The Royals improbable post All Star Break run finally culminated last night with season long slumper Mike Moustakas hitting two home runs, Ervin Santana continuing to be both a Royal and a good starting pitcher (a difficult feat) and pushing the team beyond a .500 record. This has the clear benefit that we no longer have to say "if we could just get to .500 then..." Past this, the advantages stem from the psychological benefits to a beaten down fanbase, to preserving the slim hopes at the playoffs, the saving of jobs, the respectability of the franchise allowing them to sign free agents who would otherwise not be interested, etc., etc., etc. The PBR is happy to see the improvement and is exactly what we wanted to see before the season started, but the fact remains that (after Detroit's win this afternoon) if the Royals lose tonight, we will be in the same position as before the All Star Break, despite this nice seven game winning streak. So what else does this mean....
They Were Buyers!: After so much debate as to whether or not the Royals should sell high on Ervin Santana or go big on a second baseman, they did neither. They made the classic deadline deal and got JUST ANOTHER OUTFIELDER. We now have our replacement for Wil Myers, come join the four man platoon Mr. Justin Maxwell!!!!!! Classic Dayton type guy; big, athletic, hit some HRs one time in his career, possible platoon RF, might be useful, but most likely useless, only slightly better than Jeff Francouer, but I'm sure there is something Dayton Loves about him and of course he couldn't just sit still. Obviously, we all know that this was most likely a waste of time. Hopefully, this is what happened: Dayton asked for every team's #1, #2, #3 and #4 prospect for Ervin Santana, they hung up the phone and Dayton never called back. Also, Dayton checked in on Howie Kendrick and the Angels asked for the same package and Dayton hung up. We can all live with this outcome, no one will ever know what we could have had for Santana and likewise it's hard to fault Dayton for not wanting to give up another top prospect for a proven 2B, especially given that Wil Myers is currently one of the hottest players in baseball. The PBR and others were really pushing for the Royals to be bold and sell Santana, but we have to default to the fact that we know absolutely nothing and really we just wanted to seem something interesting. So there we have it, another outfielder who happens to hit right handed and almost had 20 HRs last year, questioned answered, we were Buyers.
Touché, Detroit: So the Royals win seven in a row and Detroit wins nine of ten. Naturally the other team has to lose for you to make up ground and Detroit doesn't seem to want to do that. However, they have a player who showed up on the wrong pieces of paper and therefore they'll be losing a starting SS. Their only answer is to take the gold glove starting SS from another first place team. F-you, Tiger! But what about those bullpen problems? Problem solved, Detroit steals the closer from another team to work as a set-up man. Yes, but didn't you hear, we got a right hand hitting platoon 5th outfielder. Seriously, Detroit we need a break. Wait a minute, we might have found your Kryptonite: Miguel Cabrera fielding! This is the only thing that can really affect the chances of the Royals (or Indians) catching Detroit, the best hitter in baseball hitting the DL would be music to ears of the far fetched Dreams of Royals' fans. Not that the PBR would root for that sort of thing
Not Losing Helps: If the Royals have taught us one thing recently, it's that winning every baseball game you play makes you look like a much better team. This is the team we all expected to see, a competent club that shows promise with an outside shot at the playoffs, but most likely still needs a year to gel. It has taken a lot of work to finally become a winning team again, so the best advice the PBR can give is that if they keep winning every game, there might still be a chance, though Detroit might do the same. Where the Royals go next will be very interesting, but given how this season has gone any amount of winning or losing wouldn't come as much of a surprise.