Winning! Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
That’s happened to me a few times this season…the Royals make a believer out of me, then they fall on their face, forcing me to wave the white flag and realize they just aren’t ready to win. But they always seem to right the ship. Every. Single. Time.
And if I’m being honest…I never think I’m “out.” I’m too invested in this team and have been for most of my life. So maybe “out” isn’t the right word…but you know what I mean. As fans, there is generally that point where we all emotionally check out when it comes to Royals baseball. And that time always comes long before the middle of the September. But every time this team is on life support, there is a miraculous recovery. It’s September 11, and this team actually has a chance at the postseason.
I almost hesitate to write anything too positive at all. I normally try to stay quiet about it and not get too excited because I’m afraid somehow I’m going to jinx the Royals and send them into a tailspin. But dammit…this season – this team – has me excited. Watching the this playoff race, as the end of the season comes hurtling towards us, is a bit like watching the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad. You’re not quite sure what’s going to happen next, and every installment leaves you on the edge of your seat, excited for more.
I just don’t have anything negative to harp on right now. This is too much fun for negativity. I mean, sure…I’m still ticked off about the first game of the Cleveland series, particularly the handling of the ninth inning by Ned Yost. But I’m not going to get into all that. And part of the blame for that inning should be placed squarely on the shoulder of Carlos Pena anyway. And I would place it there if he’d get that bat off his shoulder and make a little space for me.
Sep 8, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals first basemen Eric Hosmer (35) hits a three-run home run against the Detroit Tigers during the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
But like I said…this is not about being negative. We should focus on happy things like the emergence of Eric Hosmer, the continued brilliance of Alex Gordon, the salvaging of Luke Hochevar’s career, Greg Holland’s dominance, and so on, and so on, and so on…
This is so real the team even released postseason ticket options to season ticket holders. I mean…I’ve always had that glimmer of hope that one day, if the Royals could just do this or that or fill a hole here or there, that one day they’d be good again. Like actually really good. I kind of feel like we’re there? Aren’t we? Is this real? Is it a dream? I’m not sure how to behave at this point…I mean…this is pretty cool, right? Normally we’re all wondering what next year will bring…looking to football for a change of pace…wondering how we’ll replace the guys we traded at the deadline since we’re headed for another 90 to 100 losses. But not this year. This year, we get to see how the other half lives. This year…people are really sticking around.
In the immortal words of David Byrne and the Talking Heads: “You may ask yourself, where does that highway lead to?” Well, I wish I could say this highway leads to the postseason, but I just don’t know. It could lead to a 20 car pileup if this team crashes and burns in Detroit. Or this car might just speed past the Tigers and keep flying down the highway. All I know is, wherever it leads, this season has been one hell of a good time. I say we all buckle in and enjoy the ride.