Tough For This Pirates Fan To Enjoy Royals’ Run To World Series


Oct 15, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez celebrates after game four of the 2014 ALCS playoff baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals swept the Orioles to advance to the World Series. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Like most baseball fans, I’ve been impressed by the spectacle of the Kansas City Royals – making their first MLB postseason appearance since 1985 – stringing together eight consecutive wins to clinch the American League pennant and advance to the World Series.

However, I can’t say I’ve truly enjoyed KC’s record winning streak, because the team I follow isn’t doing the same on the National League side of the bracket.

That might sound rather petty, but it’s difficult to watch the Royals party with their fans night after night deep into October when the Pittsburgh Pirates could’ve easily been that team this year. Instead, they’ve been watching at home for two weeks after a dispiriting loss to the Giants in the NL wild card game.

Hey, that’s sports. But while I didn’t begrudge Kansas City’s celebration after their exhilarating wild-card comeback against the A’s, I started to feel the envy creep in when they ambushed the Angels in the divisional round.

The Royals are skipping steps! Don’t they know they’re supposed to lose in the ALDS after winning the wild card? After all, that’s what happened to the Pirates last year. You can’t just go directly from decades of empty Octobers to a World Series run!

Except we all know that it’s possible, as the 2006 Tigers reminded us not too long ago. That’s what made last year’s Pirates loss to the Cardinals hurt. You never know how many chances a team will get to take the trophy. The Bucs have now misfired in two consecutive Buctobers, while the Royals are four wins away from climbing the ultimate mountaintop.

To be clear, I’m happy for the Kansas City baseball fans who are enjoying the same catharsis Pittsburgh did a year ago. It would be inhuman to denigrate the joy we’ve seen on the faces of not just Royals supporters, but also players who have had to battle through the stigma of constant disappointment since first taking a locker at Kauffman Stadium.

That’s all turned around now, which theoretically should encourage me as a fan of a small-market baseball team. Except I already knew the Pirates could succeed.

Good for the cuddly, cute Royals, but now they’re just another non-Bucs team having all the fun.