Blue Jays vs Royals ALCS Bound to be Full of Drama
By Shaun Doyle
If you’re a Blue Jays fan, you’re likely just getting your regular heartbeat rhythm back. Game 5 of the ALDS was one of the most emotionally charged games in Toronto Blue Jays history. It had it all. The sheer atmosphere of elimination, do or die, season deciding baseball added enough drama for folks to tune in record numbers. Add to it the action on the field and you get what we witnessed: emotional mayhem.
Toronto Blue Jays
This series against the Kansas City Royals is set to be just dramatic. Firstly, there is the context of the series: it is the American League Championship series. It’s one step away from the World Series. It is the first taste of glory around these parts in 22 years. And, the Blue Jays are so close. Talk about exciting. But, the opponent for this series provides a whole other layer of drama that will undoubtedly make for edge of your seat excitement.
Let’s hop in our way back machine and look back to the series in Toronto where the Royals came in and were nearly swept. Perhaps the Royals were expecting to play the same team they’d taken 2 of 3 from back in July. Perhaps, they were expecting to roll over this Blue Jays squad. What they got was something much different. Instead, they got to see the first games with the new additions to the ball club. They met right at the end of July.
And, man, was it a good series. Game 2 featured Josh Donaldson driving in Troy Tulowitzki in the 11th inning to walk off the Royals and to hand Johnny Cueto a no decision in his first game in Royal blue in the process. At that point, we knew the Royals were one of the bets teams in baseball and the Blue Jays were trying to play catch up. It was exciting, entertaining baseball. In the very next game, the Blue Jays were winning on the backs of some key home runs by Donaldson and Jose Bautista. If it weren’t for some late inning struggles by Mark Lowe, they would have.
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But, they rebounded nicely in the final game of the series in what would turn out to be very dramatic, intense baseball. After Josh Donaldson was hit by a pitch from Edinson Volquez, both clubs were warned by the home plate umpire, Jim Wolf. The weird part is that theR oyals continued to throw inside and narrowly miss Blue Jays hitters. Donaldson in particular was vocal about the warnings and inside pitches. He had a point. After warnings are issued, pitchers should be tossed. But, the decision rests with the umpire’s judgement about intent. So, no one was tossed. That is until Aaron Sanchez hit Alcides Escobar. Sanchez was thrown out immediately, which prompted some bench clearing drama.
The drama didn’t end there, though. After the game, there were some comments made from both sides about each other. In a recap from the Associated Press (via SI.com) we hear that Volquez called Donaldson a “baby” and accused the slugger of “pimping everything he does”. That games starter for the Blue Jays, R.A. Dickey said: ”I think they’re used to pushing people around. So when they come onto the playground and there’s a kid that’s bigger than they are for a day, I think it probably (ticks) them off. And I can’t blame `em.” The Royals will kick off the best of seven ALCS series with Volquez.
As if a League Championship series weren’t enough to get the blood pumping, this matchup between the Royals and Blue Jays will provide fans with drama and excitement to spare. The adrenaline of playoff baseball is exciting. But, when you add the bad blood between these two teams, you get the makings of edge of your seat entertainment. While nothing in baseball is guaranteed, and it would be difficult to top the craziness of Game 5 of the ALDS, you can bet that this series will be one for the ages.
Next: Podcast Ep41: ALDS, The Bat Flip & Dominican Flair