Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Denouement.

So, that’s a wrap. An 18-8 September turned the 2008 season from a failure to a success, relatively speaking. Back in February I projected the Royals to go 73-89; immediately prior to the season I revised that projection up to 75 wins, primarily because Zack Greinke had served notice in the spring that he was healthy and dealing. I don’t think I’ve ever come close to projecting the Royals’ win total before; I’m usually way too optimistic, though in 2003 I was too pessimistic.

Maybe I’m finally getting a handle on this team. Or maybe under Dayton Moore the Royals are a more stable and predictable franchise, less prone to wild mood swings like the ones we saw from 2002 to 2004, when the Royals became just the second team ever to lose 100 games, finish above .500, and lose 100 games again in back-to-back-to-back seasons. The first team to do that was the 1985-86-87 Cleveland Indians. If you thought we were all fooled by the 2003 Royals, just remember that in spring training 1987, Sports Illustrated predicted that the Indians (who had gone 84-78 the year before) would win the World Series. Instead, they had the worst record in baseball. You literally can not be more wrong than that. It was the perfect storm of errors.

The Indians would finally gain some semblance of stability a few years later when John Hart became the GM, Mike Hargrove became the manager, and the Indians started pumping a ridiculous amount of hitting talent out of their farm system (and then signing those guys to long-term deals, which was an unprecedented strategy at the time.) The Royals may not be contenders yet, but with Dayton Moore and Trey Hillman running things, they at least appear to have cured themselves of their schizophrenia. A few more hitters would be nice, though.

September was fun. The Royals finished out of last place for the first time in five years, ahead of a team with more than twice their payroll. They finished just 13 games out of first, which doesn’t mean they deserve a parade or anything, but aside from 2003 that’s the closest they’ve finished to first place since the strike. (You may cry now.) They’ll be drafting 11th next year – actually 12th, since the Nationals get a compensation pick for not signing their first-rounder this year – just the second time they’ll be out of the Top 10 since 1996. Had they lost three more games, they would have moved up to 6th in the draft, but the marginal difference between drafting 6th and drafting 12th is less than the difference between drafting 1st and 2nd – which is what happened when the Royals swept the Tigers to end the 2006 season. (Although it will be years before we know whether the Royals would have been better off with David Price than with Mike Moustakas.)

The Royals didn’t just meet expectations in terms of their record, they met (but did not exceed) expectations in terms of their key players. The three most important players to the franchise at the beginning of the year were Greinke, Alex Gordon, and Billy Butler. Butler had a disappointing but not disastrous season; his final numbers put him just below his 25th percentile PECOTA projection. Gordon was disappointing to you and I, but to the impartial computer hit almost exactly as expected; his .260/.351/.432 line was a few points shy of his 50th percentile PECOTA (.266/.342/.457). And Greinke almost matched his 90th percentile projection for ERA (3.47 vs. 3.22) and his K/BB ratio of 183 to 56 exceeded even the 90th percentile projection of 151 to 50.

After those three guys, we rooted for continued dominance from Joakim Soria, who blew past his 90th percentile projection of a 2.15 ERA, and we rooted for Gil Meche to continue to confound PECOTA, which he did – PECOTA projected a 4.47 ERA for The Epic, and like Greinke, Meche’s K/BB ratio exceeded his best projection.

There were some guys who disappointed, certainly, and one of them was paid $12 million a year. But Jose Guillen didn’t even miss his projection by that much: his final line of .264/.300/.438 was just a few points off his projection of .280/.335/.446. His performance wasn’t a disappointment so much as Moore’s decision to sign him in the first place was.

And one player who didn’t even warrant a PECOTA projection in the first place wound up as arguably the team’s MVP, at least on offense. I know Mike Aviles’ PECOTA for 2009 is the one I’m anticipating the most.

I’ll be honest: a month ago I wasn’t sure I was going to keep this blog going after the season. It’s been a lot of work, and while there have been a lot of rewards, the ultimate reward of getting to cover a winning team seemed to be eternally elusive. If nothing else, September was reinvigorating for me personally. The team still has a long road to travel, and there are still going to be potholes and detours along the way. But at least they’re on the right road.

I plan to check in once or twice a week through the off-season, maybe more as circumstances warrant and my schedule allows. I certainly haven’t run out of topics to discuss – I barely touched on the minors, which I’d like to do at some point, and we need to take an in-depth look at the 40-man roster before the winter meetings approach.

