Blue Jays should expect a rough reception in Kansas City: blogger
Bad blood between teams could make for tense ALCS
If Toronto thought Texas was tough, get set for Kansas.
Max Rieper, who runs the website Royals Review, is warning Blue Jays fans that their team will get a rough ride in Kansas City.
"There's going to be some chippiness I think," Rieper told Metro Morning host Matt Galloway on Friday.
There's already bad blood between the two teams, Reiper pointed out. The teams had a bench-clearing standoff in a game at the Rogers Centre in August.
"He's a little baby," Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez said of Blue Jays star slugger Josh Donaldson, who was angry about getting hit by one of Volquez's pitches after several near misses.
"He was crying like a baby," Volquez complained.
Later, pitcher Yordano Ventura accused Jose Bautista of stealing pitching signs from opposing catchers.
In other words, it got nasty.
There's potential for more of that tension from the get-go tonight. Volquez is set to take the mound for the Royals, and will likely face-off against consistent number-two hitter Donaldson in the first inning.
Reiper thinks that match-up will lead to more inside pitches as the Royals try to prevent the Blue Jays third baseman from hurting them at the plate. But Reiper says that could lead to more bench clearing.
"Hopefully cooler heads will prevail tonight, and we won't see anyone kicked out of the game."
Despite the bad blood between them, Reiper believes the teams actually have a lot in common. Neither has seen a lot of October baseball in the last 20 years and as a result of that there's been a similar atmosphere at both stadiums during post-season home games, he noted.
"It's very much a raucous atmosphere at Rogers Centre and it's kind of the same way at Kauffman Stadium. It's kind of a football, soccer mentality ... because we've been bad for so long, we've had this pent-up energy for 20 years and we want to release it."
That release will translate into boos in Kansas City tonight, Reiper warned.
The Blue Jays take on the Royals in Game 1 of the American League Championship series tonight at 8:07 p.m. ET.