As streak hits 12 games, fans lose hope

These are the times that try men’s souls.
Or at least the times that try the souls of Royals fans.
A season that started with so much optimism now seems like another year in which the Boys in Blue struggle and struggle mightily.
Was it really two weeks ago the Royals were hovering around .500, taking two of three from National League East leading Florida?
Did I hallucinate that?
Now, a 12-game losing streak – in which everything that could go wrong appears to have gone wrong – has taken the life out of the fans.
And the Royals are back in an all-too-familiar place – at the bottom of the American League Central.
Pitching, hitting, bullpen, you name it, it’s been a culprit.
When the hitting is there, the pitching gives up two grand slams in a game.
When the pitching is there, the Royals can’t get a run.
When they both are there, the bullpen implodes and can’t hold a lead.
That’s the worst thing about a 12-game losing streak – there’s never one culprit. Just like it takes a team effort to win, it takes a team effort to lose this many games.
While I feel bad for the players – no matter how much money you’re making, a 12-game losing streak makes you not even want to play the game – I feel for the fans.
This year was supposed to be different – just like every year. But the Royals won early. The excitement was similar to that of 2003 at the start of the year. They were beating Detroit and the Yankees – although I guess they can still beat Detroit, just haven’t had the chance to play them lately.
The fans showed up in droves for Billy Butler replica jerseys.
He’s now playing in Omaha, his struggles getting the better of him.
They ooh and aah over the slick defense of Tony Peña Jr. Then they watch him struggle at the plate.
Jose Guillen and Miguel Olivo have been bright spots lately. They’ve hit the ball well. Alex Gordon had a big night the other night, Mark Teahen hustles as well as anybody on the team.
That’s been what has been so baffling.
On paper, this team is way more talented than any other the team has fielded since 2005. The pitching is better than it’s been in many years. There are guys who can hit, and guys who have proven they can hit Major League pitching.
Yet it’s not working.
Fortunately, losing streaks were made to be broken. Could be Saturday night against C.C. Sabathia. Could be Sunday afternoon.
But surely this team can’t lose 14 straight. Right?