So keep checking in periodically. Before I leave, though, I’d like to extend my congratulations to the Tampa Bay Rays on their first playoff appearance, and the Milwaukee Brewers on their first appearance in 26 years. In particular, I’d like to congratulate their fans, coming from a fellow long-suffering fan of a perennial doormat. And I’d like to ask them to keep the door open for us.

See, I became an uber-fan of the Royals in the summer of 1989, or as much of an uber-fan as I could be when the family was living overseas nine months a year. I moved back to the States for good in the summer of 1991, just in time to witness one of the great World Series of all time, and have had the pleasure of watching almost every team in the majors play in the postseason since. And now that the Rays and Brewers have made it to the dance, here’s a list of the last postseason appearance of every major league team:

Milwaukee, Tampa Bay, Boston, L’Anaheim, Chicago (NL), Chicago (AL), Los Angeles, Philadelphia: 2008
New York (AL), Cleveland, Colorado, Arizona: 2007
Detroit, Oakland, Minnesota, New York (NL), St. Louis, San Diego: 2006
Houston, Atlanta: 2005
San Francisco, Florida: 2003
Seattle: 2001
Texas: 1999
Baltimore: 1997
Cincinnati: 1995
Toronto: 1993
Pittsburgh: 1992

A full two-thirds of all major league teams have made the playoffs in the last four seasons, which is both remarkable and a direct refutation of the notion that the NFL has more parity than MLB. In the last three years, the 24 playoff spots up for grabs have been occupied by 18 different teams.

Of the 30 teams in the major leagues, 28 of them have made the playoffs at least once since 1992, leaving followers of only two teams that have not enjoyed a postseason berth in the last 17 years. Fans of the Montreal Expos had their hope, their faith, and finally their team ripped away from them by Bud Selig and his minions – but at least their suffering is over. That leaves just one team, the one team I could have pledged my undying allegiance to for the past two decades, without once visiting – or even seeing – the promised land.

That team is the Kansas City Royals.

The Royals haven’t just missed the postseason for each of the last 23 years, they haven’t really come close. In 2003, the Royals held first place until August 29th – the latest the team has been in first place since 1985. They were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs with five games left to play – the longest they’ve held out mathematical hope since 1989, and just barely. In 1989, they were within 1.5 games of the A’s on September 1st, and 2.5 games out on September 17th, but then went 2-4 and found themselves 5.5 back with 7 to play. They were 5 games out with 5 left to play, technically not eliminated until the A’s won on Wednesday, but close enough.

The Royals finished just 2 games out in 1987, but that’s deceptive; they had been mathematically eliminated with five games to go, but swept the Twins in the season’s final series while the Twins were resting their regulars. And of course, there was 1994, when the Royals ran off a 14-game winning streak and were nipping at the heels of the Indians and White Sox when the strike ended the season.

I see the Mets collapse and miss the playoffs two years in a row, and it’s not that I don’t feel sympathy, it’s that I don’t feel empathy. Because not only do I not know what it’s like to make the playoffs – I don’t know what it’s like to miss the playoffs. Since winning the World Series 23 years ago, the Royals have never been in contention, no matter how liberally you define the term “contention”, going into the final Thursday of the season. Even the Expos were tied for the wild-card lead as late as September 19th in 1996, and were just a game out with three games to play.

So while I remain optimistic about the future, and reasonably satisfied with what the Royals accomplished this year, make no mistake about it: this was an okay season. Not a great season, not even a really good season. I – and, I suspect, many of you – have no idea what a really good season feels like. But when it comes, it will feel all the better for the time we’ve waited.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

I count myself as one of the lucky ones since I followed the Royals when they were winning Championships. I'm 44 years old now, but will never forget how it felt listen to every game on the Radio during the mid 1970's and early 1980's. I'm not sure if it we can ever get on another run like that, but I can guarantee you that I will still be a Royals fan if and when it happens.

KC KID 22 said...

Rany...I love your passion for this team...it is right up there with mine. I love what you have to say and couldn't agree more. I really hope that you keep this blog going because it's amazing. I know it's a lot of work, but hell, I'd do anything to help ya out and keep it going. I bleed Royals blue and when I see the baby steps and see people like you sharing the same excitement and even the disappointment, it makes me that much more happy to say I am a fan of this franchise. Thanks for all the work you did this year.

Elton said...

