Thursday, May 7, 2009

Game On.

(Remember to tune in this evening at 7 PM; listen live at 810whb.com. Royals’ Assistant GM Dean Taylor is scheduled to be our guest this evening.)

I’ve always felt that for all the advantages that come with having access to a team, in the sense of being a beat writer or a reporter or at least having graduated from J-school, the biggest advantage of my lack of access – of being an outsider – is the luxury of being able to take a step back from the day-to-day minutiae of baseball, and analyze things from a distance. Perspective is hard to obtain from up close.

Well, this year I’ve started to shed the “outsider” label just a little. It’s been a tremendous opportunity to have a radio show and to have access to people inside the game. But it’s also made me so focused on keeping up with every Trey Hillman decision and the ebb and flow of every single game, every single day, that maybe I’ve been missing the big picture just a little bit.

So I took a step back after last night’s game and realized: dammit, we’re good. The Royals are 17-11, which as Bob Dutton pointed out is the first time the Royals are six games* over .500 since the end of the 2003 season. As Will McDonald points out, the Royals could lose their next 36 games in a row and still be ahead of their pace from 2006, just three years ago.

*: “Games over .500” is a very vague term in the way it’s used; some people will say a team that’s 82-80 is two games over .500, while others will say they’re one game over .500. The second answer is technically true, because a team that’s 82-80 is one game ahead of a team that’s exactly .500 (81-81). However, the first answer is usually what people mean. My personal method is to use “games over .500” to denote half-games – in other words, (wins – losses). When I want the second meaning, I’ll use “full games over .500”. At 17-11, the Royals are three full games over .500, which means if they play .500 the rest of the season, they’ll finish with (81 + 3 =) 84 wins.

All the hair-pulling over Trey Hillman’s decisions in April obscured the fact that the most important job for any manager isn’t pushing the right buttons in the late innings, it’s putting his players in position to succeed in the first place. And the best manager can’t win without the horses. The Royals have the horses. They lead the league in runs allowed. They rank only 9th in runs scored, but given that they’re fifth in the league in slugging average and in on-base percentage, they have the makings of at least a league-average offense. The Royals have won with less.

Zack Greinke gets all the press, and deservedly so. But the Royals have played better than .500 ball in the games that The Big Grein does not start. They lead the American League in Beane Count, a statistic that Rob Neyer invented years ago that distills a team’s performance to the two most immutable categories of the game, homers and walks. And yes, Rob’s put one foot on the bandwagon.

For all the talk about how the Royals have been winning games they never would have won in the past, the fact that the Royals won a couple of close games wasn’t definitive proof that they were a good team. Those of you who have been reading for a while already know this, but the hallmark of a good team is not the ability to win the close games – it’s the ability to win the blowouts. Winning one-run games is mostly a matter of luck; winning the eight-run games is mostly a matter of talent.

What was meaningful about the win against the Twins on Saturday, or against the White Sox on Tuesday, wasn’t that it they were the kinds of wins that characterized good teams; it was that they weren’t the kinds of losses that characterized bad teams. Specifically, bad Royals teams. More specifically, pretty much every Royals team from 1995 to 2007.

So we had, I thought, established over the last week that the Royals were not a bad team. But I looked at last night’s game as a litmus test for whether the Royals were a good team. Against another first-place team that seemed to be playing over its head, against a soft-tossing finesse pitcher who has sucked pretty much non-stop since the end of 2007, a good team would bust out the whooping sticks early and often.

Carlos Silva is exactly the kind of control artist who always seems to throw his best games against the Royals: before last night, he had a 4.10 ERA in 14 career starts against KC, and had walked just five batters in 83 career innings.

The verdict? The Royals grounded into two double plays and left five men on base in the first four innings – and still led 8-0. Sidney Ponson did his best Brian Bannister impression, and the three worst pitchers on the Royals’ roster held the Mariners to one run.

And that’s why I’m here to tell you: game on. This team is good, this team is for real, and it’s time to commit fully and hang on tight all season long. I’m not saying the Royals are going to win the division. But I’m saying that from this moment on, every game has playoff implications.

