The KC Royals lost 100+ games two of the last three years. It won’t happen again in 2021.
Fond memories of two straight World Series trips and a championship hadn’t faded much when the KC Royals imploded with two straight 100-plus loss seasons in 2018 and 2019. Stunning in severity, it was a painful fall from grace.
A short 2020 season made losing 100 for a third year in a row impossible, but the Royals were still on pace to lose 92 when the campaign ended with a late September victory over Cleveland. The win capped a near-.500 12-13 final month, a span of improved play that triggered new hope for the club. Productive offseason moves ignited new optimism.
Squelched now is serious talk of 100 losses; conversation centers more on how many games Kansas City will win.
Solid reasons underlie this change, not the least of which is management’s resolve to make the team better. Fans yearned for the franchise to be more aggressive when principal owner John Sherman assumed control, but last season wasn’t the time to make wholesale changes. A new course had to wait until winter.
The wait was worth it—General Manager Dayton Moore, with more room to maneuver and a steely resolve to improve the Royals, filled the last spot in the starting rotation with Mike Minor, solved the first base puzzle with Carlos Santana, and hopefully found a new center fielder in Michael A. Taylor. And, true to form, he mined the field of discarded pitchers to land former Royals Wade Davis and Ervin Santana. Then he signed infielder Hanser Alberto, and iced the cake when he ended his search for a new lefty bat and left fielder by trading for Andrew Benintendi.
Those moves alone almost assure the club of avoiding 100 losses. Moore did what it took to complete the rebuild he sometimes seemed reluctant to acknowledge. His, and the club’s, resolve to win again is the first reason the KC Royals won’t lose 100 times in 2021.
What are some others?