Hey, better late than never. Sam Mellinger:
- This is day three of the new-look Royals, the look that so many of you cried for, and now we begin to find out a little about this team and a lot about you fans, too.
In the next few days -- give it a week -- José Guillen will be off the team or on the bench and the Royals will have solved the Kila Conundrum, allowing Kila Ka’aihue to play regularly and giving Mission 2012 some action to back the words of management.
This is the team you wanted. In the last two weeks, general manager Dayton Moore traded away three dead-end veterans plus Alberto Callaspo. An old and boring team is now at least young: 13 of the 25 active players are 26 or younger.
This is what you asked for with e-mails to newspaper reporters, calls to radio shows and rants on message boards.
It’s the right approach, but this could be a very, very bad team.
The reality is that the Royals’ future — and, by extension, their present — is better served with Ka’aihue getting four plate appearances every night instead of Guillen.
The front office appears more convinced of that now than ever before, which means if a trade doesn’t happen, Ka’aihue’s time will come with Guillen in the outfield, on the bench or perhaps even released.
It’s the last step this season to fully commit to Mission 2012. When it happens, the fans will need to accept their share in this, too.
Because it could get worse before it gets better.
Well, of course it could get worse. But how much worse, really? It's not like the Royals traded any great players, and there's a pretty good chance that Ka'aihue is going to produce roughly as many runs as Jose Guillen would.
Let's say it does get worse. What does that mean? They finish this season with 100 losses rather than 95? Fifth place rather than fourth? Will anybody really notice? Yes, some of the fans who asked for this might be disappointed by 100 losses. But it's the fans who don't know enough to want a good solid housecleaning who are more likely to be disappointed, because they won't understand that sometimes you have to lose before you can win. Which is, it should be said, something that the Royals' management doesn't seem to have understood for some time now.
Once you make the leap, though? Things can turn around in a hurry. Prospects pan out, you catch a few breaks, your ace remembers what made him a Cy Young Award winner ... I don't see the Royals catching the Twins anytime soon. But if Mission 2012 is reaching .500, it's far from impossible.