Remember the bad blood that the Kansas City Royals had last year with Brett Lawrie and, in a separate incident, the Chicago White Sox? Well, both Enemies of the K are joining forces.
The beginning of the 2015 season for the Kansas City Royals was quite interesting to say the least. The Royals had their issues with Brett Lawrie after his takeout slide at second, slamming into the leg of Alcides Escobar with his spikes up. Within a week, the Royals got into a brawl with the Chicago White Sox, punctuated by Jeff Samardzija throwing punches like he was baseball’s Mike Tyson (as opposed to the weak hitting middle infielder from the mid 1970’s with the same name).
While Samardzija will not be in Chicago this year, having signed a five year contract with the Giants, the rivalry with the White Sox will likely continue its intensity. The White Sox have replaced everyone’s least favorite starting pitcher with their least favorite third baseman, acquiring Lawrie from the A’s for two prospects.
Now Lawrie, who had been literally shaking in a postgame interview after Kelvin Herrera threw a fastball behind him, will theoretically be facing the Royals 19 times a year. Of course, injuries or Yordano Ventura‘s mood may affect how often Lawrie is in the lineup against the Royals, but those matchups will certainly have a different edge, at least in the early part of the year.
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Obviously, a lot has changed since these altercations. The Kansas City Royals faced the A’s and Lawrie later in the year, and avoided any further altercations. The Royals and White Sox went on to have a mostly civil rest of the season. And the Royals winning the World Series can lead to a more relaxed atmosphere, where they are not carrying that gigantic chip on their shoulders from last year.
Of course, that World Series title also makes them more of a target. However, on their march through the postseason, the Royals did not need to get through Lawrie or anyone else on the White Sox this time through, potentially leading to a less violent series between the clubs. This signing, even if neither Lawrie nor the White Sox factored into that run, will simply make what is already a fun rivalry that much more interesting.
The Kansas City Royals rivalry with the Chicago White Sox is likely to be even hotter next year. Hopefully, the games will be settled without any extracurricular shenanigans, but with Brett Lawrie now on the White Sox, this rivalry has gotten a lot more interesting.