I want what I want, and I want it now.
It is with great shame that I confess that has previously been my attitude towards the performance of the Kansas City Royals. What has become of my life that I have reached a point where I want the Royals to win? And, mind you, not just win, but make the playoffs.
The recent words of Ned Yost, and Dayton Moore before him, have shaken me to my core. Instant gratification? What right have they to say that? How dare they?
But yet, deep down, I knew there was truth in their words. Try as I might, I could not shake the growing feeling that there was something wrong with my attitude towards the Kansas City Royals. Perhaps there was even something wrong with me.
As I lay in bed, pondering the wisdom of Ned, my mind drifted back to June 8, 2006, the day that Dayton Moore was hired. Even though it was 7 years ago, I clearly remember thinking at the time, "This new guy looks pretty promising. I'l give him 7 years. If he hasn't produced a winning season in 7 years then he needs to go."
Oh woe is me! What deficit of character must lurk deep within me to demand such instant gratification!
Then it hit me. I have an instant gratification problem. As a person, my entire life is spent seeking nothing but instant gratification.
For example, three months ago I went to the library and checked out War and Peace. Why would I do that? I could have written a letter to the publisher to order a catalog. Then, when the catalog came, I could have filled out the form indicating which book I wanted and mailed it back to the publisher and waited for the book to arrive. That's what our forefathers would have done 150 years ago if they had wanted to read War and Peace. But no, not me. I just hopped in my car, drove to the library, walked in, picked up the book, checked it out, and just like that three months later I had finished the book.
Another shameful experience came to mind. This summer when planting my garden, I picked the variety of tomatoes that would be ready to pick in 90 days over the variety that would be ready to pick in 105 days? Why? Instant gratification. I wanted to plant the tomatoes and a short 90 days later be enjoying its delicious fruit. I was too impatient to wait 105 days.
So, it should be no surprise that when I sat down to watch the Royals, I would expect Mike Moustakas to show some improvement after 1300 at bats. It's not his fault. It's mine. My entire life has been spent seeking nothing but instant gratification.
The same thing is true for Eric Hosmer. Why do I demand that in his third season in the majors he be on pace to hit more than 4 home runs? I can only think of 2 words. Instant gratification. It's not fair to Eric, and it's not fair to the Royals.
Oh, those poor, poor Royals. They are a small market team trying as hard as they can. Sure, a random decision here or there has not worked out, and then to have the entire fan base who seek nothing but instant gratification jump down their throats for a brief, small failing is not right.
In some small way then, I must accept my share of blame for the struggles of the Royals. By demanding too much too soon, I have placed expectations on the team that no normal person could live up to. In attempting to meet my demands, and the demands of people like me, the Royals can't help but fail. They are human, as are we all.
As a Royals fan, my continued demanding of instant gratification is the problem.
Well, no more.
27 years without a playoff appearance is a blip in time compared to when the Pilgrims first landed on Plymouth Rock. Instead of demanding more, I will be thankful that it happened at all.
Instead of demanding that Royals do things like "win" and "make the playoffs", I will instead be satisfied with the process. Take your time guys, I can wait, and waiting will only improve my character.
For you see, the real problem was not with the Royals. It was with me.