Optimism Watch: .500 Season??

Royals fanatic and blogger Minda Haas put it best when she tweeted.

WHAT IS GOING ON HERE! #Royals

Don’t ask questions. Just enjoy it, Minda. Kansas City is 2-1 — over .500 for the first time since early 2009. After winning two straight games against the Angels in come from behind fashion, it makes me turn my head and wonder. Can we be decent? Not great. Not pennant contenders. Just decent.

All of the “experts” predicted another miserable season at the K. ” Hold on, help is coming from the minors.” We’ve heard it for years since Dayton Moore took over the general manager job in Kansas City. My wife constantly asks me “when this supposed revival is coming.” And for years, I have answered, “Soon . . . I hope.”

But, with Crow and Collins in the bullpen and a patchwork of a rotation that’s not awful but not great either, the pitching has bent but not broke in the first three games. The defense (outside of the three odd errors on Opening Day) has been pretty darn good. Add a running game and some pop from Kila, we could be .500. There, I said it. (Blame me later).

The Royals fan in me is ready for the 8-game skid to follow. You know what I’m talking about. And that’s the key. If the Royals are above .500 (or close) at the end of April, this will be a decent season.

If not . . .

Yeah, here we go again.

 

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The Mess of Meche’s Retirement

The Gil Meche story tells me something about people’s thoughts on athletes and how the media covers them.
First of all, I have actually seen disdain for Gil Meche for not taking $12.4 million in continuing to play. Some are saying, “He signed a contract, he should honor it.”
Really?
They are upset with Meche because he didn’t take the $12.4 million and pitch ineffectively from the bullpen deals and possibly get hurt. He’s been hurt for the past couple years and didn’t pitch that well.
He took a hard look at the facts in December and realized the chances weren’t good. Despite his intentions, it was unlikely that he would be able to earn that $12.4 million on the mound. Not because he didn’t want to, but because his body probably would let him.
And he’s somehow selfish. No matter the fact the Royals have $12.4 million to spend on a player or two to try and bolster their lineup.
Some are afraid that pressure will be brought to bear on other players in similar situations. Some goofball even mentioned the baseball player’s association should stop him.
Seriously?
Now, he made over $40 million over the previous four years with the Royals. And contrary to some of media hecklers, he shouldn’t have to give it back. Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore took a risk. And he knew it.
One a rising star with the Mariners, the injury bug kept Meche from being the pitcher most baseball folks thought he would be.
That’s called life.
I will look back on the Gil Meche era in Kansas City and remember a risk that didn’t pan out. But, I won’t blame Meche for bowing out early.
As for the media, this story broke (LINK) on Tuesday (Jan. 18). It was unusual, sure. But, it took nearly a week for the national media to really notice. Then, it became big news because of “pack journalism,” everyone following everyone else. They treated it as if it were new. And, most of the media (including the sports folks who should know better) completely left out his injuries. They scratched their heads and pontificated.
Do some research, people.