Happy In Bag

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Willie Mays Hayes

Something changed last night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals and the Pirates were demonstrating why they’re the two worst teams in baseball. I found myself booing involuntarily. It was the only appropriate response to what I was witnessing.

Then newly acquired outfielder Joey Gathright came to bat for the first time in the bottom of the third. He hit a weak grounder, but instead of dejectedly trudging toward first in the fashion of most current Royals, he ran hard. And fast. Gathright was out, but that was the pivotal moment when things changed for the Royals.

The Royals’ pitching veered toward competency and the Royals put together a comeback win. Gathright, a real-life Willie Mays Hayes, did more than remind his new teammates about the concept of effort.

He changed the atmosphere in the stands. After Gathright's at-bat, the fans came alive. And it was only then that I realized that the mania for the hot dog race, the kiss cam, and Sluggerrr doesn’t really mean that Royals fans are hayseeds. It’s simply displaced enthusiasm. People are desperate for something to cheer for.

I believe they'll get it. Not anytime soon- this year’s team is historically awful. But it’s suddenly clear that Kansas City is still a baseball town.


  • At 1:45 PM, Blogger Heather said…

    I still think T-Bones games are much more fun...

  • At 2:28 PM, Blogger Happy In Bag said…

    Perhaps so, Heather. I'm looking for an answer to this T-Bones question: Is there any reason you can't park at Hooters or another nearby eating and drinking establishment and then just walk over to the minor league park? To me, that's the biggest advantage the T-Bones might have over the Royals. That, and ticket and concession prices.

  • At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If you take the Metro to Royals games...it's $5, but then you get $5 off your ticket. So if you sit in GA you can get to the Royals game and back for $7. That's a steal.

  • At 2:37 PM, Blogger Happy In Bag said…

    Anon, every time I drive by a Metro stop on the Plaza packed with out-of-town fans of the Cards, Yankees, or whatever team's in town, I start thinking that maybe that's a good option. How long is the wait between buses? And besides, it's pretty open seating much at the K this season.

  • At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I could be wrong, but I think there's about 40 minutes between each bus. There are usually three buses. They have the times of those buses posted at Kcata.org based on gametime.

    The only problem I have ever had is that the third bus rarely gets you into the stadium prior to first pitch. Or maybe that's just because it was a Fri. or Sat. but I'd always shoot for the second bus.

    I've never had a problem with a full bus because 1) I normally avoided the big Yankee, Cardinal games and 2) I get on around the plaza which means I get on before the bus hits the downtown hotels.

    The only other drawback is when the Royals are down 10-0 in the 5th inning and you want to leave....

  • At 5:16 PM, Blogger Happy In Bag said…

    Thanks for the guidance, Anon.


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