Royals Rants: Wally's World of Negativity

Jordan BrattCorrespondent IJanuary 23, 2010

"You can give in to the failure messages and be a bitter deadbeat of excuses. Or you can choose to be happy and positive and excited about life."

—A.L. Williams

While trolling around one of the many sporting Web sites I frequent——I came across a link to an article I had written earlier in the month. 

Below that Ballhype link was a retort to my piece from a Kansas City Royals bloger on a site I am familiar with: Wally Fish at Kings of Kauffman.

He begins his article with an admission of pessimism, though, as he quotes a reader's comment (unedited):

“Dude, if DM says, yes, you say, no. If he says, no, you say, yes. Stop complaining.”

Then, insisting "a little positivity never hurt anyone so [he] set out to find something uplifting to say," Wally goes on to pluck my article at random and dissect it.

Apparently the tongue-and-cheek title—"Staying Podsitive"—went right over his head as he convoluted analytical points and wishful thinking.

My phrase, "Who’s to say the Royals don’t add another big left arm and/or a couple sticks?*," seemed to send him into a dismissive demeanor in which his opinion was deemed fact.

(*The Royals did, in fact, add a bat to the middle of their lineup on Friday with the acquisition of Rick Ankiel.)

While his tirade included some very valid points, they were often overstated for dramatic effect; for instance:

"I’m still waiting to read something that explains how signing Erik Bedard to an incentive laden one-year contract does the 2010 Kansas City Royals any good."

...was followed by:

"The main benefit the Royals would gain from signing Bedard is the chance that they could flip him at the trade deadline assuming he comes back in time, is healthy, and effective. The last of those three criteria may not even be necessary to deal him, but it would sure help the potential return in a deal."

This cut-and-paste evidence is not meant to demean or dismiss Wally's opinions, though that was his intention when dissecting my article; instead, it is to illustrate how inaccuracies can creep into the sentiments of a pessimistic fan.

I can see that Wally really does want the Royals to succeed, but he is beaten down from years of ineptness on behalf of the ball club. We all are. His simultaneous rooting and booing is obvious in both his analysis and writing style.

The difference between us is that I choose to stay optimistic about the club and its process. I believe that building from the ground up while focusing on starting pitching and sprinkling in free agent acquisitions is the correct way to strengthen a small-market franchise. That is how the Minnesota Twins have been so successful, and installing that philosophy into a franchise can take time.

Allard Baird was a drain on our farm system, and, given the imperfections of the baseball draft and time development typically takes, two or three years is not long enough to establish terra firma.

When Dayton Moore came to Kansas City in 2006 and everyone was screaming "2010" from the rooftops, they were drunk with confidence. On the other hand, I try to remain realistically optimistic. In response to my optimistic, but by no means delusional, statement:

"Who’s to say Josh Fields doesn’t turn back into Mark Reynolds? Who’s to say that doesn’t push along Alex Gordon’s development?"

...Wally responds with negativity and hatred oozing from his pores:

"This is a fun game to play, but it doesn’t really get us anywhere. Who’s to say that Yuniesky Betancourt doesn’t hit 30 HR in 2010?"


I say that Wally. That is something I will scream from the rooftops. Maybe the development of a sarcasm font will help with your comedy career, but I doubt it.

Besides, you are not exactly comparing apples to apples. This is a classic argument technique of pessimistic fans; they take a hopeful statement, equate it to an asinine statement, and bring up past mistakes that have little to nothing to do with the present situation as their evidence for failure.

Josh Fields (2007): 373 AB, 23 HR, 67 RBI, 35 BB, 125 K (Age 25)

Mark Reynolds (2008): 539 AB, 28 HR, 97 RBI, 64 BB, 204 K (Age 25)


Yuniesky Betancourt (2009): 6 HR (Age 27)

This is where I typically lose my patience when talking Royals baseball with the Debbie Downers of Kansas City.

After this argument, Wally goes on to state:

"I’m not exactly an optimistic or pessimistic person. I’m a realistic, pragmatic person who values logic, reason, and rational thought." the argument about Betancourt hitting 30 home runs? Because there was nothing realistic, pragmatic, logical, reasonable, or rational about that statement. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

Again, I will state that Wally makes some very valid points in his article, but he's also secreting negativity and pessimism that clouds his viable concerns and creates a halo of hatred that is difficult to get past.

I admit that my views are generally optimistic and that I am a biased fan, but do not insult me with your half-hatched arguments and opinion-based "facts," Wally. Many of us true Royals fans are getting fed up with your viewpoints. You are not cutting edge or revolutionary. You are a sheep in the heard of pessimism. In this case, it is the shepherd who believes.

"You see things; and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?'"

—George Bernard Shaw