EOC stands for Eternal Optimist Club. I have only been a Royals fan for a few years (actually I have only been a baseball fan for a few years - late bloomer). I don't have anywhere near the baseball statistical expertise that most of you have, but I believe that if a few things go the Royals way this could be an exciting year.
1. Soria, Mahay, Meche and Greinke pitch as well as they did last year.
2. Davies last two months of the season weren't a fluke.
3. Hochevar continues to improve (say, dropping a half point off his ERA).
4. Bannister rebounds to close to his 2007 season.
5. McClure really did see something in Farnsworths mechanics that he can straighten out.
6. Alex Gorden hits left handers like he did after the All Star break and improves all his stats.
7. Coco Crisp is completely free of all his injuries and hits like he did late last year or like he did in Cleveland before being traded to the Red Sox.
8. David DeJesus is David DeJesus
9. Guillen feels the love of finally playing for the same team two years in a row and quits throwing gas on the fire. He also stays healthy all year and can run again.
10. Mark Teahen shows the second half of 2006 wasn't a fluke.
11. Billy Butler's lost weight gives him more range and speed on the bases and he hits to his ability
12. The Jacobs/Butler/Shealy/Whoever platoon at 1st base hits over 30 HR
13. Callaspo is the OBP hitter his minor league stats show he is and is not a liability at 2nd base.
14. Aviles plays close to what he played like last year.
15. Bloomquist can back up every position and sell tickets when the walk up lines get too long again.
I may be a cock-eyed optimist, but the Royals aren't in the AL East. I think with a few things going their way, they could contend.