This is the chance that Kansas City Royals fans have waited a generation to see. Right now, the Royals are in first place by 1/2 game on August 12, for the first time in ELEVEN YEARS.
To further the crazy Karma, the Royals have just experienced their best week both on the field and off the field since 1985. You can read Rany Jazayerli’s heartfelt tribute to the Royals undefeated week and South Korean fan Sung Woo Lee’s visit here.
When Sung Woo arrived on August 4, 2012, Kansas City trailed the Tigers by 4.5 games in the Central and the Royals lagged 1.5 games off the pace for the 2nd wild card. One perfect week later, in which the Royals won all 7 games, the Royals sit in first place in August for the first time since a kid starting his senior year in high school was beginning FIRST GRADE.
The story has even overcome the rational thinking of Rany, who has spent 20 years trying to fix the Royals through scientific analysis driven by sabermetrics. Now, everyone’s favorite number-crunching, science-nerd dermatologist (who sounds like he should have been cast on The Big Bang Theory) has completely given into his emotions and suggests what the Royals have been missing all these years is the right good luck charm
That’s sort of like Rachel Maddow suddenly deciding that Rush Limbaugh has been right all along.
Of course the story doesn’t stop there. GM Dayton Moore has jumped onto the train just 11 short days after doing nothing at the trading deadline. On July 31, stories circulated that the Royals were looking for deals, but were refusing to take on payroll. On August 11, Dayton Moore pulled off a trade for Minnesota outfielder Josh Willingham, while shaking loose an extra $1.85 million from owner David Glass to cover Willingham’s salary the rest of the season.
Maybe David Glass is caught up in the story, too.
Not to be outdone, the Detroit Tigers have cooperated in our movie script. Detroit put starter Anibal Sanchez and reliever Joakim Soria on the DL Sunday, August 10. That night the Tigers went out and lost to the Blue Jays in 19-innings after staking deadline acquisition, and former Cy Young Award winner, David Price to a 5-0 lead in the 1st inning.
The marathon game so wiped out the Tiger bullpen that Detroit optioned Pat McCoy and Blaine Hardy to AAA Toledo, and recalled relievers Kevin Whelan, Justin Miller, and Ian Krol just to get fresh arms. On Monday, former ace, Cy Young Winner, and supermodel Kate Upton boyfriend Justin Verlander gets battered for 5 runs in the 1st inning by the Pirates and leaves the game with a sore shoulder. He later tells reporters that the shoulder has been bothering him for “awhile”.
To make matters even worse. the Pittsburgh-area batboy taking care of the visiting Tigers during the series falls down and injures his leg returning to the dugout in the 8th inning. Can the Baseball Gods get any clearer? The Tigers are cursed.
And, lest we forget, this outcome was foreshadowed before the season by teenage pop-singer Lorde getting inspired by an old photo of George Brett signing baseballs to pen the international no. 1 hit song “Royals”.
This is destiny, I tell you.
The Royals can’t afford to blow this chance. We have the kind of perfect storm that even Hollywood writers would be hard-pressed to create. We have the elements of an all-time classic baseball movie on our hands—if the team can just cooperate and bring home a title.
Can’t you see, it? We have a goofy foreign fan coming to Kansas City to inspire an entire community that has lost faith. The bumbling general manager that hasn’t managed to win in nearly a decade, the skinflint owner overcome by the passion of an entire community, fortune finally chipping in with once-in-a-generation breaks that turn loveable losers into champions.
The Royals are the perfect team of no-name winners. The big market Tigers make a great bad guy as a club filled with high-priced stars. To make things even more improbable and movie-like, the Royals just beat the sabermetric darling A’s, who have the best record in baseball, to take over first place in the AL Central. The Royals front office has even supplied us with a title for our movie with this year’s marketing slogan: Be Royal.
It would be the perfect anti-Moneyball baseball comedy that would put Major League to shame.
Somehow, I feel like the kid from the Arnold Schwartzenegger bomb The Last Action Hero who stepped into the movie.
C’mon Royals. Sung Woo Lee needs this. The careers of Hollywood Royals fans Jason Sudekis and Paul Rudd need this (who just happen to be gifted comedic actors who are both perfectly suited for this script, and also happen to have grown up in Kansas City). Hell, the whole country needs this after the Ukraine crisis and the rise of ISIS.
Most of all, you need this. Here is your chance for baseball immortality.
If only you can seize it.