OTC: Bob Nightengale’s USA Today Story On Sad Sack Royals Reminds Us We Stink (And Have For 30 Years)

“While (Bret) Saberhagen went onto win 167 games, earn two Cy Young Awards, pitch a no-hitter and raise a family during these past 29 years, the Royals have done, well, nothing. … Today, he is 50, balding and in disbelief. They sit in last place in the American League Central today, four months shy of their 30th consecutive year without a playoff berth — the longest drought of any team in the four major professional sports leagues and a far cry from the seven berths in 10 seasons that included Saberhagen’s heyday.”
Bob Nightengale, writer, USAToday.com G
H: Those few sentences tells anyone who cares to read Nightengale’s story in today’s USA Today that the Royals have been wretched for many of their fans’ lifetimes. 30 freaking years? And the Royals wonder why the local media and their fans are a bit cynical at times? They should be handing out Walmart goody bags to everyone who even buys a ticket to watch this organization perform. 

“It’s crazy, just crazy. I mean, 30 years have blown by just like that. This team used to be in the playoffs almost every year. And now, with the wild cards, you’d expect them to get there periodically. I mean, sometime, right? It just hasn’t worked out lately. Lately? How’s that for an understatement?”
Bret Saberhagen, USAToday.com
GH: I am older than Sabes and I remember him as a rookie. But my numbers are dwindling and soon all that will be left are those who have known only the torture of being Royal. 

“It’s been a frustrating year. But the frustration I feel is no greater than the players, or (manager) Ned (Yost) or the coaching staff. We’re all in it together.”
Dayton Moore, USAToday.com
GH: Moore left out the FANS??? Yost and Moore and Moose and all the rest of the Royals players are millionaires because of baseball and the Royals. Moore thinks he and his ridiculously paid employees are frustrated? For 30 years Royals fans have helped pay and pay and pay the freight for Moore and Yost and their players to be privileged enough to be frustrated. For Moore to not acknowledge the fans in this quote is beyond poor taste. It’s dumb. 

“I’ve gone through so many coaches since I’ve been here, and it makes you feel bad, because it boils down to you. It’s not the hitting coach’s fault we’re not hitting. The front office did everything they could. It’s on us.”
Eric Hosmer, USAToday.com
GH: Blah, blah, blah. I am so tired of this pseudo accountability. Hosmer feels bad? How does he think Superfan Chris feels driving around the country chugging Five Hour Energy shots and sleeping in his car to cheer for this bunch of never-achieving overpaid mess?

“We’re not ready to pull the rip cord on the season, I know that. We felt it was a quality team entering spring training, and there’s no reason to think at this time we should feel any differently.”
Dayton Moore, when asked about trading James Shields before he becomes a free agent this offseason, USAToday.com
GH: No reason??? Has Moore been watching his team play this season? Did he catch them getting swept at home by the Astros??? Did he notice that Mike Moustakas is hitting .150 and it’s freaking JUNE? Did he notice that the best option he could offer Yost for a spot start got slapped around in Toronto like he was a hockey puck? NO REASON? I am trying to come up with a reason to NOT grab that rip cord and yank it like it was my craptatsic Toro that starts about as often as Kyle Zimmer. 

“(Not moving to the National League) is one of the most major mistakes in the history of ownership. It was natural to go to the National League. They would have had a natural rivalry with the Cardinals. The Cubs would be sellouts. People would come from Denver. And they wouldn’t have to worry about their offense. When I talked to David about it, he said, ‘Everybody wanted to see the Yankees.’ I said, ‘Was there anyone complaining if you went to the NL?’ He said, ‘We got about a hundred letters.’ I said, ‘Jesus, you’re running Wal-Mart and you let 100 letters change your mind? What a screw-up.’”
Whitey Herzog, former Royals and Cardinals manager, USAToday.com
GH: I was on a panel with Buddy Biancalana when this topic was being debated and we both agreed that the Royals should move to the NL. I know there are many of you who cringe at leaving your hallowed AL roots – but I’m with Whitey (and that’s not saying I’m a Donald Sterling fan). 

