After Tuesday night’s 9-1 loss in Baltimore, there is only one word to describe the Royals. Embarrassing.
Yes, embarrassing. Not because they lost (it’s baseball, you’re going to lose games). Not because Red Sox fan – bandwagon Orioles “fan” Jason La Canfora gets to gloat (though he is a tool). Not even because they were blown out, again.
No, it was embarrassing because of how they played. These are the defending World Champions, they even wear a patch on their sleeve to let the rest of baseball know where the crown presently resides. That is why it took Royals fans by surprise of what they were watching Tuesday night.
Now we’ve been through the hard times. We’ve seen this team lose 100 games in four out of five seasons. We saw them blow a seven game lead in 2003 and finish in third place. Hell, we had Ken Harvey get stuck in the tarp and we had Mark Redman be named an “All Star”. However, I will tell you those times were not as embarrassing as to what Royals fans witnessed tonight. Back then, there were no expectations. In 2005, the Royals lost 19 games in a row and nobody seemed to care outside of Kansas City because most people didn’t even know Kansas City had a baseball team.
Now the whole world knows who the Royals are. That makes circumstances a little different now. The Royals are the two-time defending American League Champions and the defending World Champions. They’ve proven that they are no fluke. Last year they had fights. However, those fights were sticking up for teammates. Tonight’s fight was stupid. When you throw at a guy down 5-1 just because he said some words to you a few innings before all you are doing is putting your own teammates at risk of getting hit.
When this team takes the field, win or lose, they need to act like they’re the defending World Champions. They’re not going to win every game. They may not even **gasp** make the playoffs this season. However, they need to play the game like the Champions they are. Champions don’t play like, in the words of Jake Taylor “The California Penal League”. This is the Major Leagues and games like tonight are not excusable.
Slumps happen in baseball. Teams, even great teams, will go through losing streaks. However, the effort produced by the team tonight (with the exception of Cain’s amazing catch and Morales going 3-3) was Grade A Bush League.
Royals fans have been embarrassed before. We’ve seen losing seasons, losing streaks, and everything that could go wrong for nearly three decades. Yet, tonight, Royals fans have every right to be embarrassed by how the team carried themselves on the field.
They’re the defending World Champions. It’s time they act like it!
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