World Series was fun while it lasted

Wow! Was that an exciting World Series or what? The Royals exceeded all expectations by being in the World Series in the first place and coming so close to winning it all.

You can say, ?So close and yet so far.? Or, ?Turn out the lights; the party?s over.? Or, ?What a bummer, er, Bumgarner.?

Yes, in a team sport, one player stood head and shoulders above the rest. But the fact is, if Bumgarner had pitched for the Royals instead of the Giants, the World Series probably would have ended in six games or fewer in the Royals? favor.

He was that good. He was nothing short of amazing.

The Royals were America?s team, according to a poll on ESPN.com. It seemed almost everyone wanted the Royals to win.

ESPN asked fans to vote on who they?d like to see win the World Series and it wasn?t even close. You know things are bad when not even your home state wants you to win. California love apparently does not extend to San Francisco.

People in all 50 states were rooting for the Royals. Of the 83,537 votes cast, 82 percent of the fans were pulling for Kansas City and only 18 percent for the Giants.

Even the 5,900 Californians voting favored KC by 61-39 percent.

How could the Boys in Blue lose when they were the people?s choice?

It was a rather bizarre World Series in some respects. Out of the seven games, only two were nail biters, and frankly, if the San Francisco outfield hadn?t botched what should have been a routine single by Alex Gordon in the ninth inning of Game 7, there wouldn?t have been much suspense.

As it was, with Salvador Perez swinging wildly at pitches out of the strike zone, there wasn?t much suspense after all.

All I know is, as good as the Royals bullpen performed, it?s a lot easier to be the manager when you have Bumgarner on your side. It?s probably not right to compare him to Cy Young, because that?s unfair to Bumgarner.

Before anointing him as the greatest pitcher of all time though, let?s wait another 10 years or so. But it clearly was one of the greatest World Series pitching performances of all time.

Baseball is a funny game. After every game, it seemed momentum had turned. After the Royals lost Game 1 at home, commentators pointed to statistics that clearly favored the Giants.

Then after the Royals won Game 2 and Game 3, commentators pointed to statistics that favored the Royals to win it all.

Even after the Giants won Game 4 and Game 5, commentators pointed to statistics that showed how many times the team returning home won Game 6 and Game 7.

But those statistics proved meaningless because the Giants had an ace?Bumgarner?up its sleeve.

In Game 6, the Royals scored seven runs in a wild second inning and saw 40 pitches from Giants pitchers. The Royals had eight hits in that inning alone.

Lo and behold, Bum?garner pitched five innings of relief in Game 7 after pitching a complete game just three days earlier. And he only gave up two hits while throwing about 60 or so pitches in that span of five innings. He was that good.

The Royals were on the wrong side of history. No team had lost a Game 7 at home since the 1979 Orioles, and no team had won Game 6 at home and then lost a Game 7 since the 1975 Red Sox.

Will the Royals be back and better than ever? Possibly, although even if they improve, it isn?t logical to assume they?ll be back in the World Series. Ask the Angels, Orioles, Tigers and A?s how hard it is.

As Jim Caple wrote: ?This autumn the amazing Royals have produced so many postseason moments that someone in Silicon Valley might have to develop a new technology to record it for future generations.?

Jayson Stark said Game 7 was an opportunity to change the lives of an entire generation of barbecue lovers.

In spite of the outcome, I?d say it?s still good to be Royal.

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