Royals Need to Make Haste
All Dayton Moore needs to do is look across the parking lot at what is happening to the Chiefs to know that now is the time to regain the passion from a city that seems to be growing more and more indifferent to the Royals. Many of you reading this live in Kansas City and are also Chiefs fans in addition to your addiction to the Royals. I know I am. For those who aren’t and who don’t pay attention to the NFL, Chiefs fans have grown tired of the ways of Clark Hunt and Scott Pioli and are getting more and more vocal by the week. And the Chiefs keep on losing and making questionable decisions. This has led to many a sports talk show to discuss questions we never want to hear like who has a better chance to not be a failure in the next five to ten years?
Because of all that’s going on across the parking lot, the time is now for Dayton Moore to seize control and take the city back for baseball. While many of us are fans of both, there will always be an argument over whether this city is a baseball city or whether it’s a football city. For the last 20-25 years, it’s been a football city through and through. A lot of that is because the Chiefs won fairly consistently in the 1990s and then have backed that up with a few playoff births since that decade ended. I think the other part of it is how bad the Royals have been in that time frame. While I don’t need to pull out a couple of my favorite statistics, I will anyway. Since and including 1995, the Royals have finished over .500 once. They’ve won 70 or more games just eight times and have topped out at 77 aside from 2003. And the granddaddy of them all – in the last 20 years, the only team in all of professional sports to not make the playoffs is the Royals. That last one is sort of cherry picking a year because it grows a bit if you push it to 1995, but it’s still impressive in its depressing nature.
The good news is that could all change in 2013 with the right approach to the offseason. That approach is one that many of us believed would happen when the team came out and said they would spend some money and would do all that they could to help fix a rotation that was one of the worst in all of baseball last season. The offense has the potential to be in place. Of course, we all know from guys like Jeremy Giambi, Dan Reichert, Chris George and others what you get with potential. But still, you don’t have to squint too hard to be able to see a time when the Royals can be one of the most feared offensive teams in all of baseball. And maybe even more important than any of that, the Royals play in a winnable division. The Tigers went to the World Series, but let’s not forget they did so with just 88 regular season wins. They’re a team built for the playoffs, but who can struggle a bit at times during the regular season.
I talked a couple weeks ago about the team the Royals really need to be paying attention to, the St. Louis Cardinals (the Brewers would also be one to look at). With the Cardinals, it’s easy to look at them and think they’re playing in a different league (other than the National League…) due to their payroll, but they got there by making smart decisions that got people to come to the ballpark and become overzealous for their team. Love them or hate them, but Cardinals fans are a big reason why the team is able to spend money the way they are. Team popularity leads to higher ticket sales, better television contracts, merchandise sales and all sorts of other things. Right now, the Royals can captivate a city, much the way they did in the late 70s and early 80s. Except this time, they don’t even have to be great. All they have to do is not be a train wreck and contend in a weak division.
So I propose to Dayton Moore that he pretend like the last week or so never happened when he dampened all Royals fans spirits with his telling us that “we know who we are” and his mentions at the season ticket holder select-a-seat event of never being able to support a payroll of $85 million (which is bunk if you ask me). Yesterday’s acquisition of Ervin Santana was a great beginning toward shaking off a tough PR week, but it can’t be the end. Honestly, it can’t even be the middle. It has to be the beginning of an offseason that brings the Royals up to par with the top teams in the American League Central.
There is nothing sports related that could be better for the city of Kansas City than to have two winning franchises. Sports effect just about everything from morale to the city’s economy, so the ultimate goal is to have two winners at the Truman Sports Complex. That said, the Chiefs rough season has opened up the window for the Royals to take over the city which could give the Royals a push toward building younger fans like those who grew up in the glory days and even a little bit after them. Kauffman Stadium hopping every single night with concession sales, merchandise and more is a great look and can give the Royals the same type of advantage we see across the state. Trust me. I want the Chiefs to win as much as anybody, but if they’re going to pull the shenanigans they are, the Royals need to take advantage and bring Kansas City back to baseball.
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