This winter has been especially brutal. Here in Southeastern New England, we suffered through over 100 inches of snow. Out in the Midwest, temperatures were truly brutal, even if the snowfall was not as ridiculous. Yet, no matter how bad the winter was, the knowledge that, at some point when the weather got warmer, the Kansas City Royals would be raising the American League Championship flag was enough to help us make it through.
Now, tomorrow, that day we had waited for will become a reality. The 2014 American League banner will fly proudly above Kauffman Stadium, the first such flag to be raised in 29 years. It will be a day of pride, a day where we remember that improbable team that could. In fact, the Royals are going to raise that banner high enough where it will be seen from Interstate 70, letting passersby or those unable to join the sellout crowd be a part of the festivities.
With the raising of that banner, it will be a sign that Kansas City Royals baseball is back to where it once was. A once proud franchise that had been relegated to also-ran status is now back and reclaimed their rightful crown. Now that the Royals have once again made the playoffs, it is time to put those days in the rearview mirror.
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And when that banner is raised high above Kauffman Stadium, it will be time for the Royals to turn the page as well. As great as the 2014 season was, it is time to put that success in the rearview mirror as well. It will be time to truly usher in a new era of Kansas City Royals baseball, a time where the future will finally meet the present.
That future will be on full display on Monday afternoon. Yordano Ventura, the newly extended Royals ace, will be taking the mound, looking to build off of his impressive rookie campaign. Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas will be looking to finally have that breakout season that we have all been waiting for. Lorenzo Cain will be looking to build off of his own breakout year, while fending off the antics of new leader Salvador Perez.
While no one can ever take away the memories and the excitement of the 2014 season, the Royals cannot sit back on their laurels and that push through September and October. Once that flag is raised, it is time for the Royals to take care of some unfinished business, and bring back the crown.