The Kansas City Royals and the Los Angles Angels will be the last two teams in Major League Baseball to begin their season. The Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners have already started theirs. The Miami Marlins and St Louis Cardinals will start theirs in Wednesday evening. Finally, six days from today, after twenty-eight other teams have started, the Royals and Angels will start at 9pm local time. Even though these two teams will be the last to step off, I think they will get the most media coverage, and it’s not because the national media is in love with the Royals.
It seems that the Angels have signed a couple of big name free agents over the off-season in the name of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. It is a compelling story in the national media. Albert Pujols graced the cover of Sports Illustrated’s MLB Preview. ESPN is televising the opener, and FOX added Saturday’s game to their regional coverage. If you live in the Royals television market don’t expect to watch the ESPN telecast. It will be blacked out to protect the FoxSports Kansas City broadcast. In Los Angles, the Orange County Register is hopping on the “mob” fad, and plans to cover the Royals-Angels Opener like never before.
The Royals track record doesn’t lend itself to the Royals being anything more than facilitaters for a game of baseball disguised to be a celebration of Arte Murano’s shopping spree during the winter. The Royals are like the convicted being lead into the Roman Coliseum to be eaten by lions. The cards are even stacked against the Royals liturgically. That’s right, Christian Royals fans will be rooting against the Angels on Holy Weekend.
I think the Angels are a good out of division rival for the Royals. Southern California is a hot bed of baseball talent. George Brett is from there, and so are a bunch of other Royals players. The Angels broadcast team consists of Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza. Mark Gubiza needs no explaining. Victor Rojas is the son of Cookie, and grew up in Kansas City. If you follow him on Twitter you’ll notice he remains a Chiefs and KU Jayhawk fan. The Royals broadcast team has many ties to the Angels. Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler were Angels broadcasters for 11 seasons. Ryan Lefebvre is also from Southern California. If that’s not enough these two teams have seen a lot of each other in Cactus League play. Including a little dust up when Everett Teaford hit Peter Bourjos with a fastball after surrendering three straight home runs. This opening series shapes up to be exciting and hotly contested.
There is always opportunity in adversity. What better time to come out in punch the other team in the mouth than when they congratulating themselves? The Royals have a power hitting first baseman of their own. The Royals have some electric bullpen arms. The Royals have an excellent outfield. The Royals also won the last season’s series 7-3.
Earlier in the winter I was concerned that the Royals were getting too much media attention. It appeared they had become the next trendy pick in the surprise baseball team sweepstakes. I’m sure the Angels organization is not overlooking the Royals. I’m glad to see that for one weekend it appears the national media is. It’s a good recipe for “Chip on our shoulder”. It’s time for the Royals to crash the Pujols Party and shock the world.