“Wait a minute,” some of you are saying, “how is this any different than 2003?” To which I can only say, “I knew 2003. 2003 was a friend of mine. This team, sir, is no 2003.”

Y’all remember 2003, don’t you? Tony Pena tossing a coin to decide whether Runelvys Hernandez or Jeremy Affeldt would start on Opening Day? Ken Harvey hitting walkoff homers? Mike MacDougal walking a tightrope every ninth inning? Everything about that season was surreal from the start. NO ONE thought, prior to the season, that the Royals had any hope of contention. Then they started 9-0, and 16-3, and even then the feeling wasn’t “we’re going to win”, it was “we’re winning!” The emotions that I recall were more about living in the moment than in expecting the winning ways to continue. They continued a lot longer than we expected, and when the Royals went into the All-Star break leading the division by seven games, you could actually start to believe that the magic might last into October. But it was still clear that they were winning with magic.

This year, even before the season began people around the game were talking about the Royals as a sleeper contender, to the point where it actually got annoying – the New York Times predicted the Royals to win the division. Those predictions weren’t made because people thought the Royals were well-versed in sorcery; they were made because people thought the Royals had a lot of talent.

Which they do. The Royals’ second-best starter is better than anyone in the rotation in 2003 – or in any year from 1998 to 2006. Their closer is one of the very best in baseball. Their leadoff hitter has a .363 OBP and catches everything in centerfield. Their DH does little but hit homers – but he does hit homers. Their first baseman is hitting .276/.370/.425 and is just scratching the surface of his potential. Their second baseman, batting 7th, is hitting .359 – and while no one thinks he’s a .359 hitter, a lot of people think he’s a .310 hitter. They have Zack Greinke. They have a pitcher who’s 5-0, 1.13 in Omaha and can’t break into the rotation. None of their players are pregnant.

The Royals are 17-11, and they’ve outscored their opponents by 30 runs, which projects to a…17-11 record. They’re winning even with one of their best players on the DL. In the last week, they’ve won games by bashing 11 extra-base hits around the park; by scoring eight runs in five innings off a pair of Quadruple-A pitchers (who were both sent down to Triple-A immediately after the game); by outlasting the Twins on the road with an 11th-inning rally triggered by four walks; by storming back from a 4-0 deficit after six innings with a five-run seventh; by rallying from a 5-1 deficit to the White Sox to win in 11 innings, even after the home plate umpire blew a call on the potential go-ahead run in regulation; and beaten Carlos Silva like the rented mule he is.

Oh, and somewhere in between Greinke threw another shutout.

And in the process of writing this, the Royals have won their sixth straight game. A night after their fifth starter allowed one run in 7.1 innings, their fourth starter throws six shutout innings, striking out seven. Tomorrow the nominal ace of the staff takes the mound. And then the day after that, The Greatest Show in Baseball rolls into Anaheim.

So yeah: it’s on. It’s most definitely on. The Royals are 18-11, they lead the division by 2.5 games, and unlike 2003, I’m not even excited about how they have played. I’m excited by how I think they will play. I think they will play well enough to contend, and maybe even win, the division. I think that it’s going to be the most enjoyable summer for Kansas City sports in a few decades. I think that many of the 32,713 kids who came out to the park this afternoon will be fans for life.

I think that the city is ready to embrace this team. Last night’s game garnered a 7.5 rating, the highest in the history of Fox Sports Kansas City. The previous highest-rated game was…the game before, with a 6.4 rating.

I think that we’re going to have a lot of fun over the next few months. I think that at some point, someone is going to see me walking around suburban Chicago with my Greinke jersey on and accuse me of being a bandwagon fan. I think that my wife is going to feel like a single mother in late September and October.

I think all of this will happen, but I don’t know. But I know one thing.

It’s on. It’s most definitely on.

49 comments:

Matt S said...

Rany please lets not make even farcical references to long losing streaks in any context. The boogeyman isn't that far away yet.

Anonymous said...

If you get the chance tonight, can you talk a little bit about the job that Dave Owen is doing. It seems the several times he's sent players home (Butler, Teahan, etc.) that were out by a ways and even though Maier appeared to be safe on Tuesday, I was a little surprise he sent him based on how far the sacrafice fly was hit - I'm probably in the minority here. I think Luis Silverio was generally too conservative last year but at least he didn't run us into too many pointless outs.

