Lutz Blog

Bob Lutz: Royals need to make the playoffs

Members of the Kansas City Royals coaching staff, including first base coach Rusty Kuntz, second from left, hitting coach Dave Sveum, third from left, and pitching coach Dave Eiland, right, take personal photos during a pregame ceremony honoring Yankees captain Derek Jeter, who is retiring at the end of the season, on Derek Jeter Day at Yankee Stadium in New York on Sunday. Jeter has played it well over 100 postseason games during his career; the Royals are trying to get to their first postseason since 1985.
Members of the Kansas City Royals coaching staff, including first base coach Rusty Kuntz, second from left, hitting coach Dave Sveum, third from left, and pitching coach Dave Eiland, right, take personal photos during a pregame ceremony honoring Yankees captain Derek Jeter, who is retiring at the end of the season, on Derek Jeter Day at Yankee Stadium in New York on Sunday. Jeter has played it well over 100 postseason games during his career; the Royals are trying to get to their first postseason since 1985. AP

The Kansas City Royals ran into a speed bump Monday night in Detroit. But the Royals are still in first place in the American League Central – by a game. They still have a 72.9 percent chance of reaching the playoffs for the first time since 1985, according to ESPN. Detroit, by the way, has only a 57 percent chance. And the Seattle Mariners, currently neck and neck with the Tigers in the wild-card chase, have a 67.2 percent chance.

I wonder what Royals fans believe the team’s chances of making the playoffs are? I just asked one, our sports editor Kirk Seminoff. He thought about it for a moment, then went into full-pessimist mode.

“Forty percent,” he said.

You can’t blame Royals fans for their cynicism or lack of confidence. Twenty-nine years is a long time without a postseason appearance. Consider that all 29 other MLB franchises have played in at least five playoff games since then.

Even a non-Royals fan like myself is pulling for this franchise to get this King Kong off its back. Whether the Royals can hold on over these final two-plus weeks is one of the most fascinating stories in sports. Much more fascinating that anything you’ll find in the NFL. But I’m a baseball guy.

So good luck, Kansas City. You might need it, considering the unfamiliar territory you’re navigating.

MLB teams’ postseason games since 1986

New York Yankees – 166

St. Louis Cardinals – 136

Atlanta Braves – 134

Boston Red Sox – 105

San Francisco Giants – 75

Oakland Athletics – 69

Cleveland Indians – 69

Philadelphia Phillies – 58

New York Mets – 54

Detroit Tigers –53

Minnesota Twins – 51

Los Angeles Dodgers – 51

Los Angeles Angels – 48

Houston Astros – 46

Texas Rangers – 44

Arizona Diamondbacks – 36

Toronto Blue Jays – 34

Seattle Mariners – 34

Florida/Miami Marlins – 33

Tampa Bay Rays – 30

Cincinnati Reds – 27

Chicago Cubs – 26

Pittsburgh Pirates – 26

Baltimore Orioles – 25

Chicago White Sox – 25

San Diego Padres – 24

Colorado Rockies – 19

Milwaukee Brewers – 15

Washington Nationals – 5

  Comments