Assumption of Command

15 August 2005

The Streak Is Over!

The streak of rainouts, that is. The Royals' losing streak, however, is still going strong. I feel privileged to have witnessed numbers 14 and 15, which established a new record of futility for the franchise. I've been a fan of this team for my entire life. As a small child, I said I wanted to be George Brett when I grew up -- not third baseman for the Royals (that would come later), but George Brett. I was at Royals Stadium when the team clinched the A.L. West Division crown in 1985, and didn't realize how spoiled I was by their success. I spent my childhood and adolescence rooting for a model franchise that was always competitive, and have spent my adult years pulling for an increasingly dismal also-ran. During that time, I have always remained positive about the team and its future, even through last place finishes and 100 loss seasons.

But now, for the first time, I've lost faith. With the exception of David DeJesus and a couple of arms in the bullpen, the vaunted "youth movement" appears to be a bust. Outside of Billy Butler, Justin Huber, and the as-yet unsigned Alex Gordon, the minor league system is bereft of talent. The general manager says all the right things, but his actions don't back up the talk. The owner is clearly more interested in finances than performance.

None of that looks like it's going to change anytime soon.

I spent the last three days at Kauffman Stadium, where I celebrated (or at least attempted to celebrate, when the weather permitted) the 20th anniversary of the most successful Royals team ever -- the 1985 World Champions. It's a shame that those three days also had to be spent mourning the loss of hope in this franchise.