“Our market doesn’t allow you to have a lot of experience. It demands you have young players. You can’t make excuses for young players. You just can’t. You’ve got to go play. And you’ve got to win.”
Dayton Moore, USAToday.com
GH: Love it when people make an excuse and then try to soften it by saying you can’t make an excuse. Moore is far more adept at making excuses than making the playoffs. PLAYOFFS? (Jim Mora voice)

“It felt like they were introducing the Royals to America. This team has been around, you know. They’re not new. It was like, ‘Wow! This is embarrassing.’ It was like the woebegone Royals are finally good enough to warrant time on our airwaves.”
Josh Klingler, on the ESPN broadcast of the Royals/Cardinals game Monday night, 610 AM
GH: What in the hell does Klingler expect? Our Royals have been the dredges of professional sports for 20 years. Not just baseball – all professional sports. Even President Obama is making fun of the Royals! When Obama introduced his new press man from Kansas City he said, “He still roots for the Royals (pause), I guess.” 

“I thought (the ESPN broadcast) was very patronizing at times for Royals fans. … Yes America, there is another team on the other side of Missouri and it kicked the other team’s ass last night! So there, suck it Cardinal fans!”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe took a sports talk radio job in St. Louis and got his ass kicked in the Gateway City. Maybe that’s why he acts like such a doofess when it comes to anything St. Louis related. I know there are a lot of Royals fans who rate the Cardinals and their fans. I just don’t understand why? Because they have done things right for 100 years and won? I want the Royals to be the Cardinals. Give me 75 years of winning baseball and allow me to be an asshole fan who dresses in royal blue from head to bed. 

“An excellent start by Danny Duffy. Do we have confidence in his next start? Not yet.” Soren Petro, after Duffy was brilliant in his six innings against the Cards, 810 AM

“You get older as you age and ‘dead arm’ happens.”
Danny Duffy, prior to his start in St. Louis Monday night, 810 AM
GH: You get older as you age. Duffy has a little Greinke in him – and I like it. 

“I live by a motto I never look behind me… I think anybody looking over their shoulder can’t move forward. That’s not me. I’m always moving forward.”
Mark Mangino, current Iowa State assistant coach, on leaving behind any bitterness he feels about being fired at Kansas, 810 AM
GH: Make up our own one-liner here.  

[email protected] and Twitter @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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34 Responses to OTC: Bob Nightengale’s USA Today Story On Sad Sack Royals Reminds Us We Stink (And Have For 30 Years)

  1. geoknows says:

    Duffy has more than just a little Greinke in him. Like Zack, he also walked away from baseball. At the time I thought to myself, well, maybe he can come back and win a Cy Young like Zack too.

  2. ssiknaf says:

    Not jumping to the National League was an absolutely horrible decision. This team has always been tailor-made for NL style of play.

    • Richard Cranium says:

      Or the Little League style of play

      • SDPETE says:

        At the time, I was completely against moving to the NL (like I had a vote) because I couldn’t stomach watching pitchers hit and constant bunts. Wow, was I wrong because with this team, I’m having to watch a 1B, DH and 3B hit like pitchers and we constantly bunt.

  3. Richard Cranium says:

    Mangino now gets to torment 3 former teams in the Big XII. And I fully expect him to take over the ISU job shortly. I have no doubt with the fat man at the helm, ISU will be in the top 3 in the BIg XII in just a few years. Mark it here.

    • Juan Pablo says:

      I am a Big KU and Magino fan but he had only one year with a wining record in the Big 12
      His last year the team went downhill bad and the recruits he was getting were not very good. What he did for KU was great but some was luck with a great QB. and few great recruits . Not sure he would be a good Head coach at ISU

  4. Brummy says:

    We’re well on our way to our 30th consecutive sh$tty season yet we’re still talking about the Royals. They’ve given up but won’t admit it b/ they’re still selling tickets. #Royalmart

    Its not too early to discuss the football. Or soccer…or anything but the Royals.

  5. Your Friend and Mine says:

    I’d be on board with the Royals in the NL, IF they change the entire MLB over to the DH. I will not/cannot watch pitchers (attempt to) hit.

    Did you ever think of the correlation between the Cardinals and the Royals, like the KU Jayhawks and the MU Tigers in basketball? The similarities are incredible. The Cardinals and Jayhawks are perennial winners, both having won multiple World and National Championships, both continually in the chase for those championships, both draw consistently large crowds, both have snobbish (I can say that) fan bases.

    The Royals and basketball Tigers neither one have really ever won anything (save the Royals WS win in 1985) don’t particularly draw well in attendance, (unless they are playing vs the Cardinals and/or Jayhawks,), and the fan bases love to hate them. Furthermore, the most annoying thing about the Royals and basketball Tigers, is that every once in a while, they as underdogs jump up and bite the favorite(s) in the ass, thus causing the fan bases to falsely think that they maybe, just might be, someday, on an even keel with their superiors.

