So, this week sucked. It sucked a lot.
An episode of Criminal Minds comes to mind, where the serial killer in question was known for drowning his victim, reviving him or her and then repeating that process. That’s what this week felt like.
It was predictable in the way that baseball is predictable sometimes. When you’re hot, you’re hot. When you’re cold, you’re cold. And this week, everything that could have possibly gone wrong went wrong. Salvador Perez and Trevor Cahill hit the DL. Alcides Escobar forgot how to play shortstop. The Royals bullpen couldn't stop giving up runs.
It was one of the worst weeks of baseball that I can remember.
The Royals have lost nine of 11 games and have gone from having a nice little cushion for the second wild card to not even being the runner up for the second wild card. Yet, despite that has happened, they are still just one game removed from a playoff spot with 48 games to play.
If you know me or follow me on Twitter, you will know that I am not an optimist. In fact, I am often the pessimist in whatever group I find myself in. As late as July 1, this was my opinion on the Royals season.
Sell— Ryan Heffernon (@RyanHeffernon) July 2, 2017
So while what I am about to say might be a little bit out of my character, it is still true, if not simply because it is the only real choice that Royals fans have at this point.
That choice being to weather the storm and stay fully bought in on 2017.
Why? Well, there are a few reasons. The first being that we don’t really have another choice. This isn’t like most of the July’s and August’s that Royals fans spent waiting for the Chiefs to be back. If this season tanks, the greatest Royals team ever is likely done for good. I’m not entirely ready for that to be true.
Even if being all in means scraping together just enough wins to get into the second wild card spot, it is worth it. It is worth it to give this core one more shot at the postseason. And as of today, even with the Royals having won just two games in almost two weeks, the Royals are still as much of a contender as anybody.
It is also goes without saying that we are to the point of no return. Any notion of breaking this team up is long gone, so it’s playoffs or bust. If we have learned anything about Dayton Moore and the Royals, however, it was always that way. But with the deadline passing, it is now official.
So that leaves us in a sticky situation as fans. If there is one aspect of baseball fandom that is unique, it is the panic button and how quickly it is pressed compared to how slowly it is pressed within the franchise.
Baseball is a funny game when the panic button can be pressed on a team that, two weeks ago, might as well have been printing World Series tickets.
What is almost certain is this: the panic button is not being pressed in the Royals locker room right now. Why would it be? It’s August 10 and the team is just 1.5 games out of a playoff spot.
There may very well be a time where we relentlessly press that button, begging for mercy, but that time is not now. The Royals were the best team in the American League in June and July. Bad teams don’t do that.
So yes, this week sucked. Luckily for us, the Royals get to play two pretty bad teams over the next six games and then get a shot at the Indians.
There are a lot of games left to be played, and this team has proven themselves time and time again.
Hopefully, they can do it one last time.