There’s a tongue in cheek saying you’ll find on message boards and twitter surrounding the Kansas City Royals. It’s “God Hates KC.” The idea is that God has something to do with the miserable, decades-long run of futility by the Royals. After every loss, after every missed pop fly, after every off-season failed move, you’ll see a hashtag, #GodHatesKC pop up.
While I cannot speak for God, my guess is that it’s not in God’s pay grade to care about a Major League Baseball franchise. But then I got to wondering… maybe it is?
The Royals last winning season was 2003 – 10 years ago – under Tony Pena Jr. The past ten years have been miserable. This town has suffered through Brian Anderson and Emil Brown and Trey Hillman and Buddy Bell and Mike Sweeney’s back problems and countless other examples of comical ineptness. #GodHatesKC
But this wasn’t the beginning. You scroll back in time and be glad Twitter hadn’t been around at the beginning of Major League Baseball in Kansas City. I’m reading a book called The Kansas City A’s and the Wrong Half of the Yankees by Jeff Katz. It chronicles the first few years of Major League Baseball in this town and how the Kansas City A’s were a mere MLB Farm Club to the New York Yankees. It tells how the Yankees controlled 1/4 of American League teams with the Royals and could literally send players between the clubs at will with no oversight. #GodHatesKC
This led to the migration of those who could’ve been stars with KC on their cap. Instead they will forever be known as Yankees. Names such as Enos Slaughter, Bud Daley and Roger Maris. #GodHatesKC
Following the ownership reign of Arnold Johnson, the Kansas City club broke their ties (somewhat) with the Yankees and were under the control of Charlie ‘O Finley. Finley was a classic meddler and controller. He undercut salaries. He was more flash than substance and he had a mean streak so infamous, he once cut Hawk Harrelson for calling him a “menace to baseball.” Hawk left thankfully and signed a deal with the Red Sox for more money. #GodHatesKC
Finley up and moved the team to Oakland and promptly won three consecutive championships. Those Kansas City teams had all the pieces with Reggie Jackson, Lew Krausse and Sal Bando – but the chemistry wasn’t right and it took a move to Oakland for them to rattle off World Series in 1972-1974. #GodHatesKC
The City of Kansas City was awarded the Royals and you have to really step back and appreciate the decade of 1976 through 1985. Because it never happened before – and it may never happen again. Household names like Wilson, Howser, White and Brett gave way to Storm Davis and Avron Fogelman and Dan and David Glass. #GodHatesKC
It’s beyond my scope to know what God does and doesn’t hate. But my guess is that we’d better hope God has a hand in it – otherwise it’s just a 60 year stretch of mostly dumb luck.