Let’s face the truth, since 1985, the majority of the time it’s been tough to be a Royals fan. Four out of five 100 loss seasons in the early-mid 2000’s didn’t make it easy to be a fan of the baseball team in Kansas City. However, the Royals currently have hope with a loaded farm system that is playing very well in spring training right now. Seeing these prospects play only begs the question of when will these guys make it up to the big leagues?
The answer to that question is not so simple. GM Dayton Moore has quite a task at hand in trying to gauge who is ready, when they’re ready and who to move aside to bring these young ones up. Despite how difficult these decisions are going to be, Dayton Moore has one thing working to his advantage, the decades of futility the Royals have had as an organization.
History of losing can help a GM in this situation in many ways. The biggest area is that with a culture of losing fans can wait for winning. While it may seem that Royals fans are restless (and they have every right to be) the majority of fans would rather build it the right way and have multiple years of success as opposed to gearing up for one big shot one year. Look at Carl Peterson and his tenure with the Chiefs. He always stated they were close as he stocked the team with aging overpaid stars. Some of the fans were able to pull the wool over their own eyes and convince themselves he was right, but ultimately, the fan base never got what they wanted, which was a Super Bowl. Royals fans deserve a World Series run, they have waited 25+ years for one, and they are willing to wait a little bit longer to make sure their run is a good and long one.
Moore also has it going for him that Royals fans are skeptical. Every Royals fan has been dragged through the ringer. We have all been told that great things are on the way with the likes of Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye, and Carlos Beltran only to see them traded away for seemingly nothing. We have all been teased hearing that players like Alex Gordon and Jimmy Gobble were stars in the making only to see them fall flat when reaching the majors. Further, being in the Show-Me state, Royals fans aren’t going to believe it till they see it. Believe it or not, this is good. With the requisite amount of skepticism, the hype of all these prospects is taken in stride. If some of them don’t work out (which will happen) then fans won’t be surprised, and if some of them do work out, then fans will also be surprised and this time in a very, very good way.
What is the big takeaway here? Dayton Moore has put himself in the good graces of the fans enough at this point and they are starved enough for a winner that he has the time to make it happen. Moore has constantly said that the organization is targeting the 2012-2014 range for when they will be able to make that run at the playoffs and hopefully the World Series. With all the success of the minor league system, Dayton Moore has bought himself that time frame. Moore doesn’t have the pressure to win THIS YEAR like he would if he was the GM of the Yankees or Cardinals. However, that comes with a caveat; if it gets to 2014 and the Royals haven’t made the playoffs then Moore has almost assuredly lost his job. What he’s done has gotten him a little patience with the owners and the fan base; however, if he doesn’t get the Royals where he says he will then it’s the opposite extreme.