Amidst Losing Streak, Royal Fan Confidence Wavers

For a month and a half the Royals played better than expected, generating a fair amount of discussion as to if they could compete in the AL Central. We go through this every year, but it's almost impossible to truly grasp how long the baseball season is on an emotional level. Intellectually, we all know how long the season is. However, when Team A is sitting there are 3-8 or 11-15 or 15-11 or whatever, it looks so much more meaningful than it really is.

In the case of the Royals, a complicating factor was teh strange mix of emotions and expectations felt by most fans. Simultaneously, many felt that the 2011 Royals would most likely be very bad and possibly very good or interesting by mid to late season, because of the extreme hype and excitement surrounding the minor league prospects.

Unlike, say, the 2003 Royals or even this year's Indians team, the Royals haven't actually posted a gaudy record at any point this year. They've mostly been around .500, usually two or three games above, which is nice, but not quite the same. You can write the sentence "Cleveland and Kansas City have flipped the standings of the AL Central with their hot starts" and it would have been true for most of 2011. So many statements were made that not only ignored the obvious sample size/long season caveats, but also overstated how well the Royals were actually playing. Cleveland is now an astounding 26-13. They could lose ten straight games and still be in first place. If Cleveland plays .500 baseball the rest of the way, they will almost certainly win the division.

 

The Royals were never at that point. And they aren't right now. While we'd all gladly have taken 20-21 to start the season back in March, the Royals making the playoffs remains extremely unlikely. I can't speak for you, but I'd be happy with merely hanging around .500 as long as possible. I'd also like to finish ahead of Minnesota for once.

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