Think back to the start of the 2011 season for a moment. On May 23, the Cleveland Indians owned first place in the American League Central by seven games after jumping out to a record of 30-15. They were the talk of baseball, and the toast of the town.
The Royals had an off day on May 23, but on May 24 they were 22-24 and entered the opening game of a series at Baltimore a full 8.0 games behind the Indians.The point? Fast (or slow) starts don't always matter. From that point on, the Indians fell apart, going 50-67 and finishing the season at 80-82.
Last year's Royals were 6-4 through 10 games and sat in third place in the AL Central. This year's team has lost five straight games early on to start 3-7. The Royals are 4.0 games back of the Tigers, and tied for fourth place in the standings.
Because of lofty expectations heading into this season, Royals fans are acting like the sky is falling. One bad weekend against the Indians has KC "faithful" calling for Dayton Moore's job, booing some of the team's promising young players, and completely overreacting to every little thing.
Here's a classic example of fans' stupid behavior. After Luke Hochevar was drilled on the ankle by a line drive off the bat of Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana, I read a post on Royalboard.com where a fan was actually hoping he broke his leg or ankle to end his season. Really?! Come on, man.
Listen people, it's 10 games into a 162-game season. I've done this type of analogy before, but those ten games are the equivalent of one game in an NFL schedule. So, the Royals lost their first "game." They are very capable of bouncing back and being competitive within the Central.
Don't get me wrong, I'm among those who are frustrated with the disappointing start to the season. I expected a much better first 10 games. I didn't think Eric Hosmer (8-for-40) and Alex Gordon (5-for-39) would have combined to go 13-for-79 at the plate. I didn't think Cleveland would have seven-run, six-run, five-run, AND four-run innings during the three-game weekend set.
But it's baseball, and I'm certainly smart enough to realize that this is the youngest team in the game and stretches like this are going to happen from time-to-time. I'm not calling for Dayton Moore's head. I'm not jumping off the bandwagon after one crappy weekend.
After all, I've been riding this bandwagon since 1980, and I know it's a bumpy ride. Things WILL get better, so calm down and enjoy the ride.