Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (35)No, that wasn’t some crazy dream that you had last night; the Kansas City Royals are in the World Series. For the first time since 1985, Kansas City is heading back to the MLB championship after they completed a 4 game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles. The Royals wasted no time jumping out to an early advantage against Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez on Wednesday afternoon. Alcides Escobar lead off the home half of the first with a single, and Nori Aoki followed with a hit by pitch. Lorenzo Cain then laid down a sacrifice bunt, which pushed the runners into scoring position. Kansas City first baseman Eric Hosmer put the Royals out in front in with a little help from the Orioles defense. Hosmer dribbled a routine grounder to second base, but instead of taking the sure out at first base, Orioles second baseman Ryan Flaherty tried to cut down Escobar breaking for the plate. However, catcher Caleb Joseph couldn’t corral the throw, and both Aoki came around to score as well. Two runs wasn’t a ton of run support, but it turned out to be all Royals starter Jason Vargas would need to keep the Orioles at bay. The 31-year old right-hander pitched into the sixth inning, and allowed just one run on two hits and three walks, while punching out six Oriole batters. Like they have this entire postseason, the Royals bullpen held strong following the starter. Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland combined to toss three and two thirds innings of 2 hit, shutout baseball. After allowing a walk to lead off the 9th, Royals closer Greg Holland retired the next three batters in a row, and punch KC’s ticket for the fall classic. The Royals are no fluke this postseason, they still have yet to lose a game, after sweeping both the Angels and the Orioles.

  • In recent sports history, Kansas City hasn’t been known as a hot bed for sports in America, but the World Series bound Royals have begun to challenge that notion. After years of agony from the Royals to the Chiefs, the sudden emergence of the newly crowned American League Champions has put Kansas City on the sports map. (The World-Series bound Royals have transformed KC’s sports identity)
  • The Red Sox have begun whittling down their list of potential hitting coaches. According to a recent report, Boston’s list of 5 candidates includes both internal and external personnel. Of the familiar faces on the list are an ex-Red Sox third baseman and a former Boston backstop. (Red Sox have five hitting coach candidates)
  • While Pablo Sandoval donning a Red Sox jersey may be a welcomed sight around Boston, Giants fans can’t imagine their beloved third baseman in Boston’s home whites. Sandoval, 28, is set to hit the free agent market this winter, and already has a handful of suitors waiting for him. Of course Giant fans want to retain the one they adoringly refer to as “Kung-fu Panda”, but San Fran will need to make a significant commitment to appease Sandoval’s asking price. (Giants fans would hate to see Pablo Sandoval come to Red Sox)
  • While early speculation has linked the Red Sox to names like James Shields and Cole Hamels, the Red Sox pitching options only begin there. While the free agent market isn’t ripe with starting pitching talent — outside of Lester and Scherzer, of course — the trade front could provide a better market from Boston to pursue. Oakland Athletics right-hander Jeff Samardzija would could be one option the Red Sox explore. However, Boston must weight if the potential prospect cost will be worth what the 29-year old brings to the table. (Red Sox trade target: Jeff Samardzija)
  • The Red Sox outfield will be an interesting story line to follow this offseason. It isn’t a problem because of a lack of talent, it’s actually the opposite — too much talent, and no where to put it. Boston’s current roster features 6 capable major league outfielders, and even though he struggled the team doesn’t seem to be giving up on Jackie Bradley either. But Bradley can, and probably will be, stashed in the minors come opening day. In the meantime, Boston needs to decide which talent is worth keeping and who is worth cashing in on via offseason trade. (Red Sox offseason primer: Outfield)
  • Tweet of the day: Yes, yes they are.