So I’m writing about the Royals again. I know, what’s up with THAT, eh? But the Royals have had quite a nice, little postseason thus far. (Understate much?)
As I’ve watched them winning and winning, sweeping everyone to get to the World Series, I’m reminded of another story of coming into one’s own.
In the Matrix, Neo finds himself challenged to a kung fu battle by Morpheus, the man he has searched for and idolized. As they fight, his talents show more and more.
“Good! Adaptation, improvisation; but your weakness is not your technique.” – Morpheus
Later, when Neo meets Agent Smith in the subway tunnel, he could run, but he turns around to face him, to stand his ground. Trinity asks what he is doing and Morpheus says “He’s beginning to believe”.
I’m the first to admit that, much like the Neo who was caught in the matrix – hacking and trading underground computer disk thingies and being lectured by the boss when he shows up late for work – the Royals have been largely under my radar for some time. But somewhere in the second half of the season, they started to look like a force.
By the time the made it to the wild card game, I was thinking that there was a good chance this team could win that game.
I did NOT expect them to beat the Angels next, but the way they played, they deserved to. And they looked like they were beginning to believe.
With every win, they’ve gotten stronger, more vocal, and continue to take somewhat unorthodox risks in their play. Late inning steals, strong defense, and reliable, solid pitching have gotten them far. But most importantly, they exhibit the wherewithal to take advantage of the other teams’ lapses.
This is a big deal, because it allows no room for lackadaisical playing. Each man’s mind must be IN THE GAME. Case in point, when Escobar came in to score, and just managed to kick his foot out and knock the ball out of the catcher’s glove, it opened a door for Aoki to make it home as well. That takes quick thinking on the part of both players, keeping their eyes peeled for an opening and reacting quickly enough to take advantage.
Considering the fact the game ended 2-1, that extra run made a difference.
So what’s next for the upstart team in royal blue and white? The World Series next Tuesday. I have a few words for Dodger fans: whether or not you care about Kansas City’s historic run this year, they WILL be playing a team you despise in this final showdown. It will be either the Giants, those perennial “hated ones”, or the Cardinals, that bane of the Doyers’ postseason existence. With all that said, I’m hoping for an American League win.
Join me, won’t you?