Listen, I’m as guilty of this as anyone…probably even more so. But the 2012 Kansas City Royals are who we thought they were, almost exactly. They’re three wins away from the team’s best record in four seasons, and seven away from their best in ten. They are young, volatile, and improving. Their offense is developing into a potent force, their bullpen is the strength of the team, and their starting rotation is every bit as hodge podge as we anticipated. While I certainly hoped for, and predicted, much more from this club, they are pretty much exactly where we should have expected them to be. Sure, a 12 game losing streak in April squashed all hope, and a terrible July brought us back to earth, but at the end of the year this club is going to be in the mid-70s in wins. Not bad considering the injuries to starting pitching, Eric Hosmer’s regression, and the abomination that has been Ned Yost as an in-game manager.
I, as my name suggests, drank too much of the Kool Aid in the preseason, and I’m not apologizing for it. For the past 25 years, Royals fans have had little more than the Kool Aid, and we shouldn’t swear it off just because our dreams didn’t come true once again. Instead, I’m taking it a step farther. Instead of telling you what I hope happens this offseason heading into next, I’m going to outline what would be, in my mind, the best ten things that could happen to the Royals this offseason.
10. Ned Yost resigns. Yost loves his hunting and his hunting buddies; maybe just maybe he decides trying to win with both hands tied behind his back isn’t worth it.
9. Jeff Francoeur pulls a Gil Meche. Meche walked away at the age of 32 because he didn’t want to have surgery. Maybe notorious good-guy Frenchy will retire because he can no longer bare the pain he is causing those who cheer for him.
8. Zack Greinke announces he’ll give the Royals a hometown discount, but only if they sign one additional free agent starter. Dayton Moore signs the hurler to a 5 year $95 million contract shortly after…
7. Jeremy Guthrie signs a two year deal worth $12 million. Yes, I’m drinking the Guthrie Kool Aid. The guy loves it here, and Kauffman Stadium is the perfect place for a fly ball pitcher like Guthrie.
6. Ned Yost is fired. No, this isn’t the same as #10, this is much better. This would involve Dayton Moore admitting a mistake and cutting a loss.
5. Terry Francona is hired as the new manager of the Kansas City Royals. Yeah, I’m dreaming…and yeah, they’d have to sign Greinke and Guthrie first.
4. Joakim Soria re-signs with the club and returns to his old self. I’m not sure Soria would even be our closer at this point, but if we’re going to have the bullpen be our strength, let’s go all out.
3. Jeff Francoeur is cut. See 6, only this time in all caps.
2. Oklahoma Joe’s expands to Detroit. While Fielder didn’t experience quite the drop off I expected, he did see his power numbers dip. Give him one taste of Oklahoma Joe’s and he’ll weigh 400 lbs by spring training.
1. David Glass sells the team to the owners of Sporting KC. Yeah, I know Glass said he won’t sell the team. He also said he only wants the team to break even, and he cares about winning. Let’s just hope this was one more lie.