Very few pundits saw the Mets or (despite being defending AL champs) Royals reaching the Fall Classic, yet both teams are now preparing for Game 1 of the World Series. Here’s some info on both teams, looking back at how they got to the brink of a championship…
- It took a while for Dayton Moore’s rebuilding plan to show results, but the Royals GM tells ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick that he sees past mistakes as learning experiences that helped he and the club shape the current winning roster. Canny trades and free agent signings within the last year were a big part of Kansas City’s success, yet the fact that so many of the Royals are homegrown prospects who have spent years playing together is seen as a positive by manager Ned Yost. “They came up as a core, and they won championships in Double-A and Triple-A together….Having them experience that over the last five or six years, it just gives them a certain comfort level when you get into this type of position. They know each other. They all have the same goals and the same dreams and the same values. It just makes for a closer team,” Yost said.
- Over half of the Royals’ ALCS roster didn’t play for the team in last year’s World Series, The Associated Press’ Dave Skretta writes, a somewhat under-the-radar overhaul that mostly focused on adding a lot of new pitchers.
- Given how both teams looked to rebuild though young talent, it’s no surprise that many former blue-chip prospects are now playing key roles for the Royals and Mets, MLB.com’s Jim Callis notes. He lists the top 15 players in this World Series based on their original prospect status, with Alex Gordon leading the way.
- Game 1 will fall almost exactly five years after the day Sandy Alderson was hired as the Mets’ GM, and ESPN’s Adam Rubin looks at the tough road Alderson had to navigate, especially given the financial limitations on the franchise due to the Wilpon family’s losses in the Bernie Madoff scandal. The Mets’ big deadline trades and the Nationals’ surprising collapse opened the door for this season’s NL East title, and Rubin notes that Alderson also laid groundwork in the form of the Zack Wheeler-for-Carlos Beltran trade in 2011 and the deal that brought Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud for R.A. Dickey in early 2013. Alderson was also helped by several young players drafted under former GM Omar Minaya who are now franchise cornerstones.