Tag Archives: Kansas City Royals

Morning Royals Conversation

The Kansas City Royals did it again last night. They opened the American League Division Series at Anaheim against the Angels with a dramatic extra-inning win. Mike Moustakas, barely able to hit his weight all season long, hit a home run in the top of the 11th for the go-ahead run and newly-minted father, closer Greg Holland, slammed the door with another impressive save. Good defense, led by Nori Aoki’s “chasing butterflies” style of outfield defense in right field, timely hits, and strong pitching won out.

The game started late and ended late, the second stroke of midnight win in three days. Not surprisingly, the Mrs. Hays did not make the stunning conclusion of either game this week. According to her, though, she did put her two cents in toward the postseason victories this week. Here is the first morning conversation of the day:

Me: “The Royals WON again. Moose hit a homer in the 11th!”

Wife: “That’s nice. It’s only because I went to sleep.”

Me: “Well then, can you go to sleep a little earlier for tonight’s game? I’m tired.”

Wife: “You’re dumb.”

(Note: This last statement is absolutely true. I am dumb, but I’m ROYALS DUMB!!!!)

Good luck tonight, Royals. Take the first two games out west and come home to wrap up the series. I’ll do my part, perhaps a large, starch-laden pre-game meal, and make sure Mrs. Hays makes the trip to La La Land a wee bit earlier tonight so your plane can leave at a decent hour.

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The Return of the Magic Number

In my pre-teen and teen years, the Kansas City Royals went from being a cute, little expansion team into one of the most feared, most respected, and most successful organizations in Major League Baseball. It was around 1976, at the age of 12, where I became familiar with a new term associated with my beloved Royals. The Magic Number.

What is a Magic Number, you may ask? Well the masterminds of the world wide web define the term better than I could ever attempt:

(from Wikepedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_number_(sports))

In certain sports, a magic number is a number used to indicate how close a front-running team is to clinching a division title and/or a playoff spot. It represents the total of additional wins by the front-running team or additional losses (or any combination thereof) by the rival team after which it is mathematically impossible for the rival team to capture the title in the remaining games. This assumes that each game results in a win or a loss, but not a tie

The magic number is calculated as G + 1 − WA − LB, where

  • G is the total number of games in the season
  • WA is the number of wins that Team A has in the season
  • LB is the number of losses that Team B has in the season

See, easy peasy. Mathematics and sports.

The Magic Number played big in my life in the late 70’s and early 80’s. These were pre-24-hour news cycle days. There was no streaming games scores, no checking scores on the smartphone. The only phone was wired to the wall and provided little or no help to the sports enthusiast.  So every morning, I would bounce out of bed, get my bowl of Raisin Bran, open the Kansas City Times (the old morning version of the Kansas City Star) and check the Royals Magic Number Box for the latest update on the race for the playoffs. My day would often revolve around whether positive or negative information was gleaned from that particular sports news graphic.

It is with great joy that, as a newly-minted, 50-year old, I again enjoy the Royals Magic Number during this summer/fall of 2014.

Thank you, Kansas City Royals.

Keep counting down that Magic Number.

PLAYOFFS, BABY!!!!

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Royals, Flush by Joe Posnanski

Rest Day Read (Sr-79)

Royals, Flush by Joe Posnanski

“You have to go back, in fact, to 2011. The Royals were dismal that year. They were also dismal the year before that and the year before that and the year before that and … well, you get the idea. Kansas City lost 100 games four times in the 2000s. And, oh, the stories from that time! The Royals once had a runner simply fall off first base, like a statue tipping over, and get picked off. They once had a player lose a fly ball in the sun because his prescription sunglasses had not yet arrived. They once had an outfielder who climbed the wall to catch a fly ball only to see it land on the warning track and bounce over his head. They once had their first batter of the game bat out of order.

The biggest problem then, strange as it may seem now (we are talking about the three-time-champion Royals), was that Kansas City had trouble finding, developing and affording good players. How did it turn around? How did the Royals reach the playoffs in 2013, win the World Series in ’15 and then dominate the latter part of the decade? Well, it was that minor league system … that amazing Kansas City Royals minor league system.

Believe it or not, back in those days when human beings played Jeopardy! and people thought LeBron James was going to win championships and Tiger Woods was going to break Jack Nicklaus’s career majors record, people also thought Dayton Moore was a complete failure. Moore will tell you this was mostly his fault. He made mistakes, and he did not explain himself well enough.”

I love the Royals. OK Mrs. Hays, I know I shouldn’t say “love”, especially about my hometown team, the Royals and the Chiefs, but…

Hope spring eternal.  Thanks, Joe P. for this article and providing hope.  This is going to be a rough year to be a Royals fan, but we are what we are.

If you, dear reader, are also a Royals fan, leave a comment with your favorite Royal memory.  Good luck in 2011 to the Boys in Blue!

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