Since Justin Maxwell was acquired at the trade deadline, he’s done nothing but hit home runs. (Well, two of them.) That still doesn’t mean I think giving up pitching prospect Kyle Smith was the right move.
I begged and pleaded for MONTHS to send Mike Moustakas down to Omaha, and although he’s turned it around by becoming an authentic threat in each at bat, I still wonder about how many games he might have cost the Royals with his early struggles.
Even though Ervin Santana continues to astound, Luke Hochevar looks like a totally different pitcher, Bruce Chen made some sort of pact with Satan and Greg Holland is arguably the best closer in baseball, I still think about what kind of haul they could have brought in if they’d been shopped.
James Shields has been every bit the ace Dayton Moore said he was, but Wil Myers? The guy Kansas City gave up for Shields and would have controlled for years and years? He’s likely to be rookie of the year and, given a full season, probably would have led the Royals in most major offensive categories.
And, you know… Old Man Tejada is pretty much the regular second baseman at this point.
Look, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, something something I’m an idiot. This is why I’m a part-time internet columnist and guys like Moore make the big bucks, right? But in my defense, the Royals STILL aren’t going to make the playoffs.
They’re just… not. I assure you. Despite owning the best record in baseball since the All Star break, they’re still 8.5 games out of first in the division (in third place, actually) and 4.5 out of the Wild Card. According to most projections, they’ve got a percentage chance in the low single digits to secure any kind of postseason berth.
And that absolutely blows.
It seems as though somehow—with some magical twist of the knife by a vengeful, Kansas City hating God—for every win the Royals get, the Detroit Tigers get two. (And worse still, the Cleveland Indians manage to get one-and-a-half.)
Call it “The KC Curse,” I suppose.
All of this being said, this is FUN, right?
It has been a virtual eternity since the Royals were relevant this late in the year. It’s a foreign feeling that most people under 30 don’t remember, and folks older than that have all but forgotten. I mean, the Chiefs are playing their first preseason game tonight, and I honestly don’t care. For the first time in forever, football doesn’t spell a mercy-killing end to the baseball season; it’s sitting quietly in the backseat and minding its own business instead of throwing a worn Tootsie Pop at that back of your head and demanding attention.
So I’m through worrying about the moves they didn’t make. It’s a useless exercise in futility. I vow with every fiber of my being to just sit back and relax the rest of this season, to enjoy good baseball and relish the sweet scent of hope, no matter how realistically fruitless it might be.
Though we may not be getting any at the end of the night, the cheerleader still agreed to go to the movies with us, so let’s act like a gentleman, buy her some Red Hots, and not pull that move where we stick our dick through the hole in the bottom of the popcorn bucket. If we play our cards right, maybe we’ll get a shot a little later. You know, after we’ve…found a franchise second baseman?
This metaphor has me so confused right now, guys. But I guess that’s what happens when you live so long without real success. You get REALLY excited and start entertaining absurd notions like, oh, a .500 record, say. It feels like drinking your first beer, or making love to a pretty unicorn. You just want to savor the moment and hope that your mom doesn’t walk in, or something.
Anyway, GO ROYALS!