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2011 Draws to a Close

By Tim Pafford

       2011, 2011, 2001!  What a season it was!  The Royals are on their way to being out of the basement for the first time in several seasons.  They may remain on the 1st floor, but it is still not last place.  Some may not see this as a great accomplishment, but it is a huge first step; especially when you consider how much more competitive that AL Central Division became this season.
        Many say that the Detroit Tigers not only boast in having the Cy Young contender for the AL, but also a team with the type of offense that may see the AL Championship and a World Series Birth.  Time will tell if they hold on, but when you consider what has been taking place in Detroit over the last few years economically, a Tiger's win of the Fall Classic will be an emotional victory even to those who aren't baseball fans.  (Think a fiscal version of the 2001 Yankee's.)
        As the season continued on, up and coming players from the minor league system came up to add in the young team's image and performance numbers. Eric Hosmer has impressed all skeptics and has been eyed by even the best prospectors in the sport as one of the next great baseball players of this generation.  It seemed as if he were a young man born to play pro baseball in Kansas City.  (And after his history making 5 for 5 last night, who would argue?)
        Tim Collins started out strong this season with an impressive ERA and pitch delivery.  Though he fought control issues as the season wore on, some see him as a potential "Lefty Specialist" for the Royals of the future.
       But, I think he needs to get over his "Napoleon Complex" and see that his team will not be perfect every time he allows hits.  I found his throwing of the rosin bag at Escobar, during a tight game in July, was totally unprofessional and made Collins look like the short whiner of the team. (Especially after he walked the next two hitters in eight pitches.)  I feel he needs to look to other short Tims around the Majors and see their level of professionalism and decorum, on and off the mound, as an example that being short isn't an excuse for a short temperament.

        Tonight's Game will be the last game Kansas City will get to enjoy until 2012 rolls around.  But it has been a beautiful and fun experience seeing the team grow and see young players being nurtured into pro ball players for years to come.  This last picture maybe how our last visions of the seasons materialize, but I know I can't wait till 2012 to see if the Royals can capitalize on new talents and see the first Play-Off Birth since 1985 when the team won the World Series in only its second appearance in the Fall Classic.


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