I'm not sure why I feel compelled to answer this article. I mean, we in KC are blessed with an excellent sports section in our daily paper. Especially as baseball fans, when we get to read Bob Dutton's game stories, Sam Mellinger's features and blog, and the greatest columnist in America, Joe Posnanski. So why bother with an article from the "alternative weekly"? Well, it's wrong. The premise is wrong.
Royals-Cardinals is a rivalry. Kansas City-St. Louis is a rivalry. Sure, we may not be the Cards' main rival--that is and should be the Cubs. But they don't want to lose to KC. And we don't want to lose to them. It's definitely a stronger feeling than we have for say, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange County of California of USA of Earth.
Maybe it's a friendlier Midwestern version of a rivalry--no chants about Albert Pujols' sexual orientation, no chants about KC losing 100 games every year. But no mistake, it's a rivalry.
Why does the Pitch writer think more people will pay attention to these games than ones against the Giants or D-Backs? Sounds like a rivalry to me. As for the lack of meaningful games, the Giants and Dodgers are rivals. When was their last meaningful game? 1993, I guess, when the Dodgers knocked the Giants out of the playoffs in the last weekend.
Maybe I feel this way because, like most Royal fans, I am tired of hearing about how great Cardinal fans are. I know several Cardinal fans (heck, I married one) and they are all nice people. And it would be nice to live in a town where the local NFL squad is not Topic #1 on talk shows no matter how putrid they are. But give me a break. Royal fans are passionate about their team, too. The fact that anyone shows up at the K is amazing given how we have been treated the last 15 years. In 2003, when the Royals actually had a pulse, KC was a baseball town again. If the roles were reversed, I don't think the self-proclaimed best fans in baseball would be selling out Busch Stadium 3.0.
So yeah, I think this is a rivalry. The next three games mean a lot to me as a Royals fan. And next week's return visit is exciting. We have tickets for Saturday and I am looking forward to it more than just about any game this year. That's a rivalry in my book.