Archive for Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It’s time for Glass to act in Kansas City

July 11, 2012

Two decades of bad baseball? Not enough. Thousands of irate fans? Nope. One failed youth movement after another? Keep trying.

What exactly is it going to take for Royals owner David Glass to open his eyes? How many more years of futility must KC faithful suffer through before the former Wal-Mart CEO realizes the city deserves better? When, oh when, will he finally fork over the cash or sell the team to someone willing to produce a winner?

Questions like these have been floating around Kauffman Stadium for years, but not quite like this. Even the most patient fans are seemingly at their wits’ end. They’ve seen three general managers and nine managers — two of them interims — since Glass took over the franchise. Homegrown superstars like Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran and Zack Greinke have been shipped off to reduce the payroll, and the results have spoken for themselves.

Since Sept. 23, 1993 — Glass’ first day as Royals CEO — Kansas City has a cumulative record of 1,265-1,676. That stretch includes just two winning seasons — an 83-79 mark in 2003 and a 64-51 mark during the strike-shortened 1994 campaign. Need I say more?

This week’s All-Star festivities gave Royals fans a chance to see something they haven’t been accustomed to since Ronald Reagan was in the White House. Whether it was Sunday’s Futures Game, Monday’s Home Run Derby or Tuesday’s All-Star Game, fans came in droves to watch good baseball in their hometown stadium. I only hope Glass was paying close attention. Despite years and years of embarrassment, KC showed it’s still very much a baseball town.

As I sat in the outfield seats during Sunday’s festivities, I couldn’t help let my mind wander. What must it have felt like to see a packed house every night? How would I have reacted after the final out of the 1985 World Series? When will I finally get the chance to experience those feelings? If Glass continues this tired routine of penny-pinching and roster overhauls, it could very well be another 20 years.

Forgive me if I sound bitter. I’m part of a generation that hasn’t seen this once-proud franchise even sniff the postseason. Instead, we listen to stories about the glory days and revel in our own memories of the “magical” 2003 season, which ended in a September meltdown and a third-place finish in the American League Central. Sorry to rain on the parade, but it’s hard to take pride in one mediocre season that happened nine years ago.

Nope, I want the winner that I and so many other fans have waited our entire lives for. We’ve been patient, we’ve tolerated losing and we’ve heard promises of change, but enough is enough.

The ball is still in Glass’ court, right where it’s been since he started running this franchise into the ground 20 years ago. Nowadays, though, things are different. Fans are fed up with his charade, and they’re taking their complaints straight to the top. I think I speak for more than just myself when I say it’s time to give Kansas City the team it deserves or get out of the way for someone who will.

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