Kansas City Royals: The Past, And The Future, And The Man Who Built It

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Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler (16) Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Whether this year’s Royals are able to break the post-season drought and make it back to the playoffs remains to be seen. But from the General Manager’s perspective, given the operating constraints he was under (a.k.a. the budget), Dayton Moore has done a fantastic job of putting a competitive team on the field, and positioning the franchise to win for years to come.

The season is long, injuries happen, and you just never know what kinds of surprises the baseball gods may have in store. Who could have imagined the season Roger Maris put up in 1961, the fervor of Fernandomania in 1980, or the utter failure of former Royals rookies-of-the-year Angel Berroa and Bob Hamlin? Unlike most any other game, baseball continually surprises us.

The Royals have already lost Luke Hochevar, a mainstay of the bullpen last season, to Tommy John surgery. Our principal division rivals, the Detroit Tigers, have already lost their starting shortstop and endured a number of key injuries that would appear to give the Royals an improved opportunity to perhaps win the division. We’ll see.

Baseball is a funny game and it has a way of producing unlikely results and surprise outcomes nearly every year. The Cleveland Indians came out of nowhere last season to field a surprisingly good team.

The Royals certainly performed better than most “experts” anticipated and the Los Angeles/Anaheim/California Angels definitely under-performed by most standards.