Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Breaking Point.


Oh, how I long for the halcyon days when Nick Swartz was my greatest concern.


When the Royals were mad at me instead of the other way around.


Look, I could count all the stars in the sky and all the fish in the sea, and I still don’t think I will have calmed down. Sorry, mom. I actually finished writing this last night at midnight, but decided to sleep on it and read through it again in the morning. I’m afraid the sleep didn’t do me any good.

Eight years ago this July, the day the Royals traded Jermaine Dye for Neifi Perez, I came on Kevin Kietzman’s show and the first words out of my mouth were, “I have never been more embarrassed to be a Royals fan than I am right now.”

I wouldn’t say I feel as embarrassed at this very moment as I did that day. But in every other way, this moment is perhaps the lowest point I have ever reached as a Royals fan. I have never been more disheartened than I am right now. I have never been more disillusioned as than I am right now. I have never been more angry than I am right now.

It's almost like the Royals are openly mocking me. I might have been the one analyst in the world who was curious to see what Jeff Francoeur would look like in a Royals uniform, but on the day that Francoeur was traded – to the Mets for Ryan Church in a my-garbage-for-your-trash deal – the Royals found a way to trade for one of the few starting players in baseball who is worse than Francoeur is. According to Fangraphs, only eight players with at least 200 plate appearances have a lower Wins Above Replacement rating than Francoeur's -0.6 (yes, negative). One of those, naturally, is Yuniesky Betancourt.

Betancourt, in fact, ranks fourth-worst, ahead of only Brian Giles (whose career is, if not dead, then cryogenically frozen), the overmatched Emmanuel Burriss…and – I have to laugh – Jose Guillen.

For the privilege of acquiring one of the worst everyday players in the major leagues – and a contract that runs at least through 2011 – the Royals surrendered one of their top prospects in Danny Cortes, and an intriguing if low-upside arm in Derrick Saito.

There are some trades that look lopsided at first glance, but then you look at it from different angles, you start talking to people inside the game, and you start to think, okay, it’s a bad deal, but I can understand the team’s rationale. This is not one of those trades. This is a trade that makes you more and more dumbfounded the more you contemplate it. It’s like a defective Magic Eye poster.

Yuniesky Betancourt is a terrible baseball player. He hits for a decent average, yes. That sums up his baseball skills. He doesn’t hit for much power – he has never reached double digits in home runs. He doesn’t have much speed – he has 24 stolen bases in 44 attempts in his career. His plate discipline is positive Olivo-esque – his career high in walks is 17. And he plays terrible defense – according to Ultimate Zone Rating, he ranks dead last among all major league shortstops, an evaluation shared by essentially every advanced fielding metric.

Oh, and he’s 27 years old – the age when most players peak – only he’s actually had the worst year of his career so far, hitting just .250/.278/.330 and putting up the worst defensive numbers of his career.

Betancourt should not be starting at shortstop for any team in the major leagues. It’s questionable whether he should be a backup player in the majors. If Betancourt had been released by the Mariners (and there’s a possibility they might have done that this off-season), it would have been a tough call as to whether the Royals should have even signed him for the major league minimum.

The Royals will not be paying Betancourt the league minimum. While the Mariners have kicked in about $3 million over the remainder of his contract, Betancourt is due about $1 million the rest of this season, $3 million in 2010, $4 million in 2011, and a $2 million buyout in 2012 (unless they’d like to pick up his $6 million option). The Royals are on the hook for $7 million guaranteed to Betancourt over the next two-and-a-half seasons.

Oh, but it gets better. Cortes, who was the surprise breakout prospect acquired in the Mike MacDougal deal, entered the season ranked by Baseball America as the Royals’ #3 prospect overall. He has struggled this season, primarily with his command – he has walked 50 batters in 80 innings, with only 57 strikeouts, in a repeat performance in Double-A. On the other hand, he has allowed just three homers, and actually has a respectable 3.92 ERA. More importantly, he’s still just 22 years old – he’s four months younger than Aaron Crow. He might not have been the Royals’ #3 prospect anymore, but he still had a promising future, if not as a starter than certainly as a power reliever.

Saito was a minor steal out of the 16th round last season; the Royals signed him to a six-figure bonus because despite standing just 5’9”, he threw in the low 90s with a funky arm angle. In 52 innings for Burlington, he had 53 strikeouts against just 15 walks, and lefties were hitting .196 against him. He has LOOGY possibilities if nothing else.

So, to recap: the Royals traded for one of the worst starting players in baseball; they agree to pick up most of his incredibly over-priced contract that runs for at least two more full seasons; they surrendered a very good prospect and another decent arm for the privilege.

I promised last time that I would try not to make my criticisms personal, so I’m not going to say that Dayton Moore is a moron, a pinhead, or an intellectual cripple. I have no doubt that Dayton Moore is a very smart man. So what I will say instead is that yesterday, a very smart man made one of the dumbest moves in the history of the Kansas City Royals. And that’s saying something.

The Royals will defend this move by saying that they had a huge hole to fill at shortstop. To which I would reply, yes, you had a huge hole at shortstop, and guess what? You still have a huge hole at shortstop.

Seventeen years ago the Royals protected David Howard in the expansion draft over Jeff Conine because, in their words, without him they wouldn’t have a shortstop. Well, Howard would go on to prove that even with him they didn’t have a shortstop.

Eight years ago, when the Royals traded for Neifi Perez, they argued that with Rey Sanchez about to leave for free agency – Sanchez had already refused the Royals’ offer of a long-term deal, which turned out to be a really dumb idea on his part – they risked being left without a shortstop. Well, the Royals spent the next season-and-a-half playing Neifi Perez, but they still didn’t have a shortstop.

And today, the Royals traded prospects in order to acquire a major-league shortstop. Well, yes, technically Betancourt is a major-league shortstop – he is stationed on that part of the field where the shortstop usually stands, and he does play in the major leagues. But in terms of whether he ought to be a major-league shortstop, he’s no more a major-league shortstop than any of a dozen guys subsisting on clubhouse cold cuts and Taco Bell in Triple-A.

You would think that the Royals, of all teams, would know enough to stay away from Betancourt, because it wasn’t that long ago that they gave a long-term contract to his doppelganger and suffered the consequences. That’s right: Yuniesky Betancourt is the Cuban Angel Berroa.

Betancourt is 27 years old, the same age that Berroa was in 2005, when it was already clear that his long-term contract was a huge mistake. Compare Betancourt’s career numbers to Berroa’s career numbers through 2005. Betancourt had a slightly higher career average (.279 to .272). But Berroa had more power – he had reached double digits in homers twice, while Betancourt’s career high is nine, and Berroa had the higher career slugging average (.399 to .393). Berroa also had the higher OBP (.317 to .302), because – as hard as it is to believe – he was by far the more patient of the two. Berroa drew 29 walks his rookie season, and even in 2005 he drew 18 walks – Betancourt, playing in over 150 games each year from 2006 to 2008, never drew more than 17 walks. Berroa had speed early in his career, stealing 21 bases as a rooke, while Betancourt has never had more than 11 steals in a season.

(You don’t think that it’s fair to compare Betancourt to Berroa? Fine, let’s try another comparison. Betancourt’s career numbers: .279/.302/.393. Neifi Perez’s career numbers through age 27: .279/.311/.405. We can do this all day, people.)

Betancourt and Berroa share another similarity, in that they both came into the league with very strong defensive reputations, but after their rookie seasons they started to put on weight and lost lateral mobility, and their defensive numbers went south along with the scouting reports.

I’m not prepared to argue definitively as to whether Betancourt today is a better player than Angel Berroa was in 2005. I don’t have to – all that matters is that I’m actually debating whether Betancourt is a better player than Angel Berroa was. If the Royals could have found a team willing to take Berroa’s contract – which, like Betancourt’s, ran for two more seasons – they would have jumped at it, prospects be damned. But four years later, Dayton Moore is so eager to reprise the Angel Berroa era that he gave up real talent to do so.

The biggest difference between Betancourt and Berroa, frankly, is that while Berroa (to his credit) maintained a positive disposition to the end, Betancourt was benched just a month ago for lack of hustle. Look at these quotes:

Betancourt, who has had meetings with his manager and coaches all season, insists he's doing nothing different now than ever.

“I’ve been doing the same routine for years,” Betancourt said. “I can’t control the lineup. I’m doing whatever I’ve done in the past.”

That, of course, may well be the issue. Betancourt has never been a hard worker, and the past four days have not served him well.

and my favorite:

Monday, when 12 position players showed up for early batting practice, Betancourt was not among them.

“I was asleep on the plane when they announced that,” Betancourt said.

The guy can’t hit, he can’t field, his performance has been going backwards for the past two years – and it turns out that he can’t be bothered to get better. Just remember that in case anyone brings up the fact that Dan Cortes was arrested for drunken disorderliness in Arkansas last week.

(Maybe part of the rationale for this trade is that the Royals are trying to send a message to their minor league players: don’t embarrass the organization. That’s the front office’s job.)

I suppose this day was inevitable, ever since we learned that early in his tenure, Moore offered the Mariners Billy Butler for Betancourt straight up. Mariners GM Bill Bavasi, bless his heart, turned the trade down. Today Moore defended the trade with this quote:

“Two years ago,” Moore said, “it looked like (Betancourt) was going to be a star. He was regarded as one of the up-and-coming great shortstops in the game. He just hasn’t reached that potential yet.”

No offense, Dayton, but outside of Seattle and Kansas City, exactly who regarded him as one of the up-and-coming great shortstops in the game? He had a .308 OBP and walked 15 times all season. And did it ever occur to you that the reason “he just hasn’t reached that potential yet” is precisely because he doesn’t know the strike zone from The Twilight Zone?

(Mind you, Dayton sounds like a genius compared to Trey Hillman: “This is an upgrade for us,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said of Betancourt. “I like it because it gives us a good shortstop with decent offensive stats.”)

Unfortunately for the Royals, last year Bavasi was fired – and remember, this was the same genius who, before the axe fell, cited the departure of Jose Guillen as one of his biggest regrets – and the Mariners hired the talented Jack Zduriencik as their new GM. Zduriencik had been the scouting director for the Milwaukee Brewers, but unlike certain scout-oriented GMs he quickly proved that he was not intimidated by statistical analysis. He created a Department of Statistical Research and hired his former assistant Tony Blengino to run it. The Mariners also hired the brilliant Tom Tango as a consultant.

This winter, the Mariners and Royals were both looking for first basemen. The Mariners decided to gamble on a player who, despite a .485 career slugging average and being a perennial stathead favorite, had never batted even 450 times in a season and had gone over 300 plate appearances just twice. They signed Russ Branyan to a $1.4 million contract, and Branyan currently is hitting .284/.383/.575 and ranks second in the league with 21 homers despite playing in one of the AL’s best pitchers’ parks. The Royals, despite having one of the best first base prospects in baseball in Kila Ka’aihue, instead sacrificed a quality reliever in Leo Nunez for the opportunity to pay Mike Jacobs over $3 million. Jacobs had a career .498 slugging average, but his plate discipline was terrible and he was coming off his best season at age 27 – a strong statistical sign that he was likely to fall back. You may recall that the stats community hated the trade. He’s hitting .218/.294/.401.

