Danny Parkins: Can't Wait For Next Year
I have a confession. When I decided to take this job, one of my main apprehensions was covering the Kansas City Royals. It’s not that I don’t like baseball. Plus, as a Cubs fan, I’m plenty familiar with losing. I think it had to do with a relative lack of knowledge at the time of the team and the stigma that is attached to the Royals from anyone outside KC.
‘Have fun covering 110 losses this year…’
‘At least the baseball season ends on opening day…’
That was the vain of some of the text messages I got from my friends when I told them I was moving my show to the home of Royals baseball in Kansas City. But you know what? I, and all of them, could not have been more wrong.
I had a blast covering the Royals this year. For most of the season I even referred to them as “the most fun last place team I had ever seen.” And then, something crazy started to happen. Minnesota started losing at a Royals-esque pace and KC started to come out on the right side of some of those nailbiters. And the Royals are going to finish this season in 4th place in the AL Central.
Most 4th place seasons are decidedly forgetful, but I don’t think Royals fans are going to forget the 2011 season anytime soon. The 2011 season will be the “I remember when” year. As in, ‘I remember when Eric Hosmer got called up and it felt like the future was now.’ And, ‘I remember when Sal Perez picked off a runner in the top of an inning, and hit an opposite field homer in the bottom half.’
There will be countless stories because plenty of you saw the stories unfold. 19 of the last 21 home games for the Royals had attendances above 20,000 – a staggering number for a small market team with a 90+ loss product.
Fans came out to see a glimpse at what the Royals can be... and that’s a competitive baseball team (maybe even as soon as 2012). I can say with 100% truth, that I can’t wait for next year.