At some point randomness loses its ability to be a persuasive answer. In 2003, the Royals played three months of .550 baseball (actually two months of .600 ball with a .480 month in between) and hit the All-Star break with a huge lead. We belived, and kept believing, all the way to the bitter end. Even the usually dour (and rightly so) Rob Neyer wrote about "falling in love" with that Royals team, and well into September, the Royals entertained dreams of October.
Living in Indiana at the time, I remember telling myself all summer, "if this team makes the playoffs, you're going, theres no way you're not making this".
Well, we all know how that ended, despite the fact that for some, including once again yours truly, the dream died hard. Heading into 2004 the Royals were a defendable pick to win the AL Central... Instead, the Royals responded with a despair-inducing season that saw the team decide to start all over (again!??).
So whats going on now? And how do we respond?
Basically, we just enjoy it. In 2003, there was a legitimate danger inherent in all the giddiness; if Allard had truly "gone for it" and made a gigantic trade, the team's fortunes for the next 2-4 seasons could have been drastically altered. Of course, in retro-retrospect of what we taught we'd think at the time, it seems doubly silly: umm, the Royals still suck anyway, so I guess it didn't matter.
I really love the Emil Brown quote running on the AP wire tonight, ``I'm not going to try to figure it out because when we figure it out, it might end". That pretty much sums everything about this Coincidental-Bell-Hot-Streak up.
As usual, the Royals showed little patience or power, managing only 3 doubles compared to 12 singles and three walks. Essentially, its a water-torture offense, but lately, well, the approach has worked.
Finally, of the praises of the Royals bullpen I will continue to sing. Wood-Burgos-Affeldt picked up for a medicore Greinke, throwing a 4IP, 4H, 4BB, 1K 0ER line. Once again, I'm tempted to say our boys were lucky, as the perpetually pathetic strikeout numbers belie a larger problem, but tonight none of that matters.
13 wins after 50 games, then 11 wins in the next 15. Wow...