In October 2014, the Kansas City Royals swept the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Championship Series to go on to the World Series, their first in 29 years. It was not the first or last time in recent memory that the Royals would crush a foe in the playoffs.
Indeed, General Manager Dayton Moore’s playoff teams tended to win in an extraordinarily demoralizing fashion. Kansas City ripped Oakland’s heart out in a stunning extra-innings, come-from-behind walkoff victory in the 2014 Wild Card game, then immediately swept the AL-best Los Angeles Angels in three games before crunching the Orioles beneath their feat in the ALCS. Then, in the following year, the Royals dealt a death blow by dozens of paper cuts to the Houston Astros, then knocked off the Toronto Blue Jays in an increasingly aggravating fashion before setting aflame the New York Mets defense and bullpen to win the 2015 World Series.
However, the Royals’ encounter with the Orioles was a little more contentious than it needed to be. Kansas City starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie wore a shirt emblazoned with the text ‘These O’s ain’t Royal,’ an adroit reference to the Chris Brown lyrics ‘These hoes ain’t loyal.’
Guthrie, a former Oriole, did not recognize how much of a slight the shirt would represent, especially coming from him. He quickly apologized, and anybody who knew Guthrie knew it was an honest screwup and not something more sinister.
But little did Guthrie know that he set up the stage for one of the most odd and bizarre feuds of all of baseball: that between the Royals and Jason La Canfora.
Well, I say feud, which implies a two-way street, but really it’s just La Canfora’s hatred of the Royals.
His encounter with the Royals was apparently life-changing, as his initial tweet about the Royals in the 2014 posteason...
Spunky bunch of KC Royals here. Good for them. Awesome to see franchises like the Royals, O's and Pirates - so good for so long- back in Oct— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 1, 2014
...to, say, this tweet just before the 2015 postseason, in which he advocated throwing baseballs at Royals ballplayers (which we all know is dangerous and infantile).
Like anyone needed another reason to despise the Royals. Bush league. Toughest part is figuring out which guy most worthy of drilling Sat...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 12, 2015
Oh, but it gets better! Look at this collection of distilled anger at the Royals for...reasons?
Good to see the Royals are only down two touchdowns to the A's. Keeping it close. Lot of fight in that bunch #frauds— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 16, 2016
Figured the Royals would stink today after celebrating that big win last night like a world series. Too much champagne I guess— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) May 4, 2016
Typical Royals. More ridiculously lucky ways to score a run— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) June 7, 2016
Tough series for the Royals:— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) June 9, 2016
2 runs scored
1 knock out punch to their punk-ass wanna be ace#happytrailschumps
The post-season won't be the same without the Royals. Hard to imagine how MLB survived for those 30 yrs they didn't make it. I'm all torn up— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 12, 2015
I mean, just look at all that salt!
The crazy thing about this is that the Royals don’t really have a beef with the Orioles. They’re just another team the Royals happened to beat in the playoffs, which happens sometimes. In fact, according to some intense calculations on my part, seven teams lose a playoff series every single year.
La Canfora’s antics got so bad that Danny Parkins, former co-host of The Drive on 610 Sports Radio and Man of the People, hung up in protest on La Canfora on live radio in 2015*. Parkins and co-host Carrington Harrison were going to talk about the NFL with La Canfora, but Parkins was having none of it after La Canfora’s sly assertion that he was rooting for the National League after the Royals’ win against the Houston Astros. It was a truly glorious moment.
*The segment with La Canfora and the shocked fallout starts at 22:45
It’s possible that La Canfora is trolling here, but if so he’s a terrible troll. Good trolls aren’t professional reporters who air a public feud with a team and city every time they run into town. Good trolls are also usually funny.
Today, the playoff-hunting Royals will face the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore, and La Canfora will almost certainly tweet nasty things about Kansas City and the Royals. He already has this season! And, uh, he’s already been wrong.
Break up the Royals. Literally. That team will be thoroughly dismantled by the deadline. Boo hoo— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) May 30, 2017
The moral of the story? Don’t be so vindictive. It’s unbecoming.
The secondary moral of the story? Don’t mess with Kansas City.