Here we are. The Royals currently sit one game above .500 in the standings. With a single game remaining in July, that means they are guaranteed to finish the month at .500 or better for the first time in I have no idea. It's been awhile. Maybe we should just leave it at that.
I don't know why there is so much focus on the record. The quest for .500. It strikes me as irrelevant. Isn't position in the division and wild card races much more important. Take the Royals. They are the hottest team in baseball, winners of seven in a row and eight of their last 10. Yet since that time, they have failed to make up a single game on the division leaders, the Tigers. Yep, Detroit has also won eight of their last 10.
The Royals aren't even in second place. The Indians are between Kansas City and Detroit. Yet over this 10 game stretch, the Royals have gained just one game on Cleveland. Because the Indians are almost as hot as the Royals and the Tigers, winning seven of their last 10.
It can be difficult to gain ground.
The Royals have made up some of their deficit in the Wild Card race and are just five games back. That sounds great, but when you look at the standings and realize the Royals have the ninth best record in the AL, the climb to contention seems a little more daunting. For the Royals to catapult themselves into position for the wild card, they would need to lap Cleveland, Texas and New York. All three teams have flaws, but so do the Royals.
It isn't easy being a general manager. That's why they get paid the big bucks.
The trade deadline is hours away and Dayton Moore has a decision to make. Buy, sell or stand pat. The Royals have some prospects in the lower levels of the minors and they may even have a few major league chips they can throw into the mix. Rumors last night had it all quiet on the Royals front, but this is the trade deadline. Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see. There's smoke screens, misdirections and outright lies to navigate. Everyone plays. Not everyone makes a move.
The next several hours will tell us a lot about how Moore and the Royals brain trust view their team. The next several hours will be very interesting.