It's hard to find reasons to hate the Royals, but as the opponents to the Orioles in this year's ALCS, they are now our sworn enemies. This is the way that it works. You might think that there is little reason to hate the Royals or to feel superior to the team or its town. And sure, both teams are in the ALCS for the first time in a million years. It might warm your heart to think that no matter what happens, a team that hasn't been in the World Series since the 1980s will be there again. Stop that! Stop liking them! Sure, the Orioles and Royals haven't played in a meaningful series against each other in recent memory. They have never faced off in the playoffs, neither team has spent time dominating the other or embarrassing the other. But there are things to hate. There have to be things to hate.
Brutal Beating of
Picture it: O's rookie Brad Bergesen was en route to greatness in 2009. The soft tossing right-hander was shocking the league with his effectiveness. He was pitching deep into games, he was shutting down teams left and right, he was winning hearts in Baltimore. After 18 starts in 2009, Bergesen was pitching to a 3.56 ERA and averaging 6 1/2 innings per start. On July 30th he pitched seven brilliant innings against the Royals. With two outs in the sixth, that brute Butler lined a ball back at Bergesen that ricocheted off of his shin. Catcher Matt Wieters grabbed the ball and threw Butler out at first to end the inning and Bergesen bravely made it to the dugout before collapsing. Butler's ball knocked Bergesen out for the rest of the season, and in fact ruined his career.
You can say that Bergesen was never a real prospect to begin with, and that his luck would have run out eventually. You can say that, while unfortunate, it's not like Butler meant to hit Bergesen. All I know his that before Butler hit Bergesen with the liner, Bergesen's ERA was 3.43. After, it was 5.09. Bergesen didn't play in the majors after 2012. The last I heard of him he had signed with the Chunichi Dragons in Japan.
Damn you, Billy Butler.
Since 2009, the Royals a head-to-head record against the Orioles that can only be described as total domination. Yes, in their last 46 games against each other, the Royals are 24-22 against our beloved Birds. The big, bad Royals have taken pleasure in beating the Orioles 53% of the time, including winning the season series in three of the last six years. Everyone is talking about the Royals being a Cinderella story and the ultimate underdogs, but the Orioles haven't seen that side of them at all.
Poor Treatment of Former Orioles
Earlier this year the Royals mercilessly released their loyal pitcher, former Oriole Bruce Chen. Since 2009, Chen gave the Royals his heart, his soul, and his best knock knock jokes. And how did they reward him? By giving him the boot! He is just a year removed from putting up a 3.27 ERA for the Royals, but they didn't care. They cut him loose simply because he was unable to retire any batters this year. Well I never!
And remember the loveable Jeremy Guthrie? He's still on the team, having logged >200 innings for the Royals in each of the last two seasons. But over on Royals Review, I saw some people hoping the don't use Guthrie in the postseason rotation. The nerve! Just because he has a 4+ ERA on the season? They totally discount all of his intangibles, such as his awesome Twitter presence and his crazy shoe collection.
OK, so there really aren't many things, baseball-wise, for which we can dislike the Royals. But there are plenty of reasons that Baltimore, MD is better than Kansas City, MO. Right?
The Wire vs. Mama's Family
If you look on Wikipedia (source of all facts) for shows set in Kansas City, the longest running show that took place there was Malcolm and Eddie, a show starring Malcolm Jamal Warner and Eddie Griffiths that ran from 1996-2000 on the now defunct UPN. But when I think of shows from Kansas City, I think of Mama's Family.
Technically Mama's Family took place in Raytown, but when I visited Kauffman Stadium a few years ago I noticed that Raytown is just down the road from Kansas City. So while the city of Baltimore is home to the greatest television show in history, The Wire, Kansas City's television claim to fame is...Mama. And I bet the Royals fans even prefer it! (They would!)
Mama, is you taking notes on a criminal ****ing conspiracy?
"Charm City" vs. "City of Fountains"
OK, so Charm City is a nickname for Baltimore that was just made up in the 70s by some advertising executives that were trying to make Baltimore sound less gross. And Kansas City's nickname of City of Fountains is based on the fact that they actually have at least 10,000 fountains in their city, including at Kauffman Stadium. When I visited Kansas City my friends and I took pictures with every fountain we could find, because we're awesome. But doesn't Charm City just SOUND better? City of Fountains? It doesn't roll of the tongue. Charm City may have been randomly made up, but it's taken on a life of its own as the nickname to our town. It's just better.
Presented without comment:
OK, so it would just be easier to get all worked up if the Orioles were playing the Yankees or the Red Sox or basically any team other than the Royals. I guess this series will have to just be all about loving the Orioles instead of about hating our enemies. But make no mistake, Kansas City: we will defeat you, no matter how nice you are or how delicious your barbecue tastes.