Could past success be reason for KC's 2016 failures?

By Steve Sell
August 01, 2016

Goodbye July.

Goodbye season.

The curtain on one of the most ignominious months in Kansas City Royals’ history, 7-19, was dropped on Sunday, fittingly, with another loss of the cookie-cutter variety.

I could see it during those days when the Royals were bad, really bad.

But this is a Royals team coming off back-to-back World Series appearances, including last year’s World Championship.

But the sweet nectar of that parade in downtown Kansas City has given away to a season that could very well result in 90 losses given the current plight and downward spiral of the team.

Just look at the Royals’ most recent woes. They have put together a pair of four-game losing streaks, interrupted only by a 7-5 win over Los Angeles in which they overcame a big deficit.

In the just-completed, winless four-game debacle with Texas, the Royals scored 2, 3, 1 and 3 runs. In their other four-game losing streak — two of the losses to Texas — Kansas City scored 4, 1, 2 and 0 runs.

Say what you will about their starting pitching allowing early home runs to put the team in a hole, but the offense has to be held more accountable. It has managed only more than four runs in just three games since the All-Star break.

While excuses are aplenty, I think the reality is this — the Royals’ success of the past two years has led to their 2016 failures.

Think about it. The Royals have played nearly into November each of the last two years. While most of the other teams are done after September, the Royals have had to grind through an extra month in those glory years. 

Not only did they play two extra months in two years, but it came on the grandest of stages and under the most intense of microscopes. That’s a lot different than a game on a lazy June night.

The Major League Baseball season is an exhausting marathon. It’s six months where there are few days off. Just think if you had a job where you had to work every weekend.

Think about all the travel, all those nights where a team is flying back home and having to go to bed about 3 or 4 a.m., then turn around and go to work the next day.

While these are relatively young men that play and love the game, a body can only withstand so much. At some point it’s going to break down.

That’s what’s happened with the Royals. After escaping a rash of injuries the last two years, they have come in waves this season. The final straw was Wade Davis landing on the disabled list for the second time and no matter how the Royals sugarcoat it, I have a feeling this is not going to end well. Just like Luke Hochevar, who went on the disabled list last week as well.

Success comes with a price. And for the Royals the bill has come due. It’s time for them to just limp through the rest of the season the best they can and start to retool for 2017.