For years, the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals have occupied the cellars of their respective divisions. All of that has changed in 2014 as the two organizations have emphatically cemented their statuses as elite organizations in Major League Baseball.
After the Orioles swept the Detroit Tigers and the Royals swept the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, much of the baseball world was caught off-guard. After all, this wasn’t supposed to happen – not like this. The Tigers and the Angels are two of the teams that help draw big audience numbers in the postseason, not the boring Orioles and Royals.
While the world of baseball is still trying to wrap their minds around these happenings, the two teams are looking at their wins as stepping stones, not milestones.
“There are different steps during the season that you have to take, and this is one of ’em,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. “And so hard against a team like Detroit with such a great pedigree and experience, you know, at this. It’s a challenge, and it will continue to be.”
“I’m more happy for the fans than anyone else, because they waited a long time to get to this point,” Royals owner David Glass said. “But listen, we’re not at the end. We’re at the beginning of something that could be really good.”
If there were ever organizations who had earned the prolonged celebrations, it would be these two. Their mindset of looking forward is more proof of why they have obtained such success this season. For years, the two clubs have been judged by their past success (or lack-thereof). This year, their past is in the rear-view mirror, and their sole focus is on the next task laid ahead of them.
Neither of these teams boast big name players. In fact, aside from James Shields and Nelson Cruz, very little was expected from many of these players. Overcoming injuries, both teams have played near perfect team-baseball to lead to their respective sweeps. They are doing the little things right – fielding, pitching, hitting, etc. – and it is all culminating in massive success.
The Orioles and Royals are giving baseball fans a new look in the postseason, something that hardly happens in baseball, and it is incredibly refreshing. We aren’t watching the Yankees or Red Sox again, there is finally some new blood in the playoff picture.
Enjoy it, baseball fans.
Cover Photo: Getty Images
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