Kansas City Royals Sad to See Preseason-Crown Slipping Away

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Issue #42

BASEBALL CITY, FLA Ė†Carlos Beltran lingers in the locker room following a 8-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in sunny Florida.† He looks longingly at the Grapefruit League Championship Banner from 2000.† "Yeah...it would have been nice to snag another one of these babies before the (pre)season ended," said Beltran with a sigh.† "I
guess we'll have to wait 'til (spring training) next year now."

†††† Traditional powerhouses in the preseason and pre-preseason favorites to win the Grapefruit league outright, the Royals have disappointed fans with their lackluster 11-11 preseason record so far.† After winning the Grapefruit league in 2000, and finishing just a half-game behind the Mets last year, they now trail the Orioles, A's, Rangers, Red Sox, and Tigers and have little shot at winning the division.

†††† "I donít know what happened," said clearly crestfallen manager Tony Muser.†"I think we just got a little ahead of ourselves, maybe we got a little overconfident and took things for granted.† I donít know...thereís always 2003 spring training to look forward to, I guess."

†††† Others blamed the front office for the slide. "We were one or two trades away from winning the whole preseason crown," laments a brooding Mike Sweeney. "I mean, if they were worried about taking on salary, I would have deferred some of my own if it would mean some wins in the spring. Of course I'd want all that money back come Opening Day"

†††† If anything keeps the Royals going during these tough times, it's their strong Florida fan base.† "Unlike our impatient, angry fans back home, these fans are extremely supportive," says catcher Brent Mayne.† Mayne is referring to the 124 elderly couples who come out in droves to see Royals games from the nearby Sunnyvale Estates retirement home.††

†††† Mitzy Grabel and her husband Milty, are 88-year old vegetables who are wheeled out to the park every Sunday.† "Who what now?" said Mitzy when asked by TwistedFans to comment on what the Royals' preseason success means to her as a fan. "Baseball?!?"† Her husband Milty, slightly more cognizant, replied, "Where they from, Kansas City?† Ain't that swell."††

†††† "I love these fans, aren't they great!"† said Mayne.† "We want it more for these guys more than anyone else."††

†††† "I love pre-season, it's like a mini-season," interjected right fielder Mark Quinn.

†††† Beltran, still staring in awe at the 2000 championship banner, says "we actually made this banner out of paper-mache--it's pretty cool, huh?"††

†††† And when asked about the Royals' chances when the actual season begins, manager Muser replied, "Oh, we're not looking ahead to that. We're going relish every moment we have left of this (pre)season, first."

†††† "Get me the (expletive) outta here right now," said ex-New York Yankee Chuck Knoblauch, when hunted down for comment.

Willy P. Ondabich covers the pre-season for TwistedFans.com

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