The Royals have a long history that predates every current player of doing enough good to lift the spirits of fans, and then enough bad to make them wonder why they believed in the first place. Today, they remain one of the hottest teams in baseball, and the two new Royals helped build the case that these are the new Royals.
Josh Willingham’s arrival in the Royals lineup on Tuesday represents much more than an upgrade from Raul Ibanez as the team’s primary designated hitter for as long as Eric Hosmer is on the disabled list and Billy Butler is at first base. For starters, it’s a flashing neon sign of a reminder about how quickly things can change in baseball.
The Kansas City Royals are the team with the longest playoff drought in North American sports, but they also have the longest winning streak in baseball this season, and son of a gun, they’re doing it again. No matter what, we all knew it would take something crazy for the Royals to get into the playoffs. Well, look around. Crazy is here.
The Kansas City Chiefs’ decision makers like Tyler Bray as a prospect, and they didn’t draft Aaron Murray to cut him. So Chase Daniel could not have had a much worse beginning to his night, taking a sack, coming up angry, and then on third-and-forever throwing an unacceptable pick-six. But then Daniel completed seven of eight passes for 111 yards and a touchdown, making as strong of a case for the Chiefs’ vice quarterback job as you could’ve expected.
The fight is approaching in the distance, and the Chiefs have found a friend. This is smart business, and with the right breaks can be something more important. The Chiefs play their first preseason game on Thursday, and while the coaches are consumed with things like their left tackle, defensive secondary and depth at receiver, much of the front office has been tackling a different kind of problem. Give them credit for their tactics, too.
Another NFL quarterback somewhere between average and the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers has another new contract worth tens of millions of dollars. The initial takeaway from some is that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith must be next. Don’t fall for it.
The expansion Royals needed to find a way to help develop players, so the Royals Academy was born in 1970 to try and turn athletes into baseball players. Former Royals Frank White and U.L. Washington were Academy graduates. The Academy closed in 1974, and the late Ewing Kauffman said “the biggest mistake I made in baseball was letting them talk me into closing the Academy.”
The Royals were never going to make a big move before baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline Thursday. They were always going to nibble at the corners and dig in their heels with the guys on the roster. Because the Royals are stuck in what is now their new normal — not good enough to expect in the playoffs, and not bad enough to blow up and start over.
The last game of the Cleveland series left a bad taste in the Royals’ mouths, but with 58 games left, the team can still turn this season into a happy memory. They will need to play their best of the season from here on out. But the difference between what’s required and what they’ve shown might not be as big as you’d think.
As a practicing Muslim, Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah does not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan. But his priorities won’t waver even after Islam’s monthlong period of fasting ends on Monday.
Jamaal Charles earned every cent of his contract extension. The shelf-life of running backs is cruelly short, and Charles is absolutely right to get paid while he can. More importantly for the Chiefs’ future, this does not affect their ability to work out more complicated contract situations with Justin Houston and Alex Smith.
As the 6-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Sunday showed, the mark of these Kansas City Royals is that they shrink as the moment grows. The Royals are dropping an opportunity eight years in the making with a combination of weak hitting, bad decisions and an inability to justify the trouble. They seem to wait until the stakes are just high enough to let you down.
New Sporting Kansas City defensive midfielder Jorge Claros, “The Pitbull,” talks about the day he almost died with a chilling calm. Three years ago in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, he was shot twice while in a car with his wife. One bullet lodged next to his shoulder blade, the other entered the back of his head, millimeters from his brain and death.
Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer has been the hottest hitter in the American League on a team that is in desperate need of hitting. With the Royals chasing a playoff berth, one thing they need is for Hosmer to keep doing what he’s doing.
When the team you follow owns the longest playoff drought in major North American sports, it’s easy to think you must be perfect, that any little mistake or shortcoming will cost your guys glory. At least this year, in the Kansas City Royals’ situation, that’s not true. This is not a treacherous climb up a mountain as much as it is a brisk jog, most of it uphill but also with a few water breaks along the way.
LeBron James is leaving the beaches of Miami and taking his basketball talents to the rust belt of Cleveland, and the shocker is that he was able to do this in his way, on his terms. If it’s true that no athlete of this generation has faced the specific scrutiny of LeBron, it is also true that no athlete has done a better job of controlling his own message. The entire sports world was after his story this week, and he was still able to tell it in his own words.
“(Momentum) carries over until the first pitch,” said Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost before the game against the Detroit Tigers and then, as if to emphasize the point, his team gave up three runs before its first at bat.