The Royals are the sole reason that I wanted to start this mini blog series. They are terrible. They are a laughing stock. Yet, the Royals have had a history as a quality team, and were once a formidable AL franchise.
Unlike last post, I would like to put some rules on my analysis in deciding whether a team will ever be good in my lifetime. 1) Does this team have any hope for being good now? (1-3 year outlook) 2) How is the team's farm system (1-10 year outlook)? 3) How strong is the team's fanbase (helps in the long term outlook (10-50 years)? 4) Intangibles. Do they play in the AL East? Are they a team that should be relocated? Have they had a decent history? Has Reggie Sanders ever played there? The last question is a trick. Reggie Sanders has actually played on every team in the majors. So, let's get the Royal bashing on its way...
1) Do the Royals have any glimmer of hope presently? If you cannot answer this question you are either a complete moron or you really believe in the power of a fat Billy Butler. The Royals are no where close to being good. They have terrible pitching (Except for Grienke and the Mexicutioner), terrible defense, terrible hitting, and poor speed. The Royals cannot hit, run, catch, or throw. That is not a good start for being a baseball team.
2) The Royals farm system has brought up a few decent players the past few years. Grienke, Butler, Beltran, Dye, and a host of others. What the farm system cannot do is keep the talent on their field. The Royals have had such dismal results the past 10 years, they are forced to sell off any player that shows talent. They keep replenishing their system, so they have to have a strong minor league system, right? Not exactly (often ranked in the middle of the pack on many minor league system rankings). You would figure with such poor results the past few years they would have built a Rays like system. Really the Royals have few things going for them in the minors. They have some pitching and they have Eric Hosmer. O yea, and Alex Gordon is still in the system. However, he played so bad with the big club that he has moved to LF in the minors. Not a good thing. Is their system strong enough to climb over low spending and few Free Agent attractions? Not even close.
3) They are currently ranked 25 out of 30 in attendance with 20,000 per game. Sure they are bad, and no one wants to see bad teams, but they have had dismal attendance for years. Their Missouri fanbase is next to nothing because of the Cardinals. The only thing they have going for them is that they have a cool stadium. Unfortunately for the Royals, their cool stadium is getting old, and I have heard from several news outlets that it is run down and should have never gotten an All Star Game. Without strong attendance figures the team can't add payroll. Without being able to add payroll and having a terrible minor league system and relying on Scott Podsednik to produce offensively for you, this franchise stands no chance.
4) Do the Royals have anything going for them which may lead you to believe they may some day be good again? Absolutely not. They were good for a period of time in the 80's and that was simply because of George Brett. In today's game of baseball a talented guy gets bought by the Yankees as soon as arbitration is over. The Royals can't pay their good youth to stay on the team.
After realizing that the Royals do not stand a chance to ever be good, what can we do with the franchise? Is there any hope in Kansas City? I honestly feel that there isn't. Its a bad organization in a bad city. My theory is they need to be relocated, but to where???? No one goes to Las Vegas anymore. Baseball has already tried the Canada thing, and fans up there aren't receptive. The just moved a team back to Washington. California has enough teams, and Florida doesn't want the 2 they have. This leaves 2 options. Go play in Mexico or in the Cari bean. Really, there is only 1 option left after that. They need to move a team to Puerto Rico. They've hosted several Marlins games there over the years, and it is a great fit for baseball. They have a large park, and a rabid fanbase. I honestly feel that there will be a team in Puerto Rico sooner, rather than later.