Hi Rany,

Thanks much for sticking with this blog. I'm not even a Royals fan but it's been entertaining and illuminating to read your thoughts about the team. I hope you have the time to keep it up through next year (and beyond).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your hard work on this blog. I'm a real estate lawyer in Kansas City and I followed your comments religiously this season. I was devestated when Rob said you guys were not going to do the blog anymore. I have enjoyed and appreciated your comments this year more than any of the "Rob and Rany" years. I'm sure you know that there are very few places for a Royals fan to find intelligent and passionate discussions about our team. The stat books are interesting, but they aren't satisfying because they don't capture the emotions of 12 years (for me) of following a losing team that has rarely given us any statistical reason to hope. So, on behalf of the many readers who don't post comments, thank you.

Dan Holden said...

I still kick myself because I didn't celebrate '85 like I should have. I was fifteen and didn't care about much but cars and girls.

It wasn't until 3 years later when I went to college at Mizzou and I had to hear about the call the I that I was reborn as a Royal's fan.

Since then the only thing that I can hope for is that we beat the Cardinal's in the interleague series.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your hard work during the season. It has truly been a pleasure to read.
And now the long descent into the cold dark months of winter.

Ian said...

Rany, I too am forever grateful for this blog. I was a casual sufferer of the team until I got season tickets this year (I am 28). I have come to this blog almost every day to gain insight on the why's and why not's of the Royals. I hope to find a few posts littered throughout the winter and I hope you make the trip to Kauffman for the Grand Reopening next April, it is going to pump new life into this team. And let's hope we have a great new lineup without sacrificing the guys on our team that already know they can play.

Curtis said...

You may just add things once or twice a week, but I will be by here daily hoping each day that it is the day you have chosen. This blog made the season all the more enjoyable. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Rob Neyer 2008 Year in Review Guest Post?

Thanks Rany, this has been great. Looking at lineups for next year (can't help myself)... I REALLY hope we can pencil in Butler and Gordon at 3,4,or 5 for many years to come. That would be fun.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your hard work Rany. I've never posted a comment before, but like others have already mentioned I check this site religiously. Just want you to know how much Royals fans appreciate what you put into this blog. Can’t wait to read about the farm system, but get some rest and take a well deserved break.

Alex said...

Rany - your blog has truly been a pleasure to read since day one. Thanks for the updates and insight all season. I'm really looking forward to next season, but for now I guess I’ll just sit here in Chicago and wait for the Red Line series to take place and for the city to burn down (again). Should be fun.

Balm Squad said...

Rany,
Outstanding work this season. I echo the previous comments regarding your passion and insight being a lifeline to us through the highs and lows of '08.
Here's to a solid off season of upgrades (Please God let Adam Dunn don the powder blues on Opening Day) and optimism for '09.

Jimmy Jack said...

Rany-

I had the unfortunate pleasure of becoming a die-hard Royals fan in 2001. I've been in KC since 1987 and just never really paid attention. Thanks to local sports radio and the passion of friends and family, I've come to love our perennial lovable losers.

Your blog has been an inspiration and I share in your passion for the team. Keep it up and I too will be checking everyday for your updates.

At the beginning of the season I stood in line at the DMV and talked Royals with everyone else stuck there in the time-gap that is the tag agency. I said that I'd be happy with 75 wins this season, and amazingly I'm happy after a full season of Royals baseball. Here's to shooting for 80 wins next year, a team without TPJ, Gload or Peralta and an exciting future of Royal Blue...

OJ said...

I beg of you to keep this blog active!!!

I've only commented a couple of times, but I've read every post - and I'm a Twins fan. This is one of three blogs I check every single day and I would hate to see it go.

Keep up the good work, Rany. One of these years the Royals will field a 95 win team and I will root for them.*

*Provided the Twins are not also contending.

Thank you.

David said...

R:

I wanted top also thank you for your hard work this season. I check in every day.

Can't wait to hear what you say in the off season. BTW: who is your choice for WS Champ?

I would like to see Tampa and Phili, so I could see a Kasmir / Moyer matchup!

Matt S said...

Wow Rany, I didn't realize you weren't even around for the World Series.

I'm 39. Some of the warmest memories I have growing up are of listening Denny/Denny/Fred on the radio when the Royals were in the thick of a pennant race, which we always were. There's really something special about meaningful baseball on the radio, letting your imagination and the announcer's descriptions fill in the blanks, that I think will be lost forever with my generation.

