The Royals have become MLB's most despised team

A couple days ago I was talking to my friend Jena, a Kansas City Royals fan. She asked what I thought of all the fist-pumping and chest-bumping and over-the-top celebrations the Royals were doing during games and how other teams are going to react to that.

I said something along the lines of, "They're not going to like it."

Fast-forward to Thursday night and there were the Royals, involved in another incident. There was Yordano Ventura, involved in another incident. I'm writing this during the game, so we don't have comments yet from players explaining the dust-up that nearly escalated into a 1980s-style all-out brawl. Adam Eaton grounded back to the mound and the replay clearly showed Ventura barking a common two-word profanity. According to Tweets, it's possible that Eaton shouted something first, perhaps suggesting in his best Shakespearean language that Ventura might have quick pitched him (see here).

The Royals are playing with a style you don't see often in baseball, at least at the major league level: Energetic, enthusiastic, almost an us-against-the-world attitude. To some extent, this helped carry them through their hot streak in October and it's probably part of their good start in 2015. It's difficult, however, to sustain that level of play for 162 games. More importantly, Ventura's actions -- whether defensible or not -- put his teammates in jeopardy, just as Kelvin Herrera did on Sunday when he threw behind Brett Lawrie (after Ventura had already been tossed the day before for throwing at him).

The Royals will likely counter that they'd been hit by 16 pitches entering Thursday's game, second-most in the majors, and were already all riled up after Chris Sale had come in on Mike Moustakas. That they can't keeping getting hit and pretend it's not big deal. Regardless, from afar, it seems that Ned Yost has lost some control of his team.

The Royals, October's lovable little small-market team, is suddenly the most disliked team in baseball. Some Twitter reaction to the fight: