For many of us watching the Wild Card game on Tuesday, there seemed no possible way that either the Royals or the Athletics would win.  Both teams seemed content giving the game away. The Royals were constantly battling back and using archaic baseball tactics to do so. Somehow, it kept working. The Athletics kept using big boy tactics to climb ahead, only to then let the Royals run ragged around the bases and counter. The Royals pitching was anything but “big game” and I think that everyone but Ned Yost could have better managed the situations that arose: bunting galore, nonsense pitching changes and pinch-hitting that may have been decided by throwing darts at the lineup card.

The Royals staff writers were sure that the Royals were going to lose. They were true believers. They believed so much in fact, that they post the following article on mlb.com and the At Bat App BEFORE THE GAME WAS FINISHED.

Royals Lose

Now to a certain extent, I totally understand what Dick Kaegel (take a moment here) was feeling at 10 PM when he posted the article. Do you see that title? Royals feeling blue? The title is too good to NOT post it. (Dick would post his almost as good “Fit for a King” article at 3 AM). The article is solid, starting with a reference to the 28 “dry” years of baseball in Kansas City without a playoff game. Since the Royals were just nine outs away from one-run playoff win, it seemed liked a good time to post it as final. The Royals scoring a run in three innings off of the unbeatable Athletics bullpen? What were they going to do, bunt and steal their way to victory? Dick and I both chuckle and swig a beer, making that whole “dry” thing even more contradictory than you may have thought at first.

The article goes on to talk about one of the many unexplained moves of the night, where he brought Yordano Ventura into the game. Because you, know. Your bullpen might be one of the top ten bullpens in the game (it’s actually tenth, despite the fact that most in the media would make you feel like it is one of the top ten bullpens of all time) but you should probably bring your young starter who has never had a relief appearance into the game. That turned out to be a great idea.

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I appreciate Dick’s use of quotation marks around “big game” because I think he actually might be mocking both starters. Or maybe he’s just quoting everyone else who actually thought that Shields would somehow become a better postseason pitcher now because… why? His 5.26 postseason ERA? That was before Tuesday, by the way.

Then Yost pulled Ventura for Kelvin Herra. Dick mentions that “the manager got a chorus of boos from the crowd as he left the field” which makes me wonder how Dick knew who was booing who. Don’t get me wrong, I think a lot of people were booing Yost (and they should) but what about Ventura?

Regardless, the game seemed to be over and so Dick wrapped things up and posted this gem. To leave guys like me, mouths agape, to read it while the Royals made people feel… not so blue. The game had ended in wild fashion with the a pitch out being botched by the catcher dropping the ball. Literally. There were lots of balls being dropped on Tuesday. Clearly.

I will acknowledge that I get why this article was written. I shouldn’t be ripping on Dick or the Royals so hard. Sports writers must have both outcomes ready to post depending on what happens in the same way that shirts and hats must be printed for both teams in hopes that they will soon wear them with pride. The Royals were losing and thus this was the article that was being worked on. Even the staff writers were true believers in the Royals. They knew that they were cheering for losers.

But how did it get posted? And why? Was it an accident or did someone actually think that the game was in the bag and they should put it up to start the flow of web traffic? Regardless, it was poor management. The poor management mirrored the game perfectly, and for just a second, the universe seemed to have been in order. It seemed as though the article made things right and for those precious few moments, the A’s earned the right to take on the Angels in what probably would have been a much better matchup than the sad bit of baseball that we are about to see. Alas. It was not so. This article was taken down and tossed in the pile of trash, along with the many Athletics shirts and hats that celebrated their AL Wild Card Game appearance. Thanks for the quick peek at a parallel universe, Dick. It sure looks grand from here.