I was at the stadium when we clinched in '85 and Celebrate by Kool & The Gang came on.

I remember the whole town pretty much crushed by Chambliss' homer in '78. My friend said his Mom locked herself in her room for a couple hours.

I remember my Mom screaming "I love you George Brett!" at the top of her lungs when he hit the homer in the ALCS in '80. (She had run into Brett a few times in Westport and thought he was a womanizing pig.)

I remmeber going totally apes*** in 85' on Dane Iorg's "little looper into right field". I called my friend, who I knew had tickets to game 7, a good 10 minutes after the fact. I couldn't even hear him due to the screaming STILL going on in the background of his household. He said he had and his Dad were watching the game in different rooms because they couldn't take the pressure and were driving each other nuts. When Sundberg came home with that beautiful slide - he had and his Dad came running from opposite parts of the house and lept into each other's arms.

I managed to record that last inning on Tivo off ESPN classic and have had it saved on my Tivo for 5 years. I think I can recite every pitch along with every announcer comment.


Hang in there Rany. If it ever gets better, it will all be worth it.


Oh yeah, and I still remember exactly where I was for the Pine Tar game. Crazy how big of a deal that was.

Anonymous said...

Imagine how sweet it is going to be when the Royals contend. It is only a matter of time. Those of us who grew up in the 70s and 80s remember what it was like. There is no doubt that this is going to happen. It may be awhile, but that is why you have team!

Anonymous said...

Keep the blog going, Rany. Post once a month if you have to. Just keep it going. I'll be checking in everyday anyway.

2 quick points: 1) Gordon didn't have the break-out year we all wanted. He did improve. I think we are all so desparate for a hero that we forget that this is a very hard game. Gordon became a better baseball player in 2008. If he continues to improve, we'll have our hero yet.

2) Early in the 2003 season when Ken Harvey hit that home-run in the extras to win the game, people were in the parking lot yelling and screaming and honking their horns like we just won the World Series (off point, but that was THE BEST baseball game I've ever been too. Freaking Awesome!). This is a great baseball town with great baseball fans. We'll go crazy when we win. Stick around to see it!

devil_fingers said...

Love the blog Rany, keep it up.

One note: can Ramon Ramirez get a little love? His FIP, xFIP, and tRA+ (Stat Corner's park and league-adjusted version of FIP) were all clearly superior to Soria's. He pitched more innings. I don't know why VORP doesn't show it (maybe trouble with walks?), but pRAA has him 5 runs more valuable than Soria this year. Out of qualified relievers, Ramirez is 3rd in pRAA, behind only Rivera and Papelbon.

Aside from the fact that this shows the silliness of the "Soria must remain a closer" crowd, can we at least recognize his accomplishments. Think about it: according to Stat Corner b/pRAA stats, he's the third most valuable Royals pitcher (behind Greinke and ol' Gil), the third most valuable Royals player, and the third most valuable reliever in the AL. I guess all he doesn't have is the ERA (after wins and saves, the most annoyingly stupid way to evaluate pitchers) , the cool nickname, or the lame-ass theme song from the late 1980s.

Team RamRod now!

Anonymous said...

Rany,

I just wanted to say thanks for all the work you have put in this season. I really hope you keep the blog going because it's been a pleasure to stop by every day just to check if a new post went up. In my opinion, having fans of other teams consider your blog about our Royals a must read is the ultimate compliment. And it's well deserved.

On behalf of all the regulars on this site: Thanks again for your time and effort. It's much appreciated.

Douglas said...

Rany,

Long-time reader, love the blog, keep it up. I grew up in KC in the 70's and was spoiled by the great teams and Kauffman's passion (and pocketbook) in building and maintaining a winner. You may have noted it, but the team with the highest payroll in baseball in 1994 was the Royals. While I don't expect this team to compete with Yankee dollars, there's no reason that Butler, Gordon, and Greinke can't continue to develop, get locked into long-term contracts, and hope more great players come up through the pipeline (if they can pluck soria from rule 5, they can find others). I see no reason why this team could not be competitive next season -- in a division where 85+ wins might win, the Royals could be in the thick of it. I look forward to your thoughts, Rany, and an interesting off-season. Besides the end of 2003, this is the first time since Kauffman was alive that there seems to be some real hope, a sense that the franchise has some stability and a goal to actually win. I'm excited.

Chris C said...

