Thursday, March 13, 2008

Royals Season Preview 6: ArmchairGM

We get it: it's hard predicting records, and it's even harder when you're doing it for a round-robin league. There're the participants, for one -- 30 in Major League Baseball, which is quite a few -- and then the whole challenge of giving the thing a guise of plausibility, and there's that temptation that must be resisted to go with chalk (Angels-Mariners-Rangers-A's... borrrring), and then the temptation to not go with chalk (Red Sox and Yankees will finish 1-2 again... sorry Rays fans, it's not gonna happen just yet), and then, of course, there's the math -- the Ws and Ls have to add up. So yeah, it's hard... we get it.


Davis21wylie writes that the Royals will "make progress despite a poor record," then projects a 64-98 record, which is five games worse than last year. So exactly what kind of progress are we talking about? Let's pull into Speculation Station...

  • A massive grassroots campaign to write in John Edwards for President?
  • Revoking the War on Drugs?
  • More one-run games?
  • Fan scouting, ala the Cardinals' One for the Birds contest?
  • Plastic surgery for all players?
  • Better stadium food?
  • Federal funding for teacher training and increased wages in an effort to actually improve education and not just gloss over it with standardized tests?

(At least three of the above will never happen, sadly. ...Or kind of sadly.) The preview ends on a strong note, at least:

Under Moore, the process of running the Royals has changed dramatically for the better, which means the results will follow suit someday as well. Whether or not the Royals' eventual breakthrough comes under new manager Trey Hillman remains to be seen, but given the current crop of youngsters (and their successors, the players whom the keen-eyed Moore will select in the draft over the next 5 years), it definitely feels like it won't be long before the Royals break out of the doldrums and finally give their long-suffering fans something to cheer about.

We just wonder when the day will come when the Royals aren't that team that prognosticators dump losses on for the sake of balancing the arithmetic.

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