You’re Going the Wrong Way (The Royal Way)!

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*Editor’s note, this piece was written last night before the game.  So some stats have slightly changed.

Well, here we are. The place that no Royals fan ever wants to be, but all are familiar. A place that The Royals management and players promise not to take us to each year, yet where we inevitably end up. A place simply knows as not first. For 28 years, around this time, The Royals caravan pulls up here and camps until the end of the summer. With 63 games remaining in the 2014 season, The Royals need to right the ship now if they hope to play game 163, which, most likely, will be played away from Kaufman stadium. So, where do they begin? How do they break this cycle of mediocrity? Who will save us and take us to the promise land of playoff baseball? Or are we doomed for all of eternity to roam in the limbo-land of not first?
Let’s take a quick glance at the numbers. As of the 22nd of July, The Kansas City Royals are 48-50 and sit in third place, a full 8 games out of first. They have lost 4 in a row. They are 17th on ESPN’s power rankings and haven’t hit a homerun in 6 games. In fact, The Royals still have the fewest homeruns in all of baseball with a whopping 55. The team closest to the bottom of this bucket of syrup is The St. Louis Cardinals, who have knocked 63 out. The Royals have the 14th best ERA at 3.77, and have the 10th best fielding percentage in baseball, two bright spots-kind of. Being in the middle of the pack in pitching and fielding isn’t going to get The Royals into the play offs. There have been numerous theories and ideas on how best to fix these tumbling Royals. Some seem credible, others just ludicrous- but one thing is certain, The Royals need to fix a myriad of problems, now.
Today, The Kansas City Star reported that GMDM has cast a vote of confidence for Ned Yost, the same man that “outsmarted himself” a few games ago. There is no doubt the Yost isn’t a very good manager-ask any Brewers fan. We could go on and on, ad nauseam, of mistakes that were made, or decisions that were not over the past several years, but why? What difference will it make when GMDM is backing Yost up? It should be obvious that Yost is not the man we need driving the bus to our promise land. But it’s not entirely his fault. So, if Yost isn’t going to deliver us, then who? This is where Royals owner, David Glass, really needs to get involved. If we worked for Wal-Mart, and made as many mistakes as Yost has, we would no longer be employed. I’m not suggesting that Yost is the only one who should get blamed for this lack luster season, but he is the manager, if you live by the sword you will certainly die by it. GMDM certainly deserves some of the criticism. From awful trades, to even worse draft picks GMDM has yet to live up to the hype he was given before coming here from Atlanta. Still, while we are on the subject of blame, a lion’s share belongs to the players themselves. Yost didn’t pick this team and GMDM can’t see into the future to see how players will develop. The players play the game. They are the ones responsible for giving up runs, not making routine plays and not hitting with runners in scoring positions.
The Star also reported today that GMDM said The Royals would not be selling at the deadline. While this could mean a couple of things, it should be viewed as a very positive statement. There have been whispers of The Royals acquiring Alex Rios or Dayan Viciedo. Both Rios and Viciedo currently play right field. Both would be a major improvement of Nori Aoki, a failed experiment from the start, but neither appears to be that “power bat” The Royals desperately need. If The Royals are serious about competing for the central, acquiring one of these two should only be the beginning. Another big bat will be needed, as well as another live arm. This statement seems to be GMDM’s vote of confidence for The Royals, and his belief in this year’s team. The next 9 days may prove to be very exciting here in Kansas City if GMDM does indeed make good on his words and goes out any gets some quality players.
If the stars are to align and The Royals were to upgrade, this 4 game losing streak will be quickly forgotten. Last year, The Royals were one of the hottest second half teams and almost squeaked into the playoffs. They made baseball exciting all the way to the end of the season. Hell, I attended a sell out game in September, September! This must be a foreign concept to anyone younger than 40. This is a baseball city and I believe that most people are still a little reluctant to give up on this team. Do so at your own peril. There is still quite a bit of baseball left to be played and I, for one, plan on being on that bus when it pulls into First.

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Author: John Keeling

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