I've spent the better part of the last 3 hours looking over stories from Royals Review, from its 2005 inception, to my joining in 2008ish, to now. I'm not sure why. (Actually, I am sure why; I have a 30+ page seminar paper due for my Hate Speech class, and I have absolutely zero desire or motivation to write it.) Regardless, in scouring many of these old stories, I have two main points to note:
Many kudos to Will McDonald.
Early on, many of the stories and gamethreads had single-digit comments, and it often seemed as if he was writing to no one, or to himself. Today, this place is my favorite site on the internet, and although there are now many regular contributors in terms of content, Will deserves a ton of praise. If I didn't have this place for my commiseration, I don't know what I'd do. I'd probably pull a Rany. (kidding Rany, please keep writing!)
This is obviously a pretty thankless job, and I can't even imagine how tiring it has been to write about the 2005-2012 Kansas City Royals. It's hard enough for me just to have watched them. So anyway, thank you Will.
This season, even with this awful streak, is nothing like past years.
These are not, as has been said by some in gamethreads and post-game wrap-ups, the "same old Royals." As recently as July 21, 2009, we were trotting out a lineup that looked like this:
- David DeJesus LF
- Willie Bloomquist 2B
- Billy Butler 1B
- Jose Guillen RF
- Alberto Callaspo 3B
- Mike Jacobs DH
- John Buck C
- Ryan Freel CF
- Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Ouch. That's Willie Bloomquist, Jose Guillen, Mike Jacobs, Ryan Freel, and Yuniesky Betancourt all in the same lineup. Can you believe we even had Betancourt? That guy was awful!
Sean O'Sullivan pitched that game, and we lost 10-2. This would not be a surprising fact until you consider: Sean O'Sullivan was pitching for the other team. That's right, in 2009, Sean O'Sullivan was able to limit us to 6 hits and 2 earned runs over 5.1 innings.
Anyway, once the injury and stupidity storm blows over in 2012, our lineup will look something like this:
- Lorenzo Cain CF
- Alex Gordon LF
- Eric Hosmer 1B
- Billy Butler DH
- Mike Moustakas 3B
- Jeff Francoeur RF
- Salvador Perez C
- Johnny Giavotella 2B
- Alcides Escobar SS
OK, so Yuniesky is still on our team (though hopefully on the bench) much to everyone's chagrin. Aside from that, we're still talking about a very exciting team with loads of potential. How much potential did that 2009 team have? It was basically DeJesus at or around his prime, plus Billy Butler. Remember how awful it was slogging through consecutive innings of Guillen-Callaspo-Jacobs and Buck-Freel-Betancourt? I do. The lineup we'll be trotting out there by the middle of the summer is going to be a ton of fun to watch.
If you had told the 2009 RR readers that this would be our lineup in 2012, very few would have believed that Gordon, Butler, Hosmer, Moustakas, Giavotella, and Perez would all be up to the bigs at this point. And we're beyond even that level -- with the exception of Giavotella, all of those guys have demonstrated serious ability at the major league level. And even Johnny G. has demonstrated a ton of ability at AAA. Only the most optimistic of fans would have believed that was a real possibility in 2012.
Now, granted, the first thing the 2009 readers would have seen is Jeff Francoeur in the 6-hole, and BNYS on the 25-man roster. I'm not going to pretend that we wouldn't have been
horrified disappointed to see those guys still on the squad. But really, those are the only two guys in our (very near) future lineup who are probably still going to be extremely frustrating/not exciting to watch.
I know I'm stating the obvious here; everyone knows there is a boatload of talent on this squad, and I'm not attempting to provide any actual analysis about why this team is better than the 2009 Royals. I'm just trying to inject some much-warranted positivity during these early season woes.