Elimination Day

Labor Day. Many people recognize this as the end of summer. The Boys Of Summer in Kansas City may very well feel the same. With a loss today and a Tigers win, the Royals will find themselves mathematically eliminated from winning the American League Central division, putting an official end to a race they have not been a part of for months.

Ned Yost

The strike shortened season of 1994 would see the Royals finish the closest to first place that they ever have since the installation of six divisions in baseball. They would be eliminated from competition on August 7th due to the strike, but they were only four games back when the season came to a close on August 10.

Despite a losing season in 1995, the Royals would finish second in the American League Central. That may be just a bit deceiving however as the team finished 30 games behind the Cleveland Indians and would find themselves mathematically eliminated on September 8th. It would not be the smallest margin they would trail by, but it would be the highest finish they would enjoy since then.

Looking back across the dates, the research shows that the Royals have faded over the last 17 years fairly early. Below you will see the date that the boys in blue found themselves aware that it would be impossible for them to find post-season baseball.

Year Division Winner Record Place Final Games Back Date Eliminated
1994 Chicago White Sox 64-51 3rd 4 August 7
1995 Cleveland Indians 70-74 2nd 30 September 8
1996 Cleveland Indians 75-86 5th 24 September 7
1997 Cleveland Indians 67-94 5th 19 September 12
1998 Cleveland Indians 72-89 3rd 16.5 September 14
1999 Cleveland Indians 64-97 4th 32.5 August 31
2000 Chicago White Sox 77-85 4th 18 September 11
2001 Cleveland Indians 65-97 5th 26 September 5
2002 Minnesota Twins 62-100 4th 32.5 September 2
2003 Minnesota Twins 83-79 3rd 7 September 23
2004 Minnesota Twins 58-104 5th 34 September 4
2005 Chicago White Sox 56-106 5th 43 August 26
2006 Minnesota Twins 62-100 5th 34 August 22
2007 Cleveland Indians 69-93 5th 27 September 9
2008 Chicago White Sox 75-87 4th 13.5 September 10
2009 Minnesota Twins 65-97 4th 21.5 September 13
2010 Minnesota Twins 67-95 5th 27 September 7

Only one time in the last 17 seasons have the Royals found themselves in the hunt past the second week of September. With the young guns on the horizon, that may finally change. Maybe then the Kansas City area can find more to celebrate than the beginning of football season.

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