Wednesday, June 8, 2011

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #17

The Royals are the Cardinals natural rival, by region, if you believe the schedule makers at least. They share a state, a World Series and some players and personnel (Whitey Herzog and Al Hrabosky come to mind) but little else. As long as I can manage to put Don Denkinger out of my mind for a spell, I have trouble drumming up much animosity towards this team.

If you had asked me in the '80s, however, the Royals were probably one of my least favorite teams. It all started with the George Brett pine tar incident. Seeing a screaming, swearing baseball player on the opposing team run out of a dugout like that made an instant hater out of me (I was 7 and I was raised a Yankees fan.) Kansas City probably helped me ultimately become the Cardinals fan that I am because of that fateful 1985 World Series. Since the '80s, however... nothing.

Favorite current Royals player: Joakim Soria. Wow, I really didn't know who else to pick. While he's no longer "The Mexicutioner" for understandable reasons, he is a two-time All-Star closer for a team that can usually ill-afford to waste save opportunities.

Least favorite current Royals player: Jeff Francis. Soft-tossing lefties always seem to be the Cardinals' kryptonite.

Favorite Royals player of all-time: Dan Quisenberry. He was the first submarine-style pitcher I had ever seen. I used to mimic his windup all the time, firing tennis ball after tennis ball off of basement walls and the front of my house. Bo Jackson was probably second. Who didn't love Bo?

Least favorite Royals player of all-time: George Brett. I just thought he looked like a jerk. Maybe it was just one episode that tainted my young mind forever. Who knows? I used to curse the name of Bret Saberhagen an awful lot, but it was George Brett that really got my goat.

The Kansas City Royals drift by at #17 in my reverse-ranking of favorite teams as of the moment I picked them on October 4th, 2010. At this rate, it may take me a calendar year to finish this series. All of these cards are very much up for trade, so please contact me if you're interested.


CaptKirk42 said...

I get a kick out of mascot cards, even for teams I don't care that much about.

night owl said...

I may be biased, but I think the jerk in that incident was Billy Martin, who exploited a rule made purely for economic reasons for his team's benefit. And then when MLB upheld the Royals' protest because there's no way Brett could have benefited from an "over-pine-tarred" bat, Martin pitched all kinds of fits, claiming Brett didn't touch all the bases on his HR, putting Ron Guidry in center field and Mattingly at second, as a protest. The baby.

God I hate the Yankees.