If you're a fan of an American League contender, please consider this unsolicited advice.
Root against the Kansas City Royals.
Root very, very hard.
The Royals are alive in the AL wild card race, thanks to Saturday's 1-0 victory over Detroit in one of the most riveting baseball games I've witnessed this year. They are 3-1/2 games out of a playoff spot and must pass four teams to get it. The odds are not great. But if Ned Yost's charges reach the postseason, there's a high probability that they will ruin your team's year.
The Royals are built for the playoffs, as much as any other AL team. Name a characteristic shared by recent October darlings. They have it.
* Hot at the right time? Check. At 35-21, they have the AL's best record after the All-Star break.
* Lockdown bullpen? Check. They have the AL's lowest bullpen ERA and a closer, Greg Holland, who Tigers manager Jim Leyland said may be the league's best.
* Formidable rotation? Check. James Shields is a true ace, Ervin Sant...