JACK'S SMACK: Should we be buying into the Royals' hype?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - So this is supposed to be the year the Royals break through and win something that really counts.

I'm trying hard to buy in because I really believe there is reason for encouragement.

I can no longer accuse this owner of being a tightwad. The highly-publicized $90 million payroll is the highest in club history. Still, I don't trust David Glass.

He told us 14 years ago when he bought the team that he would move to Kansas City. He hasn't. He still hides in that Arkansas bunker.

He declines to do face-to-face interviews with local reporters unless it’s some bought-and-paid-for scribe.

Sure, the Chiefs’ owner Clark Hunt lives in Dallas, but he spends a lot of time here and does a myriad of interviews. He's very accessible unlike the Royals’ owner who gives the perception of being a recluse.

Why doesn't he want to talk?

I don't want to ambush Glass. I would settle for some innocuous question that affects most baseball fans; let’s say, “Why did you raise ticket prices as much as 23 percent?  After all, this has been the worst team in baseball for two decades."

I think that’s a fair question.

The Royals had their second winning season in 20 years and BAM, season ticket holders take one in the shorts.

Those who paid $50 for the home opener a year ago are paying twice that for the same seat on opening day this year.

That is a sham!  This team hasn't won anything.

Reporters have been pretty liberal in tossing around this payroll number of $90 million. One-fourth of it is absorbed by four pitchers; none of them is named James Shields.

The $90 million ranks somewhere in the middle of the league, but guarantees nothing.

On paper, there are not many questions. We pretty much know who the starting position players are. That’s a good sign. A very good sign.

The arrow, for the first time in a long time, points upwards. But so does the cost of being a baseball fan in KC.

That’s Jack’s Smack.

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