There appear to be two sides forming among Royals fans in the Kansas City Metro area.
Local talk radio is buzzing about the Royals (for a change), their recent encouraging performances, and the fact that good fortune has finally begun to shine on them.
When a franchise is as parched for wins as this one is, the assumption is that the fan base would be eager to jump on the bandwagon.
As a matter of fact, who was the manager* of that team?
*Current Royals Manager Ned Yost led those Brewers through their memorable turnaround. He was ultimately fired before the end of the season due to varying accounts, but one has to assume he greatly influenced the fruition of talented players like Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun.
Young players seem to like Yost. And when young players are enjoying themselves, they play loose and perform to their abilities.
Royals fans seem to be a bit less gung ho than their Milwaukee counterparts.
Many hate to admit it, but they bought into Dayton Moore's "plan" and it makes sense.
Small market teams need to build through the draft. Because of this, the Royals performance bottom line (wins and losses) this season is being perceived as inconsequential.
However, just because the team is waiting for the maturation of key elements doesn't mean they should shy away from winning now, even if that means they don't get a look at a couple extra prospects this year.
Years of losing baseball teams in Kansas City have skewed public opinion. Seasons are viewed in black and white by locals. The assumption is that anything short of a playoff birth is basically par for the last 25 years.
Finishing at under 100 (or 90) losses doesn't appear important.
Finishing at .500 or better doesn't appear important either.
Playoffs or bust!
While sacrificing the future to win this year is a horrible idea, the Royals should automatically be more talented next season because their young, high priced talent is gaining experience.
A winning attitude from mainstay pieces like Billy Butler and Zack Greinke can additionally go a long way toward the future development of this club (as well as help the club when it is time to re-sign these individuals).
Mike Moustakas highlights the excelling blue chip talent class this season. Spring training invites will be in abundance at the AA and AAA levels in 2011.
So why are so many local fans actively rooting against their ball club?
Many say the Royals can't move forward in 2010 until they throw in the towel.
When that happens, apparently, the veteran's will be shed from the roster and everyone will be able to see what the franchise truly has in particular talent, namely Kila Ka'aihue and Alex Gordon.
That is apparently the only way 2010 can be a successful season.
Though I wouldn't mind seeing Gordon spend a bit more time on the farm, I have longed to see Ka'aihue prove his worth. He has nothing else to prove in Omaha.
However, firing Jose Guillen (14 HR, 52 RBI), benching Scott Podsednik (.296, 96 H, 24 SB) and/or trading David DeJesus (.331, 105 H) for peanuts is not a viable option to solve this problem.
This is baseball. There are at-bats to be had, especially with an aging outfield.
The club is finding at-bats for Wilson Betemit, they could find them for Kila if they really wanted to.
The club apparently prefers to see what they have in Mitch Maier rather than Kila Ka'aihue.
David DeJesus is no better in right field than he is in center - the point could be made he is worse - while Guillen is trying to play good defense and prove his worth in a contract year. By playing them in center and right, the designated hitter slot is opened up for Ka'aihue.
This is a simple way to get Kila his due chance while not dismantling a club that is finally learning how to win. The Royals simply do not want to do that. For better or worse, Mitch Maier is their horse.
All of the fighting among local talk show hosts and their on-air callers, all of the suggestive speech in local media outlets, and all of the arguing about the Royals in Kansas City is completely misguided.
We may all disagree with who upper management deems an "asset." But actively rooting against the team is like cutting off your nose to spite your face.
Besides, who's to say Dayton Moore doesn't value Scott Thorman and David Lough's scouting report more than Kila Ka'aihue and Alex Gordon's at this impasse anyways?
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