Even so, on some small scale, John Gibbons has to be feeling somewhat conflicted this week. His obvious preference was for the Blue Jays, but if another team had to represent the American League in the Fall Classic, the Royals aren't a bad second choice.
"It's a great organization," said Gibbons, who worked as a bench coach in Kansas City from 2008-11. "I have many friends over there, and they do it right. They'll represent the American League with the best of them. We wish them well and congratulate them."
Gibbons was part of the Royals' organization when their young core was first arriving to the big leagues. He was around for the development of Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez, among others.
It's an impressive group that Gibbons had high hopes for, even back then. The cruel twist is that it's the same core that ultimately dashed his own team's hopes in the end.
"One thing I noticed about that group, they all played together in the Minor Leagues, they all won and there was a pretty tight bond there," Gibbons said.
"I thought it was some of the best young talent I had ever seen. The numbers of guys, you don't expect them all to make it, but they [almost] all did."
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.