Thank you for keeping the blog running through the off-season. I don't know what I'd do without it. You are the best journalist writing on the Royals. Keep up the good work Rany!

Brad said...

Rany,

I've been a constant reader but never really commented until now. This blog is great and I do hope that you continue it next year. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Rany, it is a blessing to have someone like you who is willing to spend the time and energy blogging so intelligently about this terrible team we all love so much.

I was 11 years old in '85 and had already been a die-hard royals fan for several years. I screamed myself hoarse during game six of the World Series, and could still barely speak when my family and I piled into the car and headed to the stadium for game seven. We weren't able to get tickets to the game, but we did get a spot in the parking lot. So the four of us stayed in the car, crowded around a battery-powered Sony Watchman TV with a 2.5-inch black-and-white screen, straining our eyes to watch the action. With our windows rolled down we could hear the screams and feel the energy pouring from the stadium. It was an amazing feeling that I will never forget.

I hope you continue this blog long enough to record the next time it happens...

Syd

RickMcKc said...

Rany, thanks for blogging about our Royals this summer. I appreciate your efforts!

N. J. Thomas said...

Rany, I just want to echo everyone else in saying thank you. I'm like you, in that I didn't really get into the team until it was too late, but I guess I managed to luck out, as I didn't religiously start following until 2006. I was fan well before that, but an extremely casual one.

I can even tell you the first game I went to. It was a perfect Royals game. It was raining. The game kept starting and stopping.

All of a sudden, the bases were loaded and Reggie Sanders stepped up to the plate. I couldn't tell you the pitch count. I couldn't tell you who was pitching or who was on base. I only remember that Sanders hit a grand slam, but that the game was called a little while later before it became official.

Such has been the life of a Royals fan. You think, "Maybe this time," but you are always wrong.

Nevertheless, September really did feel good. Maybe this time...

Anonymous said...

Nice job this season. I enjoyed everything you posted. Has anyone seen the Burgos story? Thank God for that trade!

Siberian Khatru said...

Rany -- Longtime listener, first-time caller.

Ditto on pretty much what everyone has said here.

I've been a Royals fan since '75 (I'm 42). Missouri-born, but grew up elsewhere, so I didn't get to listen to the Royals on radio except during summers spent in MO with grandparents. Moved back in '83, went to college at MU, so I got to experience the '85 Series on campus -- surrounded by obnoxious Cardinal fans.

I really got spoiled 76-85, I grew up just always expecting the Royals to contend. The last 15-20 years have been difficult, but I've been around this long, I might as well stick around for when we FINALLY get back over the hump.

Thanks for all you do, and to all the fellow Royals fans who post here. This is one of my must-read/check every day sites.

K'evin said...

Ditto. Grew up in KC and fan since at least '75. I remember crying at the end of '76 and '77.

Been living away since '92 and barely keeping up with this lousy team, just casually. But, I subscribed to mlb.com in 3/07 determined to get back into this and do my part to push the Royals back into the elite level. I've watched 90% of the games these last two years.

It is great to come to your blog and read your analysis and interact with the passion and energy of all the other fans here. Keep it up.

john said...

Good work. Keep it up.

Dave Farquhar said...

Thanks for a good year's worth of analysis, Rany.

It's been a very long drought. My earliest Royals memories date to the early 1980s, and back then, if the Royals finished second, it was a bad year. If George Brett hit .310, it was a bad year.

But 1985 was pure magic. The Royals weren't supposed to be good that year (or in '84 either), but more often than not their pitching was good enough to give up fewer runs than Brett could drive in, and Howser always managed to coax the team back from the brink. I remember going places and seeing Royals merchandise prominently displayed for sale. People wore Royals hats and shirts. The town dyed its fountains blue. It was electric.

I went to a game in 1996, and the atmosphere was dead. I've been in libraries that were louder than that place. The team had no direction and everyone could see it. Bob Boone sent up some scrub to pinch-hit for Johnny Damon in that game, and I think I was the only one there who cared.

I went again in the summer of 2003, and some of that sparkle from 1985 was back. It was fun while it lasted. In the five years since, there've been times the team showed promise, and times they didn't look like they were trying.

I think this is progress. And a lot of the 'roided up players are fading away, so the playing field is more level now than it's been in 10 years. Given a couple more good draft classes, this team might finally turn things around.

Shelby said...

Thank you Rany!


Please, please, please.......don't stop this blog ever. Ever.

