This past weekend, the Royals clinched their season-long series against the White Sox 11-7. It was the first time since 2000 that the Royals completed this feat, but don’t expect it to be another 11 years before it happens again.
After the game on Sunday, Ozzie Guillen said “They’re (the Royals) going to be awesome. They’re not too far away.” And on Monday night, it was announced that Guillen was leaving the White Sox to coach the Miami Marlins in 2012.
There, White Sox fans. Now do you believe it? Your (former) manager just gave a bigger compliment to a division rival than he gave to your team all year long. Something’s got to be going right in Kansas City now, doesn’t it?
Over the weekend, I got to catch up with some friends who I haven’t seen in a while and (of course) talk about baseball. Most of them are fans of teams in the Midwest like the White Sox, Cubs, and Twins. Naturally, a few of them are fans of the Red Sox or Yankees. For the most part, they all see the Royals’ record and say, “Those are the Royals we’ve all come to know.” The Royals have been getting national hype from guys like Peter Gammons and Steven Berthiaume lately, but not many people are noticing besides fans in Kansas City. This is completely understandable, because I don’t follow any other team as closely as I do the Royals. I couldn’t tell you much about White Sox center fielder Alejandro De Aza or half of the Twins’ roster that they trot out on a nightly basis. What I do know is that the majority of the MLB is taking notice of the Royals. Especially everyone in the AL Central.
In his postgame press conference last night, Guillen went on to compliment the Royals. “I talked to Manny Acta and any manager in our division,’’ he said. “The first thing they talk about is how good [the Royals] are and how hard they hit the ball. You talk about the future, I think these are maybe the guys with the best future in our division,” he added. “You look at Detroit, they’ve got the big boys, but in the future, I think Kansas City is way in front of a lot of teams.”
For how much Ozzie hated losing to the Royals this year, I take these statements as a huge endorsement. Thanks, Ozzie. Looks like you picked the right time to get out of the AL Central.