Back during my senior year in high school, a group of my friends and I were walking to football practice. We passed by the freshman team and heard the coach yell, "[name redacted], this is your last hurrah!" 

We laughed way too hard at this and have never stopped talking about it. If there's ever a situation where it can be applied, we break out our inside joke and, again, laugh way too hard (it's fun to never totally grow up, right?). 

In looking at the remaining four weeks and change of the regular season, the story comes to mind with the Kansas City Royals

Royals fans are surely tired of the discussion, but it's a legitimate one. This has been one of the most important franchises in Major League Baseball the past few years after dabbling in total obscurity for roughly two decades. And now, with this nucleus, this is the last hurrah. 

It bears repeating that Royals fans are surely tiring with this discussion but here goes. 

The following players will hit free agency after this season: Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Jason Vargas and a few others who are of lesser importance. It's really about half the nucleus of the team that went to the World Series two straight years, winning it all in 2015. 

The chances the Royals can keep more than one of those guys mentioned above are slim and none. They might not even be able to keep any of them. 

So in terms of this group, the end is nigh. 

It looked for a bit like the last hurrah was going to come with a playoff run. How fun would that be? I picture the Jake Taylor speech from "Major League" where he says there's only one thing left to do, "win the whole [effing] thing." 

Of course, they don't look anything like a team that can make that kind of noise right now. They won Tuesday, finally breaking a scoreless innings streak of over 45 innings, but they still sit one game under .500 and have gone 10-18 since July 30. 

Danny Duffy is hurt and now has an off-field issue to deal with. As noted above, the offense has been awful of late and pretty subpar all season (it's amazing what has happened to Alex Gordon, by the way). The bullpen isn't near the juggernaut it was a few years ago and the defense rates out as below average in defensive efficiency (it was excellent in 2015). 

Thanks to the AL wild-card race being a muddled mess, the Royals still have a legitimate shot at winning the whole effing thing and they have just over a month to get everything in order. Right now, though, they don't have the look of a playoff team, much less one that could actually make a run if it got there. 

