36. That’s the “Magic Number” for the Royals right now, and as fans, it’s time to embrace their winning ways.
I know that this town has been filled with skepticism for the past month (or two) about the Royals, considering their dreadful past. But as I’ve stated before, there is something different about this Royals team this year that we just can’t ignore them.
Tonight, the Royals open up a three game set against Texas, who isn’t having the greatest season, to say the least. The Royals face opponents all with records either at or below .500 in the last month of the season, so the competition isn’t hard by any means. I know that baseball is an unpredictable sport, especially when the season is 162 games; however, it’s time to just start embracing the Royals.
Twitter exploded this week when Sports Illustrated released their regional cover, and on it was Billy Butler with the title “The Royal Treatment.” A certain few people I follow immediately reacted harshly, referencing all of the past supposed SI cover ‘jinxes’ and practically stating that this season would also be jinxed. I really just don’t understand that mentality.
For the first time in 29 years, the Royals are legitimate contenders, and all we can talk about is how an SI cover is going to ‘jinx’ our team? What we should be talking about, is how the Royals are winning in dominating fashion, and how they’re doing it without Eric Hosmer, who is supposed to be the franchise’s cornerstone player.
Billy Butler has turned his season around in the second half, which some of that we can probably attribute to his time playing first base since Hosmer has been on the DL. Alex Gordon continues to be the Gold Glover that he is, the starting rotation has been lights out, and Davis and Holland are still the two most dominate late game pitchers in the league.
With just over a month left in the season, the Royals are in first place and have now entered a war of attrition. We’ve heard the players in the clubhouse talk about chasing the Orioles to secure home-field advantage, but I think at this point fans would be happy with either a division win or wildcard spot. The Royals are in perfect position to get one or the other.
It’s August 22, and the Royals aren’t the ones chasing the leaders. They’re the leader everyone else is chasing. It’s a damn good feeling, and I for one, am enjoying the ride. Forget about jinxes, advanced metrics, player-pitcher histories, or team history. Instead, focus on dingers, RBIzzzzz, and Greg Holland K’s.
The Royals are in first place, and it’s time to start embracing it, Kansas City. We don’t know when we’ll ever get to again.