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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals didnt have a postseason prayer. Until, that is, a praying mantis showed up in their dugout.Since then, the defending World Series champions are playing like world beaters.Perhaps the Royals can thank Billy Burns for their 9-1 run. Hes a spare outfielder, stuck on the bench almost all the time since being traded over from Oakland last month.But Burns holds an important side job: Hes the caretaker of Rally Mantis Jr.I think the only reason Im taking care of him is I actually care about him not dying, Burns said. So people are like, `You can take care of him. I spent one night researching, how to take care of him, so hopefully we can keep him alive.See, the Royals were sputtering, their playoff hopes fading, when a praying mantis appeared in their dugout at Kauffman Stadium on Aug. 6. They beat Toronto that night and suddenly the bug-eyed insect with a triangular head had a new home.Really, who needs a Rally Monkey when you have a Rally Mantis?The first mantis crawled up on my hat and just kind of camped out there for a while, Burns said. Some of the guys just thought it was funny.Adopted by the team, it was christened the Rally Mantis and Kansas City went on to win five of six. Their new mascot traveled with the club to Minnesota, but died on Aug. 13 -- the Royals lost that day, too.The first one lasted about five or six games, Burns said. The first one was on his way out. The first one was dying when we found him.Then Junior showed up.The second one flew in out of nowhere during the game the other day in Detroit, Burns said.Burns said shortstop Alcides Escobar and pitcher Edinson Volquez used the help of a fan to catch him. After that, with extra time on his hands, Burns took over.The Royals swept their first three-game series in Detroit since 2008 and Rally Mantis Jr. boarded the charter flight for Kansas City, where the Royals beat the Twins on Thursday night to move back over .500. The surge has moved them back into the AL wild-card race.Before the victory over the Twins, Rally Mantis Jr. was moved into what Burns described as his new upgraded cage with plants and food.Right now hes got some crickets hanging out in there, some moths, Burns said. Weve been catching bugs whenever we see them.There was a photo opportunity with Junior in his new home this week and at least a half-dozen photographers swarmed to shoot Kansas Citys latest celebrity. Royals fans are showing up with mantis masks and making Rally Mantis Jr. posters.The club leaves Sunday night for Miami. Rally Mantis Jr. will make the trip.Hes part of our team now, Burns said. Hell be going everywhere. Cheap Coyotes Jerseys .R. Smith realized how easily basketball can be taken from him, and he wasnt going to take his place in the NBA for granted anymore. Discount Coyotes Jerseys . After a replay, the winner will meet Sunderland in the quarterfinals. Sagbo did well to control Sone Alukos right cross and fire past Brighton goalkeeper Peter Brezovan. Aluko was making his first start in four months after recovering from an Achilles injury. http://www.cheapcoyotesjerseyschina.com/ . Klitschkos management company says the bout will be the Ukrainian fighters 25th world championship fight. The 1.83-meter (6-foot) Leapai defeated the previously unbeaten Denis Boytsov in November to become the WBOs mandatory challenger. Adidas Coyotes Jerseys . Nigeria beat surprise package Ethiopia 2-0 in the second leg of their playoff for a comfortable 4-1 aggregate victory. Victor Moses converted a 20th-minute penalty after an Ethiopian handball, and Victor Obinna made certain of Nigerias place in Brazil with his powerful free kick in the 82nd at UJ Esuene Stadium. Coyotes Jerseys Outlet . They were putting most of their energy into a record-setting offensive display. SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick says he has been wearing socks depicting police officers as pigs in protest of rogue cops who put the community and other officers at risk.Kaepernick issued a statement on Twitter on Thursday after photos began circulating on social media of him wearing the socks that show a pig dressed in a police hat. The photos were taken earlier in training camp before Kaepernicks refusal to stand during the national anthem as a form of protest became public.I wore these socks, in the past, because the rogue cops that are allowed to hold positions in police departments, not only put the community in danger, but also put the cops that have the right intentions in danger by creating an environment of tension and misttrust, he wrote.dddddddddddd I have two uncles and friends who are police officers and serve ALL people. So before these socks, which were worn before I took my public stance, are used to distract from the real issues, I wanted to address this immediately.Kaepernick created a firestorm last weekend when his decision to sit during the national anthem in protest of what he called oppression of African Americans and other minorities became public.Kaepernick has said he plans to sit for the anthem again Thursday night when the 49ers player their final exhibition game in San Diego.---Online:AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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