Royals Enjoy Their Best Eleven Days Since 1985

  • January 14: Royals Sign SP Jeff Francis. The contract is reasonable and nearly everyone loves or at least likes the deal. 
  • January 15: Royals Sign SP/RP Bruce Chen. Thanks to his curious background, a random scream of Will Ferrell, and Chen's unintentionally funny FOB style comedy, Bruce has become a fan icon. A surprisingly popular move amongst Royals fans.
  • January 19: Gil Meche Retires. Meche's retirement saves the Royals something like $12 million dollars. Meche becomes a hero, and a lingering PR disaster is avoided. Royals receive very little negative PR for the contract ending so ignominiously. Fans begin dreaming of ways the Royals can spend the newfound money.
  •  January 22: Royals Sign Billy Butler. At first, the terms of the deal were merely favorable to the Royals. Then it came out that the club got an option year for a 5th season tacked on. Butler is one of the team's best players and probably, along with Soria, the most truly popular and appreciated. This is especially so after his comments about Greinke and his solid Good Ole Boy image.
  • January 25: Baseball America names KC MLB's top farm system. Hardcore fans knew this was coming for months, but the news reached the mainstream audience on the 25th, when BA made it official. The Royals announced the news themselves in a number of ways, including a few Dayton Moore interviews. A two day media victory lap is to be expected.

The Chen and Francis signings were good for some short term positive buzz. Meche's retirement, given the money that it allegedly frees up, is significant in, at the least, the medium term outlook of the franchise, while also sparing the Royals of a painful Meche defeat tour in 2011. The Butler move, along with the farm system news, are significantly positive developments regarding the long-term prospects of the organization. If the Royals have had a better fortnight since October of 1985, I certainly don't recall it.

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