Quote to note

"You're just trying to make your mark in the Major Leagues. All of a sudden, you get here for a while and realize that you can help a team win. That group of guys is maturing at the same time and they're becoming a very good team. But it's not surprising that they've become a good team when they added pitching." -- Francona, on the Royals

Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.