Jason Miller - Getty Images
A long season is finally coming to an end for Kansas City, and the problems the Royals have as we head into the offseason are many of the same they've had for quite a few years now.
As I write this, the Kansas City Royals are currently down four runs in the eighth inning on Monday evening against the Detroit Tigers. Kansas City will have to at least win one of it's final two games to avoid another season with 90 losses.
That would make it four straight seasons surpassing the 90 loss plateau, and 10 of the last 12 season. Hooray.
With the Chiefs already floundering, it does take some pressure away from the baseball team in Kansas City. However, the Royals shouldn't be able to avoid fans being upset. The pathetic part is, it's been this way for the Royals for so long now, that fan apathy is fulling in effect.
I am one of those rare Royals fans that attempts to watch every game, but even I admit during the last month I've probably watched fewer than half of the games live. It doesn't help when most of the weekend games are not on TV in the fall, and players such as Jarrod Dyson are your designated hitter.
I know it's tough on the players down the stretch when you are out of the race, but the actual fans of the team have been out of the race about 95% of the time since 1985. It wears you down. Usually most Kansas City sports fans can turn their attention to the Chiefs for hope at this time of year, but that may equally be bad for your health at the moment.
Just like the Chiefs have long-time needed a franchise quarterback, the Royals have needed starting pitching for many (many many many) years. We had Zack Greinke, but obviously he couldn't get it done all by himself. He also isn't walking through that door in free agency.
It's no surprise that in order to get any better, Kansas City has to foremost improve the starting pitching. They also need to improve their on base percentage (ability to draw walks), but that is well behind improving the pitching.
Kansas City will finish 2012 last in the major leagues in walks taken. It has been such a widespread team problem this season that can't even pinpoint it on one player (though I obviously wish I could use Jeff Francoeur as the scapegoat).
2012 was supposed to be Our Time, but it didn't look any different than any other time for the past 15 years. Instead, we are just rearranging the deck chairs, while fellow goonies like the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics will continue to go on the magical treasure searches.
Oh...and as I finish, the Royals just put the finishing touches on their loss the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers, who for much of the 90's and early 00's were not better than the Royals, are currently celebrating an American League Central Division title on the field of Kauffman Stadium. Ugh.