The State of the Battle
Despite the Royals stealing away beloved ex-Mariner Gil Meche prior to the 2007 season, the Mariners have been the stronger side in recent years. The Royals went 3-5 against the M's in '06, 3-6 in '07 and are only 1-1 against the coffeekind this season. Thanks to their success, the Mariner hordes have pushed eastward into Thermopolis and now claim most of, if not all, of Hot Springs County, Wyoming, the historical flash point between both sides. According to all observers, the Royals are losing ground daily, and are the weakest they've been in Wyoming in years. Using both human intelligence and satellite data, Royals Review was able to construct this map.
People are dying right now in Central Wyoming.
Fremont, Natrona and Converse counties are not fun places to be right now, especially for Royals loyalists. Johnson County, always susceptible, due to a large number of flannel outlets, was one of the first battleground counties to fall, and in fact, may remain in Seattle's hands for a generation. Crucially, we know that the teal and silver are in country in northwest Albany County, the last buffer between Seattle and the Capital. We believe this territory is safe at the moment thanks in large part to a shipment of Mike Aviles jersies that arrive via helicopter late last week.
With a strong showing this weekend, it is believed that the Royals will be able to quickly recapture Carbon County's valuable mineral deposits, which have been critical in feeding injured pitcher John Bale. Natrona County, featuring Casper, is a top priority for the Royals, but may not be salvageable in the short term. Vaguely metropolitan, Casper's citizens have embraced the Mariner lifestyle and are believed to be harboring exiled leader Bill Bavasi.
While years of failure have led to a large loss of territory, the near-term prospects are not entirely bleak. In their arrogance the Mariners have declined to establish any radio affiliates in Wyoming, refusing to take the advantage of the opportunity left when the Royals lost their crucial Sundance station. Moreover, with the Mariners currently mired in last place and the owners of a 36-56 record, it is probable that large pockets of Mariner support are much more vulnerable than they superficially appear. Stealing Meche remains a valauble propaganda plank and has been recently augmented by the seduction of conversion Horacio Ramirez.. All efforts will be made to insure that Raul Ibanez -- preternaturally a fence-sitter in this fight -- does not leave with the Mariners this weekend. Finally, a well-placed tactical linedrive off the elbow of white hero Willie Bloomquist this weekend may severely undercut the allegiance of leaners across central Wyoming.
Problematically however, with opportunity also comes pressure. With all seven remaining skirmishes set to take place in Kansas City, a Royal failure to maximize results against a bleeding Mariner squad may not result in additional lost territory directly, but could nevertheless represent a substantial loss in opportunity cost. Kyle Davies is reportedly already emotionally distraught over the responsibility riding on his shoulders with Sunday's start, and it is likely that many of his teammates feel the same way as well.