That scene is from the film “The New Guy,” which is about a nerd who becomes the big man on campus by way of becoming a bad ass. He’s the same loveable guy on the inside, but in order for people to take him seriously, drastic measures had to be taken.
This is the 2015 Royals in a nutshell.
For nearly 30 years, the Kansas City Royals have been the laughing stock of professional American sports, let alone Major League Baseball. To everyone’s credit, they have been a god awful team that never deserved any accolades.
Fast forward to October 2014, and the Royals found themselves the center of one of the most historical postseason runs. National mainstream media quickly picked up on how much fun Kansas City – both the fans and players – were having. Social media was buzzing about Kansas City fans as well, including Oakland, Baltimore, Los Angeles and San Francisco fans.
Then Game 7 ended, and everyone hit the reset button. Sports analysts were quickly dismissing the 2015 Royals as contenders as if the 15 games in October (technically 14, but whatever) never happened. Now that they were returning ALCS champs, the media took an about-face and started to mock their excessive celebrations after each win.
Let’s not forget the 17 hit-by-pitches in 16 games, taking the lead for most HBPs in the league. Up until the April 23 White Sox brawl, there has been very little accountability for the opposing team.
No one is letting the Royals enjoy being a great team. The losers were briefly accepted into the cool crowd before getting tossed out and bullied again. Kansas City took it for 30 years. Not this year.
Up until right this moment as I’m writing, I was completely embarrassed by Ventura’s and the rest of the Royal’s behavior. This is not how Kansas City behaves. This is not the Midwest mentality everyone loved last October. This is not how I want the world to know us.
I thought about this and realized how the world treated the Royals when they were the nice, low-key good ol’ boys in the Midwest: like shit. Dismissed and mocked if not completely ignored. Essentially, Kansas City did everything imaginable to gain everyone’s respect and it was met with a shrug.
Now, everyone is talking about the Royals. It may be a “thug” narrative, but no one was talking about how they were leading the league in wins despite being written off in the preseason. We can argue how they are ruining the sanctity of baseball while completely ignoring the steroid era.
Speaking of the steroid era, that was a fun time to watch baseball! And guess what? Baseball is becoming fun to watch again and no cheating is involved this time.
I don’t condone Ventura’s behavior or anyone else who decided to get into a brawl every other game. There are better ways to deal with frustration. But as someone who was bullied and ignored in my youth, I understand.
This isn’t arrogance. This is a cry to be accepted. Kansas City thought they earned that right only to be shut out yet again. Now they’re lashing out and telling the world, “We’re here to stay! Deal with it.”
The Royals are the “new guys” in baseball, and they’re letting everyone know.
SPOILER ALERT: In “The New Guy,” the nerd-turned-bad ass ended up reverting to his true form: a loveable nerd. He got a taste of the “cool” only to realize how uncool it was. Kansas City will have a similar ending by the All-Star break.