Monday, March 30, 2009

Indecent Exposure

I actually opened up a window to start this post yesterday but ended up electing not to because I wanted to keep Marky Mark Teahen in the foreground for a bit longer.

When I went to yesterday afternoon and meandered on over to the baseball section, I had to do an eye-rub/head-shake to reassess what my eyes had just taken in. The only picture visible on the page was a huge one of Zack Greinke. After quelling the overwhelming disbelief at seeing a Kansas City Royal headlining the Major League Baseball content on a Sunday afternoon at ESPN, I read the feature Peter Gammons article that echoed many of the same sentiments that others (Christina Kahrl, Bill Simmons, and Tom Verducci to name a few).

Of particular note was the quote of an anonymous baseball executive saying he thought Greinke would win the Cy Young. This year.

Anyway, the point I set out to make was that it is kind of weird reading about the Royals in national media outlets. I am not sure how I feel about it. Maybe I am too much of a fandom protectionist, but there was a certain appeal, personally, in rooting for a team that no one cared about. Now that they're the sexy dark horse pick I find myself grappling with the definition of myself. Who am I if I'm rooting for a possibly good baseball team? It's been so long...

It is also somewhat frustrating to read articles of a glossier nature that miss what I feel to be key points in the potential for a break out season--like talking about Kyle Farnsworth and Ron Mahay in the pen without making mention of possibly the best signing of their offseason, Juan Cruz. Obviously, there is no way to talk about absolutely everything, but Cruz is the acquisition that clearly makes this bullpen potentially great, not the Professor.

What should be most important to Royals fans is the following Trey Hillman quote about Mark Teahen:

I still think I'll probably mix and match with [Alberto] Callaspo," says Hillman. "But we've seen some very good instinctive plays from Teahen, plays that encourage us.

The signal that sends (Willie who?) is very encouraging.

So this season finds the lot of us entering into some weird fan limbo where our team has been historically awful since the Strike but they might actually be good.

What am I?


KMartin said...

You ask a simple question. I provide an oh so simple answer. You are about to become a fan that follows a winner. A fan of a team that finally gets some respect. Many a fan have struggled with what you are feeling: Brewer fans(post Harvey's Walbangers), Cleveland Indian fans (pre Manny), etc. These all made it! And you will too! So hang in there Mr. What-am-I-er. Embrace the fandom. Be the fandom!

littl said...

Ultimately, the Royals still won't get respected. The Twins have been (and will continue to be) a threat to win the AL Central, and almost every year either the Indians, White Sox, or Tigers have been picked to win the Central. That was even with Santana.

You can relax because they still will in the Rodney Dangerfield category. All of the mainstream sports writers are just homers anyway.

Your fandom will be intact...