Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Royals: Game 7 #TakeTheCrown

So when I first started this blog, I mentioned I would likely talk about non-triathlony stuff.  This may be my first one.

Last night was Game 6 of the MLB World Series between the KC Royals and SF Giants.  I am a fan of the KC Royals as I've been a resident of Kansas City since day 0 of my life. At the start of the 2nd inning I was sitting on my couch, beer in hand, dog laying next to me, TKB watching intently, and life was great.  No team had scored yet and, yet, I was already euphoric.  This was amazing.  I say this because I can honestly say that I never thought this moment was going to happen in my lifetime.. not without some changes.

In my previous blog (which is now defunct), I made a post about bucket list items in baseball that I wanted to witness in a Royals game.  Items like an inside-the-park Home Run (Thank you, Angel Berroa), Grand Slam (Thank you, Ryan Shealy), someone stealing home, a no hitter, a triple play, a 3 pitch inning, getting a foul ball (Thank you, Detroit player who hit it into the upper deck).  One item that I don't recall if I had one on there is the Royals winning a World Series.  Why?  Simply because from the late 1990s baseball was broken.  The competitive balance of baseball was screwed up.  The economics was skewed to those who could buy a championship team.  In my mind, the figurehead of this were the Yankees but many teams were guilty.

How in the world could a team in a small market be competitive?  Kansas City was the prime example of a small market team.  Players didn't want to come here and why would they?  If they were good, teams would simply overpay for their services.  The Royals couldn't (or, rather, wouldn't) match.  Our ownership literally came from the Walmart mindset (he was previously a CEO of the company).  We got plenty of flack about being a cheap team... and the ownership deserved those comments.  Here are some facts from a hopefully reliable source of information.  It compares the total amount of money spent on baseball salaries since the Yankees and Royals last won their World Series.

In the last 6 years, the Yankees have spent $10.8 million MORE than the Royals in the previous 30 years.  Yes, this is non-adjusted for inflation so it might be closer.  In 2011, the Royals salary was so an anemic 17% of that of the Yankees.  That was a horrible year for the Royals when they lost 91 games.

To be fair, I feel that every person should be paid as much as people are willing to pay them.  I'm not going to stop my company from giving me a $25 million per year contract, so I won't blame the Yankees with their deep pockets; however, from an ownership perspective, I feel it's reckless (ie, my company didn't give me that contract).  Yankees being a prime example.  They have spent $1.2 BILLION dollars and have nothing to show for it since 2009.

In addition, there are plenty of teams who have won the World Series that aren't in the top 5 of salary spenders.  So why do it?!

As you can see, the Royals have started spending money to get some big arms in clubhouse but they aren't overpaying by an absurd amount.  They have also spent plenty of capital (not just financially but in mentoring, training, and grooming) players from their own farm system.  THAT is why I was euphoric.  I feel the Royals have hit the right combination and didn't mortgage the future to get it.

So while I am impatiently waiting for Game 7 to start, I don't know what the outcome will be. I want our team to win and I feel very confident that they will.  Even if they lose, this has been an absolutely awesome experience being a fan of the team.  This entire post-season has been enjoyable to watch.  I hope that if you are a true fan of this sport, you are enjoying the it too. Being a true fan of this sport, I hope your team wins tonight (but only if your team also happens to be the Royals)!

#TakeTheCrown


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