Oct 15, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Norichika Aoki (23) throws a t-shirt to fans from the top of the dugout after game four of the 2014 ALCS playoff baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals swept the Orioles to advance to the World Series. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Just when baseball disappoints you with a hot mess like the 2014 Cincinnati Reds, it turns right around and gives you a gift like the 2014 Kansas City Royals. On Wednesday, the Royals completed their sweep through the American League playoffs by defeating the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1, in front of an adoring throng at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals took the hardest possible route to the World Series by defeating the Oakland A’s in the Wild Card play-in game and the Los Angeles Angels in the American League Division Series before knocking out the Orioles in the ALCS.
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Even more remarkable than the fact that the Royals have made it this far is that they’ve done it without a loss: their record stands at 8-0 since the playoffs began on September 30.
The only other team to when all their league playoff games since the advent of the Wild Card round in 1995 is the 2007 Colorado Rockies, who were in turn swept by the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.
Watching the Royals, though, you get the feeling a better fate awaits them in this year’s Fall Classic. It’s hard to imagine this team losing four straight games to either the St. Louis Cardinals or San Francisco Giants, currently battling in the NLCS for the right to lose to the Royals.
So, it only took 29 years, but the Royals finally found their way back to the World Series.
KC’s rise this fall gives hope to fans of every team, including the Cincinnati Reds.
We may have to wait awhile though: our drought stands at only 24 years.