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When The Season Starts on Monday

                                                            By:Tim Pafford

          With Monday's start to the season we wait and see who will take an early lead to the season and see who has to start from a deficit.
         The Royals have mixed projections for 2014.  Advertising claims they will be in the running for a post -season birth (the 1st since the 1985 Championship Season); then their are the statisticians that claim the Royals will struggle more than 2012 or 2013 where they finished mid pack or worse in the weakest division in the MLB.
         I'm the eternal optimist when it comes to the Royals.  No matter the season record you find me in the stands, watching them on TV, or at least listing to Denny Matthews  call a game like no one else in radio broadcasting.  (Or watching the game with the sound off on the TV and listening to the 610 am broadcast.)
        I feel the starting rotation is as strong as the Royals have seen in years, and if the relievers can perform as strongly as they did in 2013 (accompanied by the stellar defense we saw that season) we could see Gold Glove defense all over again.  But, like the last few years they need to find more scoring offense.  In the American League a team can not get away with stellar defense and pitching alone.  That can work for a starting rotation with an ERA under 3.00 in the National League, but modern history shows that a competitive team in the AL also needs substantial amounts of scoring too.  A league where one of the 10 starting players is a hitting specialist dictates that scoring is a must for winning games as much strong defense.
       The Royals have upgraded their offense substantially on paper.  Will this correlate to the field and through the long haul of the season?  Only time and history will tell us for sure, but I know I want to see this Kansas City team vying for a Division Championship.  Nothing would be greater than taking my family to professional level games in Kansas City that have meaning for the post-season plays in October.

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