    Last night was one of those nights, when the Royals surprised everyone by shutting out the mighty Cardinals. Do Royals fans now have scoreboard on Cardinal fans? Not a chance, because every Royals fan knows that the Royals stand a better than average chance of losing the next 3, including getting swept at The K, to the mighty Cardinals.

    I’ll enjoy it while I can, knowing all along, exactly what it feels like to be a Missouri basketball fan.

    • The Salty Iguana says:

      Try Royals baseball and kansas swallowcock football. One winning season in the past thirty years, zero expectations and hope entering every season and fans that only go when the tickets are free. Join the Chant!

      • Alphonse Tooty says:

        Much better comparison. Nice try, “Friend.”

      • Your Friend and Mine says:

        Ahem..Orange (BCS) Bowl buff said
        It’s still Royals and Tiger basketball.

        • The Salty Iguana says:

          Gawd your pitiful “program” is selling $99 season tickets practically begging the “fans” to come and you are still bragging about your one bowl win eight years ago. Typical swallcock fan. Here’s the thing: Mizzou basketball may not have national championships but it fields a consistently competitive team, unlike the toilet water that is swallowcock football and Royals baseball. There is ZERO comparison chicken chest. Hey maybe you will finish 2-7 in the Left Behind league. Doubtful though. Join the Chant!

        • Alphonse Tooty says:

          Orange Bowl? Really? You mean 2007-08, the most successful season in KU football history, but you still lost to Mizzou and finished behind them in the polls? I see your point.

    • Not a dh fan says:

      “I’d be on board with the Royals in the NL, IF they change the entire MLB over to the DH. I will not/cannot watch pitchers (attempt to) hit.”

      As oppose to what? Seeing fat guys like Billy Butler get called out at first after getting a “hit”? A lot of DHs are either fat asses or they were roid heads.

    • AaronB4Mizzou says:

      For the love of God, don’t ever compare Cards fans to beaker fans,that’s about the fastest way to piss me off.

      Cards fans are not conceited and don’t constantly brag about the team. They will discuss the successes of the franchise and the such, but rarely do I witness a Card’s fan “start it.” They usually start the talk after some other fan of some team starts ripping them.

      I love the Cards and I like the Royals. I’ve always followed both and I know a lot of people to do the same, so it’s always been perplexing to me why fans of Mizzou would equate Cards fans to beaker fans. A vast majority of Mizzou fans are Cards fans! And I’m not just talking those from St. Louis, from all over MO! I also hate to break it to Mizzou fans who strictly follow the Royals and love comparing Cards/beakers to each other…the Royals fans are made up of a whole lot of beakers!

      I just don’t get and it bugs the snot out of me.

      • Joe Blow says:

        “Cards fans are not conceited and don’t constantly brag about the team. They will discuss the successes of the franchise and the such, but rarely do I witness a Card’s fan “start it.””

        What? Cards fans are *exactly* the same. They play the too-cool-for-school, patronize you, best franchise ever thing…until they sense the slightest dismissal, then they lash out because they know they’re not.

      • BlackJack says:

        Every fan base has a certain “bad element” segment of their following. Especially alot of people who regularly post on this comments board

  6. Arte says:

    Greinke never said anything that clever.

  7. david says:

    Did I miss something? Aren’t the Royals 3-2 after five games @ Toronto and St. Louis? Didn’t Duffy look great last night?

    Instead let’s trot out the good ole’ ‘OUR TEAM SUCKS!’ tripe.

    • BlackJack says:

      In case you missed it, the Royals are now in last place in the Al Central. Except for a couple of exceptions, every spot in their lineup is sucking ass at the plate.

    • Kyle says:

      27-30 in a season with high expectations. Last place. No playoffs in 28 years. Owner who doesn’t go to games and could care less about the team. Players who act like whiny bitches if they get criticized. The # 5 player in the draft hitting .190 in A ball in his third year. Our one time can’t miss third baseman hitting .152. Our power hitting DH with 1 home run in the last 3 1/2 months of baseball. 23 home runs as a team on June 3rd. You are correct david, we should not say our TEAM sucks, we should say our ORGANIZATION sucks. They are a joke from top to bottom. Winning 3 of 5 in June after getting swept at home by the worst team in the AL is not exactly a reason to bleed optimism.

