It is May 9. The Kansas City Royals haven't been under .500 yet, just as they weren't under .500 all of last year, just as they weren't under .500 since July of 2014. Even though this season has been rough in a number of ways, it is almost impossible to definitively label any team a disappointment on May 9 (though the Houston Astros are trying really, really hard). So the Royals? Even though they are already almost a half-dozen games behind first place in the American League Central? Yeah, not a disappointment yet. Not even close.
We all know what success looks like - winning another World Series. Thank all of the Baseball Gods that this is the measure for success for this Royals team, as opposed to working hard to lose by two runs rather than eight a decade ago. I think it is also pretty safe to say that even losing a World Series would be a success. An American League Championship is still pretty darn fantastic.
After that, though, it gets fuzzy. What does disappointment look like? And I'm not talking about disappointment in the moment. I'm talking about disappointment in the season as a whole. Is it getting knocked out in the first round of the ALDS? Is it squeezing into the Wild Card only to be 2014 Royal'd?
Obviously we want the Royals to do well, some so much so that any whispering of negativity is paramount to high treason. For instance, I can almost guarantee somebody will read 'disappointing' in the title, refuse to read this article, and leave a comment about how the writers here are so negative. Sometimes I wonder at that kind of snap reaction to negativity (or realism, as the case may sometimes be). Is it actually due to fear? The nagging sensation that this could all come crashing down at any point? One Mike Moustakas thumb here, one Alex Gordon torn muscle there...and it could all be gone.
We are in our infancy here as fans of the Kansas City Royals, Competent Baseball Team. Most teams don't go from zero to back-to-back American League Champions, one of which also yielded a World Series trophy. Baseball, and sports in general, is littered with good or great teams that never quite won the final game of the season. The 2000-2006 Oakland Athletics, juggernauts in their own right, never one even a single game in the ALCS. The 2009-2013 Texas Rangers made two Series but walked away with zero Series trophies. The 2005-2010 Cleveland Cavaliers were powered by the best basketball player alive and never won a title, and the current version is a behemoth that had the bad timing to come to power at the same time as Stephen Curry became STEPHEN CURRY.
The Royals post-awesomeness haven't slowed down at all. They won't go on to win every World Series from now on; they will stall at some point. As a fanbase, we've experienced the absolute worst that baseball has to offer and the absolute best over the past decade, and not that much in between.
So what would you consider disappointing? What do you expect out of this club in the first place? If they don't meet those expectations, how disappointed will you be? Please participate in our poll and leave a comment below.