With the Royals winning their fourth straight on Wednesday, the exasperation-exhilaration pendulum defining their season yet again started back to the upside but may yet just smack us upside our heads.
The see-sawing psycho-drama still is in flux.
Only the most jaded didn’t see legitimate reason for excitement in the post All-Star break streak.
But who wasn’t ready again to wash their hands of them, as I was, after they bungled a six-run lead Friday amid a seven-game losing streak?
Much like estimable colleague Sam Mellinger, who managed to link a “Seinfeld” episode to Quantrill’s raid of Lawrence, I can see an episode of the show in about anything.
(So much so that I think there’s a chance you could pull off a regular blog series applying sports moments to Seinfeld episodes).
At this stage, though, I’ll stick with this: I have come to see the Royals as The Kramer Portrait of baseball.
All at once, they exude “great vulnerability” and a “nobility of attitude” and seem to be “a creature barely hanging to existence” and can be sickening and yet “lifts my spirit,” Mrs. Armstrong, an art patron, declares.
Loathsome, her husband calls him, but adds, “Yet I can’t look away.”
And that’s the one takeaway we have on these Royals.
You might want to avert your eyes at times, but they make it impossible not to watch.
Who knows where this will end up? They’re just too far out in the AL Central (8.5 games) and wild-card races (7 games) to feel like you can assume suspense into late September.
But they’ve also owned the Twins (their opponent today) and the Blue Jays (up this weekend) are 60-74, meaning there’s a reasonable chance the perhaps-hot-again Royals could win the next four to have as many wins (72) as they did all last season by Sept. 1 when they come home to play Monday.
(For that matter, that would give them more wins with nearly a month to go than they had in the entirety of eight of the previous nine seasons.)
And while they figure to need help outside their control if they’re to make a meaningful run, they do have 12 games left against the two teams ahead of them in the Central: six against the Tigers and six against the Indians.
That’s a lot of ground that could be made up if they’re on.
And they might be. And they might not.
But overall, anyway, they’ve kept it intriguing this far.
So, much as you might want to at times, you really can’t look away.