“The Royals will play in the World Series. Saying or hearing or reading those words will send chills down the arms of fans across Kansas City and beyond. This is the kind of thing that always happens somewhere else. Not Kansas City, where they tailgate hard because they know that might be the best part of the day. The franchise once defined by a manager saying it can always get worse is now, somehow, America’s team and the greatest story in sports.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansascity.com G
H: Mellinger does the moment proud with his ALCS-clinching column. The little town that never could somehow did. Damn. It is good to be alive and living in one of the country’s best kept secrets, Cowtown, USA.
“’Cow Town’ has been mistaken for ‘Crown Town.’”
Joe Perez, @joe_perezkc, Twitter
“This is better than ’85.”
Art Stewart, longtime Royals scout, Kansascity.com
GH: 29 years is a lot of years to try and accurately remember what it was like back then. But I was here in 1985 at Royals Stadium for Game 2 and the deciding Game 7 of the World Series – and it was nothing like what has gone on in this city the past two weeks. What is happening today is simply beautiful, perfect and so, so, so deserved.
“I am so happy that I’ve been through a whole box of Kleenex!”
Caller Sandy, to The Drive on 610 AM
“This is bigger than baseball. Our city needed this. This is awesome.”
Phil Thomas, @PhillipKCK, Twitter
GH: My favorite part of being at The K for the ALCS clincher was walking from the stadium and through the Truman Sports Complex parking lot to my car. It was unlike any experience I can remember. Everyone within eyesight was wearing blue, smiling broadly and nobody was a stranger. The closest thing to it in my memory is running out of my bedroom on Christmas morn to open our presents. How could life be more perfect? Well, I could have run into the Viagra gal and her flowing blue robe I guess.
“I owe everything to this organization. I was drafted by them, I’ve been here my whole time. I wouldn’t want it anyway else. Everything I have I owe to the Kansas City Royals and them taking a gamble on a high school kid.”
Billy Butler, WDAF Fox 4
GH: Billy Butler has every right to be a bitter dude about how he was benched down the stretch this season. But he has been nothing less than gracious and thankful in the interviews I have witnessed. He could teach at least one of his teammates how to handle success. Read on.
“I talked to Dyson and he stuck with the line of they don’t want any bandwagon fans. He said, ‘If you’ve been against us, stay against us.’”
Nate Bukaty, on the opinionated Royals outfielder’s take on the fans, 810 AM
GH: Who has been against the Royals? And why would any team not want bandwagon fans? Who does Dyson think are buying those $50 tee-shirts? Me and @TheFakeNed sure as heck don’t have that kind of jack!
“Happy to see a few former teammates representing a great @Royals team in the World Series. Congrats boys.”
Evan Longoria, @Evan3Longoria, Twitter
GH: This is a big contrast from Longoria’s odd rip at James Shields last year. Nice to see that rift appears to be repaired.
“Everybody’s a leader on this team. They just didn’t know it.”
James Shields, when asked by Nate Bukaty about his role in changing the attitude of the Royals after his arrival from Tampa, 810 AM
GH: Shields and Raul Ibanez have been tabbed by some as the two most important pieces to the Royals second-half surge. Read on.
“This is as good a team as I have ever seen. Not just played on or played against – this is as good a team as I have ever seen.”
Raul Ibanez, in a postgame interview with Royals Radio’s Steve Stewart on 610 AM
GH: Okay. That sounds a bit over the top to me but what the heck, maybe we are watching the best team in baseball. Like Shields said, they just didn’t know it. Or show it. Or play like it for 162 games. But man do they Rock the Oct! (I think there’s a t-shirt slogan in there somewhere.)
“I know Alex Gordon and I think he enjoyed smashing into the wall as much as he did catching that ball.”
Josh Vernier, host of the Royals postgame radio show, 610 AM
GH: I do not know Alex Gordon (despite our shared Nebraska roots) and I would be surprised as hell if he enjoys running into outfield walls as much as he does making spectacular catches in the ALCS. Just a guess, Vern.
