The Kansas City Royals had playoff aspirations when the 2017 season began. Entering August, the team looked destined to reach the postseason. How did it all go wrong?
There are many factors that lead to a team, such as the Kansas City Royals, not making the postseason. Major League Baseball lets just one-third of its teams into the playoffs, a smaller percentage than the NFL (37.5 percent), NHL (51.6) and NBA (53.33). It’s a process that’s set up to truly give the best teams a chance to win the World Series.
Sometimes it doesn’t work that way. Injuries have been known to derail the seasons of clearly talented teams. Other times, there just aren’t that many good teams in a given league. The latter case happened in the American League this season.
The AL had four teams that were clearly a cut above the rest. Cleveland, Houston, Boston and New York made it clear that they belonged on the grandest stage. If the season had been played in the days of one Wild Card team, there wouldn’t have been much drama. The only storyline would have been the battle between the Red Sox and Yankees to win the East Division and avoid scorching-hot Cleveland in the ALDS.
As it were, we live in a time where MLB has decided that two Wild Cards per league jazzed up the excitement level. That meant for a good chunk of the second half—until Minnesota pulled away at the end—there were no fewer than seven teams legitimately vying for the AL’s final playoff spot.
That kept the Kansas City Royals in the hunt for longer than they probably should have been. But what ultimately kept the team at home in October? We’ve chalked it up to these five reasons.