Royals fans have a rare opportunity to make a statement.
We knew 2011 could be a rough year, and, with the second-worst record in the majors, there isn’t a lot to be positive about. Aaron Crow made the All-Star team as a rookie, and his season has been All-Star caliber, but Alex Gordon got snubbed.
Now, however, he’s up against four others in a voting campaign for the last spot.
My opinion has always been that the Royals, despite years of losing, have one of the most passionate and devoted fanbases in all of baseball. For all the eye-rolling about the Cardinals proclaiming themselves the “best fans in baseball”, no such proclamations come from Kansas City.
For one, I don’t think we have to tell ourselves that. We know on our own that we’re good fans because, well, we’re still watching a team that hasn’t exceeded 81 wins since 2003 and hasn’t sniffed the playoffs since 1985 (despite flirtations in 1989 and 1994).
Alex Gordon deserves to be an All-Star. Maybe he’s not having a better season than Paul Konerko of the White Sox, who’s definitely deserving, but Konerko’s worthiness doesn’t do anything to diminish Gordon’s candidacy. Gordon deserves it.
And Kansas City needs to rally behind him.
The Royals need some kind of win this year. In a lot of ways, Gordon symbolizes this franchise at this point. A second overall pick, he comes in with high expectations, not unlike the Best Farm System In Baseball title bestowed upon the Royals in the offseason. He’s a local kid, a Midwesterner. He’s usually soft-spoken (unless he’s putting Cardinals fans in their place).
He’s been shuffled back and forth from Omaha, been asked to change positions and has finally started to approach the expectations that we all had for him. Royals fans crave a superstar to root for. George Brett isn’t going to walk through that door, so to speak. Witness the thousands who walked up to see Eric Hosmer‘s debut; Kansas City is a baseball town, and we want something to root for. Right now, Alex Gordon is that cause.
Moreover, let’s send a message that we’re going to get behind the successes of the team. Let’s get behind Kansas City against the big mean markets of Chicago and Detroit.
Heck, let’s take a page out of Chicago’s playbook – vote early, vote often.