It’s a matter of minutes before the Royals will take on the Twins in the third game of the season-opening series. But, after losing the first two games by a combined score of 16-2, walking 18 batters, allowed two 6-run innings and registering just seven hits (.122 AVG), they might as well not even play today. Or the rest of the season. Just, shut it down.
As the seasons first series comes to a close, we reflect back and observe the first two games offering up what seemed like closure. It is true that they signaled the beginning of the 2017 regular season, but they just as definitively ushered in the swan song of a dying era.
With a crashing thud, the Royals managed to dash the hopes and dreams of fans and front office alike. With not one single aspect of the club operating as it should, (sans “Bury Me a Royal” Danny Duffy’s performance) the players have begun their victory lap much as a retired player far past his prime waves to the crowd before his final game. While the legend is strong, the ability is weak.
There will be no ticker tape parade for the 2017 Royals. There will be no playoff ticket packages to worry about buying. There will be no issues with stacking an All-Star roster much to the chagrin of baseball fanbases everywhere. There will be but a soft whimper as the core pieces of the greatest Royals team of all time slowly fade away with their paths splitting, leading to new destinations far from Kansas City.
As we watch the players this year, remember them for who they were. Not the sad bunch they are now. When Eric Hosmer more closely resembles the titular character in Casey at the Bat, do not despair at his lunging whiffs, nor his defeated looks as he walks back to the dugout. Remember his mad dash home.
When you see members of the bullpen emerge from the gates…..Well pray. There is nothing else to do, they are turrible.
With the exit of the most dominant reliever of all time in Wade Davis, the Royals bullpen is no longer the powerhouse they once were. With the likes of whats his name, and some other newcomers, they are a stark representation of the changing times for Kansas City fans.
Once again, big names leave and the unknowns are there to fill their shoes. Once again we will struggle through a season debating who should be playing second base. Once again ownership will abandon the hope of winning for the promise of profits. Cheap skate David Glass has emerged as the Scrooge he has always been know to be, letting talent walk out the door rather than pay a few bucks to keep a strong franchise intact.
Dayton Moore seems to have jumped aboard the struggle bus himself, revealing obvious signs of regression. It is as though the magical drug that saw him make amazing move after amazing move during the short window of success has finally worn off. Bringing in castoffs from other teams to fill vital roles in a club many pretended actually had a chance, only to now watch them fail.
He still wasn’t perfect, even during the Glory Years. Still no answer for second base, even though seemingly hundreds of middle infielders have made their way through Kansas City. Instead Dayton has picked up Raul Mondesi, though it is quite possible Ned starts him now not knowing he is not actually the patriarch of the Mondesi family, but rather his inexperienced and seemingly incapable son.
There was one glimmer of hope last season, the emergence of Cheslor Cuthbert. So in true Royals fashion, he has now been relegated to bench duty to sit along side the rarely used likes of Christian Colon, and whatever other no name they choose to let rot in the dugout. Aprils “Flavor of the Month” seems to be a one Terrance Gore. A baseball player so complete he can neither hit, pitch or play defense capable enough to do so at even the AA level, but here he is…… sitting by Ned.
Even Jugs Machine super giant Chris Young is wondering what that guy is doing on the roster, though given the disparity in height between the two, it is quite possible they have never even actually met.
Then there is the coaching. Lets be honest, at this point we are all just shocked that Ned is capable of staying awake through games. Not that it would be bad if he did manage to nod off. Maybe then the shoddy decision making and poor bullpen usage would be limited while he dreams of every player bunting every single at bat.
Do not despair at the thought though Royals Fans. Though the season be over at such a young age, embrace the nostalgia. These represent the times we are accustomed to. Soon enough the recent string of success will seem but a distant memory. Unsure if it even really existed at all if it weren’t for the flags flying overhead to remind us.
Here we sit again Royals fans. “Maybe next year.”
Many will tell you that this season is not over yet. That there is still hope. When those people start talking to you, remind them of historical context. Teams do not simply lose the first two games of the season and go on to win the Pennant. Nope……just politely look at them and smile. Bring up an old memory during the golden years already passed and then say…. Maybe next year.
(Or…maybe THIS year….SINCE ITS BEEN TWO FRIGGIN GAMES! This is a good team, they will be fine. Satire people. Satire.)
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