They've had a winning season more recently than the Pirates, but the last quarter century has not been kind to the Royals. The only Royals team to finish at or above .500 since 1994 was the 2003 club that finished 83-79. And it's been so long since Kansas City made the playoffs that 16 players on the Royals' 40-man roster weren't even alive to see George Brett, Bret Saberhagen & Co. win the I-70 series in 1985.
But Dayton Moore has improved the team's farm system since taking over as GM early in the 2006 season and the Royals now boast the best group of prospects in baseball. So although Billy Butler, Alcides Escobar and Joakim Soria aren't expected to lead the Royals to a winning record this year, it won't be a surprise if the Royals are winners again before long. They were once one of baseball's model franchises - when will they become winners again?