The 2014 World Series may not get the highest ratings, but it will be the most eventful. Sure, there are no Yankees, Red Sox, or Dodgers, but there are the Cinderella story Royals and dynasty-craved Giants.
Not only is Ned Yost undefeated in his first playoff appearance with a Royals team that hadn’t been here since 1985, but on the other side Bruce Bochy looks to cement himself in the Hall of Fame by becoming the 10th head coach to win three World Series.
As Joe Buck alluded to on the Fox Sports 2014 World Series conference call:
“The way they [the Royals and the Giants] win games is just a relentless attack with great bullpens. They play the game very similarly. They have good defense and outstanding versatility in their bullpens. While they don’t overwhelm you with offensive numbers – there are no huge slugging statistics – but just ask the Cardinals and the Orioles, they find a way.”
Both teams found a way in their own right. The Royals did it in large part to leading the postseason in home runs, a category they finished last in during the regular season while being backed by one of the best bullpens in baseball. The Giants did it with small ball and unmatchable defense, until postseason standout Joe Panik and Travis Ishikawa both managed to go yard and eliminate the Cardinals.
Each team has had a destiny feel to their runs and that will make for great television. Even for someone who doesn’t watch baseball, how could a sports fanatic not be interested in who comes out in a series poised to be drama-filled for seven games?
Maybe the Giants have a recent history of dominating, but please, watch this World Series for the sake of the Royals and their fan base who have all but forced Kauffman Stadium to collapse.
Harold Reynolds said it best, “To me, there is nothing more exciting than a team to win a world series for the first time in a generation. For a whole lot of fans, it is their first time. It’s seen through the television set, you don’t have to be there to experience it.”
This could go down as one of the most memorable World Series of all-time, small markets and all. It will also go down as Bud Selig’s final World Series as Commissioner of MLB.
“The fact that we have Kansas City in the World Series is another testament to what he’s [Selig] done to grow the game. He always used the phrase ‘hope and faith’ – that every market at least has a shot of being in the World Series,” said Tom Verducci.
Selig wanted the one-game playoff, and he gets to go out handing the Commissioner Trophy to one of his wildcard winners. Which in it’s own right, behind these two particular teams, will make this World Series more watchable than many have thought.