wikipedia wrote:Game 6 Saturday, October 26, 1985 at Royals Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri
A pitcher's duel unfolded between Danny Cox and Charlie Leibrandt, the tough-luck loser in Game Two. They traded goose eggs until the eighth, when Brian Harper singled home Terry Pendleton to give the Cardinals the lead and inside track for the title. But the bottom of the ninth featured controversy and a collapse by the Cardinals.
Whitey Herzog called on rookie reliever Todd Worrell to pitch the ninth. The first batter, Jorge Orta, sent a routine bouncer to Jack Clark. He tossed to Worrell and got Orta for the seeming first out, but umpire Don Denkinger erroneously called Orta safe. Every replay angle indicated that Orta was out. Instead of one out, the Royals now had one on and slugger Steve Balboni at the plate. Balboni lifted a routine pop-up in foul territory along the first base dugout. Darrell Porter claimed he had it and then didn't, and the ball fell harmlessly behind Jack Clark. Given a reprieve, Balboni singled, putting runners at first and second with nobody out. Sent to bunt the runners over, Jim Sundberg's bunt was fielded perfectly by Worrell, and he threw out Orta at third.
But the rally stopper was undone when Porter's passed ball allowed the runners to move up and forced Herzog to walk Royals pinch-hitter Hal McRae. With the bases loaded and one out, pinch-hitter Dane Iorg looped a single to right field. Pinch runner Onix Concepcion scored the tying run and Sundberg approached the plate with the winning run. Andy Van Slyke's throw was on the money, but Porter made a short attempt to tag Sundberg, who slid home safely with the game-winning run.
After the game, Iorg got his nose broken when his teammates, led by 230 pound (104 kg) pitcher Mike Jones, mobbed him after his game winning hit.
The Cardinals fumed afterward, blaming Denkinger for the call and the loss. Denkinger was also scheduled to be the home plate umpire in Game 7.
At the start of the 1990s, the Royals had been hit with a double-whammy when General Manager John Schuerholz departed in 1990 and team owner Ewing Kauffman died in 1993. Kauffman's death left the franchise without permanent ownership until Wal-Mart executive David Glass purchased the team for $96 million in 2000. Partly because of the resulting lack of leadership, after the 1994 season the Royals decided to reduce payroll by trading pitcher David Cone and outfielder Brian McRae, then continued their salary dump in the 1995 season. In fact, the team payroll was sliced from $40.5 million in 1994 to $18.5 million in 1996.
As attendance slid and the average MLB salary continued to rise, the Royals found it difficult to retain their remaining stars, and the club traded players such as Kevin Appier and Johnny Damon for prospects, and Jermaine Dye for perennial underachiever Neifi Perez rather than pay higher salaries or lose them to free agency. Making matters worse, most of the younger players that the Royals received in exchange for these All-Stars proved of little value, setting the stage for an extended downward spiral. Indeed, the Royals set a franchise low with a .398 winning percentage (64-97 record) in 1999, and lost 97 games again in 2001.
In the middle of this era, in 1997, the Royals declined the opportunity to switch to the National League as part of a realignment plan to introduce the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays as expansion teams.
2002–2006: Rock bottom
In 2002, the Royals set a new team record for futility, losing 100 games for the first time in franchise history. They fired manager Tony Muser and he was replaced by Tony Peña.
The 2003 season saw a temporary end to the losing, when manager Tony Peña, in his first full season with the club, guided the Royals to their first winning record (83-79) since the 1994 season. He was named the American League Manager of the Year for his efforts and then shortstop Angel Berroa was named AL Rookie of the Year. The team spent a majority of the season in first, but ended up in third place behind the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins, who won the AL Central.
Picked by many to win their division in 2004 after faring well in the free agent market, the Royals got off to a disappointing start and by late June were back in a rebuilding mode, releasing veteran reliever Curtis Leskanic before financial incentives kicked in and trading veteran reliever Jason Grimsley and superstar center fielder Carlos Beltrán for prospects, all within a week of each other. The team subsequently fell apart completely, establishing a new low by losing 104 games. The Royals did, however, see promising seasons from two rookies, center fielder David DeJesus and starting pitcher Zack Greinke. Among the many mistakes of 2004, was acquiring Juan Gonzalez, Benito Santiago, and keeping pitchers Darrell May and Brian Anderson, both of whom underachieved after a great 2003 season. They all were let go during the season or after the season's end.
In 2005, the Royals continued a youth movement, with one of the smallest payrolls in the Major Leagues. The Royals ended the 2005 season with a 56-106 record (.346), a full 43 games out of first place. It was the third time in four seasons that the team reestablished the mark for worst record in the history of the franchise. During that season, the Royals also suffered a franchise record 19-game losing streak highlighted by a three-game stretch of blowout losses at home from August 6 through August 9; in that stretch the Royals lost 16-1 to the Oakland Athletics, were shut out 11-0 by Oakland, and then in the third game, against the Cleveland Indians, built a 7-2 lead in the ninth inning before allowing 11 runs to lose 13-7. During the season manager Tony Peña quit and was replaced by interim manager Bob Schaefer until the Indians' bench coach Buddy Bell was chosen as the next manager.
Looking for a quick turnaround, general manager Allard Baird signed several veteran players prior to the 2006 season, including Doug Mientkiewicz, Mark Grudzielanek, Joe Mays and Scott Elarton. Nevertheless, the Royals struggled through another 100-loss season in 2006, becoming just the eleventh team in major league history to lose 100 games in three straight seasons. During the season Baird was fired as GM and replaced by Dayton Moore.
The Royals finished the 2008 season with a 75–87 record, the franchise's best since 2003. Closing pitcher Joakim Soria, the Royals' lone representative in the 2008 MLB All-Star Game, finished the year with 42 saves.