To say there is bad blood between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals is an understatement. The regular season demonstrated that the Royals did not like to get pushed around by other teams. This refusal to be pushed around was interpreted by teams like the White Sox and Jays as open belligerence on the part of the Royals. Not necessarily so.
There is a not so fine line between wanting to start a fight and not backing down when challenged.
Will the Royals pitchers be timid to go inside because the Toronto batters may interpret that the wrong way? If the Royals pitchers don’t pitch to the inside of the plate or a little more in, Toronto is going to have a field day with their power. You don’t have to plunk them to go inside. However, if you keep going inside, you may hit one of their batters if they crowd the plate too much.
Is that asking for a fight? One would think not. That is just good baseball.
So let’s review the past with the Jays. The Toronto Star is already getting people worked about the nasty Royals, with baseball writer Brendan Kennedy was speculating yesterday about what would happen when the teams “faced off.” Well, ok. Is this a hockey game with a face off and imminent brawl waiting to ensue?
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He said that we won’t have to wait. Always state the obvious. Then Kennedy: “Top two teams.” Yep, bring it on. He quotes Toronto manager, Josh GIbbons: “That’s really when we kind of took off. Two good teams really going at it.” According to first baseman Chris Colabello: “I don’t necessarily know if (the Royals) felt it at the time, but it certainly meant a lot to us.”
Meaning this: the Kansas City Royals knew they were headed toward the post-season. The Jays did not, and used that series as a measuring stick. “It was a hard-fought series,” said Royals manager Ned Yost. “They had just gotten (David) Price and (Troy) Tulowitzki and they were just starting to make their move.”
The first round will be in the Old Kansas City Kansas Memorial Hall. Best 4 out of 7 falls. Sleeper holds will be allowed if the umps don’t see it.