Embrace What Royals Are Doing

(Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)

(Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)

The Royals have not generated much excitement in the Rocky Mountain region or any region in the country this postseason. The ratings have been meh, and that is putting it kindly. They do not have the cache the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers have in attracting audiences.

There’s no question Fox and Major League Baseball are not happy the Royals are going to play in the World Series. If both parties had their way, it would be the Yankees or Red Sox representing the American League. Both entities need both Northeast teams for ratings to make much of their investment, not to mention promoting the sport.

Anyone that has no interest in watching the Royals is missing the point. That means he or she doesn’t get it. This Royals team is fun to watch. They know how to get hits, strikes and outs. They are a highlight reel on defense. They have a knack of getting key hits when they need it late in the game. It’s like they are playing perfect out there. It’s an entertaining brand of baseball they are playing. What’s not to like?

The Royals are close to greatness that we will see in sports. Just their ability of knowing what to do in the postseason is fun to watch.

The Royals do not play in New York, Los Angeles or Boston, but that shouldn’t stop others from watching a feel-good story in that team. It sure beats watching the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers year after year.

This Royals team is fun to watch. It’s great to see Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas shine in the postseason after struggling to establish themselves as ballplayers over the years.

It’s fun to say WOW! when the Royals outfielders make spectacular catches every postseason game. There’s nothing like watching Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland throwing strikes and zeroes when they are out on the mound.

They play the game right by bunting, moving up runners, stealing base and playing great defense in winning games. They know how to pitch. It’s the type of baseball the Rockies should emulate one day.

Here’s what’s neat about the Royals: They are in the World Series with a $95 million payroll. That $150 million lower than the Dodgers payroll. This is a team that has built through draft and trades. This is a team with many homegrown players.

They are a fresh team that is refreshing. It’s similar to the run the Rockies had when they had Rocktober in 2007. It’s hard not to like what they are doing.

Remember this is a team that almost lost their wild-card game to the Athletics few weeks ago. Royals manager Ned Yost mismanaged the game, which he puts in Yordano Ventura for James Shields rather than using Herrera to protect a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning. Shields was relieved after he gave up a hit to Sam Fuld and walked Josh Donaldson to start that inning. Ventura gave up a three-run home run to Brandon Moss that would give the A’s a 5-3 lead. The A’s would finish the sixth inning by taking a 7-3 lead.

It sure looked like this feel-good story was never going to happen. Yost was roasted on social media for not using his best reliever to protect a 3-2 lead. He was even booed by the home crowd when he took Ventura out and used Herrera. The criticism was deserved. There is no way a starter should be out there to protect a lead in this crucial juncture.

Funny thing happened. The Royals scored three runs in the eighth inning to make this a 7-6 game. They could have tied it in that inning, but they didn’t get it done. They tied it in the ninth inning.

In the 12th inning, the A’s would take an 8-7 lead, but this time, there was a feeling the Royals would come back after rallying in the eighth inning and tying it in the ninth. The Royals did more than tie it. They won the game in the 12th inning.

Since the eighth inning of the wild-card game, the magic never stopped. The Royals figured out how to rise in the occasion. They have done everything right in their sweep against the Angels in the American League Division Series and the Orioles in the American League Championship Series. With the way they have played, it’s easy to wonder if they can go 12-for-12 in the postseason. The Giants or Cardinals may have something to say about that.

For my money, I have had more fun watching the Royals this postseason than all the teams I ever watched in the postseason. They are such a good story. It’s even funny that the beleaguered Yost is 8-0 in his postseason managerial career. It would be neat if Yost wins the World Series after being mocked at by Twitter guys.

There’s so much to like about the Royals. It’s time for fans to give them a chance in this year’s World Series. As Pedro Martinez said on TBS after Game 2 of the Division Series, they are worthy of price of admission.

Watching them is much better than watching the Yankees or Red Sox buy another championship.

It would be a mistake not to watch the Royals in the World Series.

Maybe it’s a you problem if you can’t get into them.

Contact or Follow Leslie Monteiro: @LightRodWriter

Leslie Monteiro

Leslie Monteiro

Leslie is a contributor for Lightning Rod Sports. He covered high school sports in Bergen County out in North Jersey, and has written op-ed columns on sports such as Bleacher Report and NY Sports Digest.

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