Baseball rivalries are fickle things. There are some natural geographic rivalries such as the Red Sox-Yankees (Boston and New York), Giants-Dodgers (Bay Area and Los Angeles), and Cardinals-Cubs (St. Louis and Chicago). That being said, the Royals don’t have that natural rival in that mold due to their relatively newness to the league (those other rivalries stemmed from the early days of Major League Baseball), and lack of geographic rivalry within the American League (hard to say St. Louis is a true rival when they only play them during Interleague play).
For the most baseball teams in the league, rivalries tend to be cyclical, usually corresponding with a team’s most competitive period and who they are/were competing with for a playoff spot or World Series championship. In the 1980’s, the Yankees and Royals had a fierce rivalry as they were both competing for an AL Pennant. Furthermore, the rivalry had some great moments, with George Brett’s “pine tar” incident being the most noteworthy:
During the Royals run of competitiveness from 2013-2016, the Blue Jays and the Royals had an intense, though short-lived rivalry, as Jose Bautista became Public Enemy No. 1 in the states of Missouri and Kansas during that time period of Royals success. However, now that both the Royals and Blue Jays are going through rebuilding campaigns, both teams hate each other as much as Kawhi Leonard shows emotion for the Raptors (i.e. not much).
That being said, this upcoming series against the White Sox should be an interesting one. In an incredibly weak AL Central, it’s possible that the Royals and White Sox could be battling to avoid the cellar in the division by season’s end. And, to further add fuel to the fire, they also could add another chapter in to what has “low key” been a sneaky fiery rivalry that has been brewing over the past half-decade or so.
Here’s 10 reasons why the Royals (should) have a rivalry with the South Side baseball club.
1. The Royals and White Sox have promising talent at similar positions and situations: Tim Anderson is the White Sox’s shortstop of the future; that honors belongs to Adalberto Mondesi for the Royals. The White Sox have a Cuban big-name signee with power who strikes out a lot in Yoan Moncada ; the Royals have someone that fits that profile in Jorge Soler.
2. The White Sox are the black sheep team in Chicago (let’s face it; it’s Cubs country right now). The Royals are the black sheep team, (and I hate it) in Missouri (the Cardinals get all the attention).
3. Tim Anderson and Brad Keller…enough said
4. Kansas City has “KC BBQ”. The Chicago South Side has “Rib Tips and Hot Links”, which while good, has nothing on KC BBQ. White Sox fans will proceed to argue about this point.
5. Both teams have a rough history of prospects not living up to the hype recently, which explains their current competitive states (or lack thereof). Does Bubba Starling, Jared Mitchell, Christian Colon, or Trayce Thompson ring any bells?
6. Guaranteed Rate Field is in a rough area of Chicago with not many attractions around (especially compared to their northern neighbors). Kauffman Stadium is in a “sort of” rough area of Kansas City (i.e. near Independence) with not many attractions around (especially compared to the “other” club in Missouri).
7. Yordano Ventura used to have mad beef with the White Sox, as they got in a pretty good brawl in 2015. What better way to honor his legacy then by continuing this dislike of the White Sox?
8. There’s an obnoxiousness about White Sox fans. They will come out when you least expect it, barely know anyone on the roster, don’t pay attention for the most part (too busy enjoying that Chicago life!), but when they win, they will make sure to let you know it, even if it’s only 1 of their 68 wins for the year (on the flip side, I’m sure South Siders will say the same thing about Royals fans post-2015).
9. This piece of crap and his son back at “Whatever the hell it was called” Stadium in Chicago during the George W. Bush administration (and we thought we had it bad then)…who were probably on meth.
10. And White Sox fans have classy fanatics like this… this is from Twitter of course, but they exist nonetheless…
Yep…10 reasons why the White Sox f’n suck. Maybe the Royals won’t win the division, but if they finish higher than them, this season should be seen as a success.