Jungle Karma

Nearly every week, shoot, practically every day, someone will ask me about Jungle Karma. What is it? How does it work? Why does it work? And the answers to all of that is and always has been. “I don’t know.”

You might as well ask how big is the universe or why does gravity work? I don’t know how it works, I don’t know that it does work. It’s a force. It’s something bigger than ourselves. You come on the show, you do a good interview, and good things happen.

Take, for example, Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield. He came on the show yesterday and did a good interview. A few hours later, the Royals played the Tigers, Merrifield led off the game against Michael Fulmer and this happened: Yard!

One of the most difficult pitchers in the league to go yard on and Whit did it on the first pitch. There’s Jungle Karma and then there’s JUNGLE KARMA. Taking the first pitch deep is the all-caps Jungle Karma. That’s crazy. The fans are barely in their seats, the announcers are barely ready to start the game and Merrifield is dropping one over the left field fence.

And that’s not just some batting practice pitcher putting it on a tee for Merrifield. That’s an All-Star and last year’s AL Rookie of the Year. And he was powerless against Whit and the Karma.

I don’t want to say the game was over after one pitch, but the game was over after one pitch. Especially when the Royals had another Jungle favorite, Danny Duffy, on the bump going 6 1/3 and giving up just one run.

And I know what you’re going to say – hey, Rome, the Royals are rolling right now and so is Merrifield, quit taking credit for that homer. Except Whit went 0-5 the day before he came on the show and then went 2-4 with a homer right after he came on the show. Coincidence? I think not.

Now the Royals have won 7 straight, they’re in one of the two wild card spots and they’re giving Cleveland everything they can handle in the division race. This team was on life support a few weeks ago and now they’re right in the thick of it. In other words, look the hell out. This is a team that knows how to win, they come through in the clutch with one win after another in their final at-bats. And they’re just starting to reach the part of the season that they love the most – crunch time.

At this rate, I’m almost concerned that they have too much karma and that I’m tipping the scales in the American League too much.

Shoot, if I put Royals announcer Rex Hudler on the show in the next few weeks, you can go ahead and start engraving Royals on the World Series trophy. But much as I love Hud and would love to hear a re-telling of the magical bug story, it wouldn’t be fair to the other 29 major league teams.

I don’t want anyone telling me what to believe and what to think, so I won’t tell you what to believe and what to think. But just look at the facts and then tell me you don’t believe in Jungle Karma. I know Whit Merrifield and the Royals do.

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