A couple of days ago, the Kansas City Royals sent out a letter to their fans. The letter was short and was merely a thank you to those of us who patronized their business this season. It's innocent enough, but that isn't going to stop me from doing a little FJM on it. I've got my Pop-Tarts, my insanely expensive replica Jedi Light Saber and my mom has put a nice meat loaf on my desk here in the basemen, so I'm ready. The words from the letter are in bold, the others are my responses.
Kansas City Royals fans are among the best in baseball!
An exclamation point! You know that they REALLY feel this is true. Now, I can't disagree with this statement too much. We have put up with more than we should and yet we still show up and spend money at the park. Yes, we are the best!
The passion of our fans was never more evident than this summer when tens of thousands turned out to enthusiastically support the weeklong celebration of events surrounding Major League Baseball's 83rd All-Star Game.
Never? What about the 11,453 fans that showed up on September 25th, 2005 to see the final Royals home-game of the season? That team was 52-102 before that game started. They were 41 games behind first place with eight games left in the season. Now THAT'S passion.
Coming out to see a once in a lifetime game with truly talented baseball players is something every fanbase does. All it really showed is that the All-Star game was in town, not the real passion of the Royals fans. True, we did dominate the Futures Game like no city ever has, but really it just means that we we wanted to just dream about what it would be like if right field was manned by someone with talent rather than some smiling statue who can't hit.
Six years ago, we made a commitment to build this ballclub so that a highly competitive team would take the field each and every night with the ultimate goal of bringing a World Championship to Kansas City.
No! Commit not. Do or do not, there is not commitment. You can commit to anything you want, but if your ultimate goal is bringing a World Championship to Kansas City, then you've failed miserably. Hell, you haven't even had a winning season yet.
If the Royals were to somehow pull off a 129 game winning streak they STILL wouldn't be above .500 during your tenure. Championship? How about just moving above "laughing stock"? That would make for a solid improvement.
To accomplish this, and sustain long-term success, we've made significant investments to upgrade our scouting, drafting, minor league and player development operations.
You have actually done this and we sincerely appreciate that. Somehow in the last six years David Glass has turned from one of the worst owners to one who is pretty damn good. He's opened his pockets to give you the means to get more overseas talent, better draft signs and even some free agents.
Several products of this commitment are now on display, as homegrown players such as Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez,...
These three players are young and talented. You took a couple of risks in the draft and hopefully they pay off. Hosmer hasn't exactly destroyed the world yet and Moustakas' bat seems to be coming up flat lately. Perez is worth adoration and he might be a once in a franchise talent. We love watching these guys and believe they can be something special. Kudos, so far.
...2011 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner Alex Gordon and 2012 All-Star Billy Butler form the foundation of our club.
Wait, what? You said earlier that this commitment started six years go. Alex Gordon was drafted in 2005 and Billy Butler was drafted in 2004. Your new "commitment" didn't have squat to do with these players. This is like Paris Hilton saying she built a hotel empire. You signed these players to extensions which is nice, but the best players on this team are not ones you drafted or developed.
I know that after six years your list of players your "commitment" has produced should be longer than three, but padding it with players from another regime just smacks of desperation.
In addition, the Royals minor league system ranks among the best in baseball and is in a position to keep the pool of new talent flowing for years to come.
We know this, we tell this to our friends who talk smack about the Royals all the time. I'm going to tell you what they tell me. So what? Build a winning Royals baseball club. This isn't a letter to Omaha Stormchaser fans or Idaho Falls Chukars fans, it's a letter to Kansas City Royals fans. We get and support building within, but it starts to ring hollow when the team hasn't improved in the 6 years you've been "committing".
Our baseball operations staff continues to pursue all avenues to strengthen our roster and complement our core of young talent.
If that avenue involves anything remotely similar to signing Jeff Francoeur or Yuniesky Betancourt, then stop. Don't do anything. When you say strengthen our roster, you can't mean what I think that means. It should mean finding players who can score more runs or help prevent the other team from scoring runs. But so often it has meant....well honestly I don't know. What the hell was signing Yuni and Frenchy?
Everyone within the Royals organization is excited about the process and what the future holds.
You just threw in that "process" to troll us. I see what you're doing. I'm not falling for that.
Our commitment to this team, this town and our fans has never been greater. We sincerely appreciate your support.
That is the third "commitment" in the short 215 word letter. Either you don't have a thesaurus over there or this is the new "process". You know what, we've never questioned your commitment. I can't say I recall one person suggesting that the commitment level is somewhere below where it should be. Believe it or not, we know you work hard and we know that you're committed.
The issue is that the commitment hasn't yielded results. I could commit myself to trying to become a Hall-of-Fame shortstop but it ain't going to happen. You don't need to commit harder, you need to stop signing terrible baseball players and then playing them. You need to win more games. You need to stop running Francoeur (the worst player in baseball) out there every night. You need to understand the concept of sunk costs. You need to embrace and understand true player value.
There are a whole lot of things that you need to do, commit isn't one of them. Stop patronizing us. Stop excusing another pathetic season by talking about where your Minor Leagues are ranked and how committed you are. Your baseball club is once again eliminated from the playoffs and they're losing more than they're winning. We're tired of commitment and ready for results.