Jays' playoff drought in KC territory

* Bob Elliott draws comparisons between the 2006 Kansas City Royals and the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays. A big similarity? Like K.C. in '06, the Jays are currently on pace to miss their 21st consecutive post-season. .... 2014 Canadians in the Minors 2014 Canadians in College Letters of Intent 2014 Canadian draft list 2015 Canadian draft list


By Bob Elliott

Does the 2014 edition of the Toronto Blue Jays remind you of any other teams?

Like, maybe the 2006 Kansas City Royals?

The Royals had Mark Redman lead the staff in innings and he was K.C.’s selection to the all-star game in Pittsburgh despite going 5-4 with a 5.59 ERA in 13 starts.

This year’s Jays have reliever Todd Redmond.

The 2006 Royals had a barrell-chested Canadian, who resembled an aging middle linebacker, in Matt Stairs.

This year’s Jays have a barrell-chested Canadian, who could do punt coverage on special teams -- either the NFL or CFL -- in Brett Lawrie.

The Royals had a likeable manager in Buddy Bell, and the Jays have a likeable manager in John Gibbons.

The Royals had reliever Danny Bautista, while the Jays have slugger Jose Bautista.

The Royals had a former World Series winner in Doug Mientkiewicz at first, and the Jays have one in left in Melky Cabrera.

Anything else?

Oh yes, 2006 was the 21st consecutive season that the Kansas City American League franchise had not reached post-season play ... just as the 2014 Jays seem certain of their 21st consecutive season of failing to make the playoffs.

The Royals are at 28 and counting this season. Only Kansas City has a longer October drought than the Jays.

Was someone silently praying at the SkyDome in 1993 the night Joe Carter stepped in against Philadelphia Phillies’ Mitch Williams? You know, whispering “please, please let him hit one out ... and I’ll never ask you for anything again.”

If so, they could have been echoing Kauffman Stadium prayers as Jorge Orta hit a nubber up the line, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Jack Clark fielded the ball and flipped to reliever Todd Worrell covering, leading off the bottom of the ninth.

Did someone say “please, please ... let him miss it.” Replays showed Orta was out, but first base ump Don Denkinger missed the call. The Royals score twice to win and force Game 7 and won the next night 11-0. They have not been back since.

Make no mistake, the 2006 Royals were comically bad.

The Jays are disappointingly bad.

There is a difference, but there is not a difference in years.

Those 2006 Royals had a team ERA of 5.65, worst in the AL. The Jays were at 4.64, fourth worst in the AL, heading into the finale in K.C.

Royals starters were a combined 38-66 (second fewest wins), averaging 5 2/3 innings per start, making quality starts in 29% of their outings (lowest) and allowing 5.99 runs per game (worst).

Jays starters are 9-9, averaging just over 5 2/3 innings per start, with 41% quality starts with a 4.41 ERA. Nowhere in the Royals' league.

Royals relievers in 2006 were 24-34 (most losses) with 35 saves, a 53% conversion rate (second worst) and a 5.99 ERA (worst).

Jays relievers are 3-6 with six saves, a 60% conversion rate (fifth worst), 4.77 runs allowed per game and 52 walks (second worst).

The Royals were a team that lost a game when outfielder Esteban German, playing without sunglasses, got hit in the head by a fly ball.

It was the same team where centre fielder Kerry Robinson climbed the wall in Chicago when chasing a fly ball that hit behind him on the warning track and bounced over the fence.

Royals manager Bell nearly got into a fight with Runelvys Hernandez, as an argument ensued after Hernandez was told he was being optioned to the minors.

Gibbons, who scrapped with Shea Hillenbrand, Ted Lilly and Brett Lawrie, has not had any confrontations this year.

Even when those Royals won, it hurt. They entered the final series at Detroit with a 1-14 record against the Tigers and swept three games at Comerica Park, forcing the Tigers to settle for the wild-card.

The three wins in Detroit meant K.C. tied for the worst record with Tampa Bay, but the Rays wound up with the first pick in 2007.

Tampa Bay picked David Price who went on to win a Cy Young award, make post-season play four times in six years, pitch 158 games and 1,014 2/3 innings.

With the second pick, KC took Mike Moustakas, whose next game will be his 400th.

Those Royals lost 100.

Blue Jays fans would take a 21st dry October rather than that.


Seasons - Team, Last appearance

28 - Kansas City Royals, 1985 World Series 20 - Toronto Blue Jays, 1993 World Series 12 - Seattle Mariners, 2001 ALCS 10 - Miami Marlins, 2003 World Series 8 - Houston Astros, 2005 World Series 7 - San Diego Padres, 2006 NLDS 7 - New York Mets, 2006 NLCS 5 - Chicago White Sox, 2008 ALDS 5 - Chicago Cubs, 2008 NLDS 4 - Colorado Rockies, 2009 NLDS 4 - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 2009 ALCS