The expectations are higher than they have been in at least a decade for fans of our boys in blue. In the last three weeks confidence has been shaken with Manny Pina and Salvador Perez going down with the same fluke injury and a trade which left the twittersphere scratching their heads.
I don’t need to tell anyone who was born prior to 1985 about how being a Royals fan is special because it’s not like being a fan of the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs or Cardinals. Growing up in Omaha and going to college in Kearney, Nebraska, it’s normal to see Royals gear. Spending the last three years in Melbourne, Florida and Corpus Christi, Texas makes people ask why.
It’s simple. The winning has been few and far between and I was two years old the last time October was achieved. I feel being a fan of Kansas City sports has allowed me to develop a sense of humor that you don’t get with your team winning every single year like postseason perennials such as New York, Boston and St. Louis.
Setbacks are common in life and sports. It just happens that Royals village (a term I started a few years ago since we’re not big enough to be a nation) are used to them. Draft busts and bad free agent signings have been our story in past years. It’s hard to say how 2012 is going to turn out and to avoid fans saying, “here we go again,” with the events previously described.
Optimism was at an all-time high last September and lasted until early March I’d say, which is pretty good compared to the usual length of time. Am I ready for opening day? Hell yeah! It may have something to do with missing the last three opening days at Kauffman Stadium in person (I will be there unless something unforeseen happens) after a string of 18 straight was snapped.
Will there be points of negativity and banging heads against walls? It happens during times of success and failure for every team. We’ve just had more of it in Kansas City over the last 27 years. At least we’re not the Cubs, right?
The clock says “Our Time,” but that doesn’t mean it’s our year. Take it as a pronouncement that others are on notice as the Royals championship window opens over the course of the next handful of years hopefully. Don’t take that as me bailing on this season. For fans I think we should be excited if the Royals are competitive for half the year with the hope it lasts all season leading to the ultimate glory.
This year, next year or the one after things will be better and the ride will be much better than it has been recently. I don’t have to warn anyone about this being a bumpy ride because I don’t need to insult anyone’s intelligence who regularly follows the organization.
We’re resilient because we’re Royals fans and can laugh at ourselves because of previous failure in close to every aspect of this organization since reaching the summit. We’ve taken multiple approaches at climbing the mountain failing more times than (insert favorite joke here) we all would have liked. Opening day is approaching and I cannot wait to start talking about that. Buckle up for what could be a potentially bumpy, but exciting, ride.