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Alex Gordon

Sam Mellinger: For the Royals, the rest of the season is merely a prelude to the playoffs

Nine years ago, the Royals tried to win a major-league baseball game with Jimmy Gobble, Brandon Duckworth, Joe Nelson, Todd Wellemeyer and Andy Sisco pitching. Nothing personal against those guys, but it did not work. The Royals lost to the Orioles, who weren't particularly good that year. They fell to 33 games behind the first-place Tigers in front of 11,418 people with nothing better to do. That was July 27, 2006. The Royals haven't always been as bad as that 2006 team. But in the 10 seasons between 2004 and 2013, the Royals were an average of 17 games out of first place on July 27. Only twice in 2013, and briefly in 2008 were the Royals ever closer than 10 games out. For a...