You know that the summer is at that the halfway point when Wimbledon is over, the World Cup finals are upon us, the British Open is happening and the All-Star break is here.
There are only six weeks left until the first high school Friday Night Lights game is played and the Chiefs training camp begins in less than two weeks.
Time seems to move way too fast. It has been beyond frustrating for Royals baseball fans. It has been a painful season for all who bleed blue. We should have been prepared for this, but the team is much worse than anyone anticipated. Our family will always support the hometown team. We have attended games and tried to follow the team on TV and radio. It is still tough to watch game after game with the team down by five or more runs by the second inning.
We went to a game a few weeks ago when it was 8-0 after the first inning. The Royals were later trailing 6-0. We went to the game with two other couples who love the Royals. We still had a great time but the cruel fact is that this team is terrible. This year’s squad is on the road to 114 losses for the season. This would put them in a situation where the team could be only the second team in 50 years to lose 114 or more. No matter where your heart is, it is time to face the facts.
If the Royals organization is serious about becoming a good team again in the next six to seven years, they need to evaluate the great runs of 2014 and 2015. Some of those beloved players still on the team must move on and the organization must think about obtaining young talent for the future. The Royals could follow what the Houston Astros did for five years. They took things apart from top to bottom. The only two factors the Astros considered were youth and talent potential. Baseball different than any other pro sport, it is a crapshoot.
Some young talent never seems to work out. Bubba Starling and Adalberto Mondesi are prime examples. Both are great athletes, but they cannot hit a baseball. The organization has never really embraced Whit Merrifield, but he is a good solid major leaguer. The one thing the Royals origination should not do is keep the old gang around in hopes to be competitive with a mixture of the past and hope of the future. The team may finish last with guys whose best baseball is behind them.
Most people feel we can’t trade guys like Moose, Salvy or Duffy. That is not realistic. Alex Gordon is one of the most beloved Royals in the last 12 years, but you could see as early as 2015 that his bat speed is gone but he was not flexible enough to change. Now Gordon is a lock for the Royals Hall of Fame, but the team let their heart override his decline. Three years ago, they should have made the move to go younger with another outfielder. You do not win at the professional level by hanging on to the past.
The way to forge ahead is to not get caught up in the emotion of the team’s or player’s past success. No one on the 2018 team should be exempt from being traded, but the team should not make a trade unless they get a sensible return for the trade.
Salvador Perez has been a fixture during the past great run. It will be a sad day if Perez moves on to another team, but his value is high right now. He is having a subpar year but is highly thought of by everyone in Major League baseball. He is a good catcher and would be a positive in any locker room. The Royals should not trade Perez unless they can receive at least three to four young prospects with positive up side.
Moose is rumored to be heading to the Cardinals before the trading date. It would be great for Moose and hopefully the Royals would get at least two young prospects in return.
Merrifield will be coveted by many Major League team because of his versatility and combination of speed and hitting ability. Merrifield would be tough to lose, but if the organization can get two young talented players, they should make the move.
After the Royals traded Herrera, they may not have a pitcher any other team in the playoff hunt would want. The days of wine and roses are over, and it is time for the organization to put all its emphasis on the future. I can handle losing if I know that the players of the future are gaining experience and are able to make the organization competitive again. I refer to the Greek Philosopher Epictetus who stated, “On the occasion of every accident that befalls you, remember to turn yourself and inquire what power you have for turning to use.”
The Houston Astros went from losing 100 games in three of four years but this year they have a real chance of to win back-to-back World Series championships. I am good with pain if you see a healing in the future.
My quote of the week comes from Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro, “I realize that success is having the courage to meet failure without being defeated. I also recognize that although I cannot always control what happens to me, I can control how I respond to my wins and losses.”