Friday, December 21, 2007

Right Idea; Wrong Division



As my counterpart Dylan alluded to at the end of his last post, there's a team in KC's division that has a murderer's row lineup. And as you can tell by the incredibly shabby graph someone cooked up on the interweb, 2007 was a competitive year for the Central, which hadn't been that competitive in a long while. Dylan's gonna sit this round of analysis out; he's currently in Germany looking for an outfield bat.

Before I get to the sizing up of the rest of the division, let's size up the Royals offseason, so far. This acquisition of UT Alberto Callapso has all the markings of a good trade. Though we gave up a good arm at a position where we have arguably the worst depth in the majors throughout the organization, he may end up being our second basemen of the future. He has hit in the mid-.300s in all the years of his AAA career, and only had limited appearances in the bigs. Also, Ron Mahay's on board, which, while a pretty good deal, leaves our bullpen filled with lefties, lefties, and more lefties. It sucks not resigning Riske, because he was the cog who got us to Soria or Dotel in the first place, which is arguably as important as saving the game itself. We missed out on Kuroda, but everyone saw that coming, as the Dodgers were the first to overpay him.

Anyways, we all know about the Tigers. Adding Cabrera (assuming he drops some weight...that dude is very, very fat) and Dontrelle Willis can instantly be seen as an improvement to the big league club. However, they gave up A LOT of young pitching, including their #1 draft pick from 2006, Andrew Miller. The Indians will be strong again. The White Sox, who have done nothing in the offseason except acquire Orlando Cabrera for a good young pitcher, can't really go anywhere but up. The Twins; this is the team that worries me most. First of all, the Matt Garza-for-Delmon Young swap is going to make the loss of Torii Hunter MUCH less painful, as Delmon can play center, has already established himself as a major league hitter now just looking for that power swell, and he's 22. Also, the Twins are going to bring in an absolute HAUL from the eventual dealing of Johan Santana. While Santana has been mowing down hundreds of Royals batters routinely over the past half decade, he's only one guy who can only pitch one game in a series. If they get any of these young players that have been mentioned in the trade talks, whether it be Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Philip Hughes, Lastings Milledge, or the like, they're going to get those guys and 3-4 good prospects. Five guys with legitimate big league potential, and young. Sounds like bad timing to be a Royals fan.

This 2008 Royals team will be the best one we've seen in the last five or six years, and I'll even include 2003's above .500 squad. Problem is, our division doesn't have many holes. But as long as I have a typewriter and these falsified subpoenas I've been working on, there's always hope.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Pennant In The Making (Very Slowly)


Well, three things of significance have taken place this winter for the Royals:

1.) They signed clubhouse cancer/juicer Jose Guillen for a lot of money (36 for 3)
2.) They did not sign the most overrated player in baseball (Andruw Jones, 36 for 2)
3.) Dylan was mildly amused by the former, overjoyed by the latter

Personally, I am a fan of the signing, but only if a couple of other things happen as well:

1.) The Royals need to leave Mark Teahen and Alex Gordon where they are.
2.) They need to sign