Where do we start?
Do we start by mentioning that Billy Butler is the youngest player to drive in six runs since Alex Rodriguez did it in 1996?
Or that Jorge De La Rosa and Neal Musser combined for nine innings to give the bullpen some much-deserved rest?
Or asking if anyone remembers when the Mariners were the hottest team in baseball just two days ago?
Or by pointing out that last year the Royals had exactly zero games in which they scored 17 runs, and that so far this year they've had three?
Kauffman Stadium: Where the Ships Die.
The fireworks were out last night, but the 28,140 in attendance didn't have to wait until the end of the game -- played in a brisk two hours and 51 minutes -- to see it. The Royals scored six in the 1st -- bases loaded walk, sacrifice fly by Alex Gordon, three-run home run by Butler, solo homer by Jason LaRue -- and kept tacking on runs as the game tracked ahead. Four in the 2nd, three in the 4th, three in the 6th and another in the 7th. If you're keeping score at home, that makes 17.
Kansas City 17, Seattle 3. Look like a football score?
Royals 17, Mariners 3 -- just so we're clear.
It got so bad for our friends from the northwest that interim manager John McLaren considered putting a reserve outfielder on the mound.
At this moment I don't have time to explain what it is about this team that makes me love baseball twice over, but I'll leave you with the comments from a reader of Joe Posnanski's recent Octavio Dotel column: "I'll go down saying, this is the most fun I've ever had watching a Royals club." That seems like a common sentiment among fans, and if you don't know what the fuss is all about, you're missing out.
The best news? The horizon looks only clearer. Here're two examples: Brian Bannister was tabbed the AL's Rookie of the Month for June, and the Royals' recent first-round draft choice, Mike Moustakas, has been named Baseball America's high school Player of the Year.
Happy Fourth of July, indeed. It's hard to imagine the fireworks tonight will beat what we saw yesterday, but the Royals just might be sweeping the erstwhile hottest team in baseball, and that should be motivation enough to take in the game. America's most time-honored sport on the nation's birthday, with tailgating before and fireworks after -- do we realize... really realize, I mean... how good we have it here?
Anyway, RTC Talk, a nice blog I recently discovered (I've updated the blog roll -- you'll see several new blogs on there, actually), has an inspiring video of fireworks over The K that's worth checking out.