And now, even though Betancourt’s stock has dropped so steeply over the last two years that he’s now eligible for TARP funds, the Mariners were able to get out from most of that contract and grab some nice arms to boot – because the Royals were willing to serve as their victim.

But hey, at least the players are happy. Because if there’s one set of people who really know how to build a winning team, it’s the players. “For two minor-league pitchers?” said outfielder José Guillen, who spent 2007 with the Mariners. “Are you serious? How weird is that? I’m totally surprised. That’s all I can tell you. I’m shocked. That kid is pretty darn good.” Of course Guillen’s going to love this trade. Dan Cortes could turn into the second coming of Roger Clemens in 2012, and Guillen’s not going to care – he won’t be a Royal in 2012, so why should he care if the team mortgages their future for a few meaningless wins today?

(You want to know who's probably not happy? Kevin Seitzer. Once again the Royals have given him an impossible reclamation project. It's like that old Life commercial. "Give it to Kevin. He'll fix anything!" I set the over/under on when Seitzer gets scapegoated at about four months.)

This is the difference between an organization that understands that there is value in listening to both sides of the stats-vs-scouts debate, and one that doesn’t. No one would ever accuse Zduriencik of not knowing the value of good scouting – he drafted Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy, Ryan Braun, Yovani Gallardo, Matt LaPorta, and Mat Gamel while with the Brewers – but he has complemented his ability to evaluate what a player may be worth in the future with input from people who can properly evaluate was a player is worth today.

Dayton Moore, on the other hand, doesn’t give a damn about all that. He and his manager talk about the importance of plate discipline – remember Hillman’s quote that “OBP is a no-brainer”? – even while every significant player acquired since Moore was hired, from Jose Guillen to Jacobs to Alberto Callaspo to Miguel Olivo to Coco Crisp to Betancourt, has had plate discipline that ranged from below-average to poor to dear-God-I-can’t-believe-he-swung-at-that.

In the abstract, this trade doesn’t cripple the franchise. Betancourt will be no better, but no worse, than the dreck the Royals have been putting at shortstop for the last 10 years. (Remember, as good as Mike Aviles was last year, Tony Pena was so bad that the overall numbers at SS were still below average.) Losing Cortes hurts, and Saito may turn into a useful reliever, but the Royals can recover from this.

But in practice, I think that years from now we will look at the Betancourt trade the way we look at the Neifi Perez trade. Just as the trade for Perez signaled the death knell for the Allard Baird era – even though it would take years for the Royals to finally put the era out of its misery and make a change at the top – I think that the trade for Betancourt signals the point at which Dayton Moore’s tenure as GM becomes untenable. It will probably be at least a few years before the Glass family sends Moore packing, but I no longer have any expectation that the Royals will ever win anything under the current administration.

If you’ve been a long-time reader of this blog, you’ve probably heard me talk about “signature significance” a lot, the notion that sometimes things can happen in a small sample size that are so extraordinary that you learn a lot about the quality of a player from that small sample. The example I use a lot is the pitcher with the 15-strikeout game; it’s just one game, and the pitcher might not even win the game, but the performance is so extraordinary that it’s almost impossible that a mediocre pitcher could duplicate it.

The Betancourt trade reaches the level of signature significance in my eyes, but in reverse. It’s just one trade, and if Cortes doesn’t pan out it’s possible that the only thing this trade will cost the Royals is some money and some opportunity. But this trade is so utterly indefensible, and the thought process that led to this trade is so utterly diseased, that I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this one trade is prima facie evidence that Dayton Moore can not be a successful GM.

In today’s game, you simply can’t be successful as a general manager if you ignore half the information that’s available to you. A GM that fired all of his scouts and relied on an army of MIT grads to evaluate his players would be mocked – and rightfully so – as someone leading his team down the fast track to hell. I see no reason why a GM that ignores every shred of statistical evidence when making baseball decisions shouldn’t be treated in a similar fashion.

And make no mistake: this trade closes the argument that the Royals have even a superficial understanding of statistics. The Royals don’t understand the first rule of offensive statistics: that the most important offensive skill is the ability to reach base. They don’t pay any attention to defensive statistics, even though the sabermetric community has made huge strides in the evaluation of defense over the last 5-10 years: the Royals still persist in the delusion that Betancourt is a fine defensive player, even though the numbers (and a growing segment of scouts) agree that he is a liability in the field.

The Royals don’t understand statistics as they apply to the economics of baseball – if they did, they would have understood that Betancourt’s contract was so onerous that he actually had negative value to the Mariners – Seattle should have been the one kicking in prospects in order for the Royals to take the contract, much as Dayton Moore once got the Dodgers to do when he took on Odalis Perez’s contract. They don’t understand the concept of replacement level: they made this trade in part out of desperation for a shortstop, not understanding that Betancourt’s performance is so bad that they could call up a team at random, offer to send them a PTBNL for that team’s starting shortstop in Triple-A, and do nearly as well. They don’t understand how a player’s age impacts his performance, because they think that Betancourt still has room to improve, even though he’s 27 years old and at the age where most players have peaked.

And finally, the Royals have no appreciation for their place in the success cycle. What bothers me the most about the trade is this: why now? The Mariners were sick to death of Betancourt, and his value was only going to go down as he crawled deeper into their doghouse. Why did a team that’s 11 games under .500 and 9.5 games out of first place feel compelled to sacrifice future talent for a stopgap?

I wasn’t a Willie Bloomquist fan by any stretch of the imagination before the season began, but he’s won me over. He’s not a terrific defensive shortstop, but he’s not terrible, and he’s hitting .285/.335/.393. I don’t understand why you couldn’t finish out the season with him at shortstop, all the while exploring low-level trade options for a underappreciated gloveman in Triple-A. I guess it’s okay to be a terrible hitter and a decent fielder, like Tony Pena was in 2007, but if you’re a decent hitter and a below-average but acceptable fielder, like Bloomquist is, that necessitates a panic move.

In short, the Royals don’t seem to understand all the different ways that statistics can be used to enhance the information that they are getting from a scout’s perspective. And worse than that, they don’t seem to care. They seem to be more concerned about quashing leaks and keeping a tight rein on information flowing out of the organization than they are concerned about the flow of information into the organization. They seem to be perfectly satisfied that their 20th-century model for building a franchise doesn’t need a 21st-century upgrade.

I wrote last time that so long as this administration kept pumping money and resources into player development, they’d eventually turn things around no matter what decisions they make at the major league level. I stand corrected. Dan Cortes was a tremendous scouting find, a seventh-round pick the year before that the Royals got the White Sox to throw into the MacDougal trade, and almost immediately after the trade he added 5 mph to his fastball. Saito’s development from late-round pick to fringe prospect was the result of a nice combination of scouting, a willingness to overlook his height, and the willingness to shell out a six-figure bonus to a 16th-rounder. But if this is how the Royals plan to utilize their scouting acumen – by cashing those players in for someone who actually has negative value – then they might as well go back to the days of drafting college seniors in the fifth round and offering them $1000, take it or leave it.

Dayton Moore is a fine judge of prospects. But – this is critical – someone needs to tell him that Yuniesky Betancourt IS NOT A PROSPECT ANYMORE. He’s not a 21-year-old kid that can be judged solely on his tools. He’s a 27-year-old with a long track record in the major leagues. At his age, that track record is at least as important as his skill set when it comes to projecting his future. You can’t judge established major leaguers the way you do prospects, and every time Moore has acquired an established major league hitter on the basis of his tools, he has been burned. Every. Single. Time.

And frankly, I’m not sure if I can take it any more. I’ve been a die-hard fan for 20 years now, and I’m not closer to seeing my allegiance rewarded today than I was 20 years ago. I’ll continue to blog and host my radio show through the end of the season, and – because I bought my plane tickets and non-refundable hotel reservations on Thursday – I’m still planning to be at the ballpark next weekend. (Exact details to follow, but if you’re interested in watching a ballgame with me, plan to be at Kauffman Stadium at 5 o’clock sharp next Saturday, July 18th. We’ll all buy tickets together. B.Y.O.P.B. (Bring Your Own Paper Bag.))

But next weekend may well be a farewell tour of the stadium for me, because at this point I can’t commit to anything after October. I’ve spent my entire adolescent and adult life rooting for and writing about this team, and it’s been two decades of unrequited love. I’ve got too much to be thankful for in my life to let it be spoiled by the imperious decisions of a front office that looks down upon the very idea of the statistical analysis that I’ve advocated for so many years, and that has contributed to the success of so many other teams.

To the Royals: sorry if I came off as unfairly critical yet again. Look at the bright side – pretty soon you may have one less critical fan to worry about. You may have one less fan to worry about, period.


big baby giv said...

if you're looking for a new team, might i suggest the mets?


i hate baseball.

incredibly well written article though. nicely done. i feel for your loss. i almost feel bad hoping that francoeur starts hitting again and the mets trade him to the royals for soria. or even teahen.

RDC said...

So what you are really saying is that you like this deal (A LOT)and you expect the Royals to catch the Tigers with this bold and daring move.

Travis said...

Bull shit. I don't buy you're quiting on the Royals. As much as I like your blog, I'm not begging you to keep writing it. We don't need diehards giving up whenever they get pissed. It's one thing to bitch about the Royals moves, it's another to quit on your team for good. Calm down, have a shot of whiskey, and lets hope for some more moves at the deadline.

GTripp said...

Good post, Rany. Think you covered all the bases.

And yes, this trade could well work out for the Royals...but even in that case, it wouldn't make the process any more excusable.

GTripp said...

The Mets just claimed Angel Berroa, fyi.

jason y said...

its a sad day to be a royals fan....but how is that different from any other day? when you're at the bottom the only place to go is up. dont lose faith.

Keith said...

Rany, I kept checking your blog Friday night. I thought perhaps you pulled the plug on the whole thing. As an almost casual fan I was bothered by the trade immediately. If I've heard of Cortes then he must be valuable. This is clearly a lost season and I thought it was time to unload contracts and pick up players for the future. I've quit the Chiefs but the Royals are still meaningful. I think it helps not to care too much. Family and friends are whats really important.

Scott said...

Rany: I agree with you.

I don't like this move, if only for the reason that it seems to be yet another indication that Dayton Moore refuses to do the easy thing and catch the wave that's sweeping baseball (the Branyan note REALLY hurts).

But, unlike the Perez deal, I don't think we've traded away anything of consequence. Cortes' average Class AA stats don't outweight the stabbing with the Sox, his immature sitting-butt-naked-on-the-toilet pictures and his latest transgression. He's not good enough to have Bobby Jenks' issues.

So: While Betancourt does stink to high heaven, he's miles ahead of what we have right now and he didn't cost Jermaine Dye.

And I also agree with Travis. You can't just give up. It doesn't work that way. I'm 27 years old (Betancourt's age! And I'm not nearly near my peak, thank you very much) and have never known the Royals to be good. Ever. But, here I sit, just waiting for what will definitely be one of the greatest moments of my life when the Royals finally "find a nut."

I'm in Colorado now and have every reason to jump on over to the Rockies' bandwagon (they seem to be doing a lot right), but it can't happen. And it's not a righteous decision I'm making. It just doesn't appeal to me. Being a fan is about going through all the crap, so when the good happens it's that much sweeter.

