The presence of Twitter in the day-to-day lives of sports fans has brought about all sorts of juicy tidbits when it comes to following our favorite sports teams.
Some are good. Some are bad.
Eric Hosmer’s Tweet Feb. 23 was a little of both. The Royals’ official slogan this season is “Our Time” and it gets its own hash tag on Twitter and Hosmer played up that slogan with this very matter-of-fact tweet:
@Hos3KC: If you were absent during our struggles don’t expect to be present during our success
Honestly, I doubt I’m talking about this if it is the middle of baseball season and the Royals are several games above .500, but it’s February, so I’m going to go all ESPN on you and over-analyze a miniscule detail from Spring Training.
The first thing that jumps out at me from this tweet is the confidence the youth core of this team continues to show. Quite frankly, it’s exciting to see the players display this kind of swagger and conviction in their abilities as a ball club that has been absent for a long time. They’ve heard they’re good, they know they’re good and they’re not afraid to talk about how good they’re about to be.
But after thinking about it for a little while, there were a couple undertones in that tweet that rubbed me the wrong way.
While I’m glad he’s acknowledging the fans who have lived and died—mostly died—with every pitch from this organization since we were kids, he’s just not really in a position to do so because he wasn’t here for the real dark days either.
The Royals haven’t been good since Hosmer became a part of the organization, but they haven’t lost 100 games since he’s been around either. Which is something they’ve shamefully accomplished more times than a winning season in the past 20 years. We were all present for that.
Hosmer didn’t grow up a Royals fan and he didn’t start experiencing the trials of a losing franchise until 2009. So, excuse me if I roll my eyes at your inclination that fans are “bandwagoners” if they haven’t shared the same enthusiasm about this dreadful franchise as the rest of us poor, pathetic souls. They probably experienced much less-stressful summers as a result.
And it’s ironic to make this sort of declaration considering those bandwagon fans will play a big role in paying his salary when and if an extension comes from the Royals.
As much as it pains some, having bandwagon fans is a good thing. It means you’ve created a product that people want to be a part of. It makes Kauffman Stadium all the more exciting when witnessing a game. If the good people of Kansas City took Hosmer’s tweet to heart, then the atmosphere at Kauffman in October would be in Jerry Seinfeld’s words, “quite lame.”
Listen, the diehards are always going to be there, hence the name. And I’m not going to sit here and judge waves of fans flocking to the K this summer to watch a successful team play just because they weren’t roughing it when the team was in dead last and playing the Oakland A’s in September.
Having lots of “bandwagon” fans show up to your games is a good thing—it means you’re winning. I’m sure if you asked Alex Gordon and Billy Butler what was more fun last season—playing in May in front of 15 thousand subdued fans, or playing in September with the same playoff prospects, but in front of 25-30 thousand intrigued fans embracing the youth movement—they would choose the latter in a New York minute.
People are excited about baseball in Kansas City that haven’t been excited about it in a very long time. They’ll come out and display that excitement night after night if the team lives up to the hype, and that is a very, very good thing.
I hope the players feel the same way.
**Hosmer has since cleared things up in an interview with Robert Ford from 610 sports. Apparently Hoz is a Will Smith fan, and I have no qualms with him there.**