The Royals will have five full days off between their pennant-clinching win and Game 1 of the World Series. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I suppose it depends on who you talk to. Talk to some recent pennant-winners who had some time off and you may conclude that the Royals are doomed.
The 2006 Tigers had seven days off before facing the Cardinals in the World Series and they lost in five games. In 2012 there were tons of stories about how the Tigers would be mindful of that lesson so, when they had another long break before the Series, they made a point to work out and stay fresh. They lost that year in four games. In between those examples the 2007 Rockies had a week off and, much like these Royals, were considered to be a rolling, lightning-in-a-bottle-catching juggernaut . . . and they got swept by the Red Sox.
Before these recent examples, long layoffs weren’t much of a hindrance. Prior to 2007, ten teams had pre-World Series breaks as long as five days. Seven of those ten won it all. Just as the 2006 and 2012 Tigers and 2012 Rockies may tell you that the long layoff created rust, those seven World Series winners would probably tell you that the layoffs gave them rest. Like that last post, people will likely look back and highlight the factors that fit the ultimate outcome.
Either way, if the Giants win tonight we get four full days without any baseball. Which is a drag for us, even if it helps everyone rest up.