Don’t ever say it can’t get worse.

I’m sure someone said those words before 2006, but Buddy Bell, the Kansas City Royals manager at the time, said “I never say it can’t get worse” after being asked if the team had reached rock bottom early in the season. The Royals lost 100 games that year.

I’ve been thinking of those words a lot this year. Late in 2016, social media was buzzing with people saying something like, “I can’t wait for this year to be over, it’s been a disaster.” Those folks would have been wise to heed Bell’s words.

What made 2016 bad was a nasty presidential election and the deaths of several loved celebrities. Somehow, 2017 was worse.

The nastiness of the 2016 election has carried over into a rocky first year for Donald Trump, to put it mildly. Solution: There is none. National politics has devolved into an almost-sport; I cheer for my team and I hate your team. This country needs a complete overhaul of the way we think about politics.

More celebrities have died. Solution: We should probably just get used to that, it’s going to happen every year because that’s just how life and death work.

Even more celebrities and people of influence and power have been accused of sexual misconduct. It seems Hollywood, especially, has a major problem with this. Solution: Simple — respect other people. No means no. Money, fame and power doesn’t mean you can abuse another human.

Nazis still exist. Solution: Simple — respect other people.

I’m still floored over that last one. I can’t even fathom how someone could think of themselves as a Nazi and decide that’s a good thing. It has to be from lack of education. Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, right?

While 2017 is almost over and hopefully some or most of this is behind us, don’t forget Buddy’s words. It could always get worse.

I’m not sure how 2018 could be worse than 2017. If I had to wager, it’d have something to do with politics and war. I don’t like what North Korea is up to. Russia is a cloud hanging over us.

Don’t ever say it can’t get worse.

I consider myself a positive person, though. I don’t like thinking about how things could get worse, so how are things going to get better?

Hopefully the wake-up call has been heard and the sexual abuse problem will improve. Maybe common sense will actually start to be used in national politics. Maybe North Korea will pipe down.

Don’t ever say it can’t get worse? How about always hope things will get better? Maybe just having that mindset will help turn the tide in the right direction.

All we have to do to convince ourselves that things can get better is remember that 2006 Royals team that lost 100 games. It was rough being a Royals fan back then and it didn’t get much easier the following few years.

But things got better and ultimately the Royals won a World Series championship two seasons ago.

Maybe 2016 and 2017 were like the 2006 Royals. Maybe we’re about to turn the corner as a nation and head toward a figurative championship.

I can always hope.

Adam Gardner can be reached at

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