Antonio said...

.264/.300/.438 was just a few points off his projection of .280/.335/.446

Slugging is obvious, but I'm going to call 35 points of OBP to be pretty huge.

Anonymous said...

Rany, I've never commented before but I want to thank you for this blog. I always apprecite your thoughts and data.

I became a Royals fan in 1976, at age 11, when my family drove down to KC from Iowa so I could see my first ever MLB game. What a great year to become a Royals fan! The fun was just beginning.

There have been many times in the past 15 years or so that I have tried to revoke my status as a Royals fan. But I can't. I still follow every move, keep track of all the kids in the minors and somehow convince myself that better times are coming. Maybe this time they really are.

Either way, being able to read a blog like this reassures me that I am not alone. Thanks again.

ray ray said...

Rany, thank you. For us that bleed Blue your blog is a must. Please keep truckin' and soon enough, we will be playing in the post season again.

BobDD said...

Thank you Rany. I've been a loyal Cardinals fan for over 50 years - Musial thru Pujols! But from the old days of R&RotR, plus the recent addtion of the greatest living American writer, Joe Poz, I've somehow become an adopted Royals fan in addition. Is that even legal? As long as you let me privately curse Denkinger once a year, I'll stay.

Isaac said...

The "Call" meant nothing. Orta was thrown out at third later in the inning and never scored.

Rany, this blog has been the best thing I have experienced as a Royals fan outside of the Royals themselves. I have read every one of your posts and check this blog every day.

I am lucky enough to be old enough to have experienced every one of the good years from 76 on. I feel sorry for those of you who did not get that experience. I also have respect for you to have stuck around anyways. I never lived in KC myself but have always followed them because my father's family is from KC.

I also think it's cool that fans of other teams read a blog devoted to a team other than their own. That's proof you have made it big.

One piece of advice. One good month does not a team make. Let's not get too excited quite yet. Hillman still manages using the same philosophy which stinks. He actually had a guy sac bunt in the second in one of the last games of the year. You never know what DM will do this off season and you never know who will underperform and who will have career years next year. As Rany says, this team has suffered from schizophrenia. Unlike what Rany says, that hasn't ended just because we ended the year on a high note.

A special note to Matt S. Chambliss hit the HR in 76.

Wabbitkiller said...

Rany,

Some of us are old enough and have been following the Royals long enough to actually remember the days when they actually MADE the post season. I'm 37 years old, so I remember everything clearly from about 1978 on. I remember 1976 as well, but it's a little more spotty.

In 1980 I skipped recess to watch the Royals play the Phillies in the WS (yes they actually played DAY GAMES in the WS back then), and I skipped school to go to the parade when they won it all in 1985.

Now it's only my opinion, but I think that I've got it worse than you do because I can actually REMEMBER when the Royals were one of the model, arguably elite franchises in MLB. As a result I've had to endure more disappointment because my expectations were so high once the Royals started their skid into oblivion. Even worse, I'm utterly incapable of letting go of the Royals because their success is intertwined with my childhood. I'm not alone, most Kansas City sports fans that are my age share my plight.

All of that being said, this is the first time in a LONG time that I can honestly say that I feel the Royals are moving in the right direction, and because of that (along with the Chiefs SUCKING this year) I'm already looking forward to lete Feb early March and the beginning of spring training.

I also want to thank you for posting your blog. A lot of people (more than you probably realize) read and enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Rany, thanks for the blog. I hope you find time to keep it up.

Glen, from Oswego said...

For a kid growing up in Oklahoma back in the '70s, Royals baseball was not user-friendly. Too many Guy's Potato Chip commercials. You had to wait for the post-game show to get out-of-town scores. The Sporting News came only once a week. The stations in Coffeyville and Topeka would fade out during the 7th-8th innings, and would be unlistenable when thunderstorms were in the area. We saw the Royals four, maybe five times a year on NBC or the occasional Monday Night Baseball telecast with Howard Cosell -- and that's only because they were perennial contenders.

Even under those barbaric conditions, I'd put up with it all over again to see (hear) the Royals matter again. I would trade in my iPhone, my 162-game DirecTV game package and, unfortunately, even your blog, Rany, if I could relive that excitement someday.

Anonymous said...

Mike Barnett has been fired.

Praise the lord.

N.A.R.B. said...

Rany, Please don't stop the blog. Scale back if you must, but don't hang us high and dry.

