Sport: Showdown for the Swooners

The Royals and the Phils ruin their reputations as fall guys

For the Philadelphia Phillies and the Kansas City Royals, the World Series has long been a mirage, an oasis of October glory shimmering just out of reach. Three times in the past four seasons, both teams won division titles, only to be turned out into the desert by their cross-league rivals in the pennant playoffs.

For three straight years Kansas City waged war with the New York Yankees, trading bone-jarring slides, brush-back pitches and dramatic home runs. The Royals-Yankees match quickly became one of...

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