Streetside: Setting the record straight on the Royals’ postseason run

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Let it be noted in the history books that during the break before the top of the ninth inning in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series — in the friendly confines of the Hi Dive Lounge, when the New York Mets were up 2-0 on the Kansas City Royals, and there was so little hope or momentum in the air that many of the customers had begun requesting their bar tabs — I spoke unto the four other people sitting in the booth with me:

“All we really need is Cain to get on base somehow. Hosmer hits a double and boom, we’re back in it.”

And lo, those very events came to pass. And lo, on that Sunday evening, the Royals won the World Series, four games to one against the Mets.

Strike from the record my comment, made to the same booth of people before the game, that I did not think the Royals would win that night.

Note that a few minutes after I said it — still prior to the first pitch — I felt a sense of wrongness wash over me about that statement. To make up for it, I told the barman that I felt good about the Royals’ chances. Note also that the barman and I took a rally shot of Grand Marnier in the eighth inning, not long before the Royals’ comeback began.

Strike, also, that in the seventh inning, when somebody at the table said, “I don’t think this is our night,” I nodded in agreement.

Note that there was never any consideration given to not watching until the final pitch, even though things looked dire for the Royals.

Strike that I paid my tab in the eighth inning, anticipating a loss.

Note that when I paid it, I ordered one more High Life ($2.50 on Sundays!) to tide me over in the event that the Royals mounted a comeback.

Note that the first two playoff games I watched at Twin City Tavern — where there is a shrimp dinner basket that comes with breaded and boiled shrimp, corn on the cob, and two small boiled potatoes — were Royals victories. Note that I did not return to Twin City Tavern after watching the Royals lose there in Game 3. Note that the Royals subsequently won the next two games and the World Series.

Note that I may return for Twin City’s shrimp dinner at some point in the offseason.

Note that I never again wore the pair of blue polka-dot socks that I wore the day the Royals lost to the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the American League Division Series, even though those socks are perfect socks to wear for a Royals-related occasion, and I receive compliments about them almost every time I wear them.

Strike that at a Christmas get-together two years ago, when my cousin started in on how 2014 was going to be the Royals’ year, I laughed at him and said, “Doesn’t this ever get old for you? Why do you put yourself through this every year? What’s wrong with you?”

Note that technically, he was wrong. The Royals won only the American League pennant in 2014. Note the essential correctness of his beliefs, though.

Strike that most years between 2000 and 2014, I could name only a few Royals players at any given time. Strike that I turned away from baseball during this time, citing its boringness and the unequal payrolls among teams.

Note that I have been listening to sports-talk radio in my car for the last month. Strike that I have long considered sports-talk radio to be stupid. Note that I still kind of think it is stupid but no longer believe its stupidness is a reason not to tune in.

Note that a man known as “Wild Bill from Liberty” called in on Monday morning to express his belief that Royals batters were engaged in a long con Sunday night, intentionally taking it easy on Mets pitcher Matt Harvey throughout Game 5 in order to cruelly destroy his false hopes with a ninth-inning comeback.

Note that I jumped up out of the booth as though stung by a jellyfish when Hosmer raced for home on that grounder.

Note that seconds after the final out, the Hi Dive played Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen” over the speakers, and it was very loud, and I stood on top of a booth and danced. Strike the image of my actual dancing.

Note the joyous mob that assembled outside the bars on 39th Street, slapping high-fives to passengers in the honking cars that cruised by.

Note the larger joyous mob that assembled in the heart of Westport, and the fire truck parked between Kelly’s Westport Inn and McCoy’s Public House, on top of which were police officers who were both monitoring for bad behavior (there was virtually none) and participating in the revelry, at one point waving Royals flags. Note a hazy memory of the giant cutout head of Alex Gordon bobbing in the midst of the crowd.

Note that at Kelly’s, sometime around 1 a.m., I looked up at the TV, and Joe Lauria, the Fox 4 weatherman, was wearing a necktie on his head and a Royals 2015 Championship T-shirt over his formal clothes. Strike anything idiotic I said to any persons anytime after 1:30 a.m.

Note that a few days after winning, everything still feels wonderful. Go, Royals.

Categories: News, Streetside