The Royals forced the Mets to watch a second awkward World Series ceremony
Ned Yost called the Kansas City Royals’ World Series championship ceremony on Sunday "awkward" given that the Royals played the New York Mets, the team Kansas City beat in the World Series. But the team still held a second pregame World Series victory ceremony in front of the Mets on Tuesday.
Kansas City used Sunday’s ceremony to celebrate raising the championship flag while Tuesday’s ceremony was used to distribute championship rings to players. Kevin Uhlich, the Royals’ senior vice president of business operations, explained the double ceremony plans to local news outlets back in February.
Via The Kansas City Star:
“We decided to move the ring ceremony to the second game of the season so our entire fan base could feel like they are a part of it,” Kevin Uhlich, the Royals’ senior vice president of business operations, said to the Kansas City Star in February. “While it’s great that ESPN has selected our season opener for their first primetime telecast, only our fans in attendance would have the opportunity to witness the entire ring ceremony.”
Basically, Uhlich seemed to say the double ceremony was necessary because of television broadcast rights. When ESPN broadcasts a game in primetime, it does not show pregame ceremonies, meaning anyone watching Sunday’s game on television would have had to miss the ring ceremony and flag raising if the Royals held both on Sunday. By moving part of the celebration to Tuesday, fans at home would be able to watch a broadcast of that pregame ceremony because it was not an ESPN prime-time game.
What does not make sense is why the Royals could not just push all ceremonies to Tuesday, therefore saving the Mets from having to sit through two reminders of how they lost the World Series last season. Given Yost’s reaction to the ceremonies Sunday and the inherent disruption to every player’s pregame routine these ceremonies cause, it seems one ceremony could have worked better for the Royals as well.
It’s not like this all came together at the last minute. The Royals have known since the schedule came out in September that they would be facing the Mets in the first series of the year. It’s safe to assume that, as the World Series champions, the Royals’ opener would be the ESPN primetime game to start off the 2016 season. None of this was a surprise. Yet Kansas City still decided the best way to handle the pregame broadcast problem would be to celebrate in front of the Mets twice.
It’s an interesting decision by the reigning World Series champions, but given that Kansas City hasn’t won a championship in any of the major four American sports since 1985, it has to be nice for locals to be able to celebrate this win twice.
However, the Mets got the last laugh Tuesday as Noah Syndergaard silenced the Royals with six dominant innings in a 2-0 win.