All right. Read that again. The Royals are 6 - 2. Go ahead, rub your eyes. Read it again. The Kansas City Royals (a Major League baseball team for those of you who weren't alive in 1985, which was the last time they made the playoffs) have won six of their first eight games. That means their record is six wins and two losses. They have played the Detroit Tigers, the Minnesota Twins (both of those series being on the road), and the New York Yankees (two games into a three-game series). At the onset of this season, most experts would have agreed that two of the three teams that the Royals have played were going to be vying for playoff spots come September.
Now I'm probably getting a little too excited about this all. I am an excitable man. The thing is, I spend most of my time as a sports fan wallowing in misery. I can't enjoy a Chiefs game. I sit there wondering how they are going to lose. And I'm probably more prone to pessimism with football than baseball, but I have never had a moment as an adult where the Royals started playing games, and I thought that maybe, just maybe this team has the depth to keep winning.
Look, I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop. I've been waiting for the pitching to blow up. I didn't start Greinke in my keeper league (keep in mind, I kept him from last year because I thought he'd continue on with what he finished off last season doing) this week because I was convinced the Yankees would destroy him just like they did last season. He shut them down. For eight innings. Seriously.
And their ace hasn't even been as good as he can be. Gil Meche has looked like a very average pitcher. He looked bad against the Twins. Yet we Royals fans find ourselves basking in the glow of a 6 - 2 start. Was one year all the young pups needed? Can Mark Teahen rebound like he seems to be doing? Can Bannister beat down all the BABIP-citing naysayers with seemingly nothing but his wits? Does Zack Greinke keep his head on straight all season?
I guess all of those questions will be answered with time, and as a long-time fan of teams ranging from underachieving to mediocre to fucking terrible, I have to tell myself that these Royals can't really be good.
But can they?