A View from Spring Training: 2011 Kansas City Royals

2011 Kansas City Royals

2010 NFL Equivalent – Buffalo Bills: Passionate fan bases, small markets, and recent traditions filled with failures. These are the ties that bind. Each city also boasts a unique tailgating delicacy; Buffalo has the wing and Kansas City the BBQ. In recent years, the Bills have played a “home” game in Toronto. The Royal equivalent would be moving games out of Kauffman Stadium and into Cedar Rapids. (Side note: at what point does Ed Helms branch out and take on a new character? In Cedar Rapids, is he supposed to be playing Andy Bernard on a sales call to middle America?) Lastly, I have a few friends who remain die hard Bills fans while I have yet to meet one single person, outside of Rob Riggle, who still roots for the Royals. (Note: the only reason I went with Riggle here was so I could link to a video from the Catalina Wine Mixer. POW!!)

Google Search: The turnstiles at Kauffman Stadium were spinning this winter as the Kansas City front office gave the roster a thorough face lift. Some highlights include CF Melky Cabrera, RF Jeff Francoeur, and SP Jeff Francis.  If Cabrera is in shape, and that’s a big “if”, he is a serviceable major league outfielder while Francoeur boasts a rocket/laser arm and a complete inability to draw walks. Allegedly, the Royals have a very strong farm system and Ken Rosenthal went as far as to call them the “Rays Redux”. Rosenthal could be referring specifically to prospect outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who will push Cabrera for the starting CF job.  Going out on a limb, even if Cain doesn’t start on Opening Day, it sounds like the job will be his full-time by June.

Famous Movie Quote: Well, what if there is no tomorrow?  There wasn’t one today. – Phil Connors, Groundhog Day.

Royals fans have been through this before, unfortunately.  Rebuilding, retooling, refueling.  Whatever.  Alex Gordon was such a “Can’t Miss Prospect” at 3B that he has been moved to the outfield.  In a league where it seems that every team can hit, the Royals are woefully anemic on the mound.  Besides Francis and Kyle Davies, the rest of their starting staff will have to be cobbled together.  The Royals’ two best players from ’10—Zack Greinke and David DeJesus— are both gone.  This year, their best player is a closer, Joaquim Soria (formerly “The Mexecutioner”; no longer), who may only have the chance to close 2 games a week which means the Royals will most likely end up coin surfing in the cushions of the AL Central couch again this year. 2011 record: 66 – 96; 5th Place AL Central

view from Tempe Diablo Stadium courtesy of @HoltzyKC