In what has been a whirlwind past 48 hours for Kansas City Royals fans we now have time to breathe and come to terms with Zack Greinke no longer being on the ballclub. Though Greinke wasn't often confused with being a verbal leader in the clubhouse his play during his time in the royal blue and white earned him respect from his peers. He was the face of the team, which means a new leader needs to step up.
By default, Billy Butler has suddenly become to current face of the franchise, at least at the major league level. Billy is only 24 but already has quite a bit of major league experience and based on today's reaction to the situation the Royals are now in, he is ready to take on a leadership role amongst a young team looking for a leader.
"We have our own expectations," he said. "Nobody expects anything of us, but we can't get caught up in that. We as an organization feel like we can compete. If people don't take us seriously we're going to start jumping up and biting some people."
While I will concede there will many bad times on the field for the Royals this upcoming season, it is refreshing to know Butler hasn't backed down from the predicament the 2011 Royals will face and is instead embracing the challenge. We all learn from taking our lumps and it's no secret that the Royals, and we as Royals fans, have taken too many in recent memory.
Hopefully when the wave of young talent finally starts to reach Kansas City, Butler will be able to help lead those players through the the ups and downs of being someone just getting their feet wet in the major leagues. And the best part of it may be that Billy will still only be about 27 years old.