Cameron: Where I was wrong about the Royals

From Dave Cameron at FanGraphs on October 17, 2014:

Over the last few years, I’ve been pretty down on the Royals as a contender, most notably writing a pretty harsh review of their side of the James Shields trade. Then, before the season began, I stated that I didn’t see the Royals as legitimate contenders this year, even though they were becoming a trendy pick in the national media. And finally, on July 21st, I suggested that the Royals punt on 2014 and trade Shields before he gets to free agency, given that they had fallen into third place and were seven games behind the Tigers in the AL Central.

Since that last piece was published, the Royals have gone 49-24, including their current 8-0 postseason run that has let them to the World Series. A moribund franchise has been rejuvenated, and the Royals have achieved the exact result they were hoping for when they made the Shields trade in order to speed up their timeline. If the Royals had listened to me at any point along the way, they probably wouldn’t be in the World Series right now, so it’s time for some self-examination. What did I miss? Is there a lesson to be learned here?

 To be clear, I’m not suggesting that when the results of the postseason don’t align with expectations, that our expectations were clearly wrong to begin with. The playoffs — like most short tournaments between competitors of mostly equal stature — are mostly random, with the outcomes swinging wildly on things that simply couldn’t have been predicted in advance.


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Originally published: October 24, 2014. Last Updated: October 24, 2014.