Time for Our Time: Loyal fan may reconsider unwavering support if Royals fail to muster a decent season

Colin Gregory, Staff Writer

Let me set the record straight for a minute. I love the Kansas City Royals as much as it’s
possible for a fan to love a team. So if it appears that I’m bashing, just know that it’s coming
from someone who, at the end of the day, will always have a special place in their heart for
baseball in Kansas City.
That being said, I, as a fan, have earned the right to complain about the Royals. Because,
honestly, being a Royals fan has been worse than a sucker punch to the gonads.
The Royals haven’t made the playoffs since 1985. For those of you counting at home,
that’s 27 miserable years. I’ve only been alive for 17 of those years, and a conscious Royals
fan for roughly nine of them. So my pain has been relatively short-lived compared to some.
There are those fans who can still recall the glory of 1985 when the Royals won their first
and only World Series. The rest of us can only watch the grainy highlights and witness a rarity:
Royals players excelling and their fans celebrating.
There are even more fans who remember 2003 — the last time the Royals posted a winning
record.
But I come from a dangerous generation of Royals fans.
Since I can’t recall 2003, the only thing I can associate the Royals with is losing. Not just
losing, but losing at an appalling rate, a rate that should make fans embarrassed to admit
they root for such a pathetic display of ineptitude.
I associate everything about these Royals with losing. The giant crown scoreboard, TV
announcer Ryan Lefebvre and that God-awful “Friends In Low Places” song. I kind of liked
it the first time Garth Brooks announced on the jumbotron we could sing along, but do we
need it every freaking game?
Whenever I hear that song, no matter where I am, I think of Jeff Francoeur grounding
into a double play, and the bullpen surrendering 4-run leads.
I have fought off many an urge to drive my car off a cliff when that travesty of a song
comes on the radio.
Anyway, so there will absolutely be fans who lose interest and, undoubtedly, those who
already have. Especially now that Kansas City has a team that wins, in the form of Sporting
Kansas City, the local Major League Soccer team.
So, General Manager Dayton Moore knows we need a winning team, and we need it
now.
Last season, the front office had the brilliant idea to break out the slogan “Our Time.”
As in, “it’s Our Time to win and break free from the decades of losing. Our Time to let talk
translate to talent, and talent translate to victories. Our Time to finally join our former
cellar-dwellers like the Tigers, Rays and Orioles in the playoffs.”
However, the Royals once again finished with a paltry record, and “Our Time” became
a representation of what is so wrong with Kansas City baseball. It was a promise that this
year would be different, a promise that was left horrendously unfulfilled. In the words of
comedian Mike Birbiglia, it’s “like being handed a pizza, and then being shot.”
Moore knows if this upcoming year turns out to be a dismal one, he will likely lose his
job. So he made a major offseason trade, something that Royals fans don’t usually see.
He shipped the best hitting prospect in the game, and the team’s best pitching prospect
to Tampa Bay, in return for a duo of quality starters.
The trade showed the Royals are focusing on the now and are no longer in that rebuilding
stage they were mired in for the better part of the last decade.
While I’m not sure the move will manifest itself into real wins, the hope it generated in
Kansas City is very real indeed.
Not having Bruce “Beer League Softball Pitchers Throw Harder Than I Do” Chen and
Luke “I’m Lucky To Be Pitching Past the Third Inning” Hochaver as the top guys on the
rotation is admittedly nice.
Not offcial nicknames, by the way.
So once again, there’s hope for an upcoming season of Royals baseball.
We have a potent offense, and if the pitching holds up there’s a real chance to be playing meaningful games in September.
More than anything in the world, I hope that 2013 is, in fact, “Our Time.”
Because I’m tired of having our season end in May.
Because I’m tired of turning on the TV or making the drive to Stadium, just to watch this team get blown out.
Because I’m tired of having to celebrate moral victories rather than tangible ones.
Because I’m tired of losing.
Because if 2013 isn’t “Our Time,” then you may have one fan reconsidering his loyalties.