The Theory of Royaltivity

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Ned Yost, Billy Butler, Jordan Baker



Everything in sports is relative.

When the Braves or Cardinals have a .500 season, it is a down year. A “bad” year. One to forget, often ripe with a fan base calling for change.

When the Royals reached and exceeded .500 in 2003, it was considered a magical year. This wasn’t because it was an example of spectacular baseball, but rather because they were a group of players whom on paper appeared to be a band of misfits. They EXCEEDED expectation.

They made it fun to watch baseball.

Watching Jose Lima win games with guys like Aaron Guiel providing the offensive punch. It was fun to win games. Even losing wasn’t that bad, because quite frankly, they were SUPPOSE to lose.

Fast forward 11 years to 2014 and you have a Kansas City Royals team that is suppose to win.

The Dayton Moore led front office has assembled a very good pitching staff that was put together as the much needed compliment to the heralded offensive potential of Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. With Billy Butler and Alex Gordon already providing solid offensive production, it was all but a certainty the Royals offense would be one that could make some noise. We all know what happened.

Just earlier this month, some guy wrote this explaining how we should be thankful for what we have instead of always wanting more. That sure seemed like a long time ago, when the Royals were still coming off a 10 game winning streak, and looked poised to not let disaster strike. They have since given back all they gained in that stretch, and then some.

While still a slightly better team than the 2013 version was at this point, the Royals are once again below .500, and trending in the wrong direction.

Make no mistake, its not the losing that is most bothersome. Its the attitude that is carried with that losing. With a clubhouse of players whom on an individual basis have by and large been projected to be above average, the chemistry and execution has been the component lacking. With a myriad of hitting, running, and bench coaches all sharing the blame for the various miscues, one constant has remained.

If removing Pedro Grifol and Jack Maloof were merely moves in order to shake up the status quo, then it is time to do so again. With the parity in this seasons AL race for the second wildcard, the Royals find themselves teetering on the brink of being in the race, and that of being totally irrelevant. The losses this team is able to give away are now very few, and there is suddenly no time left to turn it around or figure it out. They must begin playing now. The needed record to be on pace for 90 wins is 55-43. The Royals are 48-50. There is a very wide gap there, and only 64 more games to play.

Ned Yost has had his chance. While his in game decisions are often the source of anger, that isn’t even the reason he needs to be replaced. All managers make in game mistakes, it is simply a product of the game, especially with the arm chair quarterbacks having the advantage of hindsight. No, the reason it is time for Ned to go is the same reason he has used as an excuse to replace the hitting coaches the last couple of years. It is time for a new voice, SOMETHING must change.

The Royals wouldn’t need to look far for a replacement, as on staff they have a wealth of experience, but I think Mike Jirschele, coming off of a fantastic run as manager of the Omaha Storm Chasers would make a fine replacement. Unlike Yost, Jirschele has done nothing but succeed wherever he goes.

There aren’t many games left to make a move where a difference can actually be made. The finish line is in sight, and there is a lot of ground to be made up. For a team now sitting closer to last than first, the expectations of this season have thus far proven too big to conquer. The time for a new leader is now. The season isn’t completely lost…not just yet.

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