by Nick Colecchio
The World Series is as tight as it can get right now as through five games, the San Francisco Giants lead the Kansas City Royals three games to two. Coming into this series these two teams couldn’t be coming from more opposite sides of each other. For the Giants this is their third world series in the last five years, having won the previous two in 2010 and 2012. The Royals on the other hand are an up and coming team who hasn’t been to the fall the classic or the playoffs for that matter since 1985. The 29-year drought has gotten the city of Kansas City in a frenzy about baseball for the first time in a long time. The Royals were happy enough just to make the playoffs let alone the World Series.
The Royals coming into this season were coming off their best record in twenty eight years at 86-76. For the Royals to even make the playoffs as a wild card was reason to celebrate in Kansas City. In the wild card game the playoff experienced Oakland A’s had the young Royals down 7-3 in the eighth inning. The Royals stormed back to take the game in twelve to shock mostly everybody. This is what this team is built on and that is small ball and a lot of determination. The Royals don’t have a lot of star powered players who can hit forty home runs every year. They were the only team in the majors to not hit one hundred homeruns as a team. Their playoff opponents up to this point have been those teams with the star-studded lineups. After getting past the A’s in the wild card game the Royals took their talents to Anaheim as they faced off against the 98 win Angels in the divisional round. Nobody had the Royals winning a game let alone the series. They were down in both the first two games and came back to win on solo homeruns by Eric Hosmer in Game One, and Mike Moustakas in Game Two. They then went on to sweep the series in three games. Their next opponent in the American League Championship Series was also a hot team in the Orioles but they were a deflated team as well. The Orioles came in after sweeping the Detroit Tigers in the divisional round looking to capture their first pennant since 1983. They were missing two pieces of their lineup in All Star third baseman Manny Machado and catcher Matt Wieters. They Royals were once again down in Game One but stuck together to come back and take another road win in the playoffs in extra innings. After stealing the momentum in Game One the Orioles couldn’t get it back and went on to get swept by the young Royals team. The Royals had stunned the baseball world by sweeping two of the best teams in all of baseball in the regular season.
The Giants on the other hand are no strangers to fall classic as they have one two of the previous four. The city of San Francisco is used to parades in October and are expecting one again this year. The San Francisco Giants are not the most talented team on paper and some are even shocked when they make it to the playoffs let alone go on to win the World Series. Their last two World Series opponents (the Texas Rangers in 2010 and the Detroit Tigers in 2012) were much better teams on paper. They had incredible offenses with ace quality pitchers at the top of their rotations. Yet the Giants not only beat the both of them, but they creamed them. They wound up beating the Rangers in five games and making a clean sweep over the Tigers. Both of the ball clubs were heavy favorites to tear apart the Giants. The Giants have a team of mainly misfits that know how to get it done. Before the success of the 2010 season the Giants had heartbreak since the time they left the streets of New York to come out west. They only won two pennants in the span from 1957- 2009. In 1989 there was the “earthquake series” in which the Oakland Athletics absolutely took them a part. Even with the arrival of Barry Bonds in 1992 along with a powerful lineup including third baseman Matt Williams and former National League MVP second baseman Jeff Kent couldn’t bring the crown back to the Bay Area. In 2002 the Giants played their in state rivals the Anaheim Angels in the World Series and looked like they had the trophy in sight. In game six the Giants were up by five runs going into the bottom of the seventh. Until Angel’s first baseman Scott Spiezio smacked a three run homer to turn the tide of the game and the series around as the Giants lost in seven games. Those days are long gone now as the Giants are eying their third world championship in the last five seasons.