OTC: The KC Royals Have Become Cool Enough For The Country To Care

“I have a feeling this is going to be a seven-game classic. I would say the Royals in seven.” Rany Jazayerli, of ranyontheroyals.com, when asked his opinion of the Royals/Orioles ALCS, by Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: CBS Sports’ MLB writer Dayn Perry broke down the two clubs’ lineups and came away with his take on what team had the advantage at each position. I found it an interesting read of one analyst’s opinion. Here are some excerpts from his column.

“As for (Eric) Hosmer, his standout performance in the ALDS is noted, but he has been a very disappointing hitter over the remainder of his career. It’s within the realm of possibility that he has suddenly figured it all out, but the more likely explanation is that his success against the Angels was the residue of a small sample size. Obviously, Hosmer has a higher ceiling than (Steve) Pearce, but Pearce is the better player right now.”
Dayn Perry, MLB writer, comparing the two ALCS team’s first basemen, CBSsports.com GH: I understand Perry’s thinking here but he is mistaken when he added the phrase, “Pearce is the better player right now.” Right now, there isn’t a better player on the planet than Eric Hosmer. He is picking everything that comes his way at first base and he is hitting like he plays for the Detroit Tigers. I like Hos over Perry in Baltimore. This matchup will be fun to watch.

“Moustakas, once a consensus top-10 overall prospect, has never lived up to the press clippings, and he’s pretty much no better than the kind of third baseman you can scare up in a pinch. Flaherty, as it turns out, is factually the kind of third baseman you can scare up in a pinch, as he has taken over the position following the season-ending injury to Manny Machado and then the 25-game suspension of Chris Davis. There’s no doubt that Moustakas should be better than Flaherty, but, well, he’s not.”
Dayn Perry, MLB writer, comparing the two ALCS team’s third basemen, CBSsports.com GH: Hard to argue this one. I know Moose has a couple of postseason homers and he looks like he might have figured something out but he is not someone I expect anything from at the plate. When he does succeed it is always a surprise. Even his usually stellar defense went south the last month of the season. But if Moose is able to hit for power in the nine spot against the O’s, the birds are in trouble.

“Not a difficult call (for the edge in manager). Yost is relentlessly uncreative and inefficient with his relief decisions, while Showalter is maybe the best staff manager in the game today. Yost’s postseason reliance on ‘small ball tactics,’ which are occasionally called for but self-defeating when used to excess, are another concern. Tactically, Showalter towers over Yost.”
Dayn Perry, MLB writer, CBSsports.com
GH: Perry’s pick of Showalter over Yost did not surprise me as he gave the Orioles a significant edge over Yost’s Royals in the manager category. The two of Perry’s picks that did surprise me were calling the two ALCS teams “even” when it came to defense and bullpen. As Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers would say, ‘Really?’”

“The Royals someway, unbelievable, remarkably have become cool.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Who would have thunk it? Not much more than a month or two ago the Royals were threatening to again stumble into the fall with another woulda-coulda-shoulda season behind them and talk of next year being their tear. But Detroit, Oakland and Seattle were the teams that faltered and flamed out and it was the Royals who survived and somehow outlasted Jon Lester and the A’s in a 9-8 win – that still seems so remarkable it is difficult to believe that final score. Here is another hard-to-believe tale – the New York Times sent a reporter to Kansas City to drive between KC and St. Louis and document his trip and what Missourians are thinking and saying about the Royals and Cardinals chances in the postseason. Kansas City Cool just might become part of our nation’s lexicon.

“Before I started my trip, I had consulted The New York Times’s map of fan allegiances. Red, of course, represented Cardinals rooters; blue, Royals fans. And Missouri was so predominantly red, it looked as if the blue parts were being shoved into Kansas.”
Tim Rohan, writer, who wrote a story documenting his road trip from Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium to St. Louis’ Busch Stadium and the Royals and Cardinals fans he encountered along the way, New York Times
GH: The Cardinals have owned Missouri’s baseball fans since they were first known as the Brown Stockings in the late 1800s. Their 11 World Series titles to KC’s one solidifies why their fan base rules the Show-Me State. Rohan’s trip uncovered some of what makes the Cardinals fans numerous and resented by others.

“Columbia is the midway point between Kansas City and St. Louis and is the home of the University of Missouri. On the Times map, it is Cardinals territory. Sure enough, at Booches, a local pub, the bartender wore a Cardinals T-shirt. And while there some Cardinals pictures on the wall, there were none of the Royals. Down the street, the man behind the counter at Shakespeare’s Pizza wore a Cardinals hat, although he noted that he had ‘seen a lot of brand-new Royals hats lately.’”
Tim Rohan, writer, New York Times
GH: Two of those “brand-new” Royals shirts seen around Mizzou’s campus belong to my son who received a CARE package from home yesterday with some new Royals gear. He tells us he is outnumbered by Cardinals fans about 20 to 1 on campus.