Thanks, can't wait to listen tonight.
JB

anonami said...

I am going to the Greatest show in Basesball. My first Royals game in years comes in So. Cal. And everyone gets to see what we have all been blathering about... Greinke on Saturday! omfg

Anonymous said...

Today's game was a good example of the Royals finding a way to win a tough game. Coco steals 3rd with 2 out, usually not a good play, but he got such a good jump, there was no throw. Then Seattle makes an error allowing him to score when he wouldn't have score from 2nd.

Next run, a single, a sacrifice bunt from our catcher, a single from our 9th place hitter.

We only scored 1 in the 8th when we could have had more, but giving a 3-run lead to Soria gives you lots of confidence. Soria gets the first 2 outs, then starts to struggle. Lo and behold, you find Ichiro Suzuki at the plate, the bases loaded, and a 3-1 lead. Soria doesn't panic, gets him to ground to short. Game over. Imagine Mike MacDougal in the same situation.

Now we head to Anaheim and send Meche, Greinke, and Davies to match up against Matt Palmer, Joe Saunders, and Shane Loux. Plus, Anaheim's best player is on the DL. I think we have a good shot at 9 in a row.

Curtis said...

Well, let's worry about seven. With Meche having some back issues, we can't look beyond tomorrow. I guess we can as fans, but they can't.

Chris said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome post!

Submittal Log said...

Great post Rany...I with you 100%. Game is most definitely on.

Spurs Em On said...

I had chills just reading this. Thanks for the eternal optimism, Rany. It has been a bleak few years, and it is nice to see our suffering starting to be repaid.

Calif fan said...

The team is playing great, but explain one thing to me. At the beginning of the season, there's a four man rotation with Ramirez the fifth "occasional" starter. Now, with Bannister pitching well and Ponson somewhere between marginal and totally sucks, why is not Bannister the four starter and Ponson the "occasional" fifth starter? Why has the team gone to a five man rotation? Over the course of the season won't this cost a net few games for sure?

Isaac said...

Calif fan. The only reason our 5th starter was an occasional starter at the beginning of the first month is because we had off days. We no longer have those off days and therefore, no longer have the option of the occasional 5th starter. No team will ever go with a four man rotation when their pitchers are not getting 4 days rest. Since it is the way it is, whether Banny is 4th or 5th is pretty irrelevant.

BTW, I'm going to be at the Greinke start in Anaheim on Saturday. Woohoo!

Daniel Wesley said...

If the Royals manage to make the playoffs this year, I would literally cry with joy.

It's undeniable that this team is legitimate and has just as much of a chance as anyone else in the division.

However, I can't shake the nagging feeling that a losing streak is just around the corner or that someone like Teahen or Guillen is going to go on the DL. I guess that's what 15 years of futility will do to the psyche.

Casper said...

Has anyone else noticed that while, yes, we're leading the AL Central, we also have the best record in the American League?

BornBredBlue said...

"one of our best players is on the DL"

I hate to say it, but when did Gordon become one of our best players. He is one of our most anticipated, most over-hyped, most hope-he-turns-out-as-good-as-we-want-him-to players. But one of our best?

At this point, I'm not sure that his return, even assuming there is zero lingering effect and he is truly 100%, will help this team significantly. Our primary hole at this point is short and will continue to be so unless Aviles comes around or Jacobs learns to play the position (just kidding).

With Alex's return, how do we may room for him. Teahen is hitting .300, Callaspo is on fire but should settle in at .300+, Butler is heating up and playing well at first. DeJesus, Guillen, and Crisp are solidifying the outfield. (Maybe Teahen will become Greinke's new personal catcher and we can throw Olivo on the scrap heap?!)

Seriously, are we going to platoon Teahen and Callaspo? The Spork will become truly a rarity (what am I saying? I'm sure Hillman will find a way to play him every day.) Will Teahen give more days off to Guillen? If Guillen hits like he should, I hope not.

Someone please provide a solid argument as to why Alex Gordon makes this team better. (Besides the standard wishful thinking based on 'potential'.)

