appy Opening Day, Kansas City. Opening Day means that you’ve survived another winter; you’ve survived another football and college basketball season; and, this year, you’ve survived another Platte County flood.
Listen, I respect you too much to bury the lede here – the Royals are not going to be a good baseball team this year. But I’m also here to argue that you really don’t care, and neither do I.
I could tell you all about Dayton Moore’s “Process 2.0” and how he wants to re-revolutionize the game with speed and pitching, much like he did in the late 2000’s with the core that won back to back AL titles in 2014/2015.
I could tell you that Ned Yost is so invested in this process, that he’s sticking around for a tenth season of managing when, really, he doesn’t need to – and frankly, probably shouldn’t.
I could talk to you about all of the new foods and “signature” drinks at Kauffman Stadium this year. (Signature, simply meaning that it’s more expensive.) Or talk to you about how a less successful team means lower ticket prices and more opportunities to see your Boys in Blue.
But I won’t. This is going to be a season to just go out and enjoy baseball. We are incredibly lucky to have a Major League team here and whether the stadium is in Independence, or downtown, we’re lucky we don’t have to drive to Oklahoma City to see Frank Schwindel and the Royals.
The grass will never be more green. The hot dogs will never smell the same. The crack of the bat will never sound more sweet than at Kauffman Stadium. Whether it’s Eric Hosmer, George Brett, or Cam Gallagher patrolling the field, baseball is summer and baseball is sacred.
Oh, sure, you might need to buy a program because names like Hosmer and Moustakas and even Salvy won’t be in the lineup. (Salvy is out this year due to Tommy John surgery.) You’ll want to know the names Jakob Junis, and Hunter Dozier, and Brad Boxberger – who sounds like a 1990’s FBI drama. You’ll faintly remember about Alex Gordon and Danny Duffy , and Whit Merrifield – but that’s about the extent of it.
Frankly, what happens on the field will be secondary to sitting and tuning out politics, and social media, and also politics for three or four hours under the Kansas City sun. As the line in Field of Dreams goes, “it will be as if you’ve dipped yourself in magic waters.”
Give this a try this summer – leave your phone in the car, buy a scorecard, and TALK to the people you brought to the game. I’m going to give it a try this year and I encourage you to also.
Baseball is the great game not because the players are great, but because it allows you to enjoy it in a great way. Every summer. Nearly every day for six months.
Win or lose. Frank White or Kyle Zimmer. They’re here.
(Catch more of our baseball aficionado Chris Kamler on Twitter where he is the designated hitter known as @TheFakeNed. You can also find him on Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram)