(Almost) Everybody Loves the Royals

These guys love the Royals, so why don't you? - Ed Zurga

So why don't you?

A prophet is without honor is his own hometown.

Such is the fate of the Kansas City Royals, a prophetic voice of sanity in a world gone mad with statistical analysis, evidence-based decisions, and high expectations for player development. Held in universally high regard around the league, the Royals have yet to achieve that same level of love from their "fans". What is it in the human condition that drives people to despise those they are closest to?

Instead of holding to an unconditional acceptance of the Royals like everybody else in baseball, Royals fans are almost universally critical and demanding of better results. Why the hatred? Don't let their fans' buying tickets to games, watching on TV, listening to the radio, blogging and reading about the Royals on the internet, and rooting for the Royals to win fool you. They hate the Royals unlike anybody else in baseball.

Consider each of the following groups of people in baseball and what they think of the Royals.

Opposing players love the Royals

In a recent survey of players, 87% said that they most look forward to playing the Royals. One anonymous player, summing up the general feeling of all players, said, "We love it when the Royals come to town. Just seeing the Royals out on the field with us lifts our spirits, gives us confidence, and causes us to feel better about ourselves. I love those guys. They need to keep doing what they have been doing."

Opposing General Managers love the Royals

In a recent survey of general managers, 93% said that they most admire the work of the Royals. One anonymous General Manager, summing up the general feeling of all General Managers, said, "I love it when the Royals GM Dayton Moore calls. Just seeing that number on the caller ID lifts my spirits, gives me confidence, and causes me to feel better about myself. I love that guy. He needs to keep doing what he has been doing."

Opposing Fans love the Royals

In a recent survey of fans, 89% said they most look forward to their team playing the Royals. One anonymous fan, summing up the feelings of all fans, said, "I love it when my team plays the Royals. Just seeing the Royals come to town lifts my spirits, gives me confidence, and causes me to feel better about my team. I love those guys. They need to keep doing what they have been doing."

Royals Management love the Royals

In a recent survey of Royals management, 100% said their favorite team was the Royals. One anonymous Royals General Manager said, "I love seeing the Royals players out on the field. Just seeing them out there giving it their all lifts my spirits, gives me confidence, and causes me to feel better about my team. I love those guys. They need to keep doing what they have been doing."

Royals players love the Royals

In a recent survey of Royals players, 100% said their favorite team was the Royals. One anonymous Royals 3rd basemen, summing up the feelings of all Royals players, said, "I love getting to be out on the field with the Royals, here in the big leagues. What can be better than that? Just being there with these great players lifts my spirits, gives me confidence, and causes me to feel better about my team. I love these guys. Royals management needs to keep doing what they have been doing."

Royals fans hate the Royals

In a recent survey of Royals fans, 91% said they were glad when the Royals were done with the season. One anonymous Royals fan, summing up the feeling of all Royals fans, said, "I have learned that baseball season is where hope goes to die. Over the course of the year, the Royals will display a stunning level of incompetence, consistently do things the wrong way, make me loathe all things Royals, and gradually destroy my will to live. By the end of the season, I hate those guys."

Yet another alleged Royals fan added, "Why do they always have to lose? They took my childhood from me, and now they are taking it from my children. They make me hate baseball."

Why the hatred? Why the strong feeling? Perhaps it is that human tendency to despise that which is closest to us. If these people really are "fans", shouldn't they unconditionally accept the Royals? If the rest of the league loves the Royals, why can't the people who should be the most emotionally invested in them?

The Kansas City Royals, a model organization by any measure of the word, remain unappreciated by those that should love them the most. Perhaps more than any other group of fans in the league, the Royals' fans exhibit extreme impatience, demand immediate results, are unable to appreciate the artistic beauty of baseball the way it was meant to be played, and are only satisfied with the bottom line, no matter the effort that is put into the product.

So, Royals fan, if everybody else loves and appreciates the Royals, why can't you?

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