When the All-Star Game rolls through town, it comes with a lot of attention. And with the ASG in Kansas City, that means a lot of attention is going to be paid to the Royals. Based on my research, though, it appears the Royals have not been one of the more successful teams over the last two decades. This will get some scrutiny.
If you want to laugh about it, go read Jon Bois's account of being a Royals fan. If you want to get mad about it, go read Rany Jazayerli's breakdown of the 2012 season. But if you want to learn and study, the Grey Lady has an in-depth feature on the rich history of the Kansas City Royals:
"Once school was out, from 1977 to 1989 or 1990, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night was sold out, didn’t matter who we were playing," said Brett, whose entire 21-year Hall of Fame career was spent in Kansas City and who remains with the Royals as the vice president for baseball operations. "It became a destination for people from Nebraska, Kansas, from miles and miles away. They would go to amusement parks, take a little family vacation. We had turf for that reason. You’d get torrential downpours, but it could stop at 7, and we’d be playing by 8."
When I was growing up, the Royals were a model franchise. They were the goal, the team you couldn't help but envy. Other teams have cycled between relevance and despair, like the Marlins or Indians, but the Royals ... not so much. There are a lot reasons for that, and the Times does a pretty good job hitting on most of them.