New look Royals bring something new to the table

I recorded the final out of the 2014 American League Championship Series on my phone. The final out that sent the Kansas City Royals to the World Series. Damn it, that moment was so special to me! I’m telling you, when I watch that video, I get those same goosebumps that I had when Eric Hosmer leaped in the air after recording the final out. I can still hear the roars of the crowd.

And I love that video because in the background, you can overhear my old college roommate ask me a question.

“You’re seriously videotaping this?” He chuckled while asking the question and it was a chuckle of sarcasm. He was a St. Louis Cardinals fan so he’d witnessed plenty of pennants being won. They are good memories!

During that incantation of a run, the Kansas City Royals had become America’s new Cinderella team. I witnessed the Royals bandwagon go from 0 to 100 real quick. Six months later and all of sudden, the Royals went from Cinderella’s to “Bad Boys.”

“What you talking bout Willis?” I’m not talking about P. Diddy’s bad boys.

Like the 1989 and 1990 NBA Champion Detroit Pistons (The original “Bad Boys”), like the 1983-2006 Miami Hurricane football program (known for one of the most memorable on field brawls of all time and five national titles during that time period), like the 27-time World Series champion New York Yankees (nobody cares for the Yankees besides the people of New York)?

Not even!

We don’t belong in the same breathe with those teams when it comes to having the bad boy reputation. Those teams were notoriously hated in their primes and were known for being the bad boys on the block. Those teams not only won, but they won in style. Not the genuine sportsmanship style America likes to see from its winners, but the brash, bully, showoff, overt emotion, in your face type of style. Those teams would punch you in the mouth on and off the playground. We’re not afraid of consequences type of attitude. Those were the teams that with winning came scrutiny and controversy. They didn’t do things by the book, and quite frankly, America doesn’t like arrogant flashy winners.

Then we have the Royals. Who only 23 games into the season have been branded as bad boys. The Royals do take on a few of those bad boy traits. They’re young, scrappy, flashy, arrogant, and show overt emotion at times. On top of that they’re winning. This is America’s pastime. Meaning, we don’t see team’s like that in baseball, so it’s frowned upon to see these young guns flexing and having a good time while winning. As much as we love a winner, we hate them just as much. Especially, when they’re unproven and relatively new to the scene: like the Royals.

Let me quote the bad boy himself P.Diddy, “mo money, mo problems.” In the Royals case, mo winning, mo HBP (hit by pitches). This has been the most violent four week start to a season for any franchise in my recent memory. The Royals have been hit by a league leading 20 pitches and have been involved in three bench clearing altercations. If you ask me, it’s an act of courtesy. It’s the price you pay when you’re having success in the game of Major League Baseball. Trust me, the teams with sustained success in the majors have all experienced the same issues. The league has now welcomed the Royals into the world of contention. What better way of showing your respect to a ball club than hitting them with a few 90+ mph fastballs? Honestly, there may be no better way. You want to play with the big boys, well the big boys play by big boy rules.

But the Royals haven’t shied away from it. In a series versus the Los Angeles Angels (swept in 2014 ALDS), Oakland Athletics (beat in 2014 AL Wild Card game), and Chicago White Sox (Division Rival) both benches cleared. No punches were thrown in the LA Angels and Oakland A’s series, but violence did ring out against the White Sox. As a Royals fan, that’s what I love to see, regardless of who’s at fault. The Royals are backing down from nobody and are placing their stamps as the contenders who are here to stay. Remember, these are the defending AL Champions. Not the basement dwellers this generation has grown to watch — if they were watching at all.

Maybe the Royals are bad boys. Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer proved he was more focused on fighting us than cheering his team on in the ballgame. In game one of the series against the Cleveland Indians on April 27, 2015, Bauer, who didn’t pitch, decided to wear boxing gloves in the dugout during the game. Sounds like the Royals have placed some fear in the heart of this kid. For his dugout shenanigans, the Royals were the ones throwing the haymakers as the Royals knocked out the defending Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, for 10 hits and six runs, in a 6-2 victory. Bauer, tell me how that four hit performance from Moose tastes.

As a Royals fan, I’ve never seen this type of baseball from the Royals. I don’t know about you other Royal fans, but I’m going to relish in this new competitive baseball. This is what we’ve wanted for nearly three decades, right? Now that we have it, let’s support these guys through every step of the way because I’m under the impression that the other 29 MLB teams still don’t believe in Ned Yost and company.

Hey, bad boys win too. The only way to shut up guys like Brett Lawrie and Jeff Samardzija is by going out there and winning series. I love these Royals. “Royals With Attitude.” Straight outta Kauffman!