Contrary to the performances of the last two years, the Kansas City Royals of previous years weren’t really worthy of attention — unless you are a fan of the team, of course. At the end of the month of April in 2009, however, the Royals found themselves in the unfamiliar position of first place in the AL Central, and pitcher Zack Greinke was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Even The Onion picked up on the unfamiliarity of the position the Royals found themselves in, and took advantage of the opportunity to poke fun at the situation:
KANSAS CITY, MO—Players and executives with the 16-11 Royals filed a grievance with MLB officials Tuesday after they could not find themselves anywhere in the league’s official standings. “We looked in all the usual places: third place, fourth place, even fifth place, and we didn’t see our name anywhere,” said Royals GM Dayton Moore, who added that he even peeked at the AL West standings to see if perhaps the team had been moved to a different division. “I could have sworn we’d been playing really well this year. Why would Commissioner Selig try to hide us? Did we do something wrong? Let me see that paper again.” Moore explained that he and everyone in the front office were “very curious” to see Kansas City’s other baseball team, which is currently in first place.
The Royals quickly returned to old habits, however, dropping to fourth place in the division by the end of May, and finishing the season dead last with a 65-97 record.