Finally Royal

New parade
An estimated 800,000 fans gathered Tuesday for the World Series Championship Parade at Union Station. (Photo by: Dave Eulitt, The Kansas City Star)

It took thirty years but the Kansas City Royals are finally World Series Champions again. Ever since they fell 90 feet short last fall against the San Francisco Giants, the team has been on a mission. In numerous interviews throughout the season, the team made it clear that their overarching goal for the season wasn’t to win the American League Central or win their second AL pennant in a row, both of which they did, but win as they put it “the trophy with the little flags on top.”

The Royals kept Kansas City on the edge of their seats all season long. From the antics of their young starting pitcher in the season opener to the final furious 2 run rally in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the World Series; this Royals team has captured the spirit of the city in a fresh and new way.

Never was that more evident than on championship parade day. On Tuesday the Royals championship parade went through downtown KC past landmarks like the Sprint Center, Power & Light and the National World War 1 Museum.

The parade finished in front of Union Station before a crowd estimated at upwards of 800,000 people where the Royals expressed their joy at winning the World Series and thanked the fans for their continued support.

For a team whose performances over the past two decades barely rose above tolerable for many fans to have a crowd that nearly doubled the population of their city is quite the feat. The Royals proved they could unite fans last season when their miracle run to the World Series was kick started by, for lack of a better word, wild Wild Card game.

They continued uniting fans all season long through their unmatched performances and the city’s craving for a winning team. All the heartache of the past decades of sports futility in Kansas City came out in a maniacal surge in fan support for the Royals who provided hope to fans who had had none in so many years.

All expressions of anger, frustration and apathy surrounding the Royals has been demolished in fourteen short months. Diehards and Johnny (Cueto)-come-latelys alike came out in force Tuesday to support not only Royals baseball, but Kansas City as a whole.

It took a while — but Kansas City is finally Royal.



Read More

World Series Preview – Game 1

Kendrys Morales celebrates with the KC fans after a Home Run.
Kendrys Morales celebrates with the KC fans after a Home Run.


Who would’ve thought? Back to back appearances to the World Series for the Kansas City Royals. The team that was only supposed to do a little bit of damage this year comes out and shows the world who is ready to fight. The Kansas City Royals finished the regular season with an AL best 95-67 record. Heading into the playoffs, there was a bit of nervousness for me and for fans. Let’s see how our team from KC got to the 2015 WS.


The Royals jousted with the Houston Astros and were put to the brink of elimination only to see a story book finish at what seemed to be the end in Game 4, scoring seven runs in the eighth and ninth innings. Then, to come back to Kauffman and take the series in Game 5 behind the ace, Johnny Cueto. The Royals would win the best of 5 series, 3-2.

Next, KC faced the highly talented Toronto Blue Jays. The team that had bats all throughout the lineup. The Royals defended home field and took games one and two at the K. In Toronto, with the new slow turf at the Rogers Centre, halted the Royals and were steamrolled by the Jays in Game 3. The Royals, then took care of business in Game 4, but then gave back up ground back to Jose Bautista’s Blue Jays in Game 5 with the 1-7 loss. Back in KC, with the crowd behind them, Ventura on the mound, the Royals came out strong. Ben Zobrist led the team with the first homerun of the day. Then, Mike Moustakas chimed in and hit the top of the fence in right field for a controversial homerun, 2-0 Royals. Then, Jose Bautista knocks a solo homerun in the top of the 4th on a 3-1 count. The Royals end up being up 3-1 in the top of the 8th but guess whose back up. Jose Bautista again, this time off Ryan Madson, the relief pitcher, who was put in instead of Wade Davis at that point. Then, Hosmer would get a base hit up the right field line to bat in Lorenzo Cain, all the way from first base. The Royals would then put in Wade Davis and you know what happens to other teams when he comes in. They are doomed. Wade Davis shut down Josh Donaldson on a ground call to Moose to lead the Royals to back-to-back World Series appearances. That is how the Royals got here.


The newcomer’s vs experience is the talk right now. For the New York Mets, they have Matt Harvey as their main man on the mound against the bats of the Royals. The Royals are hitting .271 this postseason, led by the bat of Alcides Escobar, the 6’1’’ shortstop is hitting .386. The Mets have steamrolled through the playoffs, beating the Dodgers in five games, then next to the Chicago Cubs. They swept the Cubs, 4-0 and have had plenty of days to rest. You can argue whether this is good or bad to have a good amount of rest. We don’t have to worry about the DH being out yet until games 3 and 4, which will be a huge blow to the Royals (yes fans it will be). Game one will be a good test. Will Murphy’s Mets come out swinging the bats against a thriving Edinson Volquez or will the Royals show how experience will take them through this series? The advantage by positions goes to the Royals in my opinion. You have a mix of hunger and redemption. Just like my hometown San Antonio Spurs lost the NBA Finals in 2013 to LeBron James and the Miami Heat, they came back and won the following year. The Royals are hungry. Look for Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer to lead the team and for players like Moose, Zobrist, Gordon and ALCS MVP Alcides Escobar to be the behind the scenes work horses in this series. I have the Royals, 4-2. Hopefully the Royals can Take The Crown.

Read More

Hip Hop and Hoops Draft/Free Agency Recap

The season has been over for a couple of weeks, but the die-hards know that there is still plenty to follow in the NBA. Hip Hop and Hoop’s Eric Nehm and Jordan Swoyer exchanged some emails to discuss the draft, and the madness of free agency.
Jordan (June 29th): I’m learning not to buy into the hype heading into the draft, trade deadline, or free agency window. We go in wanting crazy things to happen (trades, blockbusterhaveitall acquisitions, etc.), but they usually don’t. Take this year’s draft: the consensus #1 was drafted first, the Sixers drafted another big man, Knicks fans booed, the Heat got lucky, and no blockbuster trades went through. Disappointing.
I’m still excited to see how some of these rookies will fit in the league next year: Does Winslow make the Heat a contender in the east? Will Emmanuel Mudiay force Ty Lawson out of Denver? Will Lebron or Anthony Davis be the runner up to MVP Mario Hezonja?
Am I wrong to be underwhelmed? Will free agency be more exciting?
Eric (June 30th):  I don’t think you were wrong to be underwhelmed.  We were expecting insanity on draft night and the first trade we saw was the Bucks moving a 2017 late first round pick and a second rounder to the Raptors for Grevis Vasquez.  Not exactly a typical #WojBomb.

I think the biggest disappointment was everyone being much smarter than we thought they’d be on draft night.  The Kings didn’t trade Boogie Cousins for hot garbage, the Knicks probably picked the right guy at 4 with Porzingis, and no one took the Celtics up on their sampler platter of mediocre draft picks.
With that being said, I’m looking forward to League Passing a number of this year’s rookies.  Willie Cauley-Stein hanging out with Boogie Cousins will be an experience.  Devin Booker and Sam Dekker chucking from deep in three-happy offenses in Phoenix and Houston should be fun as well.
Now, I really want to say things are going to get crazy in free agency.  I really do, but I’m worried about getting my hopes up like I did for the draft.Important to note this offseason is the escalating cap.  This summer’s cap will be around $67 million.  Next year, it jumps to $90 million.  And the year after, it will go all the way up $108 MILLION.  So, in each of the next two years, pretty much everyone will have cap space.  On the other hand, a smaller number of teams will have max cap space this summer.
Will the smaller market teams with money – Detroit, Milwaukee, Orlando, Phoenix, Utah – swing for the fences this summer?  Will they actually be able to sign someone?
Will the Knicks and Lakers be able to lure anybody to their teams with their globs of money and tantalizing markets?


Read More