Originally written on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 10/15/14
Could it be worse? Could anything top this disastrous start to the Royals' 2012 season? Well, possibly. My first year as a beat writer covering the Royals for The Kansas City Star was in 1992, the infamous season the Royals started 1-16. That was truly depressing, and maybe worse than this, considering that Kansas City fans hadn't become accustomed to losing yet. Brian McRae, the Royals' centerfielder then, told me after the season that most everyone in the clubhouse viewed the rest of the '92 season as toast after that 1-16 start. "Most of the time you say that two weeks can't make or break a season," McRae said. "But after that start, we were done. We didn't quit, but we knew we didn't have the type of team that could dig its way out of that." The Royals had made perhaps their most controversial trade in team history a few months before, sending Bret Saberhagen to the Mets for Gregg Jefferies, Kevin McReynolds and Keith Miller. Jefferies was a talented young switch-hitter, and Miller was a nice complementary player. But McReynolds was on the down slope of his career and worse yet, he seemed completely disinterested. Manager Hal McRae shook his head once while watching McReynolds in the batting cage that summer and whispered to me, "That swing is like a rusty old gate." To the Royals' credit, they bounced back from the 1-16 start and went 13-9 over their next 22 games. From there, they played mostly .500 ball and finished the season 72-90. The next year, of course, involved the even more infamous Hal McRae blowup. The Royals had made significant improvements during the off-season leading up to the 1993 season, adding shortstop Greg Gagne, second baseman Chico Lind, and right-hander David Cone. They dealt Jefferies for switch-hitting Felix Jose. They also picked up third baseman Gary Gaetti after the season started. This was also George Brett's final season, and he hit 19 homers. That team had fairly high expectations. But the Royals started out slow, losing nine of their first 11 games. Then and it was 19 years ago Thursday the Royals dropped a particularly stressful 5-3 game to the Tigers on a clammy night at then Royals Stadium. It had been a typical Royals' loss that April numerous scoring chances wasted as no Royal could deliver with runners in scoring position (sound familiar?). Alan Eskew, then of the Topeka Capital-Journal, and I filed into McRae's office afterward for post-game questions. The late Gib Twyman, my colleague at The Star, also was there, along with a handful of electronic media reporters. It was John Doolittle, then a sports talk-show host with KMBZ, who asked the question that set McRae off. Doolitle asked if McRae considered hitting Brett for Miller in the seventh inning. McRae, who was saving Brett to pinch-hit in the ninth, got tired of the second quessing and went off. No doubt you've seen the video at least once over the years but in case you haven't. Eskew and I headed to the back of McRae's office as he started randomly hurling objects throughout the room... An ash tray came flying at us at one point. I ducked. Eskew didn't, and he got hit in the face, drawing blood (and a stitch or two). Ironically, the beat writers got along great with McRae, and that made McRae even more sorry that Eskew was the one who got hit. Eskew shrugged off the minor injury as simply part of the job, and didn't even think an apology was necessary. The blowup didn't really have a huge impact on the team's play. The Royals won their next two but then dropped four of five. Eventually, in May, the Royals started clicking. They crawled over .500 on May 26 and never dipped below that mark again, finishing the season 84-78. Of course, if you're looking for comparisons, that was a much older and more experienced team than the 2012 Royals, who are searching for some type of leadership from someone, anyone, to lead them out of this hole.

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Red Sox may be ready to move Yoenis Cespedes

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him

LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Redskins to stick with Colt McCoy over Kirk Cousins


Rick Pitino: Louisville will beat FSU in football

Report: Rams considered favorites to move to LA

Kobe to Julius Randle: You’re an idiot if you (expletive) this up

Slava Voynov arrested on D.V. charge, suspended indefinitely

Report: Ray Rice could be reinstated within next month

Earl Thomas: Refs need to stay out of it and let us dominate

Lane Kiffin trashed in Tennessee political ad

WATCH: Lawrence Timmons throws up on field during MNF

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

WATCH: Tennessee coach tried to trip Ole Miss player?

News station congratulates Gary Payton for breaking TD record

Did Sidney Crosby troll Flyers fans with Halloween costume?

Why Dan Mullen is not leaving Mississippi State

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview: Will Giants or Royals win it all?

NFL tweets graphic of recipients of Manning's 509 TD passes

Royals News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview

Favre: I got calls about playing last season

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.