Kansas City Royals Ride The Espresso Machine Back Into Contention

    As Heidi Watney said on MLB Network on Tuesday morning, Theres nothing like a good cup of Joe to get your morning started. For the Kansas City Royals, it got their season started.

    The Royals were an offensively anemic squad with baseballs worst record (7-16) early on and struggling with a .210 team average, mustering just 2.7 runs a game.  Around that time, reliever Peter Moylan bought a special Espresso machine for the clubhouse and started serving as the teams barista before the games. He served a specialty drink consisting of espresso with chocolate milk and ice called a “Sledge-iatto.”

    Peter Moylan on Twitter

    Sledge-iatto! https://t.co/Yt3GVnPEwc

    Since Moylan infused the team with a caffeine boost, the Royals have scraped their way back into the AL Central race. KC is 34-35 and just 3.5 games behind the Indians, who dethroned Kansas Citys two-year run as AL World Series representatives in 2016. 

    With a 4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night, Kansas City has now won 8 of 9 games and have a chance to get back to .500 for the first time since April 16th, when they were 6-6, thanks to Moylan’s magic concoction.  

    Being a positive contributor to the clubhouse is nothing new for Moyland, who has gone from Australian baseball burnout to working construction and other odd jobs including pharmaceutical rep, to holding it down as a critical member of the Royals bullpen. 

    The side-arming specialist  gets props because hes overcome two Tommy John surgeries and back problems. He brightens the locker room with his self-deprecating jokes and funny stories and he serves as mentor to the clubs young pitchers.

    According to a 2016 piece in kansascity.com, Moylan realized long ago that hed earned a reputation as a good clubhouse guy, a man who could lighten the mood and contribute to the culture of an organization. Thats part of the reason hes still balling at the age of 38. 

    Even veteran centerfielder Lorenzo Cain, who was reluctant to indulge, finally gave in and tried one last week. He had a 3-for-4 game with a blast that day. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.