As seasons and almost more importantly aimless offseasons pass by, we Royals fans have had to adjust our expectations for contention, with the carrot on the proverbial stick predictably staying two years away. Not so long ago, we were looking to 2010 as the year that .500 would be attainable--the year that respectability would be ours.
Of course, Dayton Moore had that ultimately disastrous 2008-to-2009 offseason in which distrust of Allard Baird's untested young holdovers combined with a disastrous binge of trading his diamonds in the rough for veterans low on talent and signing a slew of costly free agents who did not pan out.
When combined with Hillman's decision to ride Gil Meche like a rented pack-mule in such a way that one could only infer that Hillman was secretly filled with an entirely consuming hatred of mules and the stunting of the development of what we thought would be the offensive future of the franchise in the form of Alex Gordon, things did not pan out as we fans had hoped.
Now, we sit here, actively monitoring the progress of the Royals' top prospects, cautiously reveling in the success of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, involuntarily salivating at the absurd seasons that Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Mike Montgomery, and John Lamb are having while letting our imaginations run wild with visions of pennants in the middle of the decade.
And this is where 2012 comes in.
2012 is when this slew of talent in the minors is expected to arrive in Kansas City and hopefully begin to contribute.
2012 is when we no longer have to watch the Scott Podsedniks and Jason Kendalls of the world batting first and second day after day.
2012 is when the the All-Star Game is in Kansas City and for a week Kauffman is the center of the baseball world.
And this is where the cruel joke is because the world is ending in 2012.
The Mayans knew it.
Movies have been made.
Just as the Royals are supposed to give their success-starved fanbase something to feast on, the world will end. The point at which this franchise is set to begin to be good once again coincides with the end of the world.