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Who Knew?

By Tim Pafford

        I always try to keep myself positive as the season starts for baseball and The Kansas City Royals.  There is nothing more exciting than an even playing field where any team can take a lead and prove their stuff for the season just out of the gates.  But who saw the Kansas City Royals as the team to catch up to in the 1st week of the season?   I love the guys, and I didn't see it happening.
        The elements that needed fixing have been.  Base running is stronger than ever, with players athletic enough to run out extra bases when the ball is driven  to the corners and over the infield.  Relief pitchers are stronger than the Royals have seen since their championship years, and the only pitching that seems weak is a few of the starters that have the experience to get stronger pitching preformances.  If Davies and Hochevar can find the rhythm that Chen and and Francis have found, the team could have a solid shot at the post-season.
        It is very early on, and things do seem to be in flux.  (Soria had the worst outing of his professional career and Butler has been lacking in his batting percentage thus far.)    But the other elements that had been holding the team back (at a more critical level) now seem to be much more maintained.  This is the kind of start of the year that can lend itself to great records and post-season chances, or lend itself to heartbreaks  and frustrations such as when the team lost over 100 games in a season after starting off strong.
        I always love to see the glass-half-full.  No matter that comes of the next few weeks, I know I will be riding high knowing my Kansas City Royals are sitting near the top of the standings to kick off 2011.  I will hope they will stay in that position while taking on the other teams in their division and vying for a spot to fight for World Series Rings. 

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