The Los Angeles Angels are scoring a plethora of runs, leading the majors with 93. The Kansas City Royals are having problems scoring, last in the American League with 32 runs. Ten of them came in a Monday rout of the Seattle Mariners.
Paul Rudd is a great actor, but he’s an even greater Royals fan. So it’s no surprise that the famous Kansas City native found himself at Citi Field on Monday night cheering on his team to a World Series victory over the New York Mets. Perhaps even more exciting for Rudd than the nail-biter of a game, though, was the celebration in the clubhouse — where he got to party with the team.
The Royals are as resilient and relentless as they come, and now they are the world champions of baseball. This small-market team with an enormous heart won its first World Series in exactly 30 years by virtue of clever baserunning, a bullpen that doesn't give an inch and an offense that doesn't ever quit. They seemed all but expired a few times this October, the most recent example coming late in Game 5 when the Mets' brilliant ace Matt Harvey raced out of the dugout to start the ninth inning and protect his shutout and two-run lead to chants of "Har-vey."
The Kansas City Royals check a lot of world championship boxes. The lineup is balanced and deep. The defense might be the best in baseball. They're exceptionally hungry after coming so close in 2014. And even if closer Greg Holland is down with Tommy John surgery, the back end of the bullpen is still as secure as a steel vault.
The Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals both needed five games to win their American League Division Series, and now will face off in a best-of-seven American League Championship Series in a rematch of 30 years ago.
Behind the arm of Johnny Cueto, the Royals are going back to the ALCS.
Sunday night’s Royals-Angels telecast on ESPN was a big one for the network, drawing the largest local rating in six years. Sunday Night Baseball earned a 19.8 rating, according to Nielsen, the highest number an ESPN regular-season game telecast has ever drawn — for pro or college sports — in the Kansas City market.
The Royals are on national TV. Cue the whining. Or the excitement. Whatever emotion you feel personally, just brace yourself to hear Salvador Pear-ez all evening.