Royals Links: Duffy’s Return, Wild Card Chaos, History of Baseball, & More
Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Six games. Just six games separate the Royals from their first postseason since 1985. Last night’s results shrunk their magic number to 5 for the Wild Card and 8 for the division. You may notice that the magic number for the Central is larger than the number of games the Royals have left, which means I’ll be rooting for the Not Detroit Tigers almost as much as I’ll be rooting for the Royals this week.
If Kansas City can win five of their last six games – a tall task, indeed – they’ll need Detroit to go 3-3 in order to win the division outright. Considering last weekend’s series, the fact that this is even a possibility today is pretty incredible. Before any of that can happen, though, take some time to read a few articles about the Royals from the last several days.
– Following a terrific start from Danny Duffy last night, Craig Brown of Royals Authority broke down the lefty’s evening, pointing out how important that game was for the Royals. This was a massive win for the team, and thanks to Duffy’s dominance – particularly after a tricky situation in the first inning – they still have a shot at the division, while they hold onto a 2-game lead in the Wild Card.
– Aaron Stilley wrote a really fun piece for The Hardball Times on the history of baseball. The entire history of baseball would be a rather lengthy blog post, though, so the author condensed everything down into one 24-hour period. It’s a pretty fascinating way to look at the sport, and it’s written by a fellow Royals fan, so check it out.
– On FOX Sports’ Just a Bit Outside blog, Jon Paul Morosi outlines what would likely happen if the four remaining contenders in the AL all finished with the same record. As a general fan of Team Chaos, this is a scenario I would love to see. As a fan of the Royals, I’d really prefer not to.
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– Norman Chad of The Washington Post argues that baseball fans should be rooting for the Royals to reach the playoffs. He suggests our 29 years of suffering are long enough, and rooting against Kansas City would be downright mean. While some of the article comes off in a bit of a condescending manner, the overall point makes sense, much in the same way many fans rooted for the Pirates to break their long playoff drought last year.
– Over at Baseball Prospectus, Rocco DeMaro asks a few baseball players what the second-most difficult thing in baseball is, if we are operating under the assumption that hitting a baseball is the first-most difficult thing in baseball. He interviewed a handful of Cubs and Pirates, and got a few interesting quotes that give a glimpse into players’ perspectives on the game.
– This last one has absolutely nothing to do with the Royals, but it’s worth sharing anyway. Guilder Rodriguez is a 31-year old career minor leaguer, spending 13 years between the Brewers and Rangers organizations. He played 1,095 games in the minor leagues, and never got a shot in the bigs, until recently. Last night, he collected his first hit as a major league baseball player, with his parents watching on from the crowd. He later collected the game-winning RBI, but this kind of moment is one of my favorite things about September baseball. Watch that video and just try not to smile. You can’t.