For Pete's Sake

MLB Network analyst on the Royals: ‘This is a fun team to watch’

Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer was congratulated after hitting a home run in a game last month.
Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer was congratulated after hitting a home run in a game last month. jsleezer@kcstar.com

The Royals made two significant trades during the last week of July as they gear up for a run at a third playoff appearance in four years.

That’s why there was a discussion Monday on the MLB Network about the Royals and how they are going for it this season. There was agreement that the Royals did a good job about beefing up the team.

In fact, former A’s/Diamondbacks outfielder Eric Byrnes gushed about the Royals. Seriously, he gushed.

“This is a team I think that I fell in love with, and I think a lot of people obviously in Kansas City, but even outside of Kansas City, they became a team that we got to root for,” Byrnes said. “We watched them go through their first World Series run in, what, 2014 and then we saw them go ahead and win it in 2015.

“A bunch of likeable guys, right? And then going out there and scrapping and playing the game the right way, and that’s exactly what I’m seeing this year. And knowing that this might their last hurrah, and then I know it’s kind of a side note, but (Mike) Moustakas chasing (Steve) Balboni’s record. … He’s got 30 jacks.

“This is a fun team to watch.”

Carlos Peña said credit goes to general manager Dayton Moore for going for it this year despite having five players who could be free agents at the end of the season.

“You would be tempted to say to yourself, ‘I need to take advantage of this opportunity and sell. Because I need to protect my future,’ ” Peña said. “Instead, Moore says ‘no, what a second, that’s not the way we roll here. We’re going to go all out, all the way and we’re going to push it ...’ They’ve always exceeded expectations and they are doing it again.”

Byrnes believes the Royals can compete for another trip to the World Series.

“This team, when they’re playing well, they’re as good as anyone else in the American League,” Byrnes said. “But that’s a big ‘if they’re playing well.’ 

This is the discussion:

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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