That's just how it works. And you know it. If you didn't give up when they traded Neifi for Jermaine, then there's no way this will send you over the edge. Cortes was probably out of the top 10 by now, anyway. Like you said, it's not a crippler.

And who knows, Jose Guillen has been (for the most part) a model citizen since he arrived after coming over with baggage. Maybe the same will happen with Yuni, who's not going to start looking "old" like Jose has.

Sign me up! I've drank the Kool-Aid.

stpat said...

I just started reading your blog but have been a Royals fan for over 30 years. I've seen it all. I was lucky enough to remember fondly the 70's & 80's, when the odds of your favorite team winning the World Series were just as good whether you were in Kansas City or in New York City. Nothing has been the same since Bud Selig and the owners sold out baseball after the '94 Strike. They should have broke the Players Union and sat the entire '95 season out, perhaps the '96 season too. The sad fact is that I doubt the best baseball mind can be successful with this current owner. Glass sets his people up to fail. He forced Allard to make desperation moves like this and now it appears Moore is also falling into the same trap. Until Glass commits to spending reasonable amounts of money on the Major League roster, this organization will NEVER win consistently. Unfortunately Moore's philosophy (pitching & farm system) while necessary is only half the equation. Knowing that Glass will not give him the money to get top-shelf ML commodities in FA, he must remain steadfast in improving the minors, only dealing farm system prospects (pitching no less) when you have a sure thing in return. Glass simply does not give Moore any room for error. This move is just as you wrote earlier. Betancourt is a 'project' and players with his age & ML experience are not projects. They are what they are. I feel for you. I will ALWAYS be a Royals fan but I don't have to write about them every day. My hope is that someone of the passion and money in the image of Mark Cuban will buy the Royals (keep them in KC of course) and deliver us from this Wal-Mart, bargain basement disaster before every fan has been run off. All I can say is stick with them, if for no other reason than to give us (the Fans) a legit voice.

bfos said...

I'm done with this organization too. Maybe I'll keep following them to some degree. But, I'm not renewing my 8-year old season ticket package next year. I probably won't even care to go to Opening Day, which, for me, has been the day I have looked forward to more than any other on the calendar.

You are exactly right. This team shows no signs of ever rewarding their fans for sticking with the team. There's really just no point in wasting our allegiance to an organization that just craps the bed every night.

Anonymous said...


I have never felt more convinced of the Royals ineptitude than I do right now. Yesterday I sent an email out declaring that I was "done with the Royals" until the changes are made at the top and they start using statistical analysis. It's embarrassing to watch such a poorly run backwards franchise.

I like you have just had it with them. I have purchased Baseball Propsectus for as far back as 2001 and it is such a useful and comprehensive book I just can't believe Dayton Moore would not at LEAST have one lying on his desk to review it and the Bill James Handbook against his scouting reports. I mean is it THAT hard to look it over and read the article on Betancourt in which you clearly state that "he is what he is?" I'm going to email Dayton Moore and offer my services to be his stat guy. I actually yesterday in the Star posted comments that he should hire you to be his stat guy like the Red Sox did James. However, I'd love to be the guy to give him some stats to back up or disprove his notions on old school scouting.

Kansas City said...

The analysis of the trade is probably correct, except: (1) you need to watch a softstop for a while because you can reach conclusions about his fielding;(2) it might be a wake up call for Betancourt (although the contract probably is a problem in terms of waking him up); (3) it is unfair to criticize Hillman -- What do you expect the manager to say about his new shortstop that the GM traded for?; and (4) I think Bentancort escaped Cuba on a raft, so you have to give credit for that.

Also on the plus side, if Bentancort is as bad as you expect, Moore will never do it again and he probably will be the most changed GM in baseball next winter.

Kansas City said...

I also don't agree with the hostility toward Glass.

1. Glass is the ONLY reason the Royals are still in Kansas City (not counting Mr. K).

2. Glass approved/allowed Moore to spend $36 million on Guillen, $55 million on Mesch, $9 million on Farnswort, $4 million on Jacobs, etc. The fault obviously lies with Moore, not Glass.

I still am cautiously optimistic about the Royals, e.g., good pitching, weak division, young players on the upswing. Moore will learn and improve both his defense and his OBP during the off season. It also is not beyond the realm of possibility that they might get hot (they are due) and get back in the division race.

If Bentancort is as bad as you say, the Royals could even release him this winter and only have to swallow a couple million a year for three years.

Life is good. Be a happy and optimistic Royals fan.

Dave said...

Sorry, Rany, but with all due respect: you're coming off like a pissy little bitch.

Nobody who backed the idea of the Royals trading for Jeff F'n Francoeur gets to play the "I'M DONE*" card because they traded for some other crappy player.

(*or in your case the "I'M DONE... well, I might be, I'm not man enough to commit" card)

Casper said...

I think maybe what happened is that you fell into the trap of getting to know your hero (the Royals org) and the dreaded result was you learned they weren't anything special. It's easy to judge from a far and develop your mancrush on a player or a team, but then it's unfortunately altogether different when you meet them and get to actually know them. You see all their faults in high definition. Further, you see their lack of drive to correct them; their disinterest toward what you feel most passion -themselves. Same thing happened to me once with Derrick Thomas - buddy of mine was dating a stripper at Diamond Joe's and we were up there one Wednesday afternoon when it wasn't busy and I was killing time shooting pool. In walks this great big (and loud) asshole who's cussing up a storm and wondering aloud when the "jerkoff playing pool" was going to be done so that he could play. I hadn't even looked up at him until he started mouthing off like that. Didn't even know he was there until then. But in he walked, mouthy as hell, wanting the pool table for himself, going so far as to bend over the table and get basically in my face and yell to distract me while I took my shot. I ended up beating him 2 out of 3 games (yes, I really did, for you doubters - I used to play a lot of tournament pool on the weekends in my early 20's) but I was left with this tattered image of one of my favorite players in the NFL, and more specifically, of my my favorite Chief. Ever since then I've been more or less a casual fan of the Chiefs. It has to take something like that to kill that die-hardness, and when it happens, it happens, it is what it is, and if you love the team a little less, then f*ck anyone for judging you for it. Who are they for judging, Rany? They didn't go through it; you did. The Royals have directly and personally pissed on you, so it's your right to feel this way. I hope you stick around but I totally understand if you go on hiatus.

Chiefs Fan said...

e.g. said...

i agree with this article completely. being an '84 baby, i've had a couple quickly-snuffed feelings of "this year is our year," but mostly, "maybe next year is our year," and the soul-crushing "maybe when our organization has a complete overhaul, through deft trades and intelligent drafts by this new management, four or five years down the line we may compete."

it's the incompetence behind this move that hurts more than the move itself. it's knowing that we have someone who'll likely be in charge for a couple more years (at least) who doesn't get it.

Anonymous said...

Been a fan since '75, can't imagine quitting the team no matter how bad it gets (they'd probably have to leave KC for me to pull the plug). I was kinda hoping Rany would keep blogging to keep me company through these desultory times.

Steve said...

I can't believe any poster thinks that Betancourt is an improvement. The Royals seem hell bent on collecting and overpaying the worst players in major league baseball. This is not MLB in KC. Why do you think Seattle, a team in contention, made the trade? Because Betancourt's departure won't hurt them. And, they're now playing Ronny Cedeno at short, and he's hitting .152!!!!

Anonymous said...

Piss on a fence: Get traded to Seattle.

Piss away over $20 million of your owner's money for this season alone: You remain the GM of the Kansas City Royals, and you get more chances to piss ore money away.

Glass has pretty much done all the owner of a small market franchise should do. Since hiring Moore, he's upped the major league payroll, increased budgets for scouting, signing amateur player, and player development.

It simply appears that he hired the wrong guy to be his GM. We see that. How long will it be until David Glass sees that?

Andrew said...

Rany: I agree with you, and I went through the same crisis attempting to follow the Orioles the past dozen years.

Might I suggest you take a crack at what I've done -- get the MLB DirecTV package (which you probably have already) and start watching the Rays?

Sure, you know the story of the Rays on the surface. Great young team, practically everyone's under 26. That's all true. But there's even more lurking beneath the surface. I'm not sure there's a manager in the game doing more innovative things with defense than Joe Maddon. And he's got an Earl-Weaver style platoon of two $1 million players is putting up a 900 OPS in RF. And he's the only manager on a contending team to use his lights-out reliever (JP Howell) in the highest-leverage situations, rather than to rack up meaningless saves. And so on.

Watch the Rays. You'll forget all about your hometown team -- I know I did.

Anonymous said...

You don't date strippers.....

Kyle in Fargo said...

My biggest question is this: if the organization (specifically Hillman and Moore) would like it's hitters to be more patient, work pitchers deeper into the count and draw a few more walks, why do they keep bringing in people who do the exact opposite??

Do they really believe that Kevin Seitzer can work miracles on players who have proven year after year that they have no patience at the plate, much less any understanding of the strike zone?

It's like giving a chef hamburger and asking him to make steak... Life, nor baseball, works like that...

I'm at a loss... At least he isn't a 5-7, 160#, slap-hitting middle infielder/utility player like the rest of our roster... He's taller, fatter and a worse hitter...

Out of curiosity, what happens when Gordon comes back? Does Teahen go to left? Is Bloomquist going to sit on the bench while Betancourt plays?

ejfunk said...


Mr. sell out himself (Rob Neyer) mentioned in his blog yesterday that you and Joe Poz were turning in your Royals fan cards. While I have not seen any evidence of Joe's loyalty going else where in print, I am saddened to think that you are seriously considering leaving after reading your most recent post. I too checked your blog over and over last night knowing in my heart that you would be devastated by this trade, but hoping that maybe, just maybe you would have a different opinion than every other baseball writer on the planet. Alas, you did not and I am stuck trying to justify this trade to myself, alone.

I will say that your post on the 8th inspired me, that maybe this was one of those Dayton Moore diamond in the rough type of deals like Gil Meche, or Alberto Callaspo, and Brian Bannister. I doubt you read all the comments on your blog, but you have quoted me before so I am going to give it a try and see if you will respond to my thought. Here goes:

My hope and the only conceivable rationalization of Dayton Moore's thought process on this trade consists of what he has done with two players: Gil Meche and Billy Butler. Gil Meche was an underachieving player for many years with, ironically, the Seattle Mariners. Meche showed flashes of brilliance through out his career, but time after time could never consistantly be the front line starter everyone thought he could be. Many Mariner fans grew tired of waiting on Meche to turn the page, and ultimately the team grew tired as well letting him walk at age 27. Dayton Moore saw something in Gil, and signed to shagrin of pretty much every baseball writer in the country, and well you know the rest. The second player is Billy Butler. This is getting long so I will make this short and sweet. Billy had a bad attitude, was fat, and couldn't play defense. Dayton called him out, and today Billy has a great attitude, is in solid shape, and is playing better defense than I think anyone imagined he could.

Now I know Gil is a pitcher and Billy was only 22, but do you think there is any chance Dayton thinks a little change of scenery and a few ajustments from a new coach, can help Betancourt like it did Gil, and a some tough love like Billy got (and even Guillen got) could change his attitude, body condition, and ultimately allow him to reach some of his defensive potential on the diamond.

