Friday, March 2, 2012
It's hard to remember the last time the fan base was this excited during spring training. Sure some labeled the Royals sleeper picks in 2004 and 2009 but those teams weren't near as young, exciting and talented as this year's squad. This past week has heightened the optimism that begin to spread immediately after the 2011 season ended. It seemed like every day something surfaced out of Surprise that excited fans.
On Monday Dayton Moore locked up catcher Salvador Perez for possibly the next eight years, and he did it on the cheap. Even if all three option years are exercised, and Perez meets all the escalators, it's still a great deal. The only downside is there will be a segment of fans that will start the trade Perez talk in a few years due to his age and contract, and because, of course, his value will never be higher. That is coming folks. I predict we will start hearing such talk by November 2014. If Perez meets expectations, I'll be on board with trading him about as much as I am the trade Butler calls by the confused minority.
On Tuesday Danny Duffy tweeted this:
Now admittedly I first interpreted this tweet a little different than Duffy likely intended. I read it as a person might read 'pour me a drink'. While I was pondering what Yuni did to to deserve such a fate twitter exploded and the #BuryMeARoyal hashtag was born (expect to see it every fifth day this year). Everyone has a take on what Duffy meant as his tweet was analyzed and over-analyzed. I think he's a young guy having the time of his life right now and can't imagine playing anywhere else. With the talent the Royals possess on offense and defense he is in a great position to succeed, if, that is, he can find the strike zone.
Eric Hosmer further fired up fans yesterday when he said that Perez's contract has made him more open to signing such a deal himself (though for money I'm sure). This is the big get. If Moore can keep Hosmer in the fold for the next 8-10 years you have to like the team's chances of staying competitive in that time frame.
Spring training is the time every fan of every team should be optimistic about the upcoming season just because reality hasn't reared it's all too ugly head yet. Kansas City figures to field its first truly competitive team since 1994. After wandering around a wilderness of mediocrity for nearly two decades the promised land is finally in sight.
How can you not be optimistic?