KC Royals fans had reasons to be excited when the 2022 season started four months ago. Zack Greinke was back, Bobby Witt Jr. was finally a big leaguer, and a promising group of prospects was knocking on the big league door.
Some fancifully talked of contention, but fighting for a postseason berth as August closed in on September was never anything more than a dream. Kansas City simply wasn’t good enough to contend.
And now, with fewer than 50 games left before the Royals close up shop for the season and begin searching for ways to improve their incomplete club, they’re 14 games behind American League Central front-runner Cleveland and 13 behind in the Wild Card race. KC won’t finish with a winning record and five regular season games in Cleveland will be the only October baseball this team plays.
Why, then, should Kansas City fans pay further attention to this team, especially with the Kansas City Chiefs edging closer to starting their season?
Here are some good reasons.
The KC Royals are suddenly playing with new and exciting vigor and energy.
Not so long ago, fans and media weren’t describing the Royals in flattering terms. Characterizations of the team, and even some of its players, as bad, uninspired, and disinterested, weren’t hard to find.
They are now. Replaced most often by “energetic” and “exciting,” those descriptors have all but disappeared from Royals vernacular, and justifiably so. A new vigor and seemingly new inspiration and purpose have swept over this suddenly better team, one that entered Friday night’s game against the Dodgers as winner of eight of its last 12 games.
This is, by most accounts, a “new” KC team. The Royals won’t win them all down the stretch, but they’ve become interesting again. That’s reason enough to keep watching.