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Are the Royals Still in the AL Central Race?

The Royals looked dead two weeks ago, but in the AL Central, if you can play .500 for any extended period of time, you'll usually move up in the standings. The five teams in this division simply aren't that strong. Thanks to a torrid 5-5 stretch, the Royals are now just 7 games behind division leading Detroit.

AL Central Standings

Detroit 37 30 .552 0 Won 2
Cleveland 35 30 .538 1 Lost 1
Chicago 33 35 .485 4.5 Won 2
Kansas City 30 37 .447 7 Won 2
Minnesota 26 39 .400 10 Won 2

(updated 6.15.2011 at 1:00 PM EDT)

Are the Royals still in contention, or has the off-season already started? Seven is an odd number. At five games, I might say, "yes, this isn't over." At 10 games, I most definitely would throw in the emotional towel (which I actually did about a month ago anyway). However, the Royals are at seven games... are they alive? If pundits are now saying the Twins are back in it, where does that leave the Royals?

Obviously, for us, this is all a silly matter of perception. The Royals certainly won't be buyers on the trade market at this rate, but they might get too close around the deadline to sell off their modest veteran assets either. Job one, in any case, probably needs to be getting to .500. Then the conversation can start.