Wild postseason produces magical World Series

Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:29pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - One of Major League Baseball's wildest postseasons heads into its final chapter as the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants tangle in an unlikely World Series matchup.

The American League champion Royals return to the World Series for the first time in 29 years when they host the National League pennant-winning Giants to open the best-of-seven Major League Baseball championship on Tuesday.

Both teams bucked the odds to book their spots in the Fall Classic by battling their way to tense, tight wins by whatever means necessary -- using bunts, stolen bases, sensational defense, clutch hitting and sterling relief.

Kansas City, starved of postseason baseball since the George Brett-led Royals won the 1985 World Series, spun a Cinderella story, becoming the first team to win four extra inning games in a postseason in making a best-ever 8-0 start to the playoffs.

Royals manager Ned Yost said America had "fallen in love" with his underdog club, the first team since the 1959 White Sox to reach the postseason after finishing last in the American League in home runs.

"They love our athleticism," Yost said about his band of no-name contributers. "They love our energy. They love the way these guys play hard and enjoy each other. And they love the way that they stand up and get clutch hits and make fantastic plays.

"I think they just love the way we play the game."


Kansas City Royals players celebrate on the field after game four of the 2014 ALCS playoff baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Kauffman Stadium.   REUTERS/Peter G. Aiken via USA TODAY Sports