It is downright disheartening to watch the Royals imploding before our eyes, but it’s not an apparition.
This downfall has been in the works for several weeks. (Those of you who are regular readers might recall my prediction on Aug. 23 that the Royals “probably aren’t going to win the American League championship.”)
The nadir of this slide into mediocrity occurred tonight. The Royals led the Orioles 6-4 going into the bottom of the eighth inning. They needed just six outs. But then a funny thing happened: The Orioles scored 10 (TEN!) runs in the bottom of the eighth, including TWO grand slam homers.
Here’s how our vaunted bullpen performed in the eighth inning: Chris Young gave up one run, Kelvin Herrera four, Franklin Morales another four and a guy named Chamberlain one. It was a milestone performance, in that it once and for all blew up the notion our bullpen is as strong as last year.
Baseball is all about momentum. Last September the Royals went 15-11, nudged into the playoffs and then got even hotter than they had been.
This year, they are 3-7 in September, and the momentum is all on the losing side. The next milestone will be when the Toronto Blue Jays overtake the Royals (the Jays are three games back as of tonight) for home field advantage in the American League playoffs…That’s when you’ll see widespread panic among the body politic.
…As I said on Aug. 23, you’re not going to see the most likely scenario laid out on The Star’s sports pages; they don’t want to spoil the script. You probably won’t get it on 610 and 810 sports-talk radio, either; they don’t want to kill their ratings.
So now what? Well, what we’ve gotta do here is brace ourselves for keen disappointment; it’s barreling straight down the tracks. And it’s OK to cry.
:: A friend sent an email tonight, saying: “I’m very disappointed in the KC Star today. I couldn’t believe that there was not one mention of 9/11??? I was pretty dumbstruck…What’s up with that? Their choice of news coverage baffles me at times.”
…I’m embarrassed to say I hadn’t even noticed. I thought my friend must be wrong, and I quickly went back to check. I shouldn’t have doubted her because she’s an avid reader of The Star (at least until now).
I wrote back that The Star’s oversight was not just disappointing but bordering on outrageous. The New York Times had an editorial titled “Will We Always Remember?” (Particularly interesting in light of The Star’s forgetfulness, don’t you think?)
The Times also had a story that contained some 9/11 emails recently released by the George W. Bush Presidential Library. One of those emails, sent at 8:56 a.m. Eastern time by White House media affairs director, said: “Turn on CNN.”
Here’s the story. I think you’ll find it interesting.