(Over the next four weeks, Twinkie Town's RandBall's Stu will take a look at the four teams trying to snatch the AL Central crown from your Minnesota Twins. They will be neither thorough nor terribly accurate, and probably contain at least one sentence that SB Nation's lawyers will have to defend in court on the grounds that accusations of booger-eating are protected speech. Really should have done what Dad said and gone to med school, barrister.)
Who: Kansas City Royals
Last year's record: 20-142 (estimated).
Projected 2011 record: 19-143
Key Additions: Jeff Francouer, Melky Cabrera
Key Departures: Zach Greinke, Yuniesky Betancourt, David DeJesus, Alberto Callaspo, Gil Meche, Willie Bloomquist, Rick Ankiel, pr0FF3ss0r_F4rnsw0rth, pretty much everyone but Joakim Soria and Billy Butler, okay?
Wilson Betimit's favorite Belle & Sebastian album: the Lazy Line Painter Jane EP. Underrated! Excellent choice, Wilson.
Outlook: the Royals are in rebuilding mode. Now, this statement might seem familiar to you, and it should: the Royals have been in rebuilding mode your entire life. They will be in rebuilding mode for the rest of your life. When your grandchildren's grandchildren are laboring under the yoke of Emperor-for-Life Bieber, team sources will say the Royals are "turning it around with an influx of youth, a couple veteran leaders and jetpacks, and look forward to this being a breakout season for Alex Gordon". This is how it has to be, and Royals fans seem to have come to terms with it.
That said, Rob Neyer thinks that, while Kansas City is almost certain to be dreadful this year, they are on the right path:
These Royals are essentially buying time until the next Royals arrive, and the next Royals are a pretty impressive bunch. Thanks to skillful drafting and aggressive spending, Dayton Moore has built what's unanimously regarded as the game's top farm system, with three outstanding hitting prospects and five excellent pitching prospects.
None of those players are ready to help the big club right now, but they should begin to arrive late this summer, and they should begin making a real difference at some point in 2012, with 2013 the first season in which we might have to take the Royals seriously.
Items of Interest:
- Bruce Chen is still on the team.
- Luke Hochevar's surname remains an endless source of juvenile mirth.
- SB Nation's excellent Royals Review blog has a list of the 100 Greatest Royals of All Time. Number 59 is Hipolito Pichardo. I love that.
- Jason Kendall is mad as hell and is not going to take it anymore.
- The "U" and "L" in U L Washington's name don't stand for anything. This does not necessarily mean the former Royals infielder is a warlock, but he is likely a Druid.