FanShot

Tom Verducci gives the 2009 Royals some love

This probably falls into the category of "damning with faint praise", but any "damning" of the Royals that does not include the word "hapless" is a step up for our Boys in Blue. Some relevant quotes: "Outside of a handful of teams (Pirates, Padres, Nationals, Orioles, Mariners), every team has a right to be dreaming of October." (Note which team is not amongst the exceptions!!) "Other surprise candidates: the Indians, chock full of players hitting their prime years; the Rangers, who can accelerate their 2010 arrival if they integrate some young pitching; the Braves, who should be way better than their 90 losses of last season; and even the Royals, who may be one starting pitcher away from contending. The gap between the eight playoff teams and the next eight teams that don't make the playoffs is so small now that many of the spots become interchangeable." (implication: the Royals are somewhere within the top 16 teams this season!)

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