Read in the normal Western way of reading things, the above logo says “2012 Royals All-Star Game.” Yet, while it’ll be held at Kauffman Stadium, and while I’m sure we’ll have plenty of shots of George Brett in the crowd, the actual game and surrounding festivities seem likely to have as little to do with the 2012 Royals as the rules make it possible to.
Every team is required to be represented by at least one player in the game, and the Royals will be represented by exactly one, Billy Butler. Butler isn’t starting the game or contending in the Home Run Derby (and he’s not much of a HR hitter, frankly, but Larry Granillo doesn’t think it should matter). He’s listed as a DH, so it’s far from a guarantee that when he does play, you’ll see him in the field (though Konerko is the only reserve 1B, so it’s certainly possible), and Adam Dunn is also on the reserve roster as a DH, both backing up David Ortiz, so it’s not a guarantee that he’ll get more than one plate appearance (or even that, technically, except it seems safe to assume that Ron Washington will find a way to get the one hometown guy in there). There are close to seventy-five All-Stars; only one of them plays for the Royals. In fact, only one other of them used to play in Kansas City: Carlos Beltran, who was last a Royal in mid-2004 and had his two best seasons (by rWAR) in a Mets uniform.
It’s a great city with what I’m told is a great, recently-remade stadium, and it should be a terrific showcase for the city and the organization. But if you’re a lifelong Kansas Citian and Royals fan who has the opportunity to head down the street and check out the game, there’s not much to keep you interested. Part of every All-Star Game in living memory (and probably not an essential or even necessarily a good part, but unmistakably a part of the experience) is the mostly-hometown crowd going nuts over their own hometown players, and there will be very little opportunity for that tomorrow night.
Does this actually have a chance to be the least involved a host team has ever been in an All-Star Game? Here are what I see as the fifteen current contenders: Read the rest of this entry »