Josh Klingler is the co-host and update anchor of "Fescoe in the Morning," heard weekdays 6a-9a on 610 Sports Radio. Perhaps the busiest sports personality in Kansas City, "Kling" also hosts pregame and postgame for KU Football and Men's Basketball broadcasts on the Jayhawk Radio Network and does morning sports updates on News Radio 980 KMBZ. He brings you his insight each Thursday on 610sports.com
We may not have expected it but it's here, the Royals are very much in the AL Central race as we enter the month of May 2011. Not 2012, the year of our Royals, but this season. I didn't see it, most experts didn't see it, only maybe Dayton Moore and Ned Yost quietly saw it, but this team is contending.
I never buy into the “if the season ended today” BS, but I do buy into “playing for today.” The AL Central is much like the AFC West of last season for the Chiefs, they may have been ahead of schedule to compete for a division, but there they were. The same holds for the Royals. The division is weak. Do we really think Cleveland is the absolute class of the division? Detroit, Minnesota and Chicago have all experienced losing skids that may create panic in their respective cities. While they may have been the expected contenders in the division while the Royals and Indians were not, those three teams all have negatives that hopefully will continue to magnify.
The Royals are in it, so play for now. I'm not talking about massive sacrifices that will inhibit the future of the franchise, but also there are never any guarantees in sports. If you are in it this year, stay in it. Make a move for more starting pitching, get 1b resolved, and don't be handcuffed by the service time clock. What this town wouldn't do to be a trade deadline buyer rather than seller? And to do it a year or two early? Oh my.
I love that we're able to nitpick right now with the Royals, we are taking calls everyday discussing a particular play or managing move. It means we care and it means that each individual game matters right now and that's awesome. We have not felt the need to do that since 2003. It feels good to care, let's keep it going.