Opinion

Who has been the Royals’ biggest antagonist this season?

Kansas City Royals fans yelled at Oakland Athletics' Brett Lawrie as he left the field after being forced out at second by shortstop Alcides Escobar, who ended up leaving the game with an injury in the seventh inning during a game in April.
Kansas City Royals fans yelled at Oakland Athletics' Brett Lawrie as he left the field after being forced out at second by shortstop Alcides Escobar, who ended up leaving the game with an injury in the seventh inning during a game in April. The Kansas City Star

The Royals may have a huge lead in the American League Central, but it hasn’t been all good times this season.

Opposing players have expressed their displeasure with the Royals (and their fans in one instance) since April, and in return those guys have seen drawn wrath from the Kansas City faithful. But who has been the Royals’ biggest antagonist this season?

Here are four suggestions, with a little background on each. Vote in our poll below.

▪ Oakland third baseman Brett Lawrie objected to pitches being thrown in his direction and was upset with Royals fans. Days after a weekend series in Oakland in which he slid hard into Alcides Escobar, Lawrie was still angry: “Shame on their fans for antagonizing everything that went on there, because that had a lot to do with it. Shame on the players and their team that went with it.”

▪ White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija wasn’t pitching in a Thursday game in April against the Royals in Chicago, but he got into it with Lorenzo Cain on the field as the teams brawled. “For me, I’m not a big fan of him,” Cain said at the time. “I don’t know what the deal is.” Christian Colon said Samardzija also yelled at him.

▪ White Sox pitcher Chris Sale was the starting pitcher that night at U.S. Cellular Field. He was ejected for his role in the brawl that evening. But Sale didn’t go quietly into that good night. He approached the Royals clubhouse after the game and was dissuaded from pursuing a confrontation by Royals right fielder Alex Rios, who was a former teammate.

▪ Toronto third baseman Josh Donaldson hit the Royals hard in the first three games of a four-game series in Toronto last weekend. The Royals didn’t want Donaldson getting too close to the plate Sunday and pitched him inside. Donaldson was hit and a couple other pitches came close. He ripped Edinson Volquez afterward and a war of words ensued.

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