The people who like to sit around and figure out the odds on this sort of thing will tell you the Kansas City Royals will not make the playoffs this year … and those people are probably right.
A lot of sports fans are born pessimists: Assuming your team is going to lose protects you from disappointment. And if your team wins it all, take heart. They probably won’t be able to repeat next season.
Some people delight in being the first to give up, the first to say I told you so. For a nominal fee, they’d probably be willing to come by your house and tell the kids Santa Claus doesn’t exist and their old dog Scruffy isn’t really chasing butterflies on a farm somewhere (you buried him out back under the compost heap).
But give them their due: The pessimists are usually right. If the odds are against you, most of the time you’ll lose.
Every once in a while, Joe Namath and the New York Jets beat the Baltimore Colts in the Super Bowl. Every once in a while, Muhammad Ali knocks out George Foreman. Every once in a while, a Miracle on Ice happens, and a bunch of college hockey players win an Olympic gold medal.
Every once in a while, an underdog beats the odds. But it won’t happen if the underdog gives up.
On May 28 of this season, the Royals were playing the White Sox and were down 7-1 going into the bottom of the ninth. Lots of people left early to beat the traffic … and missed one of the greatest comebacks in Royals history.
The Royals beat the odds, scored seven runs and won the game.
Ryan’s Lefebvre’s confession
Recently I was listening to the Royals pregame show on the radio when Royals announcer Ryan Lefebvre said he had a confession to make.
I was pretty sure he was about to admit he really likes my Hos haircut, but instead he confessed that somewhere along the way in 2013, 2014 and 2015, he had concluded that it just wasn’t going to be the Royals’ year. And each year, the Royals had outperformed his expectations.
Lefebvre said he wasn’t going to make the same mistake this year; he wouldn’t give up on this group of guys.
And I’m right there with him.
If the Royals make a spectacular comeback, it won’t be the first
In 2014, what were the odds that the Royals would win that Wild-Card Game against the Oakland Athletics?
What were the odds that they’d then go on a playoff run that got them to Game 7 of the World Series?
And what were the odds that the Royals would repeat as AL champs and then win the World Series?
The Royals have beaten the odds so many times, I wouldn’t put anything past them. After a miserable July that had most people writing them off, the Royals have gotten hot and are back in the race.
Will they make it back to the playoffs?
The odds say no, but remember: Some of the same people who are saying the Royals won’t make the playoffs thought the Royals would win 72 games last season. Considering the Royals’ recent track record, why give up on them before you have to?