Originally written on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 10/20/14
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: Army football enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Report: Kobe viewed Dwight Howard's departure as 'positive'

Lions suspend CJ Mosley, send him home from London

Federal judge blocks New Jersey sports betting law

Report: Bucs sign Gerald McCoy to seven-year extension

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans about booing


Report: Shonn Greene arrested after parking in handicap spot

Report: Joe Maddon wants a very hefty salary

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

WATCH: Kentucky DB Blake McClain lays out Miss. St. WR

WATCH: Dwyane Wade videobombs himself

GRAPHIC: Cam Atkinson shows how close he was to losing eye

WATCH: 350-pound Arkansas lineman throws TD pass

Penn State fans blew air horns outside Ohio State's hotel?

WATCH: Oregon's Charles Nelson has impressive punt return TD

WATCH: American flag rips during Game 3 national anthem

WATCH: Tony Parker draws foul by simply yelling 'hey'

Video: Tom Izzo takes the stage with KISS on Midnight Madness

Eight NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

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!

Report: Army enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Penn State fans blew air horn at Ohio State players' hotel?

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

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.