I have a confession to make. Make that two confessions. The first is that I am 40 years old and have been a lifelong Royals fan. That may not be a surprise to you, seeing as I am posting on a Royals Blog, but having spent a lifetime rooting for the Royals I feel I need to announce it to the world. One of my earliest memories is of watching the 1980 World Series in my basement with my Dad, at the ripe age of 6. Then, a mere 5 years later, at the wise old age of 11, I remember watching game 7 of the 1985 World Series in various states of consciousness, dozing in and out of sleep. Hey, I was 11, and it was late, cut me some slack. Thankfully, my parents were loving enough to wake me up in the top of the 9th inning so I could watch the final 3 outs. The final 3 outs, it turns out, in Royals Post-Season History! Those were heady times to be a Royals fan. Seemed like it was pre-ordained they were going to be in the playoffs and World Series every couple of years. By my calculations I’d planned on having witnessed 4 or 5 more World Series appearances by now. Obviously I was a little overly optimistic.
That brings me around to my 2nd confession. I play Fantasy Baseball. In and of itself, that’s not something worth confessing, but in the 2014 season it turns out it is. See, not only do I play fantasy baseball, but I have 2 DETROIT TIGERS’ PITCHERS on my staff. The first, Rick Porcello, was a player I drafted. At the time I figured he was one of the end of rotation guys, so not too much harm in rooting for a Tiger every 5th day or so. Then, I had the audacity to trade for Justin Verlander. Now, the very being of my fantasy team hinges on two Tigers pitching well every 5 days. That’s 40% of their starting rotation. 40% of the week I spend hoping a Tiger pitcher will pitch well. What a quandary I have caused for myself.
Obviously playing fantasy baseball I’m going to have players in my lineup throughout the year that compete against the Royals. But position players are different than pitchers. A position player can have a terrific day and still have his team lose. A pitcher has a terrific day and most likely its one in the win column for his team. And 40% of the week, I’m hoping a Tiger pitcher has a terrific day. Have I lost the right to call myself a die hard Royals fan?
The Royals are playing well, but still trailing the Tigers, and my fantasy team is in 1st place. I don’t know if I have the right to be happy. Every time I insert Porcello or Verlander into my lineup I do so with trepidation. "Is this going to be a game where the Royals fall another game out of first place?" I ask myself each time. (Insert caveat: I do not pitch pitchers directly against the Royals. That’s just too much of a conflict and stress for me, and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy watching the game, rooting the Royals on to victory from the comfort of my home in those situations). I’m sure others, maybe even you, are in the same situation. How do you feel about these types of problems? If the Royals don’t make the playoffs and I win my fantasy league I don’t know if I’ll be able to truly enjoy it. I’d definitely trade a Royals playoff series for a fantasy league crown. That’s the #Royals thing to do.