The moment Alex Gordon knew the Kansas City Royals were serious about winning can be traced to a cold December day when his wife heard they had traded for James Shields.
The franchise had long suffered through a forgettable cast of starting pitchers, from Jay Witasick to Darrell May to Runelvys Hernandez. Hot prospects flamed out. Free agents fizzled. And every year, the Royals languished near the American League Central cellar.
But things changed in December 2012.
Many of Bruce Bochy's little moves — not to mention those he hasn't made — have carried the Giants this far. They're back in the World Series for the third time in five years.
What was going on in Columbia the last time the Kansas City Royals were in the World Series? Madonna topped the music charts, the Columbia Mall had just opened and the Mizzou football season ended 1-10 under "Woody" Widenhofer.
Reigning NL Championship Series MVP Madison Bumgarner, former World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval and Giants manager Bruce Bochy are aiming for their third ring in five seasons.
The seven-man crew includes a rare four newcomers, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press this week. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Major League Baseball hadn't made an announcement yet.
To most baseball fans, Yost is the unorthodox manager of the AL champion Royals. He's the sometimes-surly, often-stubborn and frequently intimidating man whose watchful eyes take in every game behind a pair of dark, mirrored sunglasses. He's the man whose debatable decision-making has proven to be faultless during Kansas City's perfect postseason run.
The Rams drafted Robinson, who was a tackle in college, over three other linemen who are starting -- Jake Matthews at Atlanta, Taylor Lewan at Tennessee, and Zack Martin at Dallas. Robinson saw action in just a few plays on the offensive line in the Rams' first four games. He also did some special teams work.
An injury to Yadier Molina, shaky starting pitching by Adam Wainwright, John Lackey and Shelby Miller, a lack of clutch hitting in the middle of the batting order and defensive gaffes led to a five-game loss to San Francisco in the NL Championship Series.
Michael Wacha finally got to pitch in this year's playoffs. Pretty soon, he was gone — and so were the St. Louis Cardinals.
A recently stingy Chiefs defense will face its biggest challenge of the year against the rejuvenated San Diego Chargers' offense.
Nearly three decades after the Royals won their only World Series, they're headed back to baseball's biggest stage. And the kid who grew up cheering for them in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas, and couldn't score a ticket to Game 7 of the '85 Fall Classic — instead watching from beyond the outfield fence — is the general manager responsible for making it happen.
A city best known for its barbecue, bebop jazz and, for a while now, bad baseball has become a sea of Royals blue as long-suffering fans suddenly find their team in the World Series.
Morocco denied reports on Thursday it has withdrawn as the host of the 16-team event, but wants it postponed from its planned dates in January and February because of fears over the spread of Ebola which is surging through three countries in West Africa.
Kansas City hosts the first two games beginning Tuesday against the winner of the NLCS between the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.
Posey drove in three runs and San Francisco took advantage of some clunky defense by first baseman Matt Adams, beating the Cardinals 6-4 on Wednesday night to move within one victory of the World Series.
The smooth center fielder snagged MVP honors after helping the Kansas City Royals to a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles with a 2-1 victory Wednesday.
Jenkins makes big plays — and gives them up. Getting scalded on Brandon Lloyd's 80-yard touchdown catch against the 49ers last week was the latest example of give and take.
Quarterbacks, including Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, have not had their way against the Chiefs' defense through five games. The second half of the 2013 season was the catalyst for improvement.
The San Francisco Giants now have a 2-1 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series.
Billy Butler drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning, and the Royals' steel-curtain bullpen shut down the Baltimore Orioles the rest of the way for a 2-1 win Tuesday night and a commanding 3-0 lead in the American League Championship Series.