There is no one.
Not one in this blogger poll, conducted by Craig Brown of Royals Authority, had the gumption to say the Royals will win the division in 2008. Big Donkey predicts 85 wins, which is enough of an outlier to make us question whether his optimism isn't merely cloaked irony (eh, probably not), but everyone else falls in the 74-79-win range, with this site scraping that uppermost limit.
What more can be said? Last year on Opening Day, we threw out a number, haphazardly tried explaining it ("78 wins or however many is not the point... no numbers, no statistics... spring is no time for those"), then watched as the converts came, one by one, holding their hats in their hands. Yet still the disbelievers persisted, encouraged by some of our own, even, flicking wet toothpicks at our fledging hopes. Well. Nothing short of a miracle will convince them.
That's okay. The future isn't far off. Away is but a dream, there when we wake. I just hope we don't forget the todays, the todays.
1-0 and counting.
POSTSCRIPT: Sometimes I wonder why I read comments to KC Star articles. Then, something like this comes along, and I'm heartened all over again:
Ben Alexandria Minnesota
I have been a Royal fan a very long time. I grew up out in right field GA when 10 bucks would get you parked, a hot dog, a beer, and a waltz with one of the wonderful gray hairs that brought fried chicken every game. I have been derised by so many other fans of other teams because I am old school...be true to your colors regardless. For the first time since Dick Howser died, the Royals are really interesting to talk about. Not quite pertinent, but wait until the All Star break. I am not ready to christen these guys the comeback kids...one game does not a season make. Just sit back and watch and enjoy the ride. Good things are going to happen soon, and Dayton Moore and Trey Hillman are going to lead the way. Thanks for the venue. GO BLUE