I guess we could play this game off most any team, any sport, any year, but all spring it’s struck me how all-over-the-place predictions on the Royals have been.
They are a trendy pick to either win the AL Central (Bleacher Report, among others) or a wild card (Buster Olney on his podcast, among others) but there are also plenty of doubters. A lot of the doubts come from ex-tremely
honest places, of course, because — as we’ll get into in the baseball preview section that hits driveways, newstands and fine retailers near you on Sunday — Royals fans have been through this before.
They are, fairly often, a trendy pick for success.
They are, far less frequently, actually successful.
I wasn’t in Surprise nearly as much as I would’ve liked this spring, but from the little time I was and things I hear from others (in and outside of the organization) there is a legitimate swagger to this team. They had a similar attitude last year, but it’s more solidified now, if that makes sense.
They are not the Red Sox, or Dodgers, or whatever. But they are a legitimately good major league baseball team that won 86 games last year and, at least on paper, filled big holes in the lineup. Nobody will say this part out loud, but they also know that James Shields is gone after this year so if this group is going to win together it has to be this year.
I mean, I don’t know how much any of that matters. But I’m thinking about it because it’s time again for the annual DKTM Royals Over-Under Challenge.
The brilliant Grant over atChallenge Builder
has once again helped out. Many, many thanks. After you put in your guesses, you’ll have to login with either a Facebook or Google account (if you don’t have a Google account, it’s very easy and very free) and you’ll be able to make changes right up to the deadline — 12:08 p.m. Central on Monday, which is when Justin Verlander is scheduled to throw the first pitch of the Royals’ season to Nori Aoki^.
^FYI, it will be a fastball, probably at the knees
Anyway, the rules are basically the same as always, so quick review:At least for our purposes, over and under is literal. So with the Royals’ rank in runs scored, an "over" guess means they’ll be ninth or worse. An "under" guess means eighth or better.
The attendance will only be used as the tiebreaker, if needed, and this isn’t Price Is Right, so you can go over. Closest wins.
All disputes (even my own mistakes) will be settled by me. Rest easy, I’m not an a-hole. Not all the time, anyway. Deadline for entries is set for 12:08 p.m. Central on March 31, so first pitch of opening day. Winner gets a gift card to Oklahoma Joe’s or, if they are a communist, a different restaurant of their choice.
Good luck to you all^.
^UPDATE: One minor thing. When you put in your guess for the attendance tiebreaker, the system won’t take any commas. So, for instance, type in “1823432” and not “1,823,432.”