“The @Cardinals vs. @Royals World Series NEEDS to happen. No one outside the state lines would care, but Missouri would be insane.”
@TJMoe28, Twitter

“On the (MU) campus, a doctoral student and Kansas City native named John Kennedy was wearing a Royals shirt. He said he had been at Sunday night’s division clincher in Kansas City and planned to attend A.L.C.S. games next week. In the past, he said, Cardinals fans he knew had not lorded it over him, and in recent days, he said, they had been texting him, telling him how happy they were for him and his Royals. (Try that out, Mets and Yankees fans.)”
Tim Rohan, writer, New York Times
GH: As I suspected, not all Cardinals fans are arrogant pieces of inbred Nebraska football and Kansas basketball fans as Mike DeArmond so eloquently put it years ago. But some are a little harder to live with – read on.

“Moments later, a young woman in a Cardinals shirt walked by. Her name was Anna Hormberg, and she said she was a senior from St. Louis. She had been at the World Series-clinching games for the Cardinals in 2006 and 2011 and said that Royals fans were, well, harmless. ‘We’ll see how they are when the games get competitive,’ she added.”
Tim Rohan, writer, New York Times

“My honest opinion? I don’t care until the N.L.C.S. I enjoy watching the games, but if I had other plans tonight, I would be doing something else (besides watching the Dodgers/Cardinals game). We’ve been there so much. It’s about winning the World Series.”
Chris Wirkus, a Cardinals fan in the St. Louis suburb of Wildwood, MO, when asked his opinion of the Cards/Dodgers game that evening, New York Times GH: Geez. There is no way to dress that comment up to make it even appear to be anything less than jack-assery.

“St. Louis is not a good sports town! It is a terrible sports town! It lucked into winning a lot of (World Series) championships. St. Louis isn’t even Milwaukee. They are terrible. They have a terrible overinflated sense of self. They’re lucky.”
Danny Parkins, a Chicago native, on his disdain for everything and anything St. Louis, 610 AM
GH: Parkins is a somewhat long-suffering Cubs fan in that the Cubs have done next to nothing during his short life and the hated Cardinals have done so much at least one of their fans doesn’t even care until the World Series. Parkins hate for everything St. Louis is real and it is ugly. It is also immature and kind of funny. I do not happen to share any of his hate for the eastern side of this state but there are those – like Kevin Kietzman – who also detest St. Louis. I guess the two afternoon drive talk show hosts have at least that in common.

“Why can’t I be proud of Kansas City and to be from Kansas City and not have a problem with St. Louis?”
Carrington Harrison, a Kansas City native, 610 AM
GH: I second that mature response from Parkins’ partner. It isn’t about them, it’s about us. Go Royals.

“As unscientific as my little survey was, you couldn’t help detecting the difference between Royals happiness, and gratitude, and Cardinals confidence.”
Tim Rohan, writer, New York Times
GH: Let’s hope it happens – just like it happened in 1985.

[email protected] and @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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76 Responses to OTC: The KC Royals Have Become Cool Enough For The Country To Care

  1. AaronB4Mizzou says:

    I’ve lived in Columbia for over 20 years, and I’ve officially counted more Royal’s hats and shirts in the last two weeks then I’d seen here in all the previous time combined. It’s actually neat to see. Here’s to an I-70 series, but I’ve got to hope the Cards win in 7.

  2. Jeff Morris (@mister_terrific) says:

    Being stuck in Omaha during the week (nice place, but it’s not home), I’ve been kind of stunned about how the Royals are actually nudging a few columns off Husker Report (otherwise known as the sports section of the World Herald). Having been a fan since the early 70’s (actually went to a game at Municipal with my father!), I’m thrilled to see them succeeding.

    But I’m a Cardinals fan first and foremost. And as exasperating and frustrating as they’ve been this season…they always come through. Just never the easy way.

    If there’s an I-70 series this year…just remember you won’t have Denkinger this time…heh.

  3. Mysterious.j says:

    I didn’t make it through this column because you forgot to tell me to “read on”. Sorry.

  4. JP says:

    I’m no Cardinal fan, but they have earned their way into the NLCS the last 4 years. They aren’t buying players at $100 Million a pop like Anaheim and Detroit are. I will give them their due. It is kind of nice knowing that Zack Grienke can now watch his first MLB team in the Playoffs while his season is done. Screw the LA teams.

    This Royals run has been magical. It has been exhilirating and I hope it keeps going. We deserve this. It’s been way too long.

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