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It’s been an obvious truth for a while now — we will have a new World Series champion this season after the Kansas City Royals lost their 73rd game of the season to drop their fifth game in a row Friday night to fall seven games out of the Wild Card and 11 out of the division with 15 games to go. The team that rose from the dead on multiple occasions during both their 2014 AL Pennant run and their 2015 World Series victory won’t pull off one last revival act, and they’ll be playoff spectators for the first time since 2013.
While most neutral projections back in the spring seemed to suggest that this was an inevitability for the Royals, there were still plenty of baseball prognosticators who gave the former World Series champions a fighting chance for this season. It’s hard to have doubt in a team that had gone to two consecutive World Series and done so while making a habit out of making comebacks from nearly insurmountable odds on a near-regular basis during their postseason runs. Unfortunately for Kansas City, this was the year the projections were correct, and their run is coming to a close.
So, what’s next for the Royals? Will Dayton Moore decide that it’s been a good run for this particular crew (which is what some fans on Snapchat apparently want) and embark on another rebuild? Or will they use this upcoming offseason as a chance to retool and attempt to challenge Cleveland and Detroit for supremacy in the AL Central next season? The former champs have plenty of options, but they’ve reached the end of the line in their current World Series defense. If we’re going to see late-game heroics and barely-believable comebacks in October 2016, then it won’t be coming from the team on the blue side of Missouri.
- One night after Johnny Cueto’s complete game, the Giants picked up another victory over the Cardinals and might be righting their Wild Card ship.
- The Red Sox also picked up where they left off on Thursday night, as they beat the Yankees for the second straight night in a row.
- Baltimore kept up with Boston in the standings after squeezing by the Rays thanks to a solid performance from Ubaldo Jimenez.
- The Blue Jays also kept up their end of the bargain by picking up a win against the Angels. The AL East race continues to be absolutely wild.
- Bartolo Colon pitched a seven-inning beauty for the Mets on Friday night. The world’s biggest Bartolo fan was pleased (your headphones might not be pleased, though).
- Could Stephen Strasburg possibly pitch again at some point during this season? The Nats are hopeful, but they aren’t saying too much.
- The Rays could make David Ortiz’s final visit to Tropicana Field a bigger deal than they originally planned to. That’ll surely please all of the Red Sox fans who will fill that stadium up.
- Jon Heyman recently gave predictions on contract numbers that will be handed out, and Ian Desmond may be heading towards a $64M deal.
- Meanwhile, Kenley Jansen will test the free agency waters, so it’ll be an interesting offseason for both him and the Dodgers.
- Congratulations to Ryan Zimmerman, who managed to hit a pop foul that ended up coming back and bonking him on his upper back. What an amazing achievement!