Discovering that the Royals had a game tonight was a sweet bonus that I stumbled upon early this morning. For some reason I had assumed we'd get another random, early season off-day. I should have known better -- than to fall in love you with you, now I'm a prisoner to this pain -- the random off-days don't come on Fridays, when MLB likes to schedule for those bigger weekend crowds. Funny thing is, for non-attendees, we're less likely to be watching on Friday, and would prefer to have a game to entertain on us on, say, Tuesday.
Tonight the Royals send John Bale to the mound, who'll be making his first start in the big leagues since 2003, when he turned that trick nine times for the Reds. As NyRoyal's diary, nay, fanpost on Bale points out, Bale may very well be the key to the Royal's rotation this year, providing either added insurance against a regression from one of the front three, or perhaps, simply another quality arm, which may make this team much more dangerous. I've been high on Bale for two years now, for not any solid reason other than that his numbers have looked good at times, and I hear good things about his stuff. We won't find out a great deal about how successful he might be tonight, but we'll at least get started on the first chapter.
Meanwhile, the Twins counter with Scott Baker, the proud owner of a 4.71 ERA in 280 career innings.
So, after the 3-0 start, are we now, as Royals fans, convinced that the boys in blue are now the favorites for third place? From where I sit, I have no earthly idea where either the White Sox or Twins may end up. I though the Twins were dead two seasons ago, then they had their Mauer/Morneau/Liriano resurgence in '06. I will say this, over the last decade, no one has done less with more than the Twins. They've had superb seasons by numerous players, at key positions up the middle, for very cheap prices, and they've won one playoff series. They never really "went for it" either in free agency or at the deadline, but seem to have gotten a free pass. Even the holy Braves have been criticized for not quite taking home enough hardware, for goodness sakes.