Kansas City Royals: Mike Moustakas and the Curse of Steve Balboni

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 15: Mike Moustakas
OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 15: Mike Moustakas /
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Kansas City Royals
OAKLAND, CA – AUGUST 15: Mike Moustakas /

Since Sept. 1, Mike Moustakas has been tied for the Kansas City Royals single-season home run mark. Why has Moose been unable to set the record he currently holds with Steve Balboni?

It’s seemed like a foregone conclusion for much of the season. The Kansas City Royals were finally going to have a new home run king.

After an embarrassingly long time, Mike Moustakas was finally going to break the single-season franchise mark for home runs. Steve Balboni had held the record of 36 since 1985, meaning the mark of long-ball futility has stretched longer than the World Series drought.

Fittingly, one of the members of the team that snapped the 30-year world championship drought had brought enough rain to threaten the home run record in August.

Given the astronomical increase in home runs since the mid-1980s, it’s amazing that the record has stood for this long. It’s even more amazing that Moustakas is the only player to have seriously challenged the mark in the past 22 years. Aside from Moustakas, only Jermaine Dye (33 in 2000) and Kendrys Morales (30 in 2016) have even reached the 30-homer mark this millennium.

However, Moustakas has only been able to match the mark. It’s now past the midway point in September, and the record still hasn’t been broken.

That means it’s time to wonder whether or not he will break it over the Kansas City Royals’ final 13 games of the season. It’s also the time to explore the reasons the Moose has only been loose once since Aug. 15.