Maybe I am nuts, but I am a Royals fan, and I don't plan on going anywhere. I hope you reconsider. Thank you for your time.

Dave said...

Let's give the guy 30 games and see what he can do. Then you all can say "I told you so". We haven't played Seattle yet and we play them 6 times next month. I bet Yuni sticks it to them real bad.

J.D. said...

Me too, Rany.

Evil Bender said...

I too am disappointed by this trade, but I stuck with the Royals in the days of $1,000 signing bonuses and the Beltran trade, and I'll stick with them now.

Bob McWilliams said...

I was traveling and just heard briefly that the Royals had traded for Betancourt. That was bad enough to make me yell at the radio, but I did not know yet that the Royals gave up more than a bag of balls for him. And I did NOT know about that horrible contract.

My childhood love was the Cardinals, (when I was a kid, the KC entry into all time ineptitude, baseball division, was the A's) but I spent a lot of time rooting for the Royals from day 1. I thought that with the new regime, maybe things might FINALLY take a turn for the better. At least they were now willing to spend resources on draft and minors. But the HORRID, HORRID moves by Dayton have destroyed my hopes. Makes me wonder what the team could have done if Allard (note that one of the smartest organizations in baseball snatched him up) had been allowed to have the resourses Moore has gotten.

djclung said...

I thought the exact same thing Rany, they lost a fan, I'm not going to root for a new team but I'm not going to buy anymore royals stuff nor attended another game

Anonymous said...

I feel like it's 2005 all over again, with our team of mostly rejects. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if DM traded Greinke away for three mediocre AAA players, and doomed us for another 5 years of mediocrity. All the hope that was in me when DM was hired is now all gone. I feel the same about him as I did Baird. This team might have won a few more games under DM, but we are no closer to the playoffs than we were with Baird. I just hope that the Glass family is paying attention.

Carl Willingham said...

Rany, please don't attempt to go to the clubhouse when you go to the game. The death knoll of any objective criticism from a journalist is worrying about the feelings of the people in the clubhouse. Being a good guy and a good interview does not make you a good player. The old "this guy is never in the clubhouse" is just a copout from the bullies who miss the chance to intimidate others. BTW, I watch about 70 percent of the Mariners games on the ticket and Betancourt is just awful. Reminds me of a less talented Guillen, right down to the half hearted effort and entitled attitude. Anyone out there have a link to get in contact with the Royals front office and ownership. I'd love to cut and paste Rany's thoughts and let them know that this is exactly how I feel but I don't have the talent to express it as well as Rany has. I also hope that you don't feel the need to quantify your criticism of Moore by saying he's not a dumb man. He's a respected baseball man, which means he thinks he's got a secret formula that the rest of us mortals have yet to stumble upon. When in reality just using a little common sense would serve him and his team so much better.

Ryan said...

I don't really see the big deal. It's not like they traded Hosmer or Aaron Crow or someone like that. Also, unlike the Jacobs deal, it's not like they are blocking someone better on the farm with this deal either. I really don't see it having that much of a negative impact. Maybe it costs Glass some money if he continues to tank but I don't really care about that. Someone other that TPJ has got to play short and I don't see any other options out there.

And another thing, I'm sick of hearing people talk about I'm not going to anymore games, I'm done with this team, I'm not wearing anymore Royals gear.......good. I'm with Travis and Scott. We don't need you around making ridiculous claims about your loyalty. If you leave, stay gone. I don't want to see you back when the tide turns. And it will turn.....

Anonymous said...

Moore was exposed as clueless from the very begining with the Gathright trade but some analysts bent over backwards to try to see that in a positive light since he was new to the job and also because they couldn't get their minds around the fact that we had another Baird on our hands.

But now everyone knows for certain that Moore is what he showed himself to be from the very begining - the kind of guy who thinks as a brand new GM it is a priority to acquire the likes of a Joey Gathright.

Bubba said...

I am a 25 year old die hard Royals fan and I can tell you first hand there just arent that many of us out there. I have about 5 friends my age that are loyal, passionate Royals fans and moves like these really do push us to the brink.

After hearing about this trade I immediately went to to check out Yuni's statistical history...clearly this is a website that Dayton Moore does not know exists. My immediate reaction was "UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE!". Why would we give up anything for this clown?

I feel there has been way too much time focusing on Betancourt and whether or not he actually improves our team for the remainder of the season (I would bet he does not but I guess we'll soon find out). This is not the paramount issue though. I think "e.g." said it best, "it's the incompetence behind this move that hurts more than the move itself. it's knowing that we have someone who'll likely be in charge for a couple more years (at least) who doesn't get it."

As for the discussion of remaining a Royals fan. I am certainly not going anywhere...but my unwavering support for Dayton Moore is a thing of the past. Until the current regime makes it clear they are going to take statistical analysis seriously (i.e. create a new position within the team, hire someone for said position, etc.) I am no longer going to support the Royals financially through the purchase of tickets, Royals gear, etc. I will also be emailing Dayton Moore and voicing my displeasure and concerns about our failure to properly employ statistical analysis as an organization and I woudl encourage all of you to do the same.

Oh and Rany...bitch all you want on this blog man. Like one of the posters said, you are our voice as fans.

Anonymous said...

i'm a marniers fan. been following yuni since he got here. refuses to better himself and every year teamates try and light a fire under him. he never cared. when an error happens he just smurks. i hope this is a wake up call to manhood and a team concept, seattle gave him so many chances...hope kc can get through to this guy. good luck, you'll need it. (hope he loses about 15 lbs and can move again)

Anonymous said...

Here's something that might be of interest. I'm a Braves fan, but Neyer's articles have enlightened me to Rany and his passion/plans for the Royals. Yes, I was that impressed by his writing that I continue to read it even though I'm not a Royals fan.

I thought Francoeur would have been a good idea. 25 years old, lots of talent, change of scenery. And look at what the Mets gave up? Nothing. A 30 year old big leaguer who won't ever become a regular, while Francoeur still has a shot to become successful. Why not throw Cortes at the Braves if you were going to end up giving him away for Betancourt.

I must say, I was happy for Moore when he got the job and thought, KC has always been a good Baseball town, it's about time they got the opportunity to contend. Moore and company just keep setting this franchise back with every transaction, whether it be before the season began, during, etc. Explain to me, what improvements has he made with the franchise?

What makes me laugh is how anyone will criticize Rany over his most recent post. Why all of you fans will not come together to write a letter to the Royals organization is beyond me. Why all of you will let him take the heat for saying what you've all wanted to say: That time and time again, you've betrayed us. You've lost us. And until you show us you can do better, we will not be there for you.

Seriously, your roster is a joke and so is the hype that followed you in the beginning of the season. I actually like the staff a bit (even the overpayed, no. 3 or 4 starter Meche), but that 1-9 you call an offense is a joke. The injuries are a joke. The fielding. The Trades. Didn't you all get excited when Dayton came, having come from Atlanta where he had the perfect model on how to build a winning team? I did, and again, not a Royals fan.

Look, I can't understand your pain, but the closest I come is when I read Rany's posts. I root for all of you to build back that franchise and to find the success you deserve. You play in a small market division, there's no reason why you can't contend each year.

I could write more, but I'll leave it to you fans...I wish you all the best and hope Rany's words resonate with one of the worst front offices I have ever seen in the Majors.

chjohn said...

If you guys want to quit the team, great. Stay away.

Enjoy rooting for the Yankees.
Don't come back, we don't want you.

Anonymous said...

Eat shit, Braves fan.

stpat said...

Anonymous said that it felt like 2005. Yes, it does. And 2000, & 2002 & 2004. Same thing different year. Same GM moves, different year. The only constant. David Glass. Sorry to keep beating a dead horse, one that I'm fully aware, there's nothing we can do anything about. BUT...

David Glass in NOT the only reason that the Royals are still in KC. Ewing Kauffman is. Fact is the money that Glass has spent is simply a cost of doing business (at a minimum) in 2009. And the $70M is in part due to Glass's own negligence over the past 10 years requiring Moore to overpay to get marginal talent because no one took the organization seriously. To Moore's credit he finally convinced Glass to spend money on the minors (10 years too late). But that will only get us half way there. Use the Twins, A's & Rays if you want and they have been successful at drafting but what have they accomplished? Twins & A's have never made the WS (in the new era '94-now) and are inconsistent at making the playoffs (notice the A's have had a hard time since the Angels got serious). The same is true with the Twins(Santana trade last year is foreshadowing of how it will end with Greinke). White Sox & Tigers are the big spenders in the Central. Rays caught lightning last year (due to hard work & savvy trades to be sure) but still fell short to...Phillies big spenders. And when this crop of players reaches FA, this team will fall right back into their previous position (cellar dwellers). You can't do it all with minors alone. You need an owner that will spend money to get that piece or 2. The GM needs to stay the course (especially on a season like this one) and don't deal prospects for another stopgap that ties you up for 2-3 years. Moore is absolutely at fault for going after yet another c-level player instead of waiting until we're closer & and then going after a real talent via FA or a trade. But in the end, I have grave doubts we'll ever be that close because by the time the minors produce (if) Greinke & Meche will be gone. And our young position players (Gordon, Butler, Callaspo) will have never had a solid mixture of talent to help cultivate their defense & offensive skill sets. Coaches can only do so much and eventually you need 1 or 2 solid vets that can teach the kids how to play the game right. That's where ownership comes in. I know that Glass is not committed & it will never change. He WILL NOT RISK losing money even for ONE YEAR to put a major league roster on the field. When Moore is fired, and he will be, the minors might be fixed and we may be in better shape for the next guy but the result will be the same. Stop being suckers. Glass got his upgrades for the stadium and promptly disappeared. Moore goes after bums because that's all he can go after. David Glass is STILL the problem. To fix the problem, you have to identify the problem.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Eat shit, Braves fan.

July 11, 2009 6:18 PM


You beat me to it, buddy.

AxDxMx said...

I'm with you Rany. I don't plan on going to the K again this year, other than to maybe protest with you next Saturday. This is ridiculous and shameful and I can't take it anymore.

While Dayton's at it, he might as well go all the way and reconstitute the 2005 Mariners and grab Richie Sexson along with some other turds.

Anonymous said...

You threw the exact same hissy fit when they signed bloomquist. People bitch when Pena plays and they bitch when he's replaced

You're a fan of stats, not baseball

I hope you keep your word this time and drop the Royals, but I know you won't. Your blog and your little "Rany Northtower Radio Show" on Al Jazeera radio are too important for your ego. Without them how could you pretend to be anything more than a pimple doctor?

If you're going to quit, do it now and spare yourself the next four months of bitch fits. But you won't quit. You're just a liar who throws the same exact fit three times a year.

Be a man - quit now and see how long it takes for the baseball world to forget you and your "analysis".

Anonymous said...

lol. Above poster is losing it in a whole nother way.

Gabe said...

I'm out of town and just learned of this deal and I must agree that it is incredibly disheartening. I forced myself to 'take a few days off' a couple of weeks ago and I can greatly appreciate your struggles Rany. I hope for my own personal sake that you change your mind because I deeply respect your insight, perspective and dedication; but I hope that I speak for a majority of the fans when I wish you the very best and cannot hold you at any fault for whatever decisions you make. Thank you for what you do.

