Looking ahead to the 2014 postseason is something I constantly find myself doing during this year’s offseason. Although the MLB and the American League specifically are packed with talented teams and close competition, the case for the Kansas City Royals to make the playoffs this year seems to get more logical every week. Even after the impact of the Masahiro Tanaka Sweepstakes and constant roster changes for other relevant teams, KC looks like they’re still in the hunt for an AL Wild Card spot this season.
This means some hardily earned hatred for the Evil Empire could soon spring anew, and that’s some very good news.
The bitter rivalry between the New York Yankees and your Boys in Blue used to be one of the league’s strongest and most closely contested. In a 3-year stretch beginning in 1976, the Royals faced off against New York in the ALCS every year and lost in heart-breaking fashion. The series that many fans regard as the franchise’s finest non-World Series moment came in 1980, when the Royals claimed vengeance over the Yanks with a 3-0 Championship Series sweep.
If KC can accomplish their goals this year and the Yankees can live up to expectations, the two teams may find themselves racing one another to the final AL Wild Card spot. It won’t take long before all Kansas City fans love to hate the Yankees like they should.
Any reason to cheer against the dreaded Bronx Bombers is a good reason. Meeting them in the postseason for a legendary one-game playoff could be the best reason imaginable, perhaps second only to meeting them in the American League Championship Series; one can only hope.