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According to our calculations, the only two Kansas City Royals fans left on the planet are Rob Neyer and Bill James (who works for the Red Sox now and is therefore divided). This is a shame. The Royals were once one of baseball's prestige franchises and now, writes Baseball Prospectus' Joe Sheehan, they now have no reason to exist. After their hiring of Buddy Bell as manager this morning, it appears all is doomed. Quoth Sheehan:

The Royals are a bad team that has been bad for a decade and shows little sign of becoming good at any point in the future. ... Buddy Bell's contract runs through 2007. I'm certain he won't be the Royals' manager when it expires, but I'm just not sure if it will be because he's been fired, or because the entire organization has ceased to exist. Contraction may just be a mercy killing.

More Royal Incompetence [Baseball Prospectus] (subscription required)
Royals Hire Bell As Manager [Kansas City Star]