5 ‘feel good’ things from the 2022 KC Royals season

(Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports) /
1 of 5

Three weeks have passed since the KC Royals finished another disappointing season with a one-sided 9-2 loss road loss to Cleveland, a defeat punctuated just hours later by the dismissals of manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred.

Kansas City suffered 97 losses and finished last in the American League Central, behind even the long-struggling Detroit Tigers. The Royals too frequently couldn’t pitch, couldn’t hit, and didn’t compete. Now, they enter baseball’s winter without a manager and with an uncertain future.

Fortunately, however, not everything is bleak around Kauffman Stadium. A handful of things about the 2022 season should make fans feel better.

Let’s take a look.

2022 “Feel Good” No. 5: An October home run by a veteran KC Royals star.

Salvador Perez’s 2022 season was a mixed bag, especially for those fans unreasonably expecting it to be a carbon copy of his incredible 2021 campaign. Although he hit 23 home runs and went on a second-half tear, he still hit only .254, and recurring thumb problems forced him out of action for seven weeks.

He played in only 114 games, his lowest total—not counting the pandemic-abbreviated 2020 season—since 2012, when he appeared in 76 contests in his second big league season.

But Perez ended the year in style, clubbing this Oct. 1 home run against Cleveland:

It was his last homer of the year—thumb soreness forced him out of the game and he missed the club’s final four contests.

Because Perez didn’t play again, considering this a “feel good” moment might seem strange. But he finished with a homer, giving fans hope he’ll enjoy a good 2023.