My primary responsibility as a commentator is to put things into context. I try and keep things on an even keel. If people get too high or low on one thing or another, I’m there to point out why they need to take a step back. I like finding some interesting things in the numbers to bring a new fact to light. I really enjoy and take pride when I can have someone say that they hadn’t thought of it that way. But what am I supposed to do with this, this, this….hell I can’t even come up with an adjective….this streak?
Last week I said it was too early to make conclusions. It’s still too early, but things have become worse and it’s not as early. Here at RA, we’ve run the gamut. We’ve nitpicked games to focus on the micro level and we’ve said there are a lot more games and focused on the macro level. We’ve focused on the positive, the comical, the farcical and the minors. I don’t know what’s left. I’d consider this close to rock bottom, but I’ve written THAT article at least twice already.
This baseball team has problems. We all knew that. It had holes in the rotation, the lineup and on defense. We expected the bullpen to be great, but they lost one of the most effective relievers in baseball and everyone knows the bullpen Gods are fickle. But this? 3-13? No wins at home? Former Royals starting at shortstop for the Red Sox and throwing perfect games? It’s too much.
We’ve endured this for a long time. Too long. We deserve better. Baseball is supposed to be enjoyable and right now it just seems exhausting. I feel like we’re watching an endless loop of an episode of Addiction. It’s a train-wreck of self-destructive habits which don’t seem like they will ever stop. Then there is a promised change, a hint of hope and then an epilogue saying that the hopeless soul has gone back to providing sexual favors at the truck stop for some meth.
It’s not fair to us as fans because we do our part. We provide free tax money to the team, we pay absurd amounts to park our cars, eat a hot dog and get a little drunk. That’s the entire burden placed on us and in my opinion we do it damn well.
The rest of it, the building of the team, the hitting and catching of the ball. That’s on others, people we don’t have control of. Their actions and decisions effect our psyches 162+ nights a year. Their obsessions with giving up outs on the bases, fast players who can’t hit or overweight shortstops who at one time were thought to have plus–plus hands, they have an effect on us. They shouldn’t, but they do.
There is no getting around the fact that a whole series of incompetent decisions have lead us to where we are. The only thing that we can do is acknowledge it, voice our frustrations and get on with our lives. It seems bad now, but honestly, letting a dozen millionaires in uniforms ruin our night or week is absurdity. We’ve proved that we love baseball regardless of the quality of play provided for us. We enjoy the ballpark, the great plays, the bad plays and everything in between. There are still some reasons to watch this team, they’ll still provide some really amazing moments this year.
Just like the family members of the woeful addicts, we hope for a change. We will yell and scream till we’re blue in the face about why, why WHY they aren’t like they were in the old days. We remember when you were someone great. We know you can do it again. You just need to straighten out your life and stop doing these awful things to yourself.
Baseball will go on. In fact there is another game tonight. It’s another day for the Royals to prove that they can put their old ways behind them. It’s a fresh start for all of us, because it will be a 3 hour distraction from everything else. We’ll sit in our homes spending another lonely night in front of the tv, or we’ll stand around a radio after our softball game is done, or we’ll sit with our sons and daughters teaching them the game the way it was taught to us. Win or lose, we’ll still be Royals fans. We’ll still love baseball. And we’ll still pay for overpriced parking and get a little drunk at a few games each year. All doing our part beyond just hope that we’ll see that team we remember. The one who not so long ago could accomplish anything, if only they’d stop this addiction to losing.
- Nick Scott