Royals Nation bought 11 percent more the first day than last (and 41 percent more than 2006). Our sales people tell us we're up 12 percent from this time last year in all ticket sales. That's about 100,000 tickets more than at this point in '07.It helps that the Yankees are going to be in town, of course, but something else is going on. For the first time in years -- 2004, probably -- people in Kansas City are genuinely looking forward to better things. You might have been able to say the same last year, with Dayton Moore in his first full year as GM, but there weren't quite so many expectations then. The average fan wasn't so keen on Billy Butler, no one knew much about Brian Bannister, few had heard of Joakim Soria and so many were merely secretly hoping Gil Meche wouldn't be a complete flop. It's not quite the same this year, and I imagine it won't be the next, either: from here on, people will be clamoring for better, and better, and eventually best.
The Kansas City Star was out there to document the scene, getting two fans identified as Luis Rotega and Joe Sopha to talk about the future of Royals baseball. "These are some excellent fans that we got in Kansas City, so all we need is support from the administration to keep it going," one of them says.
The part about excellent fans in KC is true, of course. The second part about administrative support we're not so worried about.
POSTSCRIPT: Speaking of fans, another Royals blog recently popped up, called The Dugout (not to be confused with the blog Royals Dugout or the FanHouse's Dugout). Its latest post is about how relatively cheap it remains to attend games at the K. Check it out.
POSTSCRIPT 2: I could've sworn I mentioned this blog earlier, but I guess not (and apologies, because David's been posting just about every day): KC Royalty, created last month, also worth checking out... and not least of all because he thinks Zack Greinke will put up this line:
13-11 3.47 ERA, 188 IP, 162K, 53BB, 173H, 2CG, 1SO, 1.20 WHIP
POSTSCRIPT 3: Royal Mania.
POSTSCRIPT 4 (and IDWT has a new record for most postscripts): Our friends at the FanHouse have some nice things to say about Trey Hillman.