After Kansas City lost the first two games in Detroit, some fans got on the Internet to complain about the “same old Royals,” a favorite complaint that fair-weather fans love to drag out at the first sign of trouble, but a complaint that seems misguided and out of date.
The Royals have three Gold Glove defenders on the team and at least two more players who should be in the discussion. They’ve got one of the best defensive teams in the game. They have a solid starting pitching staff and the best bullpen in baseball. The Royals scuffle offensively at times — who doesn’t? — but have hitters up and down the lineup who can contribute on any given night. They lead the major leagues in stolen bases. Ask visiting coaches to describe the Royals, and they call them one of the most athletic teams in the big leagues.
Not so long ago none of this was true.
The Royals may fail to make the playoffs and they may lose games, but they have drastically improved as a team, and they are playing exciting, meaningful baseball in September. Back in spring training, if anyone had offered Royals fans the chance for their team to be in or tied for first place on Sept. 12, would anyone have thought that was a bad deal?
They are not the “same old Royals,” and saying they are doesn’t make it so.
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