Do the Royals have a bulls-eye painted on them?

Royals-target

MAY 2015 – If the first month of the season is any indication of how the season is going to play out, then hold on Kansas City, we’re in for a bumpy ride.

From the throwing at batters, to the hard (dirty?) slide and the numerous bench clearing stare downs and shouting matches (certainly not fisticuffs), it is apparent the Royals have a big red bulls-eye plastered on each and every royal blue uniform.

There is no doubt the 2014 playoff run carried over into the competitive spirit of our boys in blue. It shows with nearly each and every play. Many so-called baseball experts predicted that the Royals would finish as low as fourth in the American League Central (See Sports Illustrated Baseball Issue for evidence).

A month into the season and many believe the Royals have a good chance of winning the division That’s what a great start will do to change the minds of the non-believers in March, for those who thought 2014 was a fluke.

With all the energy encapsulated by each and every player of Kansas City, it is very obvious American League opponents are going to do whatever it takes to try to deflate the winning attitude the Royals have.

surplusexchange.orgThe Oakland series provided flashbacks of that great wildcard game in which Salvador Perez erased 29 years of frustration by bringing in Christian Colon with the game-winning hit.

The energy and excitement of Kauffman Stadium today was renewed by the winning spirit we had during the 1970s and 1980s. During that time we saw intense play from George Brett, Hal McRae, Willie Wilson and Frank White, coupled with great pitching from Dennis Leonard, Bret Saberhagen, Paul Splittorff, Mark Gubicza and many others.

Major League Baseball and the media have spun a negative light on the retaliation of our players. The Royals went from Cinderella in 2014 to bad boys in 2015?

Please! Although I have to agree with most fans, the Royals’ players wrath IS understandable when opposing teams are trying to dethrone us or is that behead us.

Some of the injuries they have sustained have been a direct result of the hit batters and aggressive play of our competition. Right fielder Alex Rios was off to an excellent start until a Twins’ rookie pitcher with errant control broke his finger. Alcides Escobar had started 172 consecutive games at shortstop before Brett Lawrie’s aggressive slide hurt his knee and caused him to miss two games.

However, it has always been the history of baseball to retaliate in order to protect the players, reposition the momentum and make a statement.

Retribution will always be a part of baseball. It is part of winning. And opponents get up to compete against the better teams.

The Yankees, the Red Sox, the Dallas Cowboys, the New England Patriots, the San Antonio Spurs and any NBA team Lebron James plays for all experience this year after year. We have not encountered this since the mid-1980s, but hopefully we will have to accept it for years to come.

My wife Peg, has been a Royals fan “before” they were Royals. She and many others have truly embraced the spirit and winning mindset they possess. I can absolutely defend and justify the Kaufman crowd reacting like we do when one of our own is thrown at or targeted in any other way.

I do know no matter what’s been thrown at them literally, this team is not going to back down. Even with the injuries we’ve sustained, other players have risen to the occasion, and the Royals play as a cohesive team, each and every game. Our Spirit cannot be quenched.

The bottom line is this, I believe we can expect more of the same for the entire season and possibly for years to come. This is what builds maturity, teamwork, motivation and that overall desire to defeat those opponents.

There are many Royals fans outside of Kansas City because of last October’s run and what they are doing so far this year. Jealousy is a bi-product of competition and much of the opposition is going to probably do whatever it takes to slow us down.

I love how Kansas City stands up and says go ahead “we’re not gonna take it anymore.” Perhaps we should adopt that Twisted Sister song as our mantra for the rest of the year.

Article by James Peuster

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