  8. david says:

    27-30 in a season with high expectations….. and more that 100 games left.
    Last place…. one game out of second, 2.5 out of second.
    No playoffs in 28 years…. so what.
    Owner who doesn’t go to games and could care less about the team… Your opinion.
    Players who act like whiny bitches if they get criticized… like all athletes.
    The # 5 player in the draft hitting .190 in A ball in his third year.
    #2, torn labrum and rotator cuff.
    #3, traded now a struggling starter for the Indians
    #4 Tommy John last year

    Blah, blah, blah go cheer for the Cardinals. They win a lot, have a good organization and the smartest fans in baseball. You’ll feel better.

    • Rudy says:

      Go home team!

      • Kyle says:

        “No playoffs in 28 years…. so what”

        OK, well you got me there. While we’re at it, let’s stop keeping score and let everybody bat each inning.

        • david says:

          Nope, let’s carry that baggage into every discussion about the team.

          Didn’t you think Duffy looked sharp last night?
          Doesn’t matter, no playoffs in 28 years.

          Do you think Shields will win tonight?
          Doesn’t matter, no playoffs in 28 years.

          Gordon sure crushed that homer last night.
          Doesn’t matter, no playoffs in 28 years.

          This blog is worse than my wife bringing up sh*t that happened 28 years ago.

          • Kyle says:

            Only difference is that it didn’t happen 28 years ago. It’s still happening. Serious question, do you feel that this organization is on the right track for success? Or do you just take it day by day and hope for the best each game? Just curious because I think the majority of Royals fans feel the same way you do.

            • david says:

              Day by day and hope for the best. Everything about MLB from the is a random crap shoot from the draft on up.

              The A’s (Moneyball super organization) have made it to the playoffs 7 times since 2000. Six losses in the first round and one in the LCS. Don’t you think their fans are pissed because they haven’t won a WS since ’89?
              Same for the Twins (6 playoffs since 2000, no WS).

              Billy Butler is batting 50 points lower and slugging 100 points lower than he EVER has. Is that DM or NY’s fault? What did he do differently this year?

              Jose Bautista never hit 20 HR in a season until he hit 54 at age 29. Tampa, Pittsburgh, KC and Baltimore all had him before. Do they suck for not keeping him?

              Enjoy the games, root for your team, be a good person. Don’t stress about the things you can’t control, like MLB.

              • BlackJack says:

                Blah, blah, blah. Just keep giving excuses for all the Royals failures. It just falls on deaf ears. I don’t want to hear it. I want results.

          • Joe Blow says:

            Hey, remember when Ken Harvey got hit in the back?? And Chip Ambres didn’t catch that ball?? And Kerry Robinson climbed the wall and the ball bounced on the field?? Tony Pena took a shower with his clothes on!! It sure is funny bringing up the same goddamn shit over and over for some people..

  9. KV says:

    It is impossible to imagine the on field product would have been any better playing in the National League the last 16 years. Not to say it would have been the wrong decision, but this has just been an abysmal franchise over that time and apparently is more than content to simply be mediocre and maybe manage to contend in the worst division in baseball once in awhile. That Glass quote via Herzog is classic. Glass just doesn’t give a shit about winning. This is a business to him and an asset that he can profit from and pass on to his children so they can profit from it, nothing more nothing less.

    I would gladly take a soon to be 83 year old Herzog over Yost too.

  10. KV says:

    Fair points. But in the last 13 seasons, every team but the Royals and Blue Jays has made the postseason. Over that time, the Blue Jays have had 6 seasons .500 or better, 4 of those have had 85 wins or more and that is in a division with the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays. And they are in first place now.

    To be fair since GMDM took over you can toss out the Mariners, Marlins, and Astros (although the Mariners won 116 games in 2001, the Marlins won it all in 2003, and the Astros won the NL in 2005). All but 6 of the 25 teams that have made the postseason have gone more than once. 3 of those 6 have gone in the last 2 seasons. Every team in the AL Central has won the division at least once. 16 different teams have made it to the LCS.

    But who cares! The Yankees are in town this weekend! Mystery Gift Card Giveaway and Nori Aoki poster day to boot! All right here in KC! Be Royal!

    • KV says:

      oops, meant to reply to another comment.

    • Kyle R says:

      And that’s the most damning stuff of all – great post KV. None of the excuses Moore or any Royals apologist have can touch those results. Not the small-market crap, not the player development, not the awful organizational structure pre-GMDM, none of it. He simply hasn’t gotten it done and has to go.

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