By Kevin Kietzman
It's been so long since the Royals have really come through that it's hard for this city to shake the feeling of pending doom for its beloved baseball team.
Sure, there are plenty of signs this team is different. These are the guys that set a franchise record for consecutive home losses and looked every bit the sad sack bunch the Royals have been the last 28 years only to respond and capture everyone's inner dreamer and set record tv ratings. So there is reason to believe.
But it's just so hard. The Royals don't hit like a playoff team should and it reared its ugly head in the final two punchless losses to the lowly Marlins. Now KC sets out for a ridiculous five game series in four days on the road at first place Detroit. Who knows if Detroit takes the Royals seriously but there is one thing for sure, Detroit is a better, more complete baseball team than the Royals. In a long five game series, it seems unlikely the Royals can sneak up on the Tigers and somehow take four out of five and either hang tight in the wildcard or gain a little ground while picking up enough on Detroit to make it interesting. Still, the Royals have surprised us before.
The feeling everyone has going into the series is remarkable. This fan base has literally gone from believing their team is invincible and would win every game except one or two here or there against a first place team, back to the fans that think the Royals are a sinking ship. Who knows? It's a five game series on the road against what I believe is the best team in baseball, what a great measuring stick. Can't wait to see what happens.
I'm very disappointed to report infielder Miguel Tejada has had a running feud with Major League Baseball over his use of a banned substance this year. There have been all kinds of players in Kansas City that have been right in the crosshairs of PED scandals over the years (Jason Grimsley and Melky Cabrera immediately come to mind) but most of the trouble they've incurred has been after they were out of uniform here. Tejada had become a team leader on a red hot baseball team and was starting to play every day again when the medics rolled in and requested a test. Bad timing for Miggy.
Tejada had an exemption to use Adderall, a powerful ADD/ADHD brain stimulant doctors have likened to cocaine, but his exemption expired April 15 of this season. Baseball and the players union are fighting big time as the union is trying to allow a reported 125 players claiming to have ADHD to stay on the powerful drug for "health reasons." The whole thing is a sham. There's an Adderall epidemic in sports and I believe this is worse than HGH or steroids or any of the things baseball considers a PED. Tejada has been the poster boy for a lot of things in baseball and this may be the latest. He was the first high profile latin player to lie about his age to get a contract, he was part of the Palmeiro feud, the Mitchell report, named by Jason Grimsley, lied to Congress and played in the bay area during BALCO. Whew.
I guess the Royals did their part. They made sure Tejada wasn't on steroids or HGH before signing him and knew he had a TUE (Therapuetic Use Exemption) to use Adderall until April 15 and assumed he'd get an extension. He didn't. So he's been fighting baseball ever since trying to remain a relevent player and stay in the big leagues. It worked until now. Tejada's officially on the 60 day disabled list for an injured calf but it's likely he's done in Kansas City and likely done for good at age 39 unless baseball grants another exemption. I can't see that happening.
The trouble with Adderall and major league players and NFL players is the stuff is in every high school in the country. Teenage players everywhere know the stars in their town are using it by having doctors give it to them. While not a lot of teenagers will be able to "game" the system, they know kids at their school that have plenty of the stuff because they were "diagnosed" to have ADD and can get a refill at CVS with a phone call. So unlike HGH or steroids, a high school pitcher can hear about this stuff and just "borrow" Adderall on gameday from the kid in the locker next to him and start stimulating his brain to play sports. Nobody wants this for our kids and MLB and the NFL have a duty to get this dangerous, yet easy to obtain drug, out of their game.
Miguel Tejada went from what I thought was a gamer looking for a second chance after coming clean to a guy still trying to cheat the system and gain an edge. They say he's a great family man and his 11 year old son hangs around the team a lot. Great for Miggy. Here's my question for you, Miguel. You son has a game tomorrow, can he "borrow" your Adderall? Didn't think so.