Two weeks ago, manager Ned Yost proclaimed that the Royals were in the race. Turns out, the race was for last place.
The losing streak reached six games with a 9-6 defeat to Oakland on Sunday. Contenders (in Yost's mind) the week before the All-Star game, the Royals now hope that the Cleveland Indians, who waved the flag several weeks ago, run out of talented young players to promote. The Royals are a scant 1.5 games ahead of the Indians, the American League Central's doormat since May.
Back-to-back three-game sweeps at the hands of the White Sox and A's must have made Yost feel like a chump. His boss, G.M. Dayton Moore, probably had an easier time taking the result in stride. If Moore wants to trade a number of his players -- and there a lot of pieces to trade -- he needs the 2010 season to look like a string of T-shirt giveaways.
With a .500 record looking as unrealistic as first place, Moore should be trying to acquire talent he can bring up with Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer, the boys-to-men he drafted in 2007 and '08, respectively. Moustakas recently joined the triple-A Omaha Royals, while Hosmer got the call to report to double-A Northwest Arkansas.