Spheroid: Royals Optimist

Kauffmanstadium

Their ballpark is still one of the best places to watch a game in the Majors, they have given us memories like George Brett’s late run at .400 (.390 in 1980) and a world championship behind young Bret Saberhagen, and you can’t beat a visit to Gates BBQ before a night game. But when will it be the Kansas City Royals’ turn to play in late October?  We turned to Matt over at Royals Optimist to see what makes an optimistic Royals fan tick these days:

1. Why do you blog?

Because I wanted to have a reason to spell "Mientkiewicz" & "Grudzielanek" several times a day!

I fell head over heels in love with this organization the first time I walked through the turnstiles at Kauffman Stadium. While they are not tearing up the league — yet — hands down, they are the best value in sports. For the price of a bleacher seat in Fenway, you can get great seats for your family, food and parking at The K.

I predict bright spots. The Royals have an awesome youth movement. My wife and I have a wager that, barring a Royals pennant, I will have to teach the kids how to drive. He’s three months old now. I fully expect to be off the hook well before he’s playing Dodgeball in the grade school’s courtyard. The trouble is: She’s a lot smarter than me; she’ll find a way to make that stick.

Blogging is not only a great way of sharing my passion for the under-represented Kansas City Royals. My friends and neighbors are all very happy now that I’m focusing this passion on the World Wide Web instead of on their eardrums.

2. What was your favorite post?

Well, it’s still a very young season. Thus far, the best had to have been my first "live blog” which was last Friday (April 7). The Royals came back from four runs back to beat the World Champs. My poor dog thought I was undergoing a psychotic episode.

Jeremy_affeldt3. What was your strangest blogging experience you’ve ever had?

When I saw someone had commented on blog. Even more shocking when I learned that it actually wasn’t my mom! What’s more, the commentary is often insightful and enlightening. That being said, someone actually said, "Bite Me"; I think he must have Jeremy Affeldt (right) on his fantasy team.

4. Favorite blogs, including at least one MLBlog:

I have really enjoyed Danny Haren’s take on life in his blog. The Athletics clubhouse has some of the best personalities in the league. Yeah, all this time I thought it was on-base percentage.

I love the Baseball Think Factory and the Hardball Times as well. Great writing and they do a lot to salvage my ego as a Royals fan.

Ian Browne (not the former Stone Roses frontman) has a gem in Brownie Points; I have to imagine covering Red Sox Nation — you’ve seen it all. I also keep tabs on the BaseballGeeks blog and I subscribe to their podcast.

Speaking of podcasting, I have to plug Mike Houser and Jeff Walker for the Mostly Mariners podcast because they let me play in their simulated baseball league if only to make their own teams look better.

5. What would you be doing if you weren’t blogging?

Annoying my friends and driving down my community’s property values lecturing about how the 2008 Royals are going to mop up.

6. Where do you think the blogosphere is going?

It’s all very exciting, isn’t it? Especially with more and more media cropping up that uneducated bloggers like myself can use. I am looking forward to being able to stream selected videos for end users.

I love MLB.TV and the Digital Download Service of MLB.com. Since I’m not in the Royals market, that and SportsCenter are the only way to actually see the Royals in action (short of making the eight-hour drive to KC).

8. What is the one thing people don’t know about you?

In Little League, I once hit a grand slam to win the game when we were down three runs. I’d been telling this story for years, comparing it to end of The Natural.

Finally, my father took me aside earlier this year and said, "Matt, not only was your team up by six runs, the pitcher on the mound had never pitched before and you hit a grounder that the shortstop dropped."

And that is why I love statistical analysis, because on paper it still looks impressive even though the story is now thoroughly lame.

9. Happiness is . . .

. . . a summer day spent with 40,625 of my closest friends at "The K." Afterwards, waxing on about it over a Boulevard Wheat Ale at Kansas City’s best tavern, the Peanut. People think I’m nuts, but I still think Kansas City is the greatest city in the world.

Hit us up if you want to respond to these Nine Questions and be a featured Spheroid so even more people can be aware of your MLBlog.

2 Comments

Hi Matt– Hope everything is going great with you. Your mom told me about your blog. It is very entertaining, but why are you wasting your time following this Little League team when you could be enjoying the 2006 World Series champions to be– my Beloved Cubs?!!!!The Royals in 2008? Who’s going to be their ace pitcher–the Easter Bunny?

Matt-

I enjoyed reading your answers here. I live in NYC, and I don’t really have a favorite team (I’m more of a BASEBALL fan in general), but whenever I go out to Central Park to hit fungos with my friends, I put on my Royals cap just for the heII of it. (I own all 30 hats.) And every time, some random dude will come up to me and say, “The ROYALS?!” I do kinda like them. I’m sick of the Yankees always being in the playoffs. And The K really IS a great place to watch a game. I made there in May of 2001…totally mellow and beautiful.

Anyway, good stuff, and go Royals!

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