Anonymous said...

"You threw the exact same hissy fit when they signed bloomquist. People bitch when Pena plays and they bitch when he's replaced "
I agree with this guy.

People in this town just like to complain I think

So tired of the stat geek analysis. How did teams ever make it before all the pseudo-intellectual, not good enough to play crowd started ruining the game with their stats?

Freddie Patek would have never made it in today's stat dominated game. His obp was only .309 and his OPS was only .633.

Go to hell Bill James. I want my game back.

Anonymous said...

>>>>>How did teams ever make it before all the pseudo-intellectual, not good enough to play crowd started ruining the game with their stats? <<<<<

Well if you were actually curious about this you would go look up the great teams of baseball history pre-Bill James on and find out what made the successful teams successful.

The answer:

They had better stats.

Anonymous said...

Rany is such a whiner. That's why I never read this shit. I hope you close down your blog.

Anonymous said...

Callaspo is at SS.

Cant wait to hear all the experts say this is an option, and put Bloomquist at 2b.

then we could have kept our future middle reliever Cortes.

JWalker said...

"You threw the exact same hissy fit when they signed bloomquist. People bitch when Pena plays and they bitch when he's replaced"

Yes, we all wanted to see TPJ out of here(I'm still not totally convinced he'll be gone), but if I were to make a list of players I would NOT want to see start over than TPJ, Yuni would have been top 3, probably even number 1.

He is WORSE than TPJ, AND we gave up a high-level prospect to get him, AND we still have to eat 2 years of his ridiculous salary. I would have been more pleased to pay TPJ 6 million over the next 2 years than make this deal.

Anyway, I'm guessing you will cool down eventually Rany, but in case you are serious:

Don't let the ignorant decisions of several overpaid men get to you like this. Let's face it, we are lucky to have a team to root for, and a damn good stadium to watch baseball in, no matter how bad the team is that we put on the field. Glass has actually shown that he is willing to do what it takes to win lately, but it looks like he just hired the wrong man. Our quest for success may have been delayed a few years yet again, but hey, at least we aren't cubs fans.

Don't let Moore's stupidity ruin baseball for you, Rany. And if anything, don't give up on your fellow fans.

P.S. @ Anon 9:17 PM: You must not have much of a life if you're taking the time to comment on "shit" blog you "never read".

Anonymous said...


Rany, please don't give up hope. Realize that once you're off the train, there's no coming back. Especially once the Royals make a historic run to the playoffs this year... Wait, probably won't happen... But a few years from now, when the Royals are actually contending, you cannot say anyting. I know, you, just like I, am holding up hope that one day that will happen... and it will eventually.

I am too big of a baseball fan to stop watching the game, and I can't imagine rooting for another team. I live in St. Louis, but until this season did not buy the MLB package. For the past few seasons I was resigned to half-rooting for the Cardinals while watching the ticker for the Royals score. I finally gave in and purchased the Season Pass this year much to my wife's dismay. I (thankfully) have traded David Eckstein for Tony Pena Jr. Even though they suck, I still love watching them.

Rany, you will turn out the same. You, like all other Royals fans around the country will still eagerly turn on Baseball Tonight and hope that they mention the Royals in the broadcast. You will still check the score on your cell if you are out with the family. You will secretely count the days until the next Greinke start.

Please don't go Rany, too many of us count on you for our unbaised Royals analysis. Please hold out, if not for the Royals, for your fans...

Kansas City said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kansas City said...

JWalker is right.

Also, interesting point that Patek was only 309 OBP. I also looked up White and Balboni. Each was 293 OBP. How did the team win and why were these guys considered good offensive players.

Heath said...

Dayton is like my first wife. She always said all the right things...she wanted a family, to be a good wife, a big savings account, a nice house...but her actions never led to any of those things...and eventually I stopped listening..I'm done listening to Dayton's lies too. Fire Dayton! Fire Trey! Hope the next GM has the balls to hire Davey Johnson and we can catch lightning in a bottle for one year.

tookee said...

Well, it's just sad. For the team. For the organization. For the fans. For you, Rany. And for me, because it seems not only will the rays of light continue to be snuffed out by management, but your intrepid and lengthy and insightful observations about this once (long ago) heralded franchise seem to now be in jeopardy. This franchise used to be the pinnacle of player development, smart trades, key pickups. Now it's driving fans like you and myself away. I've given up hope the franchise will return to its glory days, but now it seems the clock is ticking that there will be hope for any kind of success at all.

Chris said...

One thing that bothers me from the Star article on Betancourt is Moore's comment that "our payroll is what it is. Its not going to increase." He sure as hell better not be talking about next year when he says this cause more money must be spent to improve the team. Jackson County spent $250 million to upgrade the stadium and give the Royals more revenue streams. If all it gets is flat-lined $70 million payrolls we might as well close up shop now cause we'll never win. Especially with the way Moore spends it on never was's like Betancourt.

As for you Rany, I hope you don't quit with your blog cause its so valuable to us Royals fans. Even if all you do is write "we suck" each time.

Cause I bet "we suck" would be right 90% of the time.

Anonymous said...

You are two years behind me, Rany. I gave up in 2007. After 30 years of devotion bordering on fanaticism, I let it go - and let me tell you, it's been a huge relief. I don't even pay special attention to the Royals' box scores. They get a cursory read, just like all the rest.

I sleep better. I spend more time with my daughter. My wife seems to like me more than she did. Life is better without the Royals.

I hope you find the same.

Cheers, Judd Choate

Anonymous said...

Sorry man, but you can't have it both ways! You can't want the royals to trade for francoeur and then whine when the royals get Bentancourt (a position in which the royals actually need........i would have paid 5 million dollars to kick TP jr off the roster also).

Why don't you look at the fact that the royals are actually acquiring players to help out during the season instead of trading away players for prospects....Prospects are called prospects for a reason. Most of them don't pan out. I have to say that DM and JJ know more about Cortez than you do. Obviously, if they liked him that much they wouldn't have traded him.

Instead of just bagging on the royals why don't you explain what you would have done differently? Done nothing and let Bloomquist continue on for the year and get who? Not many good options this offseason either. So bloomy next year also? Bottom line is this makes us a deeper team. Tony Pena Jr. is off the roster and that alone makes us a better team....You can follow Cortez and Saito if you want but for the first time i can remember the Royals are "trying" TO GET BETTER DURING THE SEASON INSTEAD OF PLAYING FOR THE FUTURE. That alone is something to get excited about.

Rany, I like your blog......and I know you've had a rough go of it lately but this is getting old. It's starting to sound like a personal vindeta. If that is all this is going to become I'll have to stop.


Anonymous said...

A few things...
1. Rany, please don't give up on the Royals. I tried to do it when the Timberwolves traded Kevin Garnett and it just doesn't'll find yourself secretly rooting for your team throughout all eternity.
2. I think I've found a loophole in this trade. Please tell me Betancourt has to pass a physical first. Then we get some M.D. to flunk him for any number of reasons (heck, make up a disease, we don't care!) and then we're back to where we were a few days ago.
3. There has been so much angst over this trade, I wish someone from the KC Star (Dutton? Posnanski?) would be allowed to sit down and interview Dayton Moore 1-on-1 about it. The first question could be, "What were you thinking?"
4. Could Dave Owen possibly be any worse at coaching third base? Please get us someone competent there ASAP!

djclung said...

To everyone who says "fine, quit te royals don't come back", you just don't get it. The point is enough is enough! Would keep going to McDonalds if you knew they spite in your food, even though it was your favorite fast food? If not, than this is the same thing by abstaning from going to games and purchasing apparell it lets the team and franchise no that we aren't slaves to their shoddy product and that if they want our money they need to improve their product, aka not be complete udder retards

djclung said...

I should proof read, but you get the drift.

Unknown said...

First, all of you who are bad mouthing Rany, you can go to hell. Especially the one who said he never reads this blog yet somehow reads it enough to respond. Rany has every right to be upset as DM has brought in some of the worst players in the game over the past two years, is paying more money for them, and is losing some of our better players in return.

What amazes me is that after his first year with this team, DM had made some very nice trades. He brought in Shealy, signed Meche, signed Riske, made the MacDougal trade, etc.

Ever since then he has done nothing but make this team worse. He brought in Guillen for way way too much money, he signed Jacobs which many considered to be the worst at his position in the league. He paid a large some of money for Farnsworth, signed HoRam, hired Gibson who was the guy who IBB Pena. We have seen one or two of those trades pan out. Callaspo has done well and Bloomquist is having a career year. Other than that, they have all been awful failures that should have been seen a mile away.

They make the statement that they know OBP is important and go off and sign or trade for some of the worst players in baseball in that category. They stress fielding and put together the worst fielding team in the league. I think that they are well aware of what stats mean and the importance of OBP and have chosen to ignore it. When I look at what was available in the offseason as opposed to what we got, it makes me sick. How many of you would rather pay $8mil for Dunn instead of $3+mil for Jacobs and lose Nunez in the process? Burrell and Orlando Hudson was also available in the off season and we could have had all three by outbidding the competition and still had RamRam and Nunez making our bullpen sound. Those guys just didn't mesh with the no hit no OBP philosophy of this team.

I know why you don't say it Rany so I'll say it for you. DM is a total idiot as is Hillman and they should both be fired yesterday. Along with them they should fired the moronic third base coach who had Olivo standing on third to tag so he could get forced out at home on a single. If the LF caught that ball where does Olivo go? Does he take off for home or does he continue standing on the bag? Not going half way on that play was as stupid as it gets. If you saw them adjust for the mistakes they made it may not be so bad but you are seeing the same mistakes over and over and over with no change in the future. I really wanted to stick with DM as long as possible but it is like he is just pushing my buttons to force me to not support him. One thing I can never do is drop the Royals for good. I'm a fan for life unfortunately. I doubt I'll be supporting them in a financial way anytime soon though.

Clint said...

i've literally lived in kansas city my entire life. the fact that some people still find a way to support every move the royals make no matter what disgusts me. it makes every kansas citian look retarded. we could trade zack greinke for neifi perez straight up and someone would say "well i think that DM is smarter than me so he must know what he's doing so it must be a good trade" BULL SHIT. wake up people! this team BLOWS. it is no better than it was in 2005 or 2006 or 2007 etc. And to everyone who says "they are just young players yada yada yada.." nope. exactly one starter is under the age of 26. Billy Butler. Everyone else is well into their "prime" years, and most are beyond their "prime" years, guillen, bloomquist, olivio, freel, dejesus, etc. etc. This team sucks and David Glass refuses to pour more money into it and Dayton Moore refuses to actually do somthing to make it better instead of making it worse. Needless to say, i'm beyond pissed. I hated the DM hire from the get go, but I let him grow on me with his Banny trade and his elmer dessens trade, but it's over. DePodesta is the only man who can save this franchise. It's about damn time we stop copying "the braves way" or whatever cheap ass version we think we are running and start using 21st century thinking.

Anonymous said...