Anonymous said...

There are two reasons why the 1985 team won.

Games Started By Someone Not Named Saberhagen, Gubicza, Jackson, Black, or Leibrandt: 4. (Think about that: 158 games begun by five starters whose LOWEST ERA+ was 96!!!!)

George Brett OPS+: 178

Anonymous said...

Diehard Royals fans, even living in KC, sometimes feel like we're on an island. One of the most exciting things about this is the genuine excitement and obvious buzz it's generating around KC. I went for a run on Tuesday and a few miles into it, I realized that I forgot to pause my DVR, with the Royals behind the White Sox. I was sure we'd come back, and it was all that I could think about. A couple blocks from home, I ran by a house with their windows open, and heard kids yelling with excitement. We just tied it, I thought. A half block from my house, I heard "ohhh!" from another open window. We just stranded some runners, I thought. I walked in my door just in time to see us wrap up the comeback victory. It's really fun being a Royals fan in Kansas City right now.

JWalker said...

@BornBredBlue

Alex hasn't quite lived up to the hype so far, but by the numbers, he was top 3 on the team in HR, RBI, BB (#1 by 20), and OPS last season. His defense wasn't the greatest, but he certainly wasn't a liability. While he started off this year slow, 7 games isn't much to make a judgment from.

I'd say that makes him one of our best players.

rey rey said...

'Its On'...love it Rany.

One negative---our record in 1 run games. Terrible compared to other leading teams

ChaimMKeller said...

Rany, I love this post. Why? Because I like "The Big Grien" about a thousand times better than "the Baseball Jonah." Please, please continue to use the new nickname.

Anonymous said...

"Stat-Minded Player Recalculating VORP Before Every At Bat".

Funny.

Anonymous said...

@BornBredBlue

It is becoming apparent that writing off Alex Gordon as a complete bust has taken a life of its own. A certain radio personality seems to be on a crusade to bad mouth him at every possible opportunity and if that opportunity does not exist he will make it up. This happened the other day when discussing Zack's spring training numbers this year the host correctly pointed out that spring training numbers are irrelevant. He then added that if they were relevant Alex Gordon would be Cactus League MVP every year and then when the real show starts he is a HUGE disappointment.What the host failed to realize in his giddiness to rip AG yet again was that while AG did put up fine spring training numbers they did not even lead the Royals let alone the Cactus League as far as any 'MVP' of said league.
These are the facts as to this point in Alex Gordons career. His rookie year 2007 up until June 4 he was an abysmal .172/.287/.278 the rest of his rookie season was .284/.328/.477 Last year he hit .260/.351/.432 While I will be the first to admit these are NOT red hot out of the gate, franchise savior numbers, they are decent quality numbers. The facts are that he just turned 25 and this is his 3rd season, unfortunately he has gotten hurt and will only have a partial season this year. But given the small sample size of his career the existing numbers are not a bust and while stating that you do not want to hear about potential I am not sure how to address what he will bring to the team other than addressing the potential numbers based on the limited numbers provided by the beginnings of a career. So lets assume he does not progress any further which seems rather ludicrous but lets do that any way. What he brings to the team is good solid major league average fielding for his position and good solid major league average OPS. I personally believe that given he is still a few years away from the age that most all major league players put up their best numbers, he brings a lot to the team and POTENTIALLY more even though you don't want to hear that word.

Kevin said...

To BornBredBlue

I, too, cannot understand this notion that Gordon doesn't deserve a spot on this team when he comes back.

Gordon, if doesn't improve any more from this moment, is still a solid major-league baseball player. And the Royals need as many of those on the team as possible.

But the statistics show that he is making strides. His OPS shot up 58 points from his rookie season. That is a big spike.

That isn't 'wishful thinking'. That's what he did last season.

His walk-rate shows that he's becoming much more selective at the plate.

I find it odd that people will take what Teahen has done over five weeks and favor that over what Gordon did all of last year.

Gordon is one of KC's best players. And it would be in the Royals' best interest to find some place for him in the lineup (either by making Teahen a jack of all trades or finding a trade partner for Guillen or DDJ).

