I finally make it to Kauffman Stadium, and the Kansas City Royals still stink

When Kauffman (nee Royals) Stadium opened years ago, I remember the announcers cooing about how cool the fountains were. Presumably they concentrated their gaze beyond the grass because the grass was plastic.

Kansas City prides itself as the city of fountains, and through the many times I’d visited over the years I’d never managed to take in a ball game. Two weeks ago I fixed that by catching a Red Sox-Royals game, in which the local nine was drubbed by the visiting bullies from the American League East.

The Royals have some decent talent, but the sum of the parts is definitely less than the whole. With the Royals slipping further and further behind, I had plenty of time to soak in the view from the upper deck. I liked what I saw.

I don’t know what the changes were from the original layout, but the park has a fresh feel to it. There was plenty of room to negotiate the concession areas, and not just because the seats were at best half full on fireworks night. The big screen under the Royals crown in center field makes an excellent focal point, and the sight lines to the field were excellent.

Thank goodness for the real grass, but the field still presents itself with a mundane Midwestern symmetry devoid of any nooks or crannies of character in the outfield.

Some day I’d love for the Royals to rise again and bring back the glory of the George Brett years. I know the fans out there at mid-continent are still loyal, as evidenced by this Royals’ cap cake I spotted in the bakery of a Hy-Vee grocery store. They deserve better than year after year of promises of “we’re rebuilding with exciting young talent.”

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