I'd like to preface what I am about to say with a short qualification. What follows could very likely come across as being self-aggrandizing. It may even seem like I am trying to add a degree of importance to this thing that I do as a hobby.
Let me assure you, I have mixed feelings about this blogging thing that I have taken to. It is a medium by which we (by "we", I mean "I") can say virtually whatever we want with little or no repercussions. In anger, I am sure I have crossed a line here or there.
Furthermore, when I tell people that I write a blog about the Royals, it is not without a more than proportionate amount of shame and embarrassment. Not all of those negative feelings have causes that can be attributed to the shameful team that I unfortunately am a fan of.
I certainly have no delusions of grandeur insofar as my status in the world is concerned.
Now that I have hopefully made all that abundantly clear, I will say that amongst a sports franchise's fan base, there are not that many who feel so strongly about their team that they elect to write at length about that team. It is an endeavor that is not for the weak of heart. The dedication it takes to spend countless hours expounding upon the performance of a franchise both on and off the field is nearly immeasurable.
For fans of some teams, the time and dedication is rewarded by success in the win column. It wouldn't be difficult to find the time to write about a team like the Yankees or the Red Sox or the Cardinals. Their on-field performance warrants such dedication.
Admittedly, this is an inexact exercise, but the simple google search of "Boston Red Sox blog" turns up 8,080,000 results. When interchanging "Kansas City Royals" for "Boston Red Sox", 1,240,000 hits pop up.
This is no coincidence.
While Kansas City is certainly a smaller market than Boston, its fan base has been depleted by years of neglect and losing.
Despite this September surge, this has been the most disappointing season I can remember. The losing has been hard to handle, to be sure. More disturbing by far has been the fact that it would seem no one is at the helm of this aimless ship.
When combining the atrocious roster moves, the wasted money, the squandered start, and the lack of vision, it is not surprising that many of those dedicated Royals bloggers have lost interest.
The vitriolic, anti-stat Dr. Thunder and Southern Lightning at Hapless Royals have jumped ship.
The thoughtful Michael A. Molde over at Undying Royalty hasn't been able to bring himself to write an entry since May 22.
Levi "Tug" Payton over at Everything Royals essentially hung everything up on Aug. 2.
Only six of H.G. Miller's 28 posts this year over at Royal Reactions have come since June.
I could keep going because there are many others (The Tao and Keith to name but a couple more) who have fallen by the wayside as this Royals team has made us question everything our fandom means to us. But surely, no one has summed up our collective discouragement as the most prominent Royals blogger, Rany Jazayerli, did on what is to be his last post for quite some time.
Through all of this one thing becomes increasingly clear. While Dayton Moore & Co. continue to take umbrage with any criticism lobbed in their direction, many of the Royals most dedicated and passionate fans are simply giving up.
While Billy Butler's season has been cause for a little hope, and Joakim Soria has still been The Mexicutioner, there is really only one reason to watch this team ever.
Meaningless September wins are not going to change this.
Dayton Moore, this season has worn your fans out. As much as we know you want to win, we no longer have the belief that we will ever see that happen. We are collectively giving up.
So if your goal was to defeat the Royals fans who might be voices of dissent when things have gone so far awry, you have won that battle, Mr. Moore.
It seems clear that we've all lost steam.