We're approaching the finish line for SB Nation MLB Awards finalists, and while the polls for the previous categories are still open...
- Funniest Moment
- Most Regrettable Moment
- Best Defensive Play
- Most Important Hit
- Best Pitching Appearance
... all six polls will close 24 hours from the publication date of this post, in which you can vote for Team of the Year.
Kansas City Royals
They didn't win their own division, but they put a scare into the Tigers by erasing three large deficits over the course of the regular season, and their 89-73 record was good enough to host the wild card game, which they won in a stunning comeback against Oakland. That's when #Yosted into the #Yostseason, as the Royals won their first eight games before losing the World Series in seven to the San Francisco Giants. Their 11-4 record in the playoffs is the best ever by a team that didn't win the World Series, and it's impossible to beat unless they expand the postseason further.
San Francisco Giants
The team that actually won the World Series, knocking off the Royals in a Game 7 thriller to win their third title in five years. They, too, ascended from the wild card game, stomping the Pirates in Pittsburgh, then knocking off the favored Nationals and Cardinals to advance to the World Series, where they did what they apparently always do in even years.
Made a mockery of the usually competitive AL East by going 96-66 and winning the division by 12 games. That's impressive enough, but they accomplished it even with a number of obstacles -- injuries to Manny Machado and Matt Wieters, and steep declines from Chris Davis and Ubaldo Jimenez. They did everything well, at least until their season ended in the ALCS with the closest sweep that I can remember.
Jackie Robinson West
Thirteen kids from Jackie Robinson West Little League on Chicago's South Side won the Little League World Series' Great Lakes Regional and the U.S. title before falling short to South Korea in the World Championship, but they'd won over all of America by then. Chicago Magazine named the charismatic club the Chicagoans of the Year in a great article by Bryan Smith.