The Kool Aid Drinker’s Crystal Ball

It’s a lot more fashionable to be optimistic about the Royals than it has been in past years, so I don’t want anyone to think I’m just jumping on that bandwagon. The Kool Aid Drinker has been spewing optimistic proclamations since the days of Darrel May and Lima Time and won’t be stopping any time soon. I also do not want you to think all of my posts will be half-baked attempts to gloss over whatever the Royals may be facing. I have signed on for four posts a month here at I-70 Baseball and I have decided to give one of them each month to the Kool Aid Drinker. The rest of the time I’ll try to offer something more insightful, if not as entertaining. But for now, let’s see what the Kool Aid Drinker sees in his crystal ball for the first half of 2012:

January 31, 2012
GM Dayton Moore shocks the baseball world right in the middle of Super Bowl Week by signing Roy Oswalt to a 1 year, $18 million deal. While some argue that $18 million is too much for a pitcher that has topped 200 innings only once over the last 3 years, Moore brashly counters: “We felt like we were one top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher away from being a legitimate contender, and Roy fits that mold. We expect to compete for a World Championship in 2012.”

February 21, 2012
George Brett arrives in Surprise, but the bigger surprise is who hops out of his passenger door, Frank White. White’s on-again, off-again love affair with the Royals is back on-again as he has been hired as a special adviser whose only responsibility is to teach Johnny Giovatella how to play second base…in a positive manner.

February 29, 2012
Manager Ned Yost finds it fitting on Leap Year’s “extra day” to announce that he is considering using an “extra” starter in the form of the 6 man rotation the Royals employed at times last season. Yost tells reporters that early in camp the battle for the 5th (and 6th?) spot in the rotation is going to be a tight one between Felipe Paulino, Danny Duffy, Mike Montgomery, Aaron Crow and Jake Odorizzi.

March 6, 2012
In split squad games against the Indians and Padres, Odorizzi and Montgomery set the early tone in the competition by each throwing a scoreless inning and striking out the side. Yost states afterwards that he may consider a 7 man rotation.

March 31, 2012
Conventional wisdom wins out with the Royals settling on a 5 man rotation and sending Duffy, Monty and Odorizzi to AAA to compile 3/5 of quite possibly the greatest AAA rotation ever. Eric Hosmer hits his Cactus League leading 11th home run of spring training against the Diamondbacks.

April 6, 2012
Oswalt pitches a gem on opening day, throwing 7 scoreless innings, picking up a win the hard way in a 1-0 battle. Alcides Escobar is featured on Web Gems for his diving snag of an Albert Pujols line drive to end the game.

April 23, 2012
The Royals conclude their first home stand with a 10-5 victory. The 10 run outburst is keyed by a 3 run shot from Yuniesky Betancourt, filling at second in for Gio after his rough 4/39 start. The Royals average 32,000 fans over the 9 game home stand prompting David Glass to proclaim that he may be willing to splurge for a true utility infielder if this keeps up.

May 5, 2012
Joakim Soria celebrates Cinco De Mayo with a 5-out save for the Royals third straight win against the Yankees. CC Sabathia is scratched from his Sunday start after getting stuck in an Oklahoma Joe’s bathroom stall.

May 31, 2012
X-Rays show Bruce Chen has a broken right hand suffered in a post game celebration after the Royals walk off win against the Indians the night before. Chen is sent to the DL and the Royals call up Mike Montgomery and his 1.73 ERA. The Royals finish the month of May at 28-23, 2 games back of the first place Tigers.

June 13, 2012
After being hit by a 94 mph fastball, Billy Butler (pinch hitting for Escobar in the 7th) finally gets to let Zack Greinke know how really feels about him. The brawl lasts 11 minutes and is highlighted by Salvador Perez lifting Brewers OF Nyjer Morgan completely off the ground in a Beast Mode pose.

June 17, 2012
Carlos Beltran strikes out looking on a 63 mph curve from Soria as the red hot closer notches his league leading 26th save of the season. The three game sweep of the Cardinals in St. Louis vaults the Royals into a tie with Tigers for first at 38-28

June 24, 2012
After splitting the first two games of their home series with the Cardinals, the Royals win the rubber match in convincing fashion, 11-0. The win caps a near perfect weekend at The K with sellout crowds all three days that, for the first time in many years, are more blue than red.

June 30, 2012
The Royals finish the month of June at 44-33, a game ahead of the red-hot Tigers. Hosmer leads the team with 19 home runs and 62 RBI, while hitting a cool .305.

Now, the Kool Aid Drinker does not want to completely let the cat out of the bag on 2012, so we will save the second half of the season for some time in June. Until then, I would love to hear what you see in store for the Royals through your rose-colored glasses.

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