Monday, May 2, 2011

May, the month of May, the force be with us

It's May. A month that will make any Royals fan want to crawl under a rock for the next 30 days and wait until September call-ups. In the past 10 seasons, the Royals are a combined 103-178 in May games, good for a .366 winning percentage and over the course of a 162-game schedule would be 59-103 with that winning percentage. A-haw-ful.

Here's the thing, this team is different! Hooray! Not really, but if this team is for real, they will make it through May with a .500 record. You gotta remember, division championships aren't won in May, they're won in the dog days of July, August and September (See Royals, c. 2003). But you see, May is also where division titles and runs to .500-for-the-first-time-in-nearly-a-decade are shot to hell. May is a fickle bitch. May exposes your team for who they really are.

Dayton Moore has flexed knowledge on us like "plus hands" and "runs created", but my favorite (no joke, I actually believe this) is his belief that you know almost everything you need to know about a team after 40 games. Those 40 games are a big enough sample size to determine whether or not a team is for real or not. Hearken back to 2009, when GMDM dropped this knowledge-sodapop on us. Royals were 18-11, first place in the division and built like a house of cards that hit a lot of homerz. KC was electric, the K was packed for every Greinke start and you couldn't convince me the Royals weren't for real.

Driving home with two of my good friends on our way back from another dazzling Zack Greinke gem, we gushed and bellowed about how this was going to be the Royals year. I started to get goosebumps and it took everything in my power to not jump into the front seat and hug both of my friends. Think about it like in "The Hangover" when Phil, Allan and Stu are heading into the desert to give Chow $80k in exchange for Doug, when instead they're about to get back "black Doug".

Yeah, that was a mother f**king tangent. Anyways, it's May. Kila Ka'aihue seems to be coming around, despite what some Royals fans are saying. Kila is hitting .320/.393/.520 in his last 7 games with six strikeouts and a .389 BABIP, meaning Kila is finally starting to flex his big Hawaiian muscles. So please, stop pointing to his stats overall this season, it makes you look silly. Yes, I know they are flashed up on the scoreboard each time he comes to bat, but do yourself a favor and do a little bit of research before making a fool of yourself. Kila's arrow is pointing up. If Kila falls back into the abyss for SEVERAL months, then hey, you've got an argument. This is a guy with less than a half season of experience in the major leagues. All Kila has done while some radical fans are brandishing torches and pitchforks is make less outs than Royals' Facebook page fan favorite, Melky Cabrera this season...

Jeff Francouer continues to affirm my man crush. Overall good guy and look, He's hitting righties! Frenchy is hitting .290/.328/.565 against right-handed starters this year. He's also slugging .867 against all lefties this year. That's absurd. He has slowed down in the last week though. Francouer has notoriously disappeared in May as well. Hopefully he keeps it going, he's protected Billy Butler in the lineup quite well this year.

The starting pitching is starting to rear it's ugly head. I won't be shocked if we see Danny Duffy in the next couple of months, especially if the Royals hang around .500 through May despite our starters lack of resembling anything good. I fully expect Duffy to be the first impact prospect to be called up to the big leagues. I'm still not sold on Kyle Davies, not saying much, but there's no way the Royals can afford to keep him around.

In closing, I like how the players are handling this quasi-hot start. The mantra surrounding this team during the spring was "we're going to surprise some people". Of course, that's the mantra surrounding every team coming off 25 consecutive seasons without a single postseason appearance...

Big opportunity for the Royals to see how they match up with two other up-and-coming American League teams in the Oakland A's and Baltimore Orioles. I don't expect the crowds to start showing up during the week and probably throughout the rest of the season. That's the problems you will encounter when you have roughly 8,000 season ticket holders.

If this team is different, May will be no different from April and we'll see the Royals hanging around .500 headed into the meat and potatoes of the 162.

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