Now it is time for the heart to be heard.
Over the past two weeks, the Royals’ outspoken social media contingent has been very vocal about their opinion on what the Royals should be doing at the trade deadline. Most, including myself, stumped for selling off soon-to-be free agent Ervin Santana, with the thought he would bring back the biggest haul. Several campaigned for the Royals to trade Greg Holland because his value may never be higher, and that surely the Royals could replace him, just as Holland seamlessly replaced Joakim Soria.
Many fans though, are thrilled with the fact the Royals are playing their best ball in years and look at this improvement as a step forward as an organization. There is no argument that bloggers, as a group, tend to analyze statistics and numbers much more than the average, casual fan. The term casual fan is kind of misleading. A casual fan does not mean a fan who lacks deep passion for their team. Most fans are of the casual variety. They care very deeply for their teams but most could not care less about the statistical minutia. This does not make them any less of a fan.
My head, the part of me that loves the statistical analysis, tells me Dayton Moore dropped the ball at the trade deadline. Maybe the better term is that he just plain ignored it. The numbers tell us there is little chance for the Royals make the playoffs. There are just too many teams to jump over and so many games to make up at a relatively late point in the season.
When looked at from that point of view, the Royals should have at least been selling Santana and looking to improve the team for 2014.
There is another side of this issue though. The heart side. In my heart, I am excited as can be the Royals are 10-2 since the All-Star break and are on an 8-game winning streak. I am excited the Royals are above .500 on August 1st for the first time since 2003. If I squint hard enough, I can see the possibility that the Royals can continue to play well and somehow overtake both the Indians and the Tigers. I see the possibility that Kansas City could play well enough to maybe sneak into the playoffs with a wild card berth, if they don’t win the division.
I can see all of these things – when I look with my heart instead of my head.
I am not alone. The Royals are presently on the road and are drawing viewers to their television broadcasts on a level not previously seen. Tuesday night, in the Kansas City area, the Royals were the number one viewed program, beating out the second place program by a huge amount. This upcoming home stand should be as exciting for Royals fans as any in the last decade. Right now, the fans are connected to this team.
For the normal, non-statistical addled fan, Moore not trading away any pieces is a positive thing. The Royals are not out of the race by the last week in July. They are competitive. It is a statement to the long suffering fans of Kansas City that the Royals are not going to roll over and go away. As a fan, and not a blogger, that is very exciting.
There is a part of my heart though, that is disappointed. If the Royals are playing for a playoff berth, why didn’t Moore do more to strengthen this team by making a trade other than acquiring an unnecessary outfielder? There were do deals to be made. Heck, Arizona gave away a starting pitcher who won 36 games in 2011 and 2012 for basically a bag of donuts. The Tigers got stronger. The Indians bolstered their bullpen. In the AL East, where most of the challengers for the wild card reside, the Red Sox, Orioles, Yankees, and Rays all made additions to their rosters better than Justin Maxwell.
My head is screaming that Moore didn’t do enough. My heart is just disappointed.
While it is not impossible to make trades now, it is much more difficult and much more unlikely. Don’t get your hopes up.
Now that the deadline is past, I am going to try to set aside my disappointment and try to ignore my head. My heart is going to remain hopeful that Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas will continue to improve. My heart is going to rejoice in the fact that David Lough is a lot of fun to watch and is that it is very hard not to pull for him to succeed. My heart is going to be excited about the pitching and the wins.
Until, of course, inevitably, the winning ends.
Nothing would make me more happy than for my stupid brain to be wrong about it all. I am cheering for that to happen. I want my heart to be right, and to be rewarded. I am old enough to remember the glory days – all of them. I want that feeling again. It has been far too long.
It is almost certain my brain will be back in charge of my typing fingers before long. Just know that in my heart, I only want the Royals to win. More than anything. If the Royals can make the division, I will happily announce how wrong I was. I actually look forward to that day with relish. In my heart, I still think the Royals have a chance.