It's that time of the year!
Hope springs eternal -- that's been the battle cry of America's favorite past-time for what seems like ever.
In March, optimism flows freely in spring training camps from Florida to Arizona.
That's until reality sets in and we come to realize that teams like the Royals really don't have much of a chance to win big.
In baseball, only the rich survive. Or should I say only the rich who puts winning first.
Royals are competing against three teams in the division that have payrolls in excess of $100-million dollars a year.
Dayton Moore admits under the model he operates it is highly unlikely the Royals will ever have a payroll of $100-million dollars a year.
He says it will be more like $80-85 million and to do that, Royals need to draw 2.5 million fans a year.
They've never done that, even in their glory years.
They haven't drawn 2 million in a season in over 20 years.
But this year, there is every indication that the Royals are finally turning the corner.
The roster is loaded with young-everyday, inexpensive players.
Ownership is making a commitment by starting to hand out multi-year contracts, but not necessarily multi-year dollars at this point.
That's still a pretty good sign that David Glass is convinced he has the talent to make a run.
For once, I have this feeling the Royals aren't feeding us a bunch of hooey.
We all want to believe this team will win.
But deep down, we still hesitate to buy-in, because the ownership has spoiled our summers for too many years with bad baseball.
The fact that we have the All-Star game in July will be our saving grace.
Now, it's up to David Glass not to embarrass our city with a bad team.
Glass is being forced to do, whatever it takes to bring us a winner.
I say the odds of that happening, are right at 50-50.
And I take that as a positive sign that things really are changing for the better around the ball park.
We can only hope that is true. It's been a long time coming.
That's Jack's Smack.