End of a season

What a glorious Sunday.

The baseball season wrapped up nicely with another Royals come-from-behind win -- and a no-hitter to boot for the Washington Nationals.

The Packers beat up on the Bears, too. After church and lunch, I quietly retired to our downstairs family room, took residence on my favorite couch, flipped back and forth from the Packers to the Royals games on TV and dozed off for a great nap. Glorious.

I woke up in time to see the Royals inserting their backups in what was then a losing cause. And then had the pleasure of watching them take the lead and win.

The Tigers, Cardinals and Athletics clinched their spots, joining the Royals, Angels, Orioles, Giants, Nationals, Dodgers and Pirates in the postseason. There will be no game 163 drama.

I'm still reveling in Friday night's clincher. As the Royals broadcast analysts mused, it was interesting to watch their game morph from one with playoff implications to one that had the feel of a spring training game after the Tigers clinched. As the action unfolded the Denny Matthews and the crew sent shoutouts to just about every one in the Royals front office and their production crew, in between reflections on the Royals' previous postseason dances -- from a ill-informed decision not to work out in Kansas City in the days prior to the 1980 World Series and their comebacks to win the ALCS and World Series in 1985.  

Tuesday night's wild card game can't come soon enough. Although, I remain cautiously optimistic, knowing the the game will be in Kansas City, and the Royals have been lackluster at home in front of big crowds.

For the record, the fan in me is pulling for the Royals all the way. The realist in me thinks they have the team to do it, but they lack the offensive consistency necessary to get them there. Plus, as I said, they haven't played well in big games at home.

I predict Kansas City beats Anaheim and Baltimore beats Detroit in the American League Division Series. Then Baltimore beats Kansas City in the Championship Series.

In the National League, Washington beats Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles beats St. Louis in the Division Series. Washington beats Los Angeles in the Championship Series.

We'll get a Baltimore-Washington World Series. ... Then I'll root for Baltimore to win it all.

(Updated 9.29.2014) Good reads ...

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