But worst of all, they had to spend the last several days without their beacon on the basepaths,
"Trusty" Rusty Kuntz.
During Monday's batting practice at Cleveland's Not-Jacobs-But-Some-Dumb-Corporate-Name Field, Kuntz was struck by a line drive off the bat of Salvador Perez.
For the Royals, this was devastating. Rusty the Frown going down was a shocking, bizarre experience.
First baseman Eric Hosmer, who was in the clubhouse taking a whiz at the time of the incident, stated, "This blindsided us. It's like Bambi's Mom, Fredo Corleone, Edith Bunker, you know? Like Jimi and Janis and Kurt and Otis and that dude from Sublime. This is messed up. It's like every dumbass teenager who ever got creamed by a bus in those Final Destination movies. We're stunned, you know?
Hosmer was then informed that Kuntz had merely broken his arm, and had not died.
"Oh..." he said. "Baller."
Salvador Perez, the Royals star catcher and the man responsible for the ball that hit his coach, was so shaken up that he only played in three of the four games at Cleveland and managed just one hit, a rally-killing home run.
Even Royals manager Ned Yost, never one to overreact, was noticeably distraught. He held back tears as he said, "It could have hit him in the head. That was screaming. You want those things to typically hit you in the butt."
He then went on to say, "Taking a liner to the ol' behind is actually kind of fun. It wakes you up. Makes you feel alive. Jars some stuff loose. But the wrist? No sir. Hell no. But Kuntzy will be fine. He's The Kuntz."
In his place, the Royals had to use Mike Jirschele as the first-base coach. There were some hiccups, to say the least.
In fact, Kansas City players were getting called out right and left for running out of the baseline. On Tuesday, Omar Infante, a veteran in his twelfth season, accidentally ran toward third base after making contact in the top of the sixth.
"Jirsch is a good bench coach," Omar said. "He always knows the perfect time to offer you sunflower seeds or give you a mid-game backrub. But we need Rusty to show us the way."
Jirschele agreed. "Over 30 years in the minors couldn't prepare me for trying to coach in Cleveland. The bright lights, the jeering fans, and the stink coming off the lake... Mother of God. And someone said we're going to Baltimore next! I heard a guy got murdered there once! I'll be the happiest guy on the team when Ol' Rusty Nails is on the field and I'm back in the dugout."
Luckily for Jirschele and the Royals, Kuntz will return to the first-base coach's box tonight against the Orioles. He had a plate and eight screws inserted into his arm during surgery on Wednesday.
While he'll struggle to get through airport security the rest of his life, the Royals coach was upbeat. "They put me in this crazy cast," he said, "and all the guys signed it. I couldn't have asked for a better Secretary's Day present from the team, really."
The cast has the signatures of every current Royals player and coach, making it worth tens of dollars. "It means a lot to me," Kuntz said, "But we already decided it would mean even more to a lucky fan."
That's right. In six-to-eight weeks, Royals Charities will auction off the cast, provided Rusty doesn't funkify it too badly with his back sweat.
And if the Royals go back to their winning ways, a little stink may not even matter.
Go Rusty Kuntz! Keep Distracting Us From Losing!
Editor's Note #1: It's pronounced RUSTY KOONTZ. Grow up, okay?
Editor's Note #2: Yes, we realize we photoshopped his cast with a drawing of a nipple on it. Still, we feel like we have the moral high-ground here because that's art, not a mispronunciation of a word.
Editor's Note #3: As of press time, Dick Pole could not be reached for comment.
Editor's Note #4: It's pronounced DICK POLE.
Editor's Note #5: Why are you still reading this? Go take a Buzzfeed quiz or something.
Editor's Note #6: Go Editor's Note #4! You're the Best!