Originally Posted by ChiefsCountry
We would have a few more postseason appreances if the new playoff rules were in effect. I want to say in 1989 we finished with the second best record in MLB behind the A's who won the AL West.
That team would have been a really interesting matchup in the postseason. Under the current format, the Royals would have won the American League Central by12 games, and they would have probably won more than 92 games, as the Tigers, Indians, and White Sox ALL blew chunks that year (59, 79 and 69 wins, respectively).
Cy Young winner Bret Saberhagen, backed by Mark Gubicza as your 1-2 punch. Charlie Liebrandt as your No. 3, and then you have either Tom Gordon or Luis Aquino as a your No. 4 guy (probably Gordon).
The offense wasn't great, but there were plenty of bats there (Jackson's best year, Tartabull, Brett). They would have faced the winner of the Angels/Orioles elimination game.
The A's were great that year, but a 7 game series with two starts each from Saberhagen and Gubs... would have been tough to knock the Royals out.
Looking at that, it makes me remember just how shocking the way the Royals fell apart was.
Saberhagen and Gubicza were just 25. Kevin Appier was about to burst onto the scene. Brett was almost finished, but Jackson was in the process of becoming a star. Tartabull was entering his prime.
Crazy how quickly it can fall apart, especially if you're talking about young pitchers who have been somewhat abused early in their careers.