Cognitive DissonanceFollow @RoyalsBlue_com
This is what the national baseball media has when it comes to the Royals. The Royals are a bad team, you see.
But they are now 98-64 in their last 162 games. When a previously bad Angels team went 98-64 last year they were media darlings with the best player in baseball and the best hitting lineup there was. When the Red Sox became a doormat last year it was an aberration, because they had gone 97-65 and won the World Series the previous year.
The Royals, on the other hand, were projected for 71 wins by PECOTA, 79 wins by Vegas. In Sports Illustrated when Jonah Keri was doing his preseason picks he told everyone to take the under on Vegas's line of 79 wins. He may yet be right.
But 98-64. At some point you just have to say, "SCOREBOARD!"
But now the media narrative has shifted to, "most hated team in baseball." They're not a bad baseball team; they're bad boys. Well, others may hate them – but Kansas City loves them. This isn't a case of situational ethics as Tony's Kansas City argues. This team is a group of guys who play hard and will fight for their runs and their wins. When another team decides to play dirty – the Royals will fight back. This is stupid, it's true… But why are other teams playing dirty? Lawrie's slide was dirty. Eaton's baiting was dirty. White Sox pitchers have thrown at Royals hitters. Chris Sale was confirmed as having gone over and banged on the clubhouse door and trying to fight the ejected Royals on Thursday night. But he isn't hated?
Because the White Sox are still a bad team! The Royals are hated because – in addition to their fire – they WIN. They beat teams who think they are better than the Royals. They beat media darlings. The media darlings then try to hurt the Royals. Or they try to throw them from their game.
It is true that Ventura and Herrera and Cain do need to stop retaliating. But right now – other teams feel that the only way they can beat the Royals is to get those guys removed from games.
That's a GREAT sign. This could be a terrific year.
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