I have seen the Royals' future, and it looks like...Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE — I didn’t need these last two days here to know that the Royals’ Mission 2012 is real. But it didn’t hurt.
I’m here in Wisconsin for the Chiefs-Packers game tonight, but came a few days early to see and write about Zack Greinke — check your local newstand/driveway/internet on Sunday — and will leave here just a little bit more convinced that what the Royals are doing is real and with a little better vision of what it’ll look like.
They tailgate in the parking lot here, for baseball. They’ll be over 3 million fans this year, they’re chanting M-V-P at Ryan Braun (after he faceplants 40 feet from an inside-the-park-homer), packing a beautiful stadium even on weeknights, and remember this is in baseball’s smallest market.
It’s actually a whole lot like what Kansas City would look like* if the Royals are in first place late in the season.
- You know, speaking of, if KC does end up looking like Milwaukee in a few years, we might want to step up on the designated driver programs, maybe get some discounted cab rates, something.
It’s more than that, too. Over in the visitors clubhouse, Albert Pujols is talking about how much he likes the Royals’ young pitching. Over in the Brewers’ clubhouse*, Greinke is tapping me to say something.
“You probably know this,” he says. “But Eric Hosmer is really good. I mean, *really *good.”
I’d forgotten that Greinke faced Hosmer in a rehab start in April. He says it was like facing a 10-year big league vet.
Over dinner, a scout I meet is going on and on about the defense of Alcides Escobar and Salvador Perez.
This is how it goes. The Royals are in last place and currently tracking for 96 losses. They are a bad baseball team, but like we’ve said before, the most interesting and promising bad baseball team in recent memory.
The thing could turn around very quickly, starting next year, even.
And if it does, it’ll look a whole lot like Milwaukee.