Don't be a quitter, Rany. Real fans stick it out. Real fans wander with their team through the desert for as long as it takes. Don't quit on the team because the front office is incompetent. Hope for a personnel change. It will eventually happen, although not soon enough.

Real fans don't quit on their team. Be a good fan. Be a real fan. Be patient.

Anonymous said...

Rany, I can't believe you're considering pulling a Pailin with your fanship of the Royals. You're better than that.

Clint said...

i'm all for not quitting.. but "be patient" lmao.. are you freaking serious? this team hasn't made the playoffs in almost 25 years.. and you want us to BE PATIENT?.. LOL.

this is what i meant when i said kansas city fans will freaking find any way to spin stuff positive.. eventually you have to put your foot down and say stop.. it's not that hard to be competitive.. just be competitive..

Anonymous said...

Maybe he should start being a Harlem Globetrotter fan.

Since they win all the time they wouldn't make you cry and whine so much

chjohn said...

"Also, interesting point that Patek was only 309 OBP. I also looked up White and Balboni. Each was 293 OBP. How did the team win and why were these guys considered good offensive players"
Because they had good players around them and the team won games. Betancourt looks bad because he is no different than the rest of the team. At least he doesn't strike out like everybody else does.

chjohn said...

Hey Clint - This isn't the DM plan. He doesn't intend of having old guys on the team. But until his draft picks are ready to be here, SOMEBODY has to play. In the meantime, he is trying to be competitive by having a veteran team, but its not working. Also, consider the infield should be Gordon/Aviles/Teahen/Butler, which looks a helluva lot better than Teahen/Pena/Callaspo/Butler.
Maier shouldn't even be here, but somebody has to replace Crisp. The starting pitching is fine, so you need to credit DM with that, but you won't.

DM should be safe until we actually see if the plan works out, which is when HIS players start coming up and performing.

chjohn said...

"hired Gibson who was the guy who IBB Pena"
Psst- it's Gibbons.

Good fan you are.
"I think that they are well aware of what stats mean and the importance of OBP and have chosen to ignore it"
Or they cant get those guys with what we have to offer. These guys are not idiots.

Anonymous said...

Trades like this make me wonder if there is more pressure on Dayton Moore than we know. I cannot understand why a guy who values young pitching would cash out two young arms for such a marginal player. Should we expect to see him trade Duffy and Melville next week for another broke ass center fielder?

M'sFan said...

I'd like to offer my support to Rany and the realists by saying that the most pessimistic commenter on this thread hasn't even begun to express how badly the Royals have been screwed on this deal. If Betancourt's career rebounds to the point where he becomes even a break-even, 0 WAR player, it would be a miracle of such magnitude that people in wheelchairs from all over the world should consider making pilgrimages to Royals Stadium to bathe in the healing waters of the fountains.

The two best words to describe Yuni are inconsistent and apathetic. There will be the intermittent flashes of extraordinatry talent--make no mistake,every 4-5 games he'll tease you with a burst of power, a flashy bit of glovework, or a burst of speed on the basepaths. The rest of the time he'll be waving at groundballs up the middle, airmailing routine throws to first, hacking at pitches out of the zone, and running you out of rallies.

The M's saw enough talent to give him several miles of rope over the past few years, but he finally hung himself in Seattle because of some really bad work habits that he refused to change. For his sake, and to preserve whatever remaining sanity hard-core Royals fans are clinging to, I hope he turns it around. More realistically, I hope he's saving his money, because if he doesn't turn it around by the end of this contract he'll be making the transition from Major League shortstop to 7-11 night clerk in a big hurry.

Anonymous said...

C'mon Rany - How do you really feel?

George Steinbrenner said...

It's time for you to see the dark light, Rany!

Turn to the Dark Side! Join with my minions of evil! Worship at the altar of Jeter and travel to the House that Greed Built!

Anonymous said...

It's time to turn to the Dark Side. Become a Yankees or Red Sox fan!

Chris Berry and Scott Hammond said...

How about the game last night:
The Royals had their no hit shortstop throw the ball into rightfield on a routine 643.
Their rightfielder throw the ball over the head of the cutoff man.
Their centerfielder misjudge a ball that has been a double for 100 years by running to the bottom of the wall and turning it into a triple. Their leftfielder forget how many outs (along with the broadcast sqauare) and let one of the fattest and slowest guys walk home on a sac fly. Their catcher throw the ball into center as another slow player steals second.
Some teams don't make that many mistakes in a week.
I was just disappointed TPJ got a hit. I was hoping he would drop his ba to under .050. I think that would be cool.

phototropic785 said...

Not a huge fan of the move but I guess we'll see how this move pans out after the ASB. Should be semi-entertaining.

It's sad that is what I have to look forward to the rest of this season; but it is what it is and as a Royals fan is what I am accustomed to.

Let's hope they can get Crow and the rest of their draft picks signed without issue and put an end to this miserable season.

Top 5 Draft pick here we come!!!!!!

Unknown said...

Wow, some of the comments here have turned really ugly. I hope you take 24 hours to cool down and ignore the bleats from the peanut gallery.

Was this a dumb move? - YES. Was it amongst the worst? - NO. I'm assuming you lived through the Nerfy-for-JermaineDye trade. That was like the 9-11 of Royals' front-office moves. If you were able to navigate around that one, I can't imagine this trade breaking you.

Quitting the team now is like quitting your mom after she became an alcoholic. You just can't do it - not if you're human and have a heart. We've already lost James and Neyer to the wilderness, and it's only a matter of time before JoPo gets snatched up by ESPN or somebody, so you (and Mellinger) are the only beacons of reason we Royals fans have left in this sea of storms.

Personally, I'm totally impressed that the Royals front office reacted so negatively to your (very-justified) criticisms of the medical staff. They are aware of you and afraid of you. Instead of shrinking back, you need to stomp on the pedal, and drive these shit-for-brains right over the edge, once and for all. They're too cheap to afford black helicopters or hit squads, so you're in the clear! :)

So keep up the good work. Some of us here are old-timers who still remember the hard-assed play of Brett and McRae, and we got your back!

Sneaky Pete said...

To be honest, your blog can go away and my life will not change. Good riddance.

I've tolerated your whining because you usually write thoughtful, well-supported, fact-based posts. When you start whining, it becomes insufferable. For a Royals fan, you have a low threshold for pain. I can no longer call you a true Royals fan.

I do not support the acquisition of Yuniesky Betancourt. I also do not support you, Rany Jazayerli.

Jack said...

How can you be a Royals fan, anyway? The Patron Saint of Sabermetrics has long ago cast his lot with the Boston Red Sox, turning away from the unwashed masses of Kansas City.

You must follow Saint Bill, of the James Clan, and worship at the Temple of Fenway.

The destiny of all true Sabermetricians is to follow Saint Bill and support the Boston Red Sox!

Kansas City said...

I think it probably is true that DM will read Rany and other blogs on this move, and that he will make sure his next move is not susceptible to the same type of criticism regarding OBP. He also probably will non-tender Jacobs after the season.

I assume he rationalizes this move by comparing Betancourt to what the Royals had been playing at shortstop, which has some logic. It is interesting the Betancourt does not strike out much - don't know what it means.

Anonymous said...

Rany, Love your blog - please keep it up.

brad said...

When did Kia become a high level prospect. At best he had one good year in the minors and that was last year. The five before that and this year have been mediocre at best. Would not say this is high on the integrity meter.

Wouldn't bother me if you were no longer a Royals fan. You seemed to be more interested in yourself and how a baseball team should be run by statistics. It would be easier to take sabermetricians serious if you understood chaos theory instead of using statistics that are mostly after the fact and smooth/hide what really happens in a game and how a player performs.

When you leave could you take keitzman and petro with you.

Unknown said...

CHJohn, psst, I don't care. We shouldn't have the guy whatever his name is. We have a moron as the bench coach for a moron.

As far as those who are criticizing Glass goes, I will admit that I don't like him very much as a person but as an owner, he has changed quite a bit since signing DM. Back in 05 we were dying that Glass would just open his wallet and allow a $70mil payroll. The problem is that DM is taking that money he has been given to build a team and totally wasted it. The payroll doesn't even take into account the extra spending on the draft, the minor league system, and Latin America which are the areas that DM has done a pretty good job. All I see is DM getting worse and worse with every day. The trades just keep getting worse. You'd think that there would be some standard things that every GM would know to do. Like don't leave gaping holes in the middle of your infield. Don't sign guys you plan on starting or at all who have OBPs under .300. Use statistics at least a little bit. The teams that have done this win. The teams that haven't are named the M's and Royals.

Carl Willngham said...

Great post SandPuppy. Sh** for Brains front office/coaching staff is very fitting, I will think of it every time I hear or see Moore or Hillman pay lip service to OBA or defend one of their moves or whine about someone like Rany holding their feet to the fire.

Anonymous said...

I've said from day one that Dayton Moore wasn't the guy to lead the Royals back to their glory years & every year I'm proven right yet again. I haven't understood any of the moves this year.

Dayton Moore is a dumbass.

chjohn said...

CHJohn, psst, I don't care. We shouldn't have the guy whatever his name is. We have a moron as the bench coach for a moron.
Yeah, it's Gibbons fault the team sucks.

JWalker said...


If you are talking about Ka'aihue, you have an argument there, but I'm not sure where he factors into this conversation.

Anyway, based on your comments about stats, I'm going to guess that you
a) have never taken a course in statistics
b) haven't the slightest clue what chaos theory really is, because if you did, you would understand that it can't be very well applied to baseball

Bill said...


if you are really quitting the royals, you should let us in on the action.

it's always easier to quit an addiction when you are doing it with a group.

i propose that your visit to the K be mine and your last one ever.

paper bags and all.

Ryan said...

I just came out of the woods. Is this a joke?

Fire Dayton Moore.
Fire Dayton Moore.
Fire Dayton Moore.

Anonymous said...

Calm down. Step away from the edge. I'm kinda disappointed in your approach to this one Rany. here's what I THOUGHT you would write:

The Royals and mariners concluded a totally meaningless trade in which both teams think they pulled the wool-over-the-eyes of the other. The Royals lanced an ever growing, festering and infected boyle by trading away a one-time- prospect-turned-incorrigible-troublemaker to the Mariners for a guy who should be at the peak of his game but refuses to take a pitch and get in shape.

(Then you give the stats)

Rany -

Relax. Take a deep breath. You are over reacting. And don't use the argument that this is 'sypmtomatic' of Dayton Moore's approach. It is what it is.....a minor deal with no significant impact for either teeam.

Threatening to 'quit' is adolescent. For being so engrossed in cold, hard certainly get emotional. And finally, I have never understood how anyone can just quit being a fan. Good or or stupid.....the Royals are part of who I am. I refuse to quit.I can't. I won't.


Shelby said...


You must understand that you are, whether you like it or not, one of--if not the biggest--reason for so many fans' continued allegiance to this team.

When Rob Neyer gave up on the Royals, I (and I'm sure countless others) was overjoyed, relieved, grateful that a brilliant baseball mind was still on OUR SIDE.

Don't give up, Rany.

leawoodcat said...

Kansas City,

While there is enough blame to spread around, I would not be so easy on Glass.

