The entertainment has not been limited to simply the recent games entire season has been a rollercoaster ride for the loyal fans crazy enough to ride it from the beginning. Record numbers of walk-off and come-from-behind victories plus multiple winning and losing streaks each of over seven games have all contributed to increased visits to cardiologists in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. The recent Sunday matinée against the Texas Rangers, a must win game against a team who was holding the second wild card spot at the same time, is a perfect example of this team’s flair for the dramatic. Both pitching staffs threw exceptionally for nine innings but in the bottom of the 10th the Royals had a real opportunity to break the scoreless game. A base hit and a couple of walks led to a bases-loaded one out situation. After a groundout, Justin Maxwell came to the plate and worked his way to a full-count with two outs, just how the kids dream it up in the sandlot. On the next pitch, the young right-fielder connected a monster swing on a 92mph fastball left over the center of the strike zone. Maxwell knew it was gone as soon as he completed his swing, along with the rest of Kauffman Stadium as they watched it fly more than 421 feet.
The walk-off symbolized general manager Dayton Moore’s vision for the club, a slow, methodical, and downright boring development of in-house talent, culminating in a rapid burst onto the national scene. Royals fans hope the latter phase of that plan is now occurring and will result in the first October baseball in Kansas City since the Royals walked off the field as world champions in 1985. Regardless, the game was a perfect way to thank the fans at the final home game of the 2013 regular season and hopefully provide momentum for the final seven.