What the KC Royals can learn from their pals across the lot

Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images
Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images /

In less than a decade, both the KC Royals and KC Chiefs won championships. What can the MLB team learn from its friends across the parking lot?

2014 and 2015 were great years to be from Kansas City. While the Chiefs were productive in the regular season under Andy Reid and then-quarterback Alex Smith, the KC Royals were appearing in the World Series back-to-back years. The hype culminated with a championship win in 2015 over the New York Mets. Good times.

Fast forward a half-decade, and now the Royals are coming off a second-straight 100-loss season. The 2015 core is long gone but with an improving farm system and multiple solid players already at the MLB level, things are looking up for the future. The likes of Whit Merrifield, Jorge Soler, Hunter Dozier, Salvador Perez and even Adalberto Mondesi should all play major roles on the next competitive team.

Across the parking lot at the Truman Sports Complex, the Kansas City Chiefs have brought home a Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years. 2018-19 NFL MVP and this year’s Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes, has taken the city by storm — similar to guys like Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and others when the Royals reached the pinnacle of success in their sport.

This year’s parade, similar to the one a few years back, was spectacular. It’s still hard to believe it: Kansas City is a world champion! Fans gathered near and around Union Station as players waved, laughed and clapped from double-decker buses. The week after a title win is truly filled with some of the best feelings a sports fan can experience.

With that said, what can the Royals take away from this year’s Chiefs team? Obviously, there isn’t a Reid/Mahomes duo to work with. But there could be a Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill or Tyrann Mathieu. Heck, even a baseball version of Frank Clark or Chris Jones would help a ton. The bottom line when it comes to a championship-caliber team is that it takes a team effort in order to win.

Hitting one draft pick out of the park will help. On the other hand, hitting on several picks will help ensure a healthy crop of talent in the farm system. Savvy trade acquisitions can lead to players that play key roles on a winning team. Just ask the 2015 Royals, when Dayton Moore acquired Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist. Free agent signings can serve as the icing on the cake — or the diamonds in the ring.

The Royals of 2014 and 2015 were so much fun to watch. They were predicated upon small-ball, players peaking at the right time and some timely acquisitions. The 2019-20 Kansas City Chiefs were centered around a superstar young quarterback, his weapons and some leadership on defense that came from outside sources before the season began. It truly takes a village in order to win big.

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So… who knows. The next Patrick Mahomes isn’t walking through the door for the KC Royals. But with some smart team-building and the club’s youth stepping up over the next 3-5 years, maybe the rebuild will find some luck and, in turn, a championship. Remember “Royals Magic” from 2015? The Chiefs definitely caught their own version of it in 2020. Will history repeat itself down the line?