by Amaury Pi Gonzalez
The 2015 Kansas City Royals have won the American League pennant for the second consecutive season and this year they will face the New York Mets who won the National League. Just as they were looking for their first World Series title since 1985 and failed against the San Francisco Giants last year, they will be back this year against the New York Mets. They will not have to face Madison Bumgarner, but the Mets rotations is much more formidable that of the Giants.
The first game during the regular season for the Kansas City Royals took place at Angel Stadium in Anaheim against the LA Angels. Good friend and now broadcaster for the Royals television network Rex Hudler told me prior to that first game in Anaheim about his team: “this team is going all the way this year”, well Rex you didn’t lie, the Royals showed again that they are the best team in the American League, and this year I believe a much better team than that 2014 squad. Dayton Moore the General Manager of the Royals deserves all the credit in the world for picking up key pieces for this 2015 club, guys like Kendrys Morales, one of the best designated hitters in baseball this season, all around super player Ben Zobrist and right handed starter Johnny Cueto.In a perfect world the Royals would have loved to face the San Francisco Giants again, and see if Bumgarner could duplicate his sensational 2014 World Series, but it was not to be, as the Giants never made it to the postseason in 2015.
The Royals have the best bullpen in baseball, and under Ned Yost(Manager)they have shortened the game, most teams ask their starter to go six innings, but in the Royals case is just five, since they have the strongest bullpen anchored by closer Wade Davis. The Royals do not strike out much, they are not a power hitting team, like the team they eliminated in six games the Toronto Blue Jays, but the Royals are as resilient of a team as there is in baseball, strong at every position, with great speed and a good bench they can beat anybody and it will not be easy facing the young and powerful pitching staff of the New York Mets this next week for the World Series ring.
Last time the New York Mets went to a World Series was in 2000. I worked that World Series doing play by play with Eduardo Ortega, the Spanish Voice of the San Diego Padres, for LBC(Latino Broadcasting Company) now ESPN Deportes. The Mets that year faced the New York Yankees who took the title, in what was the last Subway Series to this day. I remember it was the first time for me since 1989 when I did not have to travel far to work on both parks, 1989 was the Athletics vs the Giants,I drove to both parks, and in 2000 I stayed at midtown Manhattan and took the Blue Line(Flushing)train to Shea Stadium and the Bronx line to Yankee Stadium.
The Royals will open the series on Tuesday October 27, first two games will be in Kansas City, then the next three at Citi Field in New York, and if it goes to a sixth and seventh games, they will go back to Kansas City. If it goes to a seventh game, the Royals have the home field advantage, but they will not be able to use their great DH Kendrys Morales (.290 22 HR 106 RBI)when they play in New York. Somebody is going to have to sit, a tough decision for manager Ned Yost, Eric Hosmer is their regular first-baseman, and Morales can play first, but he has been their DH all season long.
The New York Mets rotation is as good as there is in the game: deGrom, Syndergard,Harvey,Colón, Niese and their closer is 26 year old Dominican right hander Jeurys Familial, who owns a nasty 93 mph splitter and a super fastball with great rotation. Familia during the regular season worked in relief in 76 games sdinised with a 1.85ERA and saved 43 games for the Metropolitans. Note:
I like the Royals in six games, the Kansas City team is on a mission and they are trying to complete what they began in 2014. The New York Mets are an excellent team with a manager that finally made it to the October Dance in Terry Collins, who is on his first postseason. The Mets swept the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS. The Mets played just about perfect baseball and the lovable Cubs will have to wait until 2016, and they could easily be back with that great young talent. The Mets have more power than the Royals, stronger starting staff, but the Royals have a better bullpen, more speed on the bases, better defense, and I believe it is a better all-around baseball team than the Mets. But in World Series competition, you really never know.
It should be a good one.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is a talk show host for http://www.sportsradioservice.com and has covered MLB since 1974
MLB 2015 World Series logo photo credit google images