Just because he isn't or may never be Ryan Braun or Evan Longoria doesn't mean Gordon is a piece of lint we need to brush off our shirt. We need players like Alex Gordon if we want to win the AL Central.

Brett said...

"But the Royals have played better than .500 ball in the games that The Big Grein does not start."

"And then the day after that, The Greatest Show in Baseball rolls into Anaheim."

Are you dropping "The Baseball Jonah," Rany? I'm firmly in the camp* of liking the nickname; it's the type of nickname that would never go mainstream, but I like seeing it here. As far as a mainstream nickname, Zack doesn't need one**. He's just Zack. I know who I'm talking about, you know who I'm talking about, and any intelligent baseball fan knows who I'm talking about.

*I don't know if that camp actually exists, or if it's just me.

**Especially not one as bad as the suggestions on FSKC during his last start.

As for Gordon returning, Anonymous already covered some of this: he had a .783 OPS (110 OPS+) last season. The only current Royals who had a higher OPS last season are Aviles (struggling in his second year), DeJesus (also in a bit of a slump to star the season, but he should bounce back), and Jacobs. So I think that makes him "one of our best players." More to the point of how he'll improve the team, think of it this way: currently if someone needs a night off, it's Bloomquist who gets inserted into the lineup. He's played great so far, but I don't think anyone (including Bloomquist, Moore, or Hillman) expects him to finish the season batting .380 or slugging .530. So when Gordon gets back, no matter who you have starting where, an off day for one guy probably leads to a lineup that's still as good as the current starting lineup, and better than a lineup with Bloomquist after he inevitably regresses.

Wow, that paragraph is painful to read. But hopefull you get my point.

Anonymous said...

When Gordon returns I think they move DeJesus. They like Teahen's attitude and versatility too much to trade him. Moving Guillen would be next to impossible with his contract, plus we need his right handed bat. As much as I like DeJesus I think he is the odd man out. Trade him for a left handed reliever and a SS upgrade because Aviles seems to be the weak link.

Anonymous said...

It's On, like Donkey Kong! We are on a roll, and we do deserve the record we have so far, but I don't see our pitching staying this outstanding (still very good though), and our hitting is probably going to bounce between 12th-17th in runs MLB.

I still think we are going to have to trade for an impact bat somewhere, but what position? SS is where we need it the most, as our curse of sophomore slumps seems to be continuing, but is trading for an impact bat w/power at SS even possible? What other position would we put an impact bat at in a trade, and what kind of hitter does everyone think we need? I think everyone would probably say a power guy with decent OBP, probably a Righty with decent splits. I still don't know what position we'd put him at, but I'd assume this type of player would be a corner IF/OF. Which means either DeJesus, Guillen, Teahen, Gordon, Jacobs, Butler would have to be involved in the trade or sit...they are all too good to just 'sit', and there is already a log jam, so who would be most likely to be traded? Also, if a team wants to trade a bat for a bat, I'd assume they want to go younger and cheaper, nobody's going to take Guillen's salary. I think that what will end up happening is that they will get Gordon back and let him play towards the beg-middle of July until mid-late August (depending on how the team is doing in the standings), and if Gordon starts to hit (and depending on how the offenese is going as a whole, if we still need a bat, or maybe Bam Bam Butler is fully unleashed at this point and we're fine) we trade Gordon and a couple minor leaguers for a power 3B bat, mix in Teahen at RF and 2B, and play for 1st. However, this would still take AB's away from Callaspo, Guillen, Butler/Jacobs (if Guillen DH's), and Bloomquist, and how much are you really gaining of you do that??...guess it depends on how their hitting holds up and what bat we are getting. Does anybody know of a SS impact bat that we could 'potentially' trade for? I only think this corner IF/OF will happen if we still need a bat, and Gordon isn't hitting. HOWEVER, I HOPE that if they do trade for a bat then a player that is confident/clutch under pressure (been to the playoffs) is as important as a HR hitter, because come playoff time I don't want to see our youngsters think their Miles Davis and pee in their pants.

Please, enough with the Zack Greinke nicknames, every one of them I've heard is awful. I like a good nickname, but not EVERYONE on the team has to have one. I think Zack, or Greinke, or 'gasp' Zack Greinke works best.

