The KC Royals will never win a World Series again.
Not to be too big a dick about the situation with our neighbors to the west, but it’s not going to happen. Not this year, not next year. Not ever, actually. They’ll always have hope, I suppose, but it’s just not going to happen.
Location: St. Louis has a storied baseball tradition. Fans come from all over the south and Midwest to watch the Cardinals all summer long. They plan vacations around Cardinal baseball. This can partially be attributed to the effect of being the first team west of the Mississippi and also the 100K watt power of KMOX in the days where radio was the preeminent way to consume baseball games.
All the other ‘storied’ baseball towns are destination cities on their own merit. You or I could say “I’m going to… (New York, Boston, LA) for a trip” and no one would question it. They’d say awesome and move on. St. Louis is really the exception to this rule. Meaning that sometimes the Cardinals get a break from players that want to be around the action because they know the Cardinals somehow are getting support from places other than St. Louis.
Money: Which leads us to money. Bitch as we may about Bill DeWitt and this cobweb infested wallet, the dude is spending in the triple digits.
The only reason he can afford this is because of the enormous fan base that has generationally grown with the population. This isn’t something you can just develop. And in the fragmented media landscape we live in now, the chance to grow popularity only comes with superstars.
Superstars: They want money. And they want fame. Two things that the Royals simply can’t provide.
KC is a very nice town. I like visiting there. I have a good time. I’m ready to leave after 2 days. And I’m sure that people from KC have the same view of STL if they were being honest. But if a superstar wants out after 2 days, that means you have to pay him to stay.
So this whole thing becomes circuitous. Can’t afford to pay the superstar because the location isn’t destination, because it isn’t a glamorous city, and you can’t generate the money.
Where does that cycle end?
The Pirates have shown you can make a killing just doing nothing. Treading water and acting like you give a shit now and then. The Royals, bless their hearts, are owned by a former Wal-Mart guy who made money by shaving the margins. And for the past 18 years, this franchise has been irrelevant on every level. Hell, the only sell outs they have are when teams like the Cardinals come to play.
So tell me, where does all this stop? How do they get back to the top? I don’t think it’ll happen. Not because they don’t deserve a chance, but because of the way baseball is set up. Therefore, series like this weekend are the closest the Royals will get to World Series.
Enjoy your 1985 chants. Cardinal fans are actually looking forward.
Now, the Friday Links…
That's it. That's the week. Do something productive this weekend and take pics to prove it.