Friday, April 6, 2012

It Couldn't Have Been a Dream 2012

"I'm going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come. I'm going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come. They got a crazy way of loving there and I'm gonna get me some."

It had been my IPhone alarm for the past month and a half. The Royals had just dropped to three games back with just a couple weeks left in the regular season and I was searching for something, anything, that could bring some good luck. It was then that the Boys in Blue caught fire.

I laid in bed for a moment. Half asleep, trying to comprehend what the past six months had brought. I still couldn't believe what the Royals had accomplished. The Royals entered 2012 as the youngest team in professional baseball. We all knew a bright future was ahead, but we failed to realize just how close it was on the horizon. If we had been paying proper attention we would have heard the call of "land hoe!" coming from the Crow's Nest.

Ahh The Crow's Nest! A group of fans that made themselves known throughout the season as Aaron Crow pitched spectacularly all summer long. Of course, the most memorable performance came in game 5 of the ALDS against the Texas Rangers, when Crow made an early entrance due to a liner off Luke Hochevar. Man was he dominate! I still remember the way my house shook when he struck out Josh Hamilton for his sixth K in a row.

What's incredible was that Aaron Crow's performance wasn't even the highlight of the night; that honor would have to go to Johnny Giavotella. I can still picture it in my head. Giavotella's swing, the bat flip, the ball soaring into the left field stands of the Ballpark in Arlington, the waving of the arms to signal to Royals nation that they were going to finish this.

A week and a half later, there were more heroics, but this time they came from a more expected source, a guy who should bring home the MVP in a couple of weeks. It took place where Eric Hosmer's first career homer came. Down two in the 9th with two on against the most dominate closer of a generation, Eric Hosmer connected. Blasting a go ahead home run off the facing of the Yankee Stadium third deck. It was reminiscent of several George Brett blasts in the late 70s.

I wish we could have celebrated the pennant at the K, but there was definitely a sweetness to watching Yankees fans cry. Besides, it didn't have to be a home win for Kansas City to celebrate. All throughout the late season run, Kansas Citians had taken to plastering the town with with blue and white streamers after big victories. After the three game sweep of Detroit to grab the division title, there was almost no where left to cover.

Talk about an amazing three games of baseball with each game more exciting than the last. Whether it was Danny Duffy's 12 strikeout performance, Alex Gordon's two home run night, or Alcides Escobar's game saving stop in the hole, I can't remember ever being so glued to a television.

I gazed around my room. The walls were adorned by some of the best newspaper headlines throughout the summer. I stopped a moment to remember Lorenzo Cain's cycle on May 20 at Houston, Salvador Perez's return in late June, and Jeff Francoeur's game ending outfield assist. I smiled when I remembered Mike Montgomery's first big league start. He only pitched five innings and was knocked around for four runs, but he quickly morphed into the pitcher we all knew he could be. Without Mike Montgomery this team never would have accomplished all that it did.

I laughed when I saw the image of Everett Teaford and Tim Collins standing in Jonathan Broxton's pants. The bullpen which was hyped up entering the season proved to be even more dominant than we imagined. This got me thinking about another moment when Mike Moustakas dedicated a night's performance to a young girl that had faced so much adversity in her life. I've never seen a man hit a ball farther than Moustakas did that night.

Once again the Royals were the toast of Kansas City. Believe me I was feeling it as I was rolling out of bed. Less than twenty-four hours ago the Midwest was preparing itself for game 7 against the Philadelphia Phillies. The K parking lot had been packed since the Royals won the night before. People refused to leave the stadium.

Man, did Mike Montgomery pitch a gem. The young star brought memories of another youthful ace dazzling in the October Classic. It is hard to imagine that just a year before some were beginning to write him off. After seven innings, no walks and 8 strikeouts later he exited the game. Greg Holland shut down the Phillies in the 8th and in the 9th, the Jonathan Broxton closed the door. The Royals had the 3-0 victory and the 2012 World Series was Kansas City's. It couldn't have been a dream. I just wish I could go back to April 6, and relive every second of 2012. It truly was OUR TIME.

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