The offered odds were a quintillion-to-one.
No one thought it would ever pay off, of course; it was one of the safest bets known to mankind, nearly as ludicrous a wager as putting money down on the Cubbies to (ever) win the World Series again – just doesn’t happen. 1
But the Royals have stuck around for the postseason two years running now, turning 21-year-old high school drop-out (and all-round slacker) Roy Winston of Butte, Montana, into the surprised but proud owner of not only Caesar’s Palace, but the entire Caesar’s Corporation. 2 At late last night’s impromptu news conference (strategically held out back by the trash bins next to the casino’s loading docks) Mr. Winston’s burly representative noted the young man had decided to “leave the day-to-day operations of the casino to the current management” so that he might become a permanent student at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop.
Or, you know, else.
This is not something Kansas City is used to – winning. Though it appears we’re rapidly catching on; the town is so blue you’d think it existed inside a Dr. Seuss book.
And all this after decades of losses so disheartening Major League Baseball seriously considered making steroid use mandatory, so as to give small market teams at least a fighting chance. 4
And this despite a pitching acquisition that at first appeared so stupidly abysmal one was tempted to demand a look at the instant replay: “Really? Cueto is a pitcher? ’cause I’m not seeing it…”
Finally all this after a rat bastard September that saw the Royals go ought-for-damned-near-every-game; MLB was this close to simply not airing Royals’ games Hell, they were just going to lose like they always had in the bad ol’ days. 5
Instead it’s October and in addition to our usual seasonal habits –over-seeding the lawn,
shearing pruning back the damned neighbor’s encroaching garden, cleaning and replacing the screens with storm windows– we’ve added a new wrinkle: digging out our mid-80s era white-with-blue-piping jersey, asking the wife where our rally cap is, buying a 12 pound container of popcorn 6 and making sure the Astas understand that the genuine imitation Naugahyde Barcalounger is off-limits for the duration.
- I’ll laugh my ass off if the Cubs pull a “Royals” and make it to the World Series. And if they end up beating the Royals in said series? Well…that’d be some sick karma, right there. ↩
- Roy had the ticket framed and glass-encased then hung above his bed. Meanwhile poor Jay Sarno is undoubtedly having another coronary in his grave. ↩
- You just know we’re going to be treated to whom The Donald thinks will win the Series. Reflexive
assholecontrarian that he is, I expect he’ll pick the Yankees. ↩
- This would also have had the added benefit of finally putting to rest, once and for all, baseball’s existential question: “Who’s using ‘roids?” Everyone, that’s who. ↩
- The plan was to air old episodes of The Rockford Files instead. Now Vegas has the Royals at 5/1 to win it all, slightly behind the Blue Jays at 3/1. ↩
- A real thing: COSTCO, baaa-by! ↩
- If these sons of bitches break my heart again I swear I’m moving the whole damned household up to British Columbia, Vancouver Island to be exact. The northern tip, past Butchart Gardens, where there’s hardly anything but the sea, certainly no gawddamned baseball. ↩
- Seriously, I’m afraid the Boys in Blue won’t make it out of their first series. And will look thoroughly average at that. Gawddamned baseball. ↩