OPENING DAY 2016

Okay, let’s address the obvious. Why no posts since the middle of the World Series? Easy. I had nothing to add. It was obvious that the Royals were a much better team than the Mets and, in my opinion, that they were going to win. Since the spotlight was on KC, everybody and their dog was writing about the Boys in Blue. (With the dog usually producing better stuff.) I thought it was silly to simply say what everyone else was saying.

That being said, the time has come to defend the crown.

I like KC’s chances. It will all come down to, as always, injuries. If Salvy goes down, yikes. He’s the key. I’d like to see the team give him more days off, especially now since they gave him a much deserved contract increase and extension. The team has good depth all around–heck, they lost All-Star Gold Glover Alex Gordon to an injury to his Netherlands for, what was it, a month and a half. And what happened? Division title, AL pennant, World Series Championship. The pitching staff is the biggest issue. Is pitching coach Dave Eiland’s magic enough to bring back both Chien-Ming Wang AND Ian Kennedy? I openly questioned previous moves such as adding Eddie Volquez and others and it turned out, happily, that I was wrong. Way wrong. So at this point, I am more inclined to just believe that the Royals have superb talent recognition and development skills in their coaching ranks (although, well, Luke Hochevar) and to trust their actions.

And I like the team. It was hard when KC had Cueto. I found him annoying and rooted for his success only because it meant team success. Petty? Sure. But this is just a game, right? Anyway, what I like most about the Royals is that they are not only superb players, maybe not the top of the league, but solid B+/A- types, but they seem to be genuinely likable people. Of course, I’ve never met any of them but one gets a sense of someone’s personality over time by watching interviews and reading about actions. I could be completely wrong about this of course but my point is that they are good and easy to root for, and that makes the glow from their success even more fun to bask in. It just feels good to be a Royals fan.

So on with the show. We’ll see if they stick the ball in Syndergaard’s ear when he brings his little plastic hammer to the plate for the first time. We’ll see what speed do. (Well, we won’t really since Jarrod Dyson is on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique issue.) We’ll let the Moose loose and see how many girls still want to marry Eric Hosmer. And we’ll see if Salvy douses Ned Yost with a victory shower. It will be a fun run, even watching from home. PLAY BALL!

About Bill Grotts

Raised in Chicagoland, Bill has lived in Kansas City for almost 30 years.
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