Friday, June 03, 2005

Royals do the Unthinkable

The Kansas City Royals got their first sweep of the season last night by beating the New York Yankees 5-2. It is the Royals first series sweep in 78 series and their first home sweep of the Yankees in 15 years.

Coming into Kansas City the Yankees had won 16 of their last 18 games and were on their way back in the hunt for the A.L. East title. However, the Royals are playing under new manager Buddy Bell, who seems to have re-energized the team with his lack of tolerance for bone-headed plays. “Buddy Ball” has gotten off to a good start, but now the Royals have got to live up to the standard set by this series.

When you beat the Yankees it makes a statement, but when you sweep the Yankees you are making a strong statement. There is a difference in the statement that is determined by which team has beaten the Yankees. If the Boston Red Sox were to sweep the Yankees then the statement would be that the Red Sox are playing great baseball. However, when the Royals sweep the Yankees it’s because the Yankees are really struggling.

Why is there a double standard here? No one is saying, and no one believes that the Royals are even a middle of the road team this season, but this series sweep had more to do with how the Royals played then how the Yankees did. Kansas City played great defense and made great plays at the right times. They are playing their best baseball of the season and the Royals faithful deserve to see a huge upset like they were treated to this week and they deserve to have their team receive the credit for three great wins.

Buddy Bell and the Royals organization received a lot of heat for his hiring this week. The truth is that the Royals have solid young talent. The problem is that they have solid young talent. They are not an experienced group of players and they need to be pushed to develop their game as they become veterans. It looks at least for now that they have found the right fit in Bell.