Can't you see we need this!

Chaim Mattis Keller said...

The Brewers' drought, going into this year, was 3 years longer than the Royals'. If the Royals can make it to the playoffs by 2010 (which is not an entirely unreasonable projection), then our playoff-less period will have been shorter than Milwaukee's.

Not to mention, they switched to the weaker league and still took 10 years to do it.

Antonio said...

The NL hasn't been the weaker league for every single year of the last decade. It's cyclical. The NL Central has been pretty tough since the Brewers moved there.

Antonio said...

The NL hasn't been the weaker league for every single year of the last decade. It's cyclical. The NL Central has been pretty tough since the Brewers moved there.

Anonymous said...

Bye bye to Silverio and Barnett --- the organization just improved over night!

Anonymous said...

Hey Rany keep the blog going it is nice to read about the Royals from someone outside the organzation

GeorgeM said...

I appreciate your blog, too. However, saying that doesn't make me any less a freeloader. :) I can't speak for everyone else on here, but I would not be offended if you had ads on here.

Ryan said...

Some non-contending team made a claim on Oakland A's reliever, Huston Street after the waiver deadline. The A's are supposedly in talks with that team about trading Street. It could be half the league, but I wonder if it was the Royals, and they traded for Street, would they make the move and put Soria in the starting line up?

That's a huge hypothetical I know.

Also, with Posnanski's column on Dayton Moore's vow for changes and emphasis on on-base percentage, I hope that means the rumors that he likes Jeff Francoeur prove to be false. Francouer's career .OBP is .312.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I'd part with some prospects for Street. Nobody knows better than us how unlikely it is for them to actually arrive and contribute. Wait, maybe Billy Beane knows better than us. Damn. Still, I think I'd trade one, two, or all of the Wood-Johnson-Pimentel trio for Street. I know this is seriously suspect reasoning, but think how much better things might be if we'd traded Chris George, Jimmy Gobble, and countless other "prospects" before they'd lost 98% of their shiny-prospect goodness.

KCDC said...

Holy wow, Fox News KC broke a story today that's making national headlines...and it's reminded me of the post earlier this year about Rany's friend being pulled from Obama's campaign.

The story: a children's doll is being recalled for doing some baby mumbling that if you're listening for it, sounds vaguely like it's saying, "Islam is the light." The recall is fine; dolls probably shouldn't be promoting specific religions, regardless of intent, without, you know informing prospective customers.

The crazy part: Fox News KC's headline for this recall story is "Doll Pulled from Shelves for Spouting Hate." What? Would we say the doll "spouts hate" if it instead mumbled something resembling "Christ died for our sins?"

I understand that the story also mentions possible Satanic messages, but no aspect of this portion of the story was covered in any detail, and having listened to the audio file the doll plays, there's nothing else that even remotely resembles language. This story is about an American doll unintentionally sounding like it promotes Islam. And the headline says "Spouting Hate."

Has our little corner of the world lost touch with reality so much that our NEWS SOURCES can now use the concepts of "Islam" and "hate" interchangibly? This headline is absolutely terrifying.

Here's the link. If you're as frightened and disgusted as I am, please write Fox and let them know.

http://www.myfoxkc.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail;jsessionid=55F788387D468BD62FE8874C7D39CDB6?contentId=7588089&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=1.1.1&sflg=1

KCDC said...

More compact link:

http://www.myfoxkc.com/myfox/pages/ContentDetail?contentId=7588089

Anonymous said...

Let's stick to baseball.

Anonymous said...

So the Royals hired Kevin Seitzer as the new hitting coach.

Good news, or best news ever?

Anonymous said...

It's great news! Now maybe we will take a walk once in a while!

CAM said...

Rany,

I was a little tardy to your blog. I did not know about it until halfway through the season, but I have gone through the archives and read every post so far. Please keep it up through the offseason as much as you can. It's a must-check every day for loyal Royals fans.

Having someone who is a fan of the team give you in-depth information is much better than some guy on TV who knows baseball but doesn't really care that much about your team.

Again, thank you so much for your perspectives this season and here's to a busy offseason!

Tom said...

I'm a Red Sox fan, but your blog has gotten me into the Royals, to the point that I've almost adopted them as a second team. I love your writing and your passion for the game and the team, and when the Royals finally do make the playoffs again, I will definitely be rooting for them. Keep up the wonderful work on the blog, sir!