Biggest Movers
7 Orioles
5 Angels
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Dodgers They've lost four of six and three in a row and I couldn't care less. They were a bit banged up and have an 18-game lead. Just get healthy in time for the playoffs. As for number one in the rankings, don't expect to see a change the rest of the season barring something unbelievably extreme. They've earned an inordinate amount of credit. -- 106-56
2 Nationals Max Scherzer, Trea Turner and Jayson Werth are back. They'll need Bryce Harper back at full strength and then hope they get hot in October. They've got the goods and can win it all. Have to get it done where they've failed three times in the past. 1 65-97
3 Guardians Uh oh, rest of AL. Here come the defending (AL) champs: The Indians have won 14 of their last 18. 2 80-82
4 Astros Remember when the Saints returned to the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina and went on to win the Super Bowl? Maybe the Astros can pull off something similar (World Series, obviously) and give the great people of Houston something of a fun distraction to rally around? -- 95-67
5 Red Sox In terms of innings, Chris Sale is the fastest pitcher in MLB history to 1,500 strikeouts. 3 92-70
6 Diamondbacks The Snakes are hot again, having won seven of eight. I guess they didn't care for the talk that there was a wild-card race in the NL. 5 52-110
7 Cubs The most likely outcome remains the Cubs winning the NL Central again, but they aren't making it as easy on themselves as they should. Losing two of three to the Phillies is unacceptable. Then again, don't act spoiled, Cubs fans. Making the playoffs this year would mean three playoff berths in a row for the first time since 1906-08. -- 71-91
8 Rockies So they've won three of four after a really bad stretch, but it was against the Braves and Tigers. They better hope they're getting right, because they play the Diamondbacks seven times and Dodgers four in the next two weeks. 4 74-87
9 Yankees Since the beginning of June, the Yankees are exactly .500 (40-40). They're still gonna be good enough to make the playoffs, in all likelihood, too. 3 92-70
10 Twins With his power, ridiculous speed and defensive prowess, all Byron Buxton has to do in order to be a superstar is hit something like .270 with a .330 on-base percentage. And guess what? He's in that range since around the third week of April. It's no surprise he leads the Twins in WAR. 2 73-89
11 Brewers I'm not sure how much longer they can justify leaving Matt Garza in the rotation. The Brewers are contenders. 1 95-67
12 Orioles Kevin Gausman has a 2.26 ERA in his last eight starts. Dylan Bundy has a 2.00 ERA in his last five (with 45 K, 6 BB in 36 IP). The great 1-2 punch is there, at least in this moment, and the Orioles have won six in a row, including a sweep of the Red Sox and taking two from the fellow wild-card-hopeful Mariners. 7 52-110
13 Rays Possibly back on track? The Rays have won six of nine and it looks like Logan Morrison might have rediscovered his power stroke. 5 100-62
14 Angels Andrew Heaney's first two starts coming off Tommy John surgery weren't good, but last time out he fired six innings of one-run ball, striking out 10. A good Heaney goes a long way in solidifying this rotation. 5 77-85
15 Marlins Giancarlo Stanton now has a 14-HR cushion for the MLB lead. No one has led the majors by as many as 14 since 1933 (Jimmie Foxx). -- 67-95
16 Cardinals How about the huge year Tommy Pham is having? He entered this, his age-29 season, a career .245/.333/.455 hitter. Through Tuesday, he's hitting .304/.401/.500 and utterly destroying his career highs in counting stats. Sure, the extra playing time helps, but he's been unreal compared to what he was before. -- 90-72
17 Mariners Remember last week that I mentioned that long road trip all the way across the country? It's wearing on them. After winning five of their first seven, they've now lost four straight. Only one more to go, though, before a nine-game homestand. Also, they only leave the Pacific Time Zone to go to the state of Texas the rest of the way. 4 90-72
18 Rangers Getting swept by the A's will put quite the damper on one's playoff hopes. 1 60-102
19 Royals Mike Moustakas being stuck on 35 home runs is getting annoying. C'mon, Moose! Break that club record and get to 40! 5 74-88
20 Pirates The Pirates got to within two games in the NL Central on July 21. They've gone 14-22 since and now trail the Cubs by nine games. It's over. 1 61-101
21 Blue Jays It looked like they were climbing into wild-card contention, but they've now lost nine of their last 11 games and look pretty terrible. 1 91-71
22 Athletics Here's a funky split. The A's are actually 37-31 at home ... but 21-43 on the road. Yikes. -- 86-76
23 Mets It was sickening to see Michael Conforto go down on a swing like that. Hopefully he's able to return to form eventually. He's one of the more exciting players in the league. 1 77-85
24 Reds When Zack Cozart hits his 20th home run this season (he has 17), he'll be the sixth Reds player with at least 20. They've never done that before in franchise history. Right now, the 2017 version is only the third Reds team (along with 1956 and 2008) to even have five players with at least 20. 1 83-79
25 Giants The Giants are 14-13 in August. That's good! Well, sort of. Maybe. 2 107-55
26 Tigers The most intriguing things about this team right now are the Justins. That is, whether Upton will opt out of his deal after this season and what happens with Justin Verlander on the trade market. 2 77-85
27 Padres SIGH. Five straight losses and they no longer have a winning record since the beginning of July. I need to find a new project. 4 79-83
28 Braves There was some cautious optimism heading into the season, especially since the Braves played so well down the stretch, even ending with a 37-35 second-half record. Instead, they've gone the opposite way so far, sitting 15-27 in the second half this year. 2 88-73
29 White Sox The White Sox have "gained" six games on the Phillies since the All-Star break and are just three games "back" for the number one overall pick. "Who can suck the most" in the last month can be a fun race to follow. -- 93-69
30 Phillies Only five Phillies have more home runs than Rhys Hoskins, and he's only appeared in 19 games. That's not a knock on the Phillies. He has 11 homers. Yowza. -- 82-80