Today's news that the Cubs fluky 7-6 victory over the Reds last night secured them of a higher win total than the Royals, thus meaning that NHZ has lost his bet with the Cubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue, got me thinking about the Cubs, and, in turn, just who us Royals fans should be pulling for down the stretch. There isn't much left to be excited about, especially after the Tiger's blew a 5-1 lead in Cleveland last night, but nevertheless, a few races still remain.
AL Wildcard: New York leads Detroit by 3.5 Games: I know many Royals fans have a genetic inability to root for the Yankees, but over the years I've sorta come to the point where the Yankees are the new... well, that I don't really know. I guess Royals fans should root for Detroit, but I don't really know what that accomplishes. The Tigers are a boring, flawed team who managed to facilitate the hated Cardinals' miracle run last season. Plus, wouldn't a Yankee hater more truly relish another postseason loss? Arod's character hasn't been attacked in a few months, and now that Peyton finally won "the big one" the Bill Simmonses of the world are down to Arod and praying for a Dan Marino comeback. Root For: Tigers, I guess.
AL East: Boston leads New York by 3.5 Games Thanks to Bud Selig what might have been one of the greatest collapses/comebacks in the history of the game has been reduced to a battle for seeding. If the Red Sox go on a five game losing streak this week, we might see some real drama, especially if Detroit starts winning. Root For: A trainwreck.
NL East: New York leads Philly by 2.5 Games Haven't the Phillies been in this position for like the last six seasons? Neither team or city really compares much to the Royals, but in a general underdog/anti-NY sort of way, the Phillies are the team, although with reservation, because of some residual love for Carlos Beltran. Root For: Philadelphia
NL Central: Chicago leads Milwaukee by 1 Game Now that the Brewers are Selig-free, its safe to enjoy them, and honestly, how could anyone possibly be rooting for the Cubs in this? The Cubs are like the Yankees and Red Sox, minus the competence, as they've spent the last two off-seasons throwing money at their problems, overpaying for both medicorities and guys that just plain suck, but not suffering any consequences because of the money machine that is Wrigley and the Cubbie mythos. Congrats, you've just built a team with a $99 million dollar payroll which is playing .520 ball in the NL Central! After 2004, does anyone else want to see another "curse" broken ever again? Seriously, on multiple fronts we can't let this happen. Plus, the Brewers could be the Royals in a few years, with a great young lineup and some shaky pitching. Of course, I fully expect the Cubs to win the WS. Root For: Milwaukee, with all your heart.
NL West: Arizona leads San Diego by 1 Game Neither city really fits with KC at all, in fact, its hard to imagine two cites less like KC. Although the D'Backs, like the Brewers, are at least the young, good team, the Royals hope to be. Do we really need to see the Padres in the postseason again? The most boring team of the decade has incrementally improved the last three seasons, and one of their colors is "sand", but beyond that, blah. Although Bruce Bochy's "propeller heads" blast makes one want to see the D'Backs fall back to their Pythag record and miss out. I love the burden of proof here: one out of 100 teams will defy their Pythag, which obviously means its a flawed idea that has been disproven. Root For: Arizona
NL Wildcard: San Diego leads Philly by 1.5 Games Thank you Mr. Selig! Out of the four principles in the NL East and West races, three are going to make the playoffs anyway. The Wild Card isn't adding a race, its subtracting one. Anyway, I've had bad things to say about San Diego above, and the Phillies have had a tough go. Root For: Philadelphia
If anyone wants to complicate matters with an ex-Royal analysis, I'm all ears.
Tonight's Gavin Floyd (1-3, 5.79 ERA) against defender of freedom Gil Meche (8-12, 3.78 ERA). Meche has already set a new career high for innings pitched this season with 195, and figures to just keep trucking along without pause until Game 162. After some hedging, I'm officially of the opinion that enough is enough already. Look, the signing has been vindicated, and we're all happy to have Gil in a Royals uniform for the rest of his 20s. So whats the point of another three starts? Lets hope he walks off the field in the 8th inning tonight with a lead, tips his hat to the fans, and starts his off-season.
Won't happen, but without our dreams, what would we have?