The KC Royals are well into camp, but fans want to see more than bullpen sessions and catch in the outfield. Opening Day 2023 is quickly approaching, but the Royals first have to start their 15-game spring training slate.
Before the first pitch of any competitive baseball, the Royals are already projected to be one of baseball's worst teams. Kansas City fans are similarly pessimistic about this team's season-long projections. The team failed to make any splashy acquisitions this offseason and appears to be more worried about a downtown stadium than significantly improving the team. The Royals did, in fact, make some solid additions to the roster and significantly improve the coaching staff. If this team wants to keep fans interested, they can showcase their tantalizing players and coaches during spring training.
The Royals will start their spring training slate Feb. 24, against the AL West's Texas Rangers in Surprise Stadium. Fans not attending in person will not be able to watch, but can listen to the game on 610 AM.
Chris Young, a former Royals pitcher, has quickly made his mark as the Rangers' general manager. The team quickly signed top free-agent pitcher Jacob deGrom to a five-year, $185 million deal just before the winter meetings. The New York Post even labeled the Rangers as possible pennant contenders after they committed more than $750 million to players over the past two offseasons. While no spring training game should be taken lightly, the Rangers provide stiff competition for the Royals.
Plenty of tickets are still available for this opening game, starting at just $8. While traveling to Arizona is certainly not easy for every Royals fan, spring training does offer a unique atmosphere for baseball fans. Players are more accessible in this relaxed setting, plus the Arizona weather jumpstarts visions of spring weather and ball games in Kauffman Stadium again. Also, several of Kansas City's top prospects will be playing with their big-league counterparts, furthering ideas of how the Royals' future lineups could be.
The new-look Royals only have one chance to make a first impression, and they make that next Friday against the Rangers. Just remember, baseball is nearly back.