We are exactly halfway through the Royals season and we have been treated to a roller coaster ride filled with some unique passengers.
We’ve got the standard crybaby kid who never wanted to get on but was forced to by his parents (Sanchez), the kid who had already made up his mind to ride in the front before arriving at the park (Butler), and you’ve always got the kids in the middle of the pack who are slowly but surely building up enough courage to make their way towards car number 1 (Escobar, Moustakas). Don’t forget the mad man sporting a grin, who sits at the operating booth and presses the big red button to send us on our up and down, topsy-turvy ride. His name just happens to be Tommy John.
It’s been a wild first half of the season, and there has been a simple question being asked lately by 610 sports radio.
Can you use one word to sum up the Royals season so far?
The Royals have lost 4 every day pitchers to Tommy John surgery (Soria, Duffy, Paulino, Wood), they have a starting pitcher in the rotation who literally allows 2 base runners an inning (Sanchez). Then there is a pitcher in Hochevar who looks like an ace one week and dismantles a week later after a few misplaced sliders. A starting rotation that has been as fluid as any I have ever seen; if you can pitch at least 5 innings, you’ve probably started for the Royals this year.
This is a team where the lineup preview is like Christmas morning, where I can’t wait to open up the link and be surprised. It’s something my brother James and I look forward to every single day. I am usually the one who fires off the first text, something about Ned being on something illegal. Welcome to the Kansas City Royals, where the everyday 5 hole hitter has 25 RBIs and trails a guy who has played in half as many games (Betancourt).
Where hot hitters are sat because they can’t hit righties (I got that answer from Robert a Ford after questioning as to why Dyson was in the lineup over the hot hitting Bourgeois), although have only been given 4 AB’s versus righties and has a hit. If you hit well, you’re probably near the bottom of the lineup. However if you can’t hit the broad side of the barn, you may just get that cleanup spot.
If things are tight during the game and the Royals have a small lead, you tend to lean forward a little bit in anticipation for the Sanchez-esque closing performance by none other than all-star final vote candidate Jonathan Broxton. The offense has been more inconsistent than Ned Yost’s lineups; hmmm could that be a complete coincidence?
I don’t know what to make of everything so far, it has me dizzy. Just like the great actor from the movie 300, I scream in one last ditch effort to make sense of this season.
THIS IS MADNESS.
The collective breath of the entire Royals organization kicks me into the pit of doom and all I hear on my way down to doubt, insecurity and a little bit of faith are these 4 words.
THIS IS ROYALS BASEBALL.
Here’s to you Kauffman faithful, buckle down and hold on tight because this ride is only half over.