The Royals Really are Contenders

We’ve been here before. We’ve felt the excitement, adrenaline rush, and feelings of hopefulness. We’ve been in the middle of a playoff race, but not like this.

This time, it feels more real. Sure, we we’re talking about the playoffs last year, but the Royals were still behind in both the wildcard and division standings and their chances of overtaking their competitors was slim. As some would say, last year we were holding on to a false hope.

The crazy thing about this year is that the Royals are in the same spot they were last year, except in the standings. They had an identical record (61-54 today last year) but we’re trailing the wild card spot by 4.5 games. Detroit pretty much had the division locked up, so the wild card spot was our only real hope last year.

This year, the other teams are chasing the Royals. With a 1.5 game lead in the wild card and only 0.5 GB the Tigers, this playoff race is beginning to feel real. Like the Royals actually have a chance.

I’ve been on this earth for 18 years, lived in Kansas City for 18 years, and so have been a Royals fan for 18 years by default. If there’s anything I know about the Royals, it’s that they’re a losing baseball team. They can’t possibly be contending for a playoff spot, could they?

They are. Last year I had my reservations about the playoff race, and rightfully so. The Royals hadn’t seen a playoff game in 27 years, so what’s to say year 28 would be any different?

In year 29, the hope is real. Fans are rallying together to support the hottest team in baseball, and either learning or re-learning how to watch a baseball team in a pennant race. For myself and others my age, we’re just now learning. We’ve never experienced a winning team, and it’s finally nice to get to watch one.

Some of you may still be skeptical about this team, and I understand why. Anything can happen in the final 46 games, including a major collapse. The Royals play only four teams with records at or above .500 though, so I don’t see that happening.

As the end of the season nears, Kansas City is once again excited about baseball. The Royals are contending for a playoff spot, and very well could win the division. This team has been the definition of a roller coaster, and they certainly aren’t letting us down with their latest winning streak.

This year feels like it’s going to be something special for Kansas City. We’ve waited 29 years for a playoff game, and our chances are looking better than ever this year.

This year, it just feels more real than it ever has before.

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