Nine games in, and this team is three games over .500. I'm here to tell you why this is awesome. There is some cautious belief behind this team, some of it worth while and well deserved. Most fans are waiting for the fall to begin, but what happens if that fall doesn't come?
This start doesn't need any statistical analysis because this start defies all statistical probabilities. Alex Gordon just had the best week and a half of his career. Billy Butler is hitting a legitimate .394 and is OPSing (yes, I just invented that) 1.179. Alcides Escobar is playing defense that has Dick Kaegel and Lee Judge saying "Yuni WHO?" Jeff Francis is reaching back to the days of yore when men were men and...and that's another story. The bullpen...giggity.
There's optimism around this team and that's awesome. Of course, the 2003 and 2009 comparisons will start rolling in if this team continues to play at or around .500 into June. Of course the trade talks will start to heat up and the inevitable, "we should trade our prospects for Pujols" chatter will start to flood sports talk radio.
And here's why this 6-3 start (and beyond) is awesome. We don't have to make trades. Need a bat? Mike Moustakas. Need a lefty in the rotation? Mike Montgomery. Need a utility man? Johnny Giavotella. Need a bullpen arm? Louis Coleman.
I said at the beginning of Spring Training that anything we get from this 2011 Royals squad would be a bonus. You bet your ass this 6-3 start counts as a bonus. Enjoy this. Go buy tickets for the next homestand. The Royals are guaranteed to have a winning record by the time they return home on Friday. We're playing the Twins this week to wrap up this short road trip, before returning home to face the Indians and Mariners. To me, this will be another defining moment in this young season, where the Royals can start proving us wrong. Hell, we just won a freaking road series in Detroit in the second week of the season. How often do the Royals win intra-division series on the road this early in the season? We didn't win a freaking series until June in 2006.
This is exciting. It's a new car smell here in Kansas City, a first date, first weekend at college excitement. This is not 2009. This is not 2003. This roster is not made with duct tape and bubble gum. The foundation is being built right before our eyes. Of course, I hope Jeff Francouer and Melky Cabrera aren't a part of that foundation, but I'll take their contributions while they're still here.
Don't jump in with two feet quite yet, KC. But don't be afraid to stick a toe or two to test the water for now...