“Same old Royals.” “Another pointless September.” “Time to trade off our stars.” Those are the statements that you’ll hear from casual Royals fans every fall. Pessimism is normally at an all-time high, everyone is more focused on football, and nobody cares about making it out to Kauffman for a “meaningless” baseball game.
Things have been different this time around.
The hope and optimism surrounding “The K” during the current homestand hasn’t been higher since 2003 (the Royals last winning season). Fans are finally believing that the Royals are close to being a legitimate contender.
Right now, the Royals are 20 games under .500, 22.5 games back in the division, and way past being eliminated from playoff contention. It’s hard to see any fanbase in professional sports rallying behind a team with those numbers, but Royals fans did it during the past week. Kauffman Stadium attendance from last week (September 13th-18th) averaged out to 24,621 people per game. Last season during the same time period, attendance was at 16,952 people per game. The 2010 Royals had about the same record as the 2011 Royals (2010: 61-91, 2011:67-87) and both teams were eliminated from the playoffs right around the start of September.
The difference this year is that the players are still having a ton of fun on the diamond, which makes going to games much more exciting. The players on the Royals’ current roster genuinely love playing the game. Not only do they love playing the game, but they love winning, and they love winning together. They are a group of kids who really like each other and want to bring a winning team to Kansas City.
And has any Royals team since 2003 been this excited about winning games in September?
Has any Royals team had as much camaraderie and chemistry as this team besides in the ‘70’s or ‘80’s?
Everyone on the roster is excited to be playing for this team in Kansas City. There’s no doubt that they are disappointed about how this season went, but you can sense that they are all anxious for 2012 to be here. The excitement on the field has brought excitement to the seats inside Kauffman Stadium. Expect the excitement to multiply in 2012.