Hi. I’m Rany Jazayerli. I’ve been a fan of the Kansas City Royals for the past 27 years, from the time I was five years old, and I’ve been writing about them in a professional capacity since 1995 (and in an amateur capacity – both in terms of compensation and quality – for a few years before that.)
I was one of the original founders of the Baseball Prospectus, back when we had this crazy idea that, since there were no good annual baseball preview books on the market at the time, we’d write our own. The 13th edition of Baseball Prospectus should be published later this month. With the exception of one book – we decided to change things up one year – I’ve written the Royals chapter for all of them. I wrote a number of articles for ESPN.com in the early part of this decade, many of them devoted to the Royals. Between 2002 and 2005 I also wrote a weekly column during the season for the Topeka Capital-Journal.
A little over nine years ago (the exact moment has been lost to the mists of history) my friend Rob Neyer, of ESPN.com, decided to publish on his website the email conversations that he and I regularly had about the Royals. And so “Rob and Rany on the Royals” was born. We were blogging before anyone had heard of the term, and over the years have written a truly insane number of words on a franchise that never deserved that level of devotion. I only started archiving our posts in 2001, and since then we’ve written nearly 400,000 words.
That number would be even higher if Rob hadn’t become so fed up with the Royals at one point that he gave up the column for a year. In his absence I passed the time by writing regular “Rany on the Royals” columns for Baseball Prospectus. (You can find the first one here.)
(To answer the question before it’s asked: I have no idea how this blog will affect our conversations at robneyer.com. I imagine they will continue from time to time, but I also suspect they will appear much less frequently. I hope to make that up to you over here.)
In some way, shape, or form, I’ve covered the Royals for the last 13 seasons, commented on every trade, railed at every stupid decision. I insulted Bob Boone, criticized Tony Muser, mocked Tony Pena, and lost my patience with Buddy Bell. And through it all I’ve somehow maintained my fandom, even as the post-strike Royals have endured the darkest stretch in their franchise’s history, and indeed one of the darkest stretches in any franchise’s history.
To put it in perspective, let’s compare the Royals to their predecessors, the
From 2004 to 2006, the Royals lost 100 games three straight seasons, something the A’s never did (nor any other non-expansion team since the 1952-54 Pirates.) Over the last four years, the Royals have a record of 245-403, for a winning percentage of .378. In the
Somehow, despite rooting for the second coming of the Kansas City Abominations, I’ve kept my hope and faith. And now, I’m prepared to double down. Because just as the A’s looked poised for an upswing as the 1968 season approached (and after the team bolted for the west coast), so too do the Royals look poised to right the ship and return to playing competitive baseball in 2008. While I have no illusions that the Royals will come anywhere close to the A’s success – though I certainly would have no complaints with five division titles and three world championships in the next eight years – I think the tide has turned. And I want to be there to document it.
So I present to you my new Royals blog, cleverly titled RanyontheRoyals.com. (Sadly, my first choice – Quisenberry.com – was already taken. Stupid insurance agents.) This blog may one day lead me to deliriously covering the Royals’ first playoff appearance in a generation, and more likely it will lead to having my hopes and dreams destroyed once again by talentless players, clueless managers, and brainless front office types.
But I’m betting on the former. Either way, I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please spread the word to your friends and family. If you don’t, please have the courtesy to keep your feelings to yourself. You moron.
I can’t promise daily coverage – I do have a wife, two kids, and a full-time job to attend to – but I hope to update this blog at least a few times a week, more during high-traffic times, and of course when breaking news warrants. I can’t promise you a consistent measure of quality, but I can all but guarantee you prodigious amounts of quantity.
There is a quote attributed to many authors (particularly Mark Twain), but likely first uttered by Blaise Pascal, that goes, “I did not have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” If you’re looking for tight, refined, 700-word columns, you’ll have to look elsewhere, like your local newspaper.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for long, meandering posts that frequently go off on wild tangents and occasionally never return to their original point, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re looking for someone willing to write a five-page essay on the most trivial transactions, with neither a copy editor nor someone to remind them to count to ten before writing something when they’re angry, you’ve come to the right place. But then you probably already knew that. After all, this is a blog.
I may branch off onto other topics on occasion, such as discussing the Chiefs during football season. (Yes, I root for them as well. I know, I'm such a loser.) I may even write about religion or politics from time to time, particularly if I feel my readership base has grown too large and I want to alienate half of you in one fell swoop.
Pitchers and catchers officially report to Surprise tomorrow morning. So as baseball’s first day of spring approaches, and hope springs eternal in my household, I start this blog with a series of posts about the Top 23 (23? But...but...that’s Zack Greinke’s number!) reasons why I’m excited to be a Royals fan at this point in time, and why you should be too.
I welcome your comments with each posting. I may not be able to respond to all of them, but rest assured I try to read every one. All I ask is that you keep it clean. There may be children reading this, and if they're Royals fans, they've been exposed to enough objectionable material already.
Coming up: Reason #23.