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Mental Ward: September, the playoffs, and what we're really scared of

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Wherein the fears of the author are manifest.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals lost last night. They've been doing that a lot lately. They now currently sit two wins back of home field advantage and have put together back-to-back wins just once in the last 24 games. Kansas City is now 10-17 in September, and are set to end the season with their worst month since May of 2014, which is fondly remembered as being a shit show of unreasonable Twitter meltdowns and speculative discourse on Ned Yost's tenure and future prospects. It occurred so long ago that Craig Brown was still in charge of Royals Review, though in a (perhaps) unrelated matter Max would take over mid-May.

Success has a funny way of insulating you. Did Yost do a thing? Meh. We won. And have won. A lot. Is Dayton Moore saying weird, unprovable things that contradict his organization's actions? Well, there was a World's Series appearance, so maybe we let it go?

More than that, success raises the water level. Everything rises with it: Expectation. Perception. Reaction. All of them become orbited around the new normal. So when that normalcy is disjointed, we have a tendency to look at it as a threat.

All social movements have dealt with such displacement on a macro scale. Sports, as a reflection of society, deal with it on a different level, but a level nonetheless. So when Kansas City loses 17 out of 27 games after winning 80 of the previous 130, the first tendency is to provocation, and through this we attempt to rationalize.

But instinctually, we aren't talking about now. Most people who are concerned with Kansas City's current performance aren't really concerned with their current performance. They are concerned about what it means for next week, for the playoffs, and the relative but present notion that success can be fleeting.

On the one hand, the Royals have been the best team in baseball for the past two seasons, winning more games than any other MLB club. On the other, they went through two decades of obscurity marked by a single winning season that took everyone by surprise.

With that history, the fans can be forgiven for striving for all of the success they can get their hands on. Nobody wants Kansas City baseball to return to 2004. The ever-present fear that it may happen again, though, is still very real.

With Alex Gordon possibly swinging his final games for the club, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas staring down their last few arbitration years, and Kansas City trading off a majority of their stock to sell short on Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist, intuitively it feels like the past is not that far from our future.

Our moments here may be the only ones we get. Between a future not set, a future imperfect, and a future uncertain, the guarantees of tomorrow pale to the tangible now. Every gripe for a Royals loss is an insinuation that things may never be this good again.