-KCLoneStar

ps-yes, it was a Billy Madison reference

Dave said...

Here's another Billy Madison reference for you. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Anonymous said...

There is no way the Royals should trade DeJesus. He has signed a reasonable contract, a very solid player and definitely has the positive leadership this team will need down the stretch.

Also, he's one of the few Royals that lives in KC year round. This is a guy that if he wants to (and all indications are that he does) should be a lifelong Royal. He developed in the system, signed a contract extension beyond his arbitration years, and is in the community.

Anonymous said...

How about General Z as a nickname.

Kevin said...

DDJ is signed only through next year. He has a club option in 2011 that is $6 million.

DDJ is solid player. There is absolutely no doubt about that.

But if you were to give me a choice of player to trade: DDJ or Gordon. I would choose DDJ.

I really don't care is someone lives here year-round. That's a nice thing, but it really doesn't make me root harder for someone over another.

Curtis said...

Now that Banny has the second-lowest ERA in the American League among starters (min 4 starts), I think it is time to resurrect Greinke and the Brain.

Bring on the Angels!

D.W. said...

Looks like Casper thinks "American" League means Canada is excluded.

Seriously, though, this post gave me chills too. Thanks for the good stuff, Rany!

Anonymous said...

Damn Straight! Thank you Dayton Moore for creating meaningful baseball in KC.

Anonymous said...

What I love the most about this years Royals is that they are showing toughness. For too many years they allowed teams to walk all over them when they should have fought back. Olivo is a great example of this. If only they could get Billy Butler to be more of a professional. He should have ran over that guy on the double play yesterday. He's too soft and that just doesn't go for his body. I want to see some players throw down this season.

Rickter said...

Concerning the difference between '03 and '09:

In '03, a team that had lost a franchise record 100 in '02 had not done much to improve in the off season. The '09 team is three years removed from it's last hopeless season (much like the '06 Tigers), during which consistent moves have been made to improve the talent of the team, and improvement is expected.

Similarly, as 2003 progressed, I recall there was a problem with pitcher health, and by the end of the year, the staff was a shambles. Last year, 4 starters currently on the major league roster never missed a start although Davies did spend time in Omaha for performance reasons. This leads us to expect that we might have a situation where we never have to replace a starter for injury reasons, and when Hochevar returns to KC will be when the major league team decides, not when injury dictates.

Third, the '03 team just felt like they was the lucky beneficiary of a scheduling fluke that went their way as 12 of the 16 wins in their 16-3 start came at home or against Detroit. This year, the team has won 3 out of 4 road series, and has wone 4 of 6 home series.

Concerning raised expectations, while it puts the heat on the Coach, that has made the GM's job easier, because he should be finding it easier to convince players to sign free agent deals, and fans have been very quick to get out to the stadium, which will hopefully keep the team out of the red financially, and allow him to convince the owner to do what needs to be done in July and next off season. But in '03, when the team was still winning, the front office threw off the 'rebuilding' tag, and sacrificed the future for the present. This front office on the other hand has shown, by the team's consistent improvement over 3 years, that they have a plan, and we are successfully seeing the next progression that we were promised with GMDM's signing 3 years ago.

Chance said...

OMG Dave, I was just getting ready with that very quote. Hell-arious. Here's a fun game, go through the batting order and pick a spot where you can REASONABLY expect to uprgade through trade for any of our "tradeable" players. Position players only, not pitchers. Fact is, if there was a power hitting, reasonably good defensive shortstop out there, we don't have what it takes to trade for him. And we already have too many corner infielders to try and find at bats for, and more in the minors. My suggestion: trade Butler for pitching and put Gordon at 1st when he comes back. Heck, Teahen won't last long at 3rd anyway when Moose-tacos matures, so ride him for few more years. I like Butler, especially lately, but he is our only trade nugget. Most other teams don't have the logjam at 1b that we do.

Anonymous said...

