Respect. Rodney Dangerfield could never get it. Otis Redding originally sang about it before the song was popularized by Aretha Franklin. Great Britain even has the Respect Party. People get into fights over feeling disrespected. In some ways, respect may be one of the more important things on the planet.
It is, also, one thing that the Royals seemingly have not gotten from most of the league over the past couple of decades. More often than not over that time frame, they have had their token, league mandated All-Star, someone that was there strictly because every team needed to be represented. Remember the Mark Redman All-Star selection? That was definitely a cringe worthy moment.
Even in that one winning season in 2003, there was never really a feeling throughout the rest of the country that the Royals were really any good. For the most part, they were considered more of a feeder team for the rest of the league to snatch solid players that were going to become too expensive for them to afford. And for the most part, that perception was correct.
However, things may have changed for the Royals. With more teams starting to price games differently based on opponents in an effort to draw fans to the ballpark, teams have been given different designations. For instance, the Boston Red Sox have a five tiered system when it comes to ticket pricing for 2014. Looking at the tiers, sitting right there with the Yankees at Tier One pricing, happen to be none other than the Royals, putting them above such teams as the Rays and the Rangers.
That is what building a team that appears as though it could be a contender can do. With a rotation fronted by James Shields and a strong bullpen, if the Royals offense can produce at all, they could be a factor in the American League Central. With the way the roster is constructed, and if Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas can break out, that could be a very real possibility.
After many long years of being considered nothing but a group of also rans, the Kansas City Royals appear to be getting some respect around baseball. Hopefully, they can contend in 2014 and prove that respect to be well deserved.