By Doug LaCerte @DLaC67 on April 23, 2014
The Kansas City Royals' start to 2014 has offered ups and downs, and despite plenty of promise, some of the more cynical fans in KC often still revert to their default mode of negativity that's been beaten into them by so many years of witnessing bad play. This season should be different, but fans still offer the same old worries. Here are five of the most unreasonable overreactions based on the way KC started 2014.
I hear this often, and it's partially justifiable. Without a trustworthy utility infielder, KC fans can't be blamed for being saddened by the loss of Emilio Bonifacio in the offseason. Bonifacio is currently leading his team in batting average at .351 and steals with nine. David Lough is providing solid defense for the Baltimore Orioles, but he's posting a paltry .146/.186/.220 line right now and is definitely that lineup's weakest link.
The relief staff didn't start the season well, and it raised plenty of concerns among fans. However, the 'pen has recently turned it around in a significant way. Danny Duffy's emergence as a reliever sparked an improvement that can be seen in the steadily declining ERAs of Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera. Many of the relievers who were struggling aren't even in the bullpen any more, having either been demoted to the minors or placed on the DL.
Maybe this was a bit more relevant before Mike Moustakas' three-run blast to put the Royals ahead of the Cleveland Indians last night, but the murmurs will undoubtedly continue. Moose was red-hot through the entirety of Spring Training, which made his poor start to the season stand out even more than usual. Fans need to remember that Moose is streaky even at his best, and a bad stretch doesn't indicate an inability to rake later on in the year.
Billy Butler is the consummate pro hitter. If you really don't think Billy can bounce back, just look at the guy's resume. This is his longest slump since earning a solid starting role in Kansas City, and the ball already started flying off his bat last night at Progressive Field. Expect Billy to heat up soon and remind AL pitching just how much they hate trying to get him out.
Please, just stop it with this nonsense. The 65-win seasons of 2009 and beyond are in the past, and this team was completely restructured to be a winner. You may not like the way GM Dayton Moore runs things, but you simply cannot argue that this team is as much of a loser on paper as any in years past. Just leave your excessive cynicism at the door, come inside and enjoy some competitive baseball for a change. It's fun, I promise.
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