ESPN’s The Last Dance has taken the sports world by storm over the last few weekends. A KC Royals-themed one would be a dream come true.
I’m sure many of you have watched The Last Dance, ESPN’s 10-part documentary series that focuses on the illustrious career of perhaps the greatest basketball player ever, Michael Jordan. It’s been well-received and tuned into by millions of people around the country. In the Kansas City market, how awesome would a documentary on the rise and fall of the last KC Royals contending team be?
A lot went into constructing the 2014 and 2015 World Series teams, and plenty of that work took place years prior. Signing Salvador Perez as an amateur free agent in 2006 was viewed as a low-profile move at the time, but it turned out to be one of the top acquisitions in franchise history. The draft selections of Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer in 2007 and 2008, respectively, injected top-flight talent into a struggling farm system.
Trading Zack Greinke, one of the lone bright spots for the organization at the time, to Milwaukee for a couple of question marks in Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain was a tough pill to swallow. It ended up paying dividends, paving the way for the next contending core. Chasing after a wild card spot in 2013 gave fans the first glimpse of hope it had seen in a decade. The fun was only beginning.
The 2014 Wild Card Game comeback could be a standalone episode in and of itself. The same could be said for the magical run that ensued. After getting oh-so-close to winning it all, Dayton Moore executed a pair of midseason trades the following year that completed the eventual World Series-winning roster. A behind-the-scenes look at everything unfolding would be truly special.
All good things must come to an end, though. The struggles of flirting with a .500 record and trying to keep the core together for the next two seasons ended up being too much to handle. Hosmer and Cain left town after the 2017 campaign and by the end of 2018, both Escobar and Moustakas found themselves off the team as well. There were likely several emotional conversations between manager/general manager and player during that time, but they’ll never see the light of day. A documentary could have shed light on them.
The KC Royals’ contending team was viewed by many as a cinderella story. Sure, there was quite a bit of luck involved. On the other hand, it doesn’t just so happen that nearly every player on the team was a critical piece in the quest to achieve the ultimate goal. Blood, sweat and tears were shed. Having an ESPN camera crew on-site for the entire development could have led to one of the best sports docs many of us have seen.
Hindsight is 20/20. As some of us watch The Last Dance tonight, it’ll be hard to not wish our Boys in Blue had something similar to share with the world.