DM would not have to fill our roster with players such as Guillen, Betancourt, Farnsworth and Jacobs if our minor leagues were not in such shambles due to a decade of drafting based on signability and ignoring our minor league teams.

Kansas City said...

This is a debate on which both sides are correct. Annon is most accurate in seeing this as a minor trade that likely will not significantly benefit or harm either team.

But Rany and others are justified in blowing a casket over: (1) the ten year history of similar shortstops (Rey Sanchez was 309 OBP); and (2) the series of brain dead moves made by Moore relating to OBP.

Isn't the determinative question whether Betancourt makes the Royals better? And isn't there at least some chance that the anser to that is yes?

Although it is mindblowing that the Mariners would give him up when they also don't have a shortstop. Logically, they must think he is hopeless.

Kansas City said...


On Glass, I firmly believe that he is the reason baseball is still in Kansas City, so I will always look favorably on him.

I know Mr. K. set it up for the Royals to stay in KC, but no one else stepped up to fulfill Mr. K's wishes. The Royals would be gone if not for Glass.

I also think that his purchase of the Royals provides that he cannot make a profit on the sale of the franchise -- all profits go back to the charitable foundation.

So, I think we need to give him a big break on the details of how the franchise is run. He has authorized a payroll over $70 million, spending money on drafts, and rebuilding the farm system. So let's give all that a chance to play out. With our division, we have to win at some point in the next ten years.

Kansas City said...

One last post. I also could use someone explaining to me the chaos theory as it applies to baseball.

Unknown said...

chjohn, I did not say he was the reason we stunk. You should make sure you've read what I wrote before you comment on it. I simply said that hiring a guy who would IBB Pena to get to DeJesus who was, I think, leading the league in avg with RISP at that point is a very stupid thing to do when that person will be directly assisting the manager who had such a difficult time making the right decision last year that the players started to revolt. Is he the reason we stink. Absolutely not. Is he another dumb move by DM/Hillman? Absolutely.

Unknown said...

Leawoodcat, I can understand your argument about Glass although I disagree with it. One thing that must be corrected is that regardless of what our situation was prior to DM getting here, it did not force him to bring in the players that he has brought in over the last two years. There were other choices that could have been made. Granted, the team's situation was very very bad in 2006 but that just just meant a lot of work needed to be done. It didn't mandate how that work was to be done. There, DM has blown it all by himself.

Rolin said...

Great article as always. My wife is from KC, and I'm from San Diego -- misery loves company, as far as baseball is concerned. She has adopted her mother's childhood love, the Dodgers, as we live out in Hollywoodland. I'm still a glutton for the Padres, even with a front office that can't seem to realize that the same Petco effect that makes the hitting look bad (when it's kind of league average) makes the pitching look way too good (and so Kevin Correa is going to be our ace for at least another month). I'd go somewhere else, but to paraphrase what Anatoly sings in the musical Chess (good lord, look what inefficiency has led me to), I did not get to choose my team, my team chose me.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve G. said...

"On Glass, I firmly believe that he is the reason baseball is still in Kansas City, so I will always look favorably on him."

At what point does his free pass for keeping the franchise in Kansas City run out? He is now responsible for hiring two inefficient, inferior general managers, and (last I heard) propagating severe nepotism in the front office.

Rany, at this point, I don't blame you for (possibly) throwing the towel in. And some of these comments are letting the Royals off the hook way too easily. Haven't they been following you since back in the day, since Rob and Rany?

Kansas City said...

Glass' free pass never runs out, so long as he is making a good faith effort to field a competitive team, which he obviously is now doing with a $70 million payroll and investing in the farm system.

Most teams fail every year. Glass made a GM hire that was lauded by most everyone and gave the new GM the tools to improve the team. He hasn't significantly done so, yet.

Anonymous said...

I understand your reservations on the team getting any better with the Bentancourt trade, as I feel the same way. However, you need to look at it from Moore's point of view. He has to be pissed off at the way the team is performing and felt a change of some kind had to be made. Who else was available in a trade? Who could we really trade off our roster right now that other teams covet? Remember too, that in the off season Moore recognized the infield problem even before Avilles injury, and tried to sign both Furcal and Hudson. It is hard to sign a top notch free agent to play for the Royals until they get better. Remember that he also tried to sign Hunter before Guillen. Moore has done a good job of rebuilding the minor league system and has had what appear to be pretty good drafts, but it will take a liitle more time before we see the results at the major league level. In my opinion, Betancourt is a gamble, but it really didn't cost us all that much. Wait until the end of the season or until the start of next season before giving up on the Royals. I enjoy your posts and although I don't always agree with you, I know they come from a passionate fan.

Anonymous said...

I'm cracking up that all of the anonymous posters who are calling Rany a whiny b!tch don't realize that they're a bunch of whiny b!tches, too. It's a blog, dumba$$es. He's writing his opinions, and you're coming here to read them for free. Don't like his opinions, don't read them (especially those of you inexplicably reading this blog who dislike stats... saying people who understand sabermetrics weren't good at sports is as ignorant as saying people who don't use them weren't good at school), it's that easy. I'm guessing he won't miss you. And most of us won't miss your useless comments.

Anonymous said...

>>You must understand that you are, whether you like it or not, one of--if not the biggest--reason for so many fans' continued allegiance to this team.>>

get real - No one but you stays a fan of any team because of some blogger

John VIril said...

Rany, I've long wondered why walks are considered equal to singles in OPS. Certainly, walks are valuable, and they were obviously undervalued by "traditional" batting stats. But, walks can't move baserunners from 1st to 3rd, walks don't score a runner from second, walks don't drive in two runs with men on 2nd and 3rd. If we wish to use OPS as a measure of general offensive value, why don't we discount walks by some factor? I'm not really a big sabermetrics guy, and I suspect you BP guys hashed this issue out a long time ago. I'd really appreciate your thoughts on this issue. said...


I'm a Yankee fan, but I really enjoy this blog. Please keep writing.

Charles Winters said...

OPS does discount walks. They don't help at all in SLG, so if you have a night with 4/5 4 singles your OPS would be 1.600; if you have a night with 3/4 and 1 walk your (3 singles) your OPS would be 1.550.

See the discount? Put another way if you go 2/4 (2 singles) OPS = 1.000; if you go 0/2 (2 walks) your OPS = 0.500.

codylshs00 said...

Good riddance Rany...go back to your specialty of popping pimples and leave the Royals alone..

You say other teams that use your type of data are doing so well the Indians are one of the biggest teams into your ideals and they are worse than the Royals.

Your an idiot and have no clue about baseball

Steve said...

Betancourt will probably hit 2nd. Guillen 4th, Gordon 6th, Callaspo 7th, Teahen will be traded for a minor league OF with a .299 OBP and a glove like Dick Stuart's.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Mariners fan here - having been on the receiving end of these kinds of trades for years, I feel your pain. You have an outside of hope of Jose Guillen kicking the tar out of Betancourt and perhaps getting Yuni up from terrible to average. But yes, you could have replaced a few names and dates in this post and it could have been used by any Ms fan in the Bavasi era.

When you're done with the Royals, c'mon over to root for the Mariners. Things are looking up over this way...

Brett said...

I like the Orioles as a new team to follow. Its not a bandwagon pick but they seem to be on the verge of competency. I wish I could go through with changing my loyalties, but it'll never happen. We should organize a protest day at the K. Gather all of the intelligent baseball fans in the city, sit in the same section, bring signs and paper bags.

Another Scott said...

I don't see why everyone's so upset. At 18 letters, Yuniesky Betancourt is about the biggest name we could have traded for!

Anonymous said...

I'm as frustrated as the next guy but I'm not going to quit on my beloved team. yeah I may stop watching games on TV and go to less home games this year but I'm not going to stop being a fan. the fans needs to be very involved in telling The Royals how dumb they are for this move and what a watse of telnt they traded for. If we are all going to quit we might as well not show up for games and let the Royals move to a new market or just be contracted. You're right this team is the owrst in all of basbeall and will never get back to being respectable, let alone the playoffs. I'm sure Pirates, Reds, Nats, Marlins, Mariners, Padres, and Baltimore fans all agree with you this year. Plus some Ranger fans may be wondering if this could be their first trip, only to be crushed later on. Things are bad and are not getting better but no need to give up the ship. If anything we need to be louder and bring in the national press to express how dumb the leadership is on this team to embarrass them and force some changes.

Anonymous said...

I think the real reason we can't make things work at the MLB level is we have no one looking at the stats on players. We scout firt, look at stats 2nd. that is great when signing prospects and such but can't be used for FA or trading for established palyers. if we can just figure out how to change that at the MLB level we might be ok. So when you look at FA or trades, plese, please DM look at the stats first and if they say something ain't right it's not a lie, something ain't right. have the scouts go out to prove the stats, not evaluate the players skills. See if the stats lie, because in 99.9% of cases they do not.

Showa Hirohito said...

To Rany Jazayerli and all other long-suffering Royals fans...

There is a way out. There is always a way out of the shame and disgrace of being associated with the Kansas City Royals. You do not have to suffer any longer.

At the end of the season, when the Royals have lost 95 games once again, all Royals fans should commit mass seppuku after gathering in front of Kauffman Stadium. Only then will the shame of being a Royals fan and the Malevolent Karmic Curse of Don Denkinger be lifted from Kansas City!

Anonymous said...

Blaming Bill James for being a smart guy, is just plain stupid. He was/is not alone on digging into and looking into the statistics that make baseball what it is, a statistical paradise. I am a Bill James fan and a Royals fan, we could sure do a lot worse than have Bill James help out the Royals when they are coming up with some of these half-wit trades. Yeah, maybe someday we will be good again. Maybe we will even will the pennant,but I doubt it.

Tony Boggs said...

To "Showa Hirohito,"

Royals fans shouldn't commit seppuku. Dayton Moore should, and Trey Hillman along with him.

KCDC said...

The only thing I'd bring up is the following passage from your previous column:

"If you break down all the transactions that Dayton Moore has made since taking over in Kansas City, you find some very interesting trends. I think the most compelling is this: Moore has done a very good job – maybe even an outstanding job – of acquiring players based on a perception of their future value. He has done an absolutely horrendous job of acquiring players based on a perception of their present value.

By that, I mean that when Moore has acquired a player who has yet to establish himself in the major leagues, or a player who is established but who the Royals feel is capable of making a leap forward, he has done well. When Moore has acquired an established major league player based on what that player has already done, he has done terribly."

In order for this trade to be any sort of successful, Betancourt has to be MUCH better than he has been in the past. This is a Gil Meche-type acquisition more than it is a Jose Guillen-type acquisition. There is, of course, no reason to believe that it will be successful, but let's at least recognize that this likely bomb of a deal is in the good know, just chillin', sucking, ruining the bin's good reputation.

Anonymous said...

