“We crave a different kind of buzz.” — “Royals,” Lorde.
Having all but ignored baseball this season—what with both the Red Sox and Twins hanging out in the standings cellar—I have been astonished at the postseason performance of the Kansas City Royals.
They have had me riveted. This team, which had the fewest home runs in the majors all season long, has suddenly become the Bash Brothers, living on a strange, little seen combination of speed, defense, pitching and home runs. I don’t know what to make of them, but I don’t care. I love watching them.
More than anything the Royals have reminded me why baseball—despite its long, snoozy stretches of inactivity—contains moments of cardio-palpitation that no other sport in my experience can mimic. Football is great, and has some moments of unpredictability. But because it is such a war-like sport, once momentum is established by one team, there tends to be an air of inevitability in all that follows.
I know there are exceptions. I’ve seen wild come-from-behind victories in football. I can’t prove my thesis with sabermetric data. I just know that I have experienced more moments of jaw-dropping, never-saw-that-in-my-life moments watching baseball over the years than I have watching football.
It would be good if baseball managed to pick up the pace. Maybe they just need to watch the Royals for a week to figure that interminable mystery out once and for all.
For now, though, I’ll just rest content knowing that these guys have reminded me why this is the greatest game.