The Kansas City Royals won the 2014 wild card game, despite the Oakland Athletics having numerous chances to put the game away. Despite holding a 7-3 lead going into the eighth inning, the Royals came back to end the A’s hopes at a deep postseason run. How did they do that? Mainly, they took advantage of a Geovany Soto injury and used their speed to make a mockery of our defensive catching platoon. Then, to top it off, they took the Giants all the way to game seven and left the tying run 90 feet from home plate, allowing those bums across the bay to win their third World Series in the past five years.
That paragraph alone should be reason enough to hate the Kansas City Royals, if in fact that is their real name, but seeing as my boss here at Fansided is a “Royals” fan, I’m going to poke and prod a little bit more because that will surely guarantee me some sort of compensation raise.
We’re not going to look at 2014 anymore. We’re not going to look at their underdog story, their similarities to the A’s, their loyal and passionate fan base, or their world series drought as that has nothing to do with why we’re going to hate them in 2015. In the year of 2015, the year of the goat in case you were wondering, we’re going to hate the Kansas City Royals because they’ve got Mike Moustakas, a career .236 hitter with a .290 OBP and an average of 2.5 stolen bases per season.
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We’re also going to hate them because they have Kendrys Morales who had a rough 2014, only playing 98 games and posting a .218 batting average but, in 2013, had a .336 OBP and 23 home runs.
Need another reason to hate the Kansas City Royals? How about Salvador Perez who has some power in his bat but strikes out a fair amount and has an OBP only slightly higher than his average and never steals bases. I mean, actually never. Of course, he’s got two gold gloves going for him, which is pretty nice.
Ok, so far these names seem like good players but hardly a threat that the A’s can’t handle. There are guys like Alcides Escobar who can get on base and take as many bases as he wants along the way (he’s averaged 28 SB a season the past four years), Greg Holland who has grabbed 93 Saves in two seasons, and Wade Davis who threw an ERA of 1.00 in 72 innings. There are certainly good parts to this team with a solid defense and incredible base running ability but, on paper at least, this team shouldn’t be a major threat to Oakland.
The truth, though, is that the Kansas City Royals figure out how to make things happen. Their speed on base makes up for their lack of power and, as a team, they have mastered manufacturing the runs they need. Hopefully, in 2015, our catching platoon will be better suited to handle speed on the bases and it has always been my hope that the A’s take a page from the Royals’ book and focus more on run manufacturing and keeping the game moving on all cylinders through nine innings.
I guess what I’ve learned while researching this article is that the Kansas City Royals are a good team that does things great but they’re not a great team. That is not to diminish their ability. Neither team in the World Series last year were “great” teams on paper but if you work your strengths more than you’re affected by your weaknesses you are bound for success. The 2015 Kansas City Royals definitely have the potential to be post season foes to the Athletics again and for that alone, we should hate them.