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Well, that was fun while it lasted. Thanks to Sports Illustrated, a promising season for the Kansas City Royals, led by the unable-to-score-on Zack Greinke, looks like it might be coming to an end. What would cause such an early season collapse after a respectable 10-9 start? Injuries? Bad hitting? Bad pitching? Bad managerial moves? Nope, none of that. The culprit can be found on the upcoming SI cover, featuring the Royals’ ace, Greinke (I know Gil Meche is the Opening Day pitcher, but Greinke has been just nasty, something his 0.00 ERA — after four starts — suggests).

Zack Greinke

I suppose the silver lining is if the Royals — and Greinke — do go in the tank this summer, they now have something to place the blame on: Sports Illustrated and the cover jinx. Yes, it’s an age-old, built-in excuse, but it’s hard to argue with history.

So there you go, Royals fans — and there should be more of you now, supporting your young team that shows signs of competing in the AL Central for the whole season — if the bottom falls out on this promising season, or worse, Greinke gets injured, you know who to blame.

H/t to Joe Posnanski for the find.