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It feels like we've gone forever without baseball, but it's just been a few days: the Royals officially punched their return ticket to the World Series late on Friday night. Hopefully you used your time wisely and rested up, because Game 1 of the Fall Classic is on Tuesday, and will feature Matt Harvey facing Edinson Volquez in Kansas City.
The Mets haven't won the World Series since 1986, the Royals not since 1985. Kansas City had a chance to change that a year ago against the Giants, which was also their first return trip to the playoffs since that '85 season. The Mets have had a bit more luck in the intervening years, but they too lost their last World Series appearance, back in 2000 against the Yankees. New York has two World Series victories since their inception in 1962, the Royals just the 1985 win since their 1969 introduction: regardless of the winner, a fan base and organization that could use another World Series championship is going to get one.
It's a nice change of pace from recent years, where the Giants, Cardinals and Red Sox have dominated, and in some cases did so against teams who probably needed a championship more. The downside, of course, is that someone is still going to end up heartbroken, and with the way baseball is, you never know when the next time the loser -- or the winner -- will be back to try again. We can worry about that later, though. For now, we've got Game 1 to focus on.
- Harvey starts Game 1 and will also pitch Game 5 if necessary, and here's the rest of their playoff rotation.
- The Royals don't have New York's rotation, but their starting four look capable enough.
- The last time the Mets played in Kansas City was over a decade ago.
- The Mets aren't a mid-market team, but they've certainly acted like one, which has to give actual mid-market teams some hope.
- This is your reminder that the Royals spent more than the Mets did in 2015.
- The two represent a clash of styles, so expect grand statements about what that means for the future of a copycat league.
- We've determined the five worst commercials of the MLB postseason. There are more than five terrible ones, of course, but these are the worst of the worst.
- The Brewers are reportedly open to trading anyone for the right return.
- Gabe Kapler and Dave Martinez appear to be the favorites to replace Don Mattingly as Dodgers' manager. Will Los Angeles follow the recent trend of eschewing experience for networking?
- There is a larger problem in the dugout than a lack of experience, though.
- New Phillies' general manager Matt Klentak showed some faith in his team during his press conference, saying he wouldn't have abandoned in-his-prime Mike Trout if he didn't think Philly had a chance to win.
- Ben Cherington wasn't kidding when he said he might want some time away from being a GM, as he agreed to an executive position with Columbia University's sports management program. Maybe Cherington will help educate some of the next wave of Ivy League leaders in MLB before coming back to a job of his own.