I want to fast forward to July 4th this summer. I want you to imagine sitting down in your recliner on Sunday night after a big bar-b-que to catch some Sunday night baseball on ESPN. Now, this is where I don’t want you fall out of your chair when you hear Jon Miller and Joe Morgan say it’s the Kansas City Royals against the Los Angeles Angels.

That’s right. For the first time since 1996, the Royals will be featured on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Granted, most of America will catch a couple of innings before they head out to their local fireworks display, but hey the Royals on national television…that’s a big deal.

Forget the fact the Royals lost 97 games last year. They bring back the reigning American League Cy Young Winner and if Trey Hillman was smart, he’d be back filling his rotation to have Greinke work that 4th of July game. There are a lot of things to be hopeful for this season. The first is a revamped outfield with Rick Ankiel in center, and Scott Podsednik in left. Billy Butler, the Royals biggest and brightest offensive star who should settle in as the everyday first basemen. A healthy Alex Gordon at third base. Perhaps a healthy Mike Aviles at shortstop and a catcher in Jason Kendall who will hopefully be able to provide us with more than a .240 hitting catcher.

So, while we’re still over three weeks away from Spring Training, we can look ahead to July 4th and think of how much better the Royals will be at the midway point of 2010 than they were in 2009.