For those that continue to give Glass a lifetime free pass, please let us know what the man did besides running the Royals into the ground the first 7 years he 'sheparded' it (when it was a charity) and driving the value to an all-time low so he could swoop in and buy it on the cheap? What proof do you have that his purchase of the Royals was the reason the team is still in KC (except perhaps him destroying the organization to a point that no other city would want them)? His first statement as owner to paraphrase basically said that he 'would run it to break even but would not risk losing money on the team.' That's the kind of owner we have. He's spent more money on the minors (finally - it only took him 12 years to figure that one out), but is still roundly considered to be underspending on the major league club. He's still about 2-3 years behind the average payroll for a competative roster. MLB supports his team, the tax payers support his stadium, he makes money every year. He has saved TENS of MILLIONS over the past 8-9 years by putting minor league talent on the field and yet, for example, the payroll remained stationary for 2 straight years (2007 & 2008 at $58M). Yes he approved Guillen & Meche but also cut Sweeney & others to remain at the same payroll in '08 as in '07. He gets credit for spending more this year but is it really more? I submit that $70M was a good payroll back in 2006 but not in 2009 (regardless of the economy).

Let's be clear, Moore has spent the money poorly for the most part. I'm not excusing Moore, except that he's forced to go after question marks. Why? David Glass upped the budget only a fraction necessary for Moore to go after better MLB talent in FA. So Moore is force to go after marginal talent like Jacobs, Crisp, Betancourt. Quantity over Quality in hopes that they would get just enough offense/defense to get by. When you take all of the above into consideration, you have to acknowledge that Glass is still Glass the Royals are still the Royals and the city is still the laughingstock of MLB.

Dee said...

Excellent post KCDC. I see that logic and I'm for believing and hoping it's true. Bring on Yuni and Gordon and lets see what we have for the 2nd half!

Shelby said...

codylshs00 said: "Your an idiot..."

I love it.

Anonymous said...

You guys still railing on John Gibbons walking your terrible infielder:

Please remember that Pena was ahead 2-0 in the count before Gibbons had the IBB issued. But let's say Scott Downs pitches to him and gets him out. There are now just two outs. The Jays are still losing by one run. DeJesus is still coming up, and he still hits a two-run single.

Pena's stats were irrelevant to the decision. In fact, if he did get wood on the ball, it's possible he's out at first but the runner from third scores. I know JoePo phrased his piece as "Fire John Gibbons," but the subtext there was that the Royals have an everyday player so mindbendingly terrible, that otherwise-defensible baseball strategy no longer applies. I doubt Gibbons had any concept that a team could give hundreds of at-bats to a -32 OPS+ player, nor should he. He wouldn't have been ready if the Royals had put a Chupacabra, or a dog, or a girl up to bat in that position either.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone still reading comments?
Just in case, here's one NEW (only semi in jest)IDEA:
There has been talk that trades have not been more prevalent thus far because nobody has set the bar for what a mediocre player will go for in this market.
We just set the market as your team's #3 prospect for a mediocre player.
Guess who has an inordinate number of mediocre players available?


PS: I had told my 8 yr old diehard fan son that I didn't think this was a good trade and it just about broke my heart. I am pro-stats but think I need to work on not losing my inner 8-yr old self.
PSS: Love love love the blog Rany. I know I can't quit and suspect the same of you.


Scott said...

Bush league Rany.. Bush league.. The "I'm so mad I'm going to stop being a fan" line is something for snot nosed kids on message boards, not a well respected blogger of your reputation. You want to quit the Royals... fine quit, crawl away when things are rough... shows me you and Neyer are cut of the same cloth and we should have stopped reading you long ago.

Sad to say but this blog post comes off as sour grapes, and is net worse than the trade you were complaining about. In other words, I think I've reached my "Breaking Point" with your act.

Anonymous said...

I can base your argument down to one point that you are pushing--the royals gave up too much. HOGWASH! I'm sorry--Cortes is just NOT that good, and you stated it yourself that the other kid is a marginal prospect at best. Your criticism of Moore was weak, and even then you didn't even acknowledge that the Royals DO have a huge hole at ss. Even you said that TPJ was and continues to be awful, and Bloomquist is a below-average fielder at ss. What you failed to mention is that the Royals have nothing at ss down on the farm, and Aviles will be out until mid-season next year, which means really all of next season. In other words, Betancourt IS an upgrade to what the Royals have...what you also are not taking into consideration is that there is a shortage of decent shortstops throughout all of mlb--Moore is just dealing with the issue for his team as it is. As I stated, he is not giving up much to get some stability at ss. Cortes was going to get passed up by other pitchers in the organization next season anyway. One last thing: the Seattle clubhouse has been a problem for a long time, even before Betancourt got there. A change of scenery could be a good thing for him. I cannot remember if you mentioned this in your long blogpost, but the ex-Mariners on the Royals do not agree with you at all.

Cfulks said...

the people defending this deal, fail to see the bigger picture, the ROyals continue to acquire players who do not walk, do not slug and as a general rule are not winning ballplayers.

Grain of Salt said...

The Royals are the new Clippers. Hey Rany, imagine trying to pitch this to the Royals:

Scott A said...

I'm not a huge fan of this but I won't jump off a cliff because of it either...

It's really a swap of teams disappointments... Granted ours hasn't disappointed as long as Seattle's, but are we really going to complain about dealing a future long relief candidate for a year or two of better than we had SS? Gotta put the whole picture together, with Aviles out and nothing really to replace him this trade isn't awful...

Anders Peterson said...

somehow, since the first time since, like, bo jackson, did the royals' rep have a real shot at winning over some fans. we need a shot to remember how exciting this zack greinke is. we need to be excited about what he may mean to the team we could have coming in the not-too-distant future. i'm excited about this; this is what feels good about being a fan of a team...

Shelby said...

There's some truth to what Derspete says, I think.

Anonymous said...

I think "Kansas City" is onto something. If it is true that Glass can't make a profit selling the team, then Mr. Kauffman has forever banished this team to mediocrity.

Most owners build value for the future, and make their real money when they sell the team. The only opportunity Glass has to profit from baseball ownership is to generate cash flow from it. This means there is no way he will invest beyond the short term.

Unfortunate, but that would explain a lot about why we have never fielded a competitive team since Mr. K departed.

Kansas City said...

Wow. Anon raises a very interesting issue. Would Glass' agreement to the the benevolent provision of forfeiting the opportunity profit from the sale of the team actually motivate him to extract more profit from the team prior to sale?

In theory, maybe. In practice,probably not. I think the impact of the provision was probably a lower purchase price.

Anon states "Most owners build value for the future, and make their real money when they sell the team." I don't know that there are facts to support that proposition.

Does the no profit from sale provision actually cause Glass to spend less and extract more profit each year? I doubt it. In fact, since a better team would generate greater profits, there might be the opposite effect. In any event, I think it is too speculative to prove. The Royals have the 21st highest payroll this year (I think), so at least this year, Anon's theory does not seem to apply.

Matt Berger said...

Rany im 20 years old, ive never really seen a winning Royals season 2003 doesn't really count. I want to give up, I want to stop caring but I can't and I haven't so you can't either. Might I suggest you keep being critical and hope you're comments reach ears who belong to someone in position to make decisions. You have a bully pulpit keep using it. I look forward to meeting you Saturday.

Anonymous said...

I don't like your comments.

I am quitting your blog

Steve said...

Hey Dayton, I hear that Brian Giles is available.

Wabbitkiller said...

I agree with Rany: This trade is so unbelieveably stupid that it lacks description. It's not as bad as Neifi for Dye was from a sheer talent perspective, but it's still abysmally bad because of all the other factors.

The Mariners should be GIVING something to the Royals to take Betancourt off of their hands, not the other way around. Even more disturbing is the trend that Rany pointed out. Guillen, Jacobs, TPJ and Betancort are ALL incredibly STUPID aquisitions. Dayton Moore has established a TREND of making BAD aquisitions now, so why should we expect anything different in the future?

The Royals are going NOWHERE as long as DM continues to make utterly STUPID decisions like this. I guess the bright side is that he'll get the minors rebuilt so that the next (and hopefully competent) GM will have something to work with.

Anonymous said...

Man, I quit this blog last year because of spleeny, prima donna shit like this. I can't remember what compelled me to come back this season. I'll stick by the Royals with all their warts and giant holes, but who wants to subscribe to a blog where the host alternately begs for attention and threatens to quit the team through which he seeks fame? It's frustrating and annoying and I'm reserving those feelings for the rest of the season. Someone let me know how Rany gracefully slithers back in when the Royals are doing better. I'm unsubscribing.

Antonio. said...

1. I love all you bastards that take people "hoping off the bandwagon" so personally like it's an insult to your honor or something. That attitude either has high school or 80s movie written all over it. If Rany wants to take a passing interest in the Royals because he never gets back as much as he gives, more power to him! Everyone can be damned sure that he's definitely given his all to this team in just the last two years alone with this blog, using his free time and giving it to us for our entertainment instead of spending it with his family. I'm not going to miss Rany as a Royals fan because it's a faceless sea of many people. I'm going to miss Rany as a blogger if he stops feeding us our addiction or even if he slows his incredible pace. He's a brilliant writer and analyst and the Royals don't really deserve fans like that. The man is entitled to a well-deserved break whenever he chooses. Same goes for Rob Neyer. So please stop behaving like you're a lover that was jilted at the altar.

2. It's a huge deal because the Royals paid for "talent" (once more) that can and should be had for free. He's is without a doubt better than TPJ, but what the hell kind of compliment is that? I'm sure Hitler is better than Satan too. It also shows that Dayton Moore refuses to learn his lessons. TPJ was a mistake and it's not in hindsight either. I was typing that exact same thing on March 31st, 2007. And here we are yet again though it's worse. We're giving up a significantly better talent that's at a higher level (and he's the only real talent we have in Double-A pitching) and we're ADDING to it by including a marginal prospect AND paying a lot of money (relatively speaking compared to what we paid TPJ)...all for a player that is marginally more talented than TPJ.

3. What did the Braves fan say that was so wrong? "I am a Braves fan"?

4. Why do you have to have a "team" or nothing at all? Why can't you just watch baseball? If this blog stays and becomes a baseball blog opposed to a Royals blog, it'll still be top notch--the name will have to change, of course.

5. "Also, interesting point that Patek was only 309 OBP. I also looked up White and Balboni. Each was 293 OBP. How did the team win and why were these guys considered good offensive players."

White wasn't considered a good offensive player. And also, those teams won because everyone then had the same outlook. Every team had offensive black holes, especially up the middle (2b, ss, cf, c) That's no longer the case.

6. I love how some seem to think that Moore/Picollo/Francisco/Taylor are infallible, as if they've never been wrong about talent before (Ramirez, Nunez, Gload, Guillen, Jacobs, Pena, Hernandez, H. Ramirez, Ponson).

7. Poster KC was right that Mr. Glass cannot profit off the sale of the Kansas City Royals. But I'm not sure if that means they must be sold at the amount that they're worth or at the amount he bought them for. And if it's the latter, then someone is going to get a hell of a deal as that person will not be bound by Kauffman's will. And if it's the former, then that doesn't say that Glass can't make money off the Royals until the time of the sale--and he's definitely done that and that's probably why he let the team go to the doldrums first.

8. It doesn't take all that much to get better than a Pena/Hernandez duo. You don't have to give up anything at all to get better than those two. And making a move because your pissed off rarely, if ever, works out or makes sense.

9. Guillen wasn't Plan B (or Plan C). He was co-Plan A. The other part of the co was Hunter or Jones. It was always Hunter/Jones AND Guillen.