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Friday, April 15, 2005

Look out below...

The sky is not falling, even though you can sense the folks at Kauffman Stadium are reaching for umbrellas.

It's not a very scientific thing to say but I doubt that the Royals are as bad as they've looked this week. Teams seldom are as dreadful as they look when they can't hit.

Slumps at the beginning of the season are problematic because they coincide with a time of the year when everything is under heightened scrutiny. The concern for the Royals is that the current skid will stretch to 10-11 games. If the Royals find themselves 3-14 or 4-13, it could make for a long summer consider how high the level of pessimism surrounding the team is already.

The bubble of good feeling that developed from the Royals' relatively successful season-opening road trip has already been burst. Fans are down on the team - just listen to the talk shows or read the 'Voices' section of Sports Daily. There looks to be a surprisingly sparse crowd tonight, at least that the way it looks on television. Those who did come out to the ballpark had barely settled into their seats before it was 5-0. Tony Pena's frustrations already boiled over - he was ejected during the first inning of tonight's game.

Better times lie ahead. They always do - it's the nature of baseball. Heck, just in the time it took me to type this post, David DeJesus hit a two-run shot off of a pretty tough lefty (Wil Ledezma).

Let's remember that this is a development year. And some of the young players the Royals are trying to develop - Denny Bautista, Zack Greinke, Runelvys Hernandez, Andy Sisco, Ruben Gotay and David DeJesus - have given us some pretty good performances.

What are our expectations for the Royals this year? AL Central crown? A .500 record? I don't think many of us really harbor those aspirations for this year's crew.

No, what we really need to focus upon is overall trend. Is the team improving as the season progresses? If so, is the improvement due to the collective maturation of the young core that will be here the next few years? If the answer to both of those questions is 'yes', then this season will have been a success.

But we won't know the answer to these questions in April. May, either. Be patient.

But keep that umbrella handy, just in case.

Hey, it's 5-3. Things are looking up already.

* Do you get the feeling that no one from the Royals will be meeting up with C.B. Bucknor after the game for some congenial good times?


Blogger Bradford Doolittle said...

I stand corrected about C.B. Bucknor. After he ignored strike three on Eli Marrero twice in a row in the eighth inning, Angel Berroa darn near planted one in the Royals' Pavillion.

Great win for the R's.

Hey, Affeldt collected two swings-and-misses! (Of course, he turned up lame right after that.)

8:38 PM  

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