I'll give you DeJesus is a great guy and a loyal player. But if you had to trade one this year, would you trade DeJesus or Teahen? Given Teahen's versatility and baserunning ability (this year's blunder or two aside) I think Teahen is the more complete player and thus the more valuable of the two. Their offensive ability is not that different. DeJesus hits for higher average, Teahen has more power. In addition, Teahen is more durable. Too bad he can't play SS......

Rickter said...

Kevin, could you explain how a club option in 2011 is 'not signed?' A club option is exactly what we should want for every contract. You know he's playing for you and for how much, except it's not guaranteed. Just think if Guillen were signed last year to a 1 year contract with two club options for this year and next. If Dayton decided that he didn't think keeping Guillen was worth the hassle of his aging body and attitude, he could cut him without losing the 24 million in the club option years, yet we'd have right of refusal for his services for each of those years.

As regards DeJesus' contract, after next year, we will renew him for 2011 (assuming good performance until then), and then trade him or sign him to another contract that extends his time in KC.

Adrian said...

Count me among the people who wouldn't mind seeing "The Baseball Jonah" go away.

I just bought tickets for the Royals' game next Wednesday in Oakland. I might be writing my own Banny log.

Anonymous said...

Greinke and the Brain...priceless!

Brett said...

"However, this would still take AB's away from Callaspo, Guillen, Butler/Jacobs (if Guillen DH's), and Bloomquist, and how much are you really gaining of you do that?"

True. The #1 priority when thinking about positional alignments, possible trades, etc., should be to make sure we don't take at bats away from Bloomquist.

/sarcasm

Anonymous said...

Rany,
Long, long time Royals fan (I remember a 24-year-old George Brett hitting two homers against the Yankees during Spring training in my beloved Ft. Myers, FL), and I cannot agree with your post any more than I do ... we have an incredible team. I just wonder if (after many, many years of being, essentially, a farm club for the rest of MLB) we can keep this group together for an extended period of time. I know, I know, it's too early to think "dynasty," but, after watching our talent being sold or free-agented off time and time again, how do we maintain any optimism?

Carl Willingham said...

To nitpick, when is Hillman going to move Guillen down in the lineup. How many times does Butler have to hit a double in the gap and see Guillen barely at 3b when he gets to second for this to change. Even the announcers said something about that. The flyball miscue was just a mistake and the guy is playing hurt, for it to be called a homerun is crazy. It's like all official scorers think that errors will kill a guys career but a few earned runs to the ERA is no big deal. Crazy. Even the home scorer gives hits to the opposition on anything questionable. Finally, after a year of doing some great announcing, Frank White morphed into Joe Morgan last night, cliches and telling us how losing Manny will allow Juan Pierre to bring his on base and baserunning skills to the lineup. He had several other "interesting" quotes as well. Hope it's a one time abberation.

Anonymous said...

If there was any question whether this team needs Gordon back, Guillen's on-going adventures in right field, highlighted by last night's outrageous inside the park homer, should have answered it. As iffy as Teahen can look out in the outfield sometimes, he'd still be a vast improvement. Frankly I don't even care what happens to Guillen after he's out of the field. Bench him, DH him with Butler/Jacobs platooning at first, just cut him outright and eat the salary, trade him for pennies on the dollar if you can, whatever. His only defensive asset is his arm, which is useless unless he can actually get to the damn ball in the first place. He's always been a disaster in the field and it's about time to address it.

Nathan said...

I agree with Frank White that we should just call Greinke Zack. Most of the suggested nicknames I've heard are terrible to the point of disbelief. Did you all see the ones they had the TV audience vote on the other night? Zack Attack? ZackTastic?? The Zackinator??? Groooan. Nobody would ever use such a nickname naturally and feel proud about it. I can almost taste the self-loathing without even mouthing the words.

The Baseball Jonah is at least a witty reference, but it's a little cumbersome.

Greinke and the Brain is funny, though.

Shelby said...

Royals make the Onion:


http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/royals_unable_to_find?utm_source=a-section

Anonymous said...

Three outstanding starts wasted.

Anonymous said...

The Royals are putting Soria on the DL, bringing up Hochevar, and moving Ponson to the bullpen.

Anonymous said...

Rany, are you sure you don't want to pull this post off now?

Anonymous said...

Game off.

Anonymous said...

Game still off.