Happened again the other night, the high-pitched cries bouncing down the hallway and staircase and into the bedroom where Mike Moustakas and his wife sleep. Their daughter, Mila, is 13 months old and a terrific sleeper, really, the kind that makes other parents a little jealous, but lately she’s been sick.
Nothing serious. Same thing the Royals third baseman has, which for a baby is enough congestion that she couldn’t rest. So Moustakas got out of bed, went up the stairs in the house he’s renting from teammate Alex Gordon, and lifted his baby girl out of her crib. Mila grabbed her daddy’s arm, which wrapped around her as they walked to the couch. There is no sleep like the sleep you get with a baby on your chest.
“My favorite thing in the world to do,” Moustakas said. “I’m the happiest person ever when I get to do that. Nothing can beat what I’m doing.”
Moustakas and the Royals played their last game of the season on Sunday, a 14-2 loss to the Diamondbacks. It was a strange event. We’re taught to believe that nothing matters in professional sports except the result, but here the result was entirely meaningless but the event still somehow felt important.
Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, and Alcides Escobar are all free agents now. Jason Vargas, too. If you’re an optimist, maybe you believe one or even two will be back. But this team won’t be the same. The Royals won’t be the same. Can’t be.