“If I were Dayton Moore and Ned Yost, I would spend some time looking at the Colorado Rockies and how they were hot and then they got cold and say, ‘Okay, what did Colorado do to have such a bad showing?’”
Soren Petro, on the fear that by the Royals sweeping the O’s and earning an extended layoff, they will come out flat in the World Series like the 2007 Colorado Rockies who were swept by the Red Sox, 810 AM
GH: Leave it to Petro to look at a record eight-straight postseason wins and find the black hole in the rainbow. That boy could spin gold into dingle berries.
“Was doing a soccer live hit on FS2 in KC when Royals won. Somehow kept it together. Royals in World Series. Never thought I’d write that.”
Grant Wahl, @GrantWahl, former Kansas City kid who writes about soccer for Sports Illustrated, Twitter
GH: The Royals probably had no idea how far reaching their fan base still is before this incredible postseason run. I mean, what other team has a SungWoo Lee in Korea live tweeting Royals updates? BYW, we have to get that crazy Korean back for the Series, right? David and Dan Glass, make this happen.
“The Royals beat the Orioles in back-to-back days without getting a hit to score a run.” Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: The Royals first inning on Wednesday was the essence of Be Royal. A five-hopper over the mound to get Escy on base and then Hosmer hits another chopper to first that looks like it will get Escy at the plate – but instead Escy kicks the ball out of the catcher’s mitt and Aoki hustles around to score while the ball rattles around the on-deck circle. And then the Royals don’t score again. Textbook.
“That slide by Escobar.”
Tyler Dustin, @TylerPDustin, Twitter
“We had barely flushed the Detroit series out of our system and this happened. Detroit had a good team but Kansas City has a good team, too. They deserve to be going the World Series. They beat us four straight.”
Steve Pearce, Orioles first baseman, USA Today
“It’s not like something we didn’t do. It was more of what they did.”
Buck Showalter, USA Today
GH: I thought the Orioles handled this disappointment with class. And make no mistake, this was a huge disappointment to the O’s and their fans. They rolled through the AL East and expected a World Series this season. Instead, they got Yosted.
“And the Dunce said to the ChessMaster, ‘You’ve just been Yosted. Check mate.’”
Frank Boal, @realfrankboal, Twitter
“I don’t need validation, Ryan. I’m the dumbest manager in baseball. But I’ve got the smartest coaches. I’m very comfortable with myself. I know who I am. I don’t care what people say about me.”
Ned Yost, in a postgame interview with Ryan Lefebvre, Fox Sports KC
GH: Yost is 8-0 in the postseason. He has every right to not care a flip what I or any of his critics think about him. Just win, baby.
“He’s been his best version of Edgar throughout these playoffs.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Agree. Either Dayton Moore sat Ned down after he almost single-handedly burnt the Royals organization to the ground in the Wild-Card game and threatened to fire him if he didn’t convert to common sense or Ned’s body has been taken over by Casey Stengel in a Twilight Zone episode. Whatever it is, don’t anybody move.
“You guys. Ned is gonna manage the AL All Star team next year. Should be a slew of Royals All Stars.”
Michael Smith, @prezmike25, Twitter
GH: Ned as the AL All-Star manager. Oh. My. Gawd!
“It’s still hard to compute that we’re going to the World Series. We lost four or five in a row when I got here I think. It wasn’t looking good.”
Jason Frasor, Royals relief pitcher, 610 AM
“It’s crazy my wife actually had to ask where to get a newspaper. This is great for The Star.” @Jess_Miller, Twitter
GH: The Royals are performing two miracles at once AND saving the newspaper industry!
Salvador Perez: “We waited 29 years for this situation.”
Steve Stewart: “In case people have forgotten, you haven’t been alive for 29 years.” Salvador Perez: “That’s right.”