“So, my day. I was attending a mediation in West Virginia and this one was pretty much as pleasant as I’ve ever attended (and I’ve done hundreds). Everybody seemed to want to get this over with and there was a spirit of cooperation I don’t always see in my line of work.
But that’s not what made today so cool. After all, I get paid whether it’s difficult or easy and I love my job, even the difficult parts.
What made today really cool was how often people, when they found out I’m from Kansas City, said something to the effect of ‘Go Royals!’ The mediator said it. Opposing counsel said it. Even the plaintiff said it. The guy who checked me into my hotel said it as did the guy who sold me my pizza I took back to my hotel room to contentedly munch on while watching game three. The mediator said that he believed that every sports fan in the country, unless they have a legitimate rooting interest, were cheering for the Royals to win every game they played and I agree with him.
I know I’ve done my share of bitching about the Royals, about David Glass, Ned Yost and every manager that preceded him. I’ve complained bitterly about how they made a mockery of the game I love and the team I’ve loved since I was aware there was such a thing as sports.
But I tell you, this feels magical. It won’t make the 29 years of suck go away and I won’t forget them, but this is why I’ve maintained my love for them (even as I was disdainful as I could possibly be). Because being loyal pays off and I finally feel as if my loyalty is being rewarded.
Anyway, that’s how things are today for this traveling Royals fan. Enjoy the game Wednesday. Unfortunately, I’ll be on a plane home when they throw the first pitch, but with a little luck, I’ll be home in time for the clinch.”
Gavin, OTC email
GH: Gavin’s note pretty much sums up a lot of what many of us are experiencing this month with our Royals. We have suffered through so many dreary summers that led to somewhat hopeful Septembers that fizzled out into so many “maybe next years.” And then this happens. This glorious perfect seven-game postseason run that has not only captured loyal and not-so-loyal Royals fans but baseball fans everywhere. The country has been bitten by a Moose, goosed by a Zoom Squad and has made Yost toasts a nightly ritual. Oh, October. I hope you can tell how we have missed you!
“I’m 57 & had given up all hope that I would live long enough to see this happen.”
Kevin Mark, @Coachbulldog, Twitter
“I will admit I’ve never liked baseball. But damn these Royals are making me fall in love.”
Ali Mohsen, Marathon Maven and a true Kansas City kid, Facebook
“The worst part is I don’t even hate the Royals. How can you hate the ROYALS?”
Colin Campbell, @cmcampbell6, Baltimore Sun reporter, Twitter
“Mike Moustakas just made the catch of the year.”
Jeff Passan, @JeffPassan, Twitter
“To be honest with you, I didn’t even see him catch it. I just seen him fall over and then I’m like, ‘He caught that.’ When things are going good, things are going good.”
Adam Jones, Orioles outfielder, on Moose making the play of the night with his diving catch into the third-base dugout suite, baltimoresun.com
GH: There was The Throw by Bo Jackson in Seattle. And there have been other fabulous defensive plays throughout the Royals history by Frank White, Amos Otis, Brian McRae, et al. But Moose’s catch of that fall ball might jump top the top of the Royals HOF of defensive plays.
“We saved Moose! He’s kind of heavy, but we caught him.”
Mike Talkington, a Royals fan who allowed Moose to make the catch and helped break his fall, Kansas City Star
GH: The fans in the third-base dugout suite could have crowded out Moose and went after the ball ala the Cubs’ Bartman. Instead, they parted like a large 230-pound man was about to dive atop their seats. In other words, Royals fans are a tad smarter than Cubs fans. The group did manage to catch Moose…or most of him. After Rusty Kuntz avoided the line drive and then high fived the fans in the first-base dugout suite and then Moose dove into the third-base suite, I would like to propose the Royals rename the two suites “Rusty’s” and “The Moose Dive.”
“In my 18 year career, I have never seen a defense like this in the playoffs, a daily consistent defense.”
Pedro Martinez, @45PedroMartinez, Twitter
“It’s never over until it’s over, but it sure looks like the ALCS is going to be over soon. … The odds against the Orioles are stacked higher than an Arthur Bryant’s pulled pork sandwich.”
Peter Schmuck, sports columnist, Baltimore Sun
“The Orioles were able to get Jeremy Guthrie out of the game after five innings. Maybe they should have re-thought that strategy because of the Royals’ filthy bullpen. … Thought the Orioles were good in tight games? The Royals are way better.”
Ron Fritz, sports editor, Baltimore Sun
“Suddenly, that nutty 9-8 extra-inning win over the Oakland Athletics back on September 30 in the American League Wild Card game feels like a managerial aberration and a rallying point for his roster. The double steal that imploded. Bunt after bunt after bunt after bunt. The quick hook on ace James Shields and the decision to replace him with a power righty (Yordano Ventura) against a powerful lefty bat (Oakland DH Brandon Moss). It felt as if every time the Royals climbed out of a hole, their skipper grabbed the shovel and started digging a new one.”
Sean Keeler, @SeanKeeler, Twitter
GH: Maybe old dogs can learn new tricks. Or at least learn to sit and stay. Since the over-managed almost debacle in the wild card game against Oakland, Yost has blossomed into a more hands-off skipper who is letting his lineup win games. Billy Butler is no longer languishing on the bench. The first- and second-inning bunts are a thing of the past. Yanking Guthrie after the fifth last night was about as un-Yost a move as we’ve seen – and it was perfect. A lot of the buzz before the postseason was, “What if the Royals’ bats get hot?” Well, who would have considered, “What if Yost turns into a real live postseason manager?”
“A fortnight later, and the hashtag #Yosted has been replaced by #Destiny: Ned’s Nine are the only team in Major League Baseball history to ever win four playoff games in extra innings. The lesson from the wild-card win set a tone for loopy on deck and insanity in the hole: The longer you let the Royals hang around, the more dangerous they become.”
Sean Keeler, @SeanKeeler, Twitter
“You may not have agreed with the path uncle Ned took to get you here, but you’re sure as hell loving the ride.”
Sean Keeler, @SeanKeeler, Twitter
GH: The ride has been epic. Scary as hell at times but epic on an almost nightly basis. Read Sean’s column on Foxsports.com by clicking here.
“My intention was not to anger O’s fans or friends w/my shirt 2night.I apologize to those offended. Did not consider this reaction. Go Royals.”
Jeremy Guthrie, @TheRealJGuts, Royals starter, responding to the criticism from his former team’s fans about him wearing a t-shirt to his postgame presser that read, “These O’s aren’t Royal,” Twitter
GH: I have heard all of the local media and Royals fans making excuses for Guthrie and saying they loved that he went passive aggressive in punking the Orioles. I thought it was bush. This team and town should be above that. Obviously we are not. Why can’t we enjoy our success without also being Bad Rob Lowe Fan?
“Royals play at 2:30 tomorrow…guess we will cancel workouts after school!”
Liberty High School Girls Basketball, @LHSLadyJaysBB, Twitter
“Are the Kansas City IT admins ready for the bandwidth issues of streaming games for the #Royals day game tomorrow? ;)”
Ramsey Mohsen, @rm, Twitter
GH: This is about as nerdy a comment regarding the Royals attempt to sweep the Orioles as you will find online. But Ramsey is my favorite nerd. I mean who has a Twitter name with just two initials? We are talking a nerd from way back. BTW, Ramsey is right. Internet access in offices all over KC are going to be taxed starting at 3:00 PM today with Royals fans trying to watch, listen, tweet and love those Royals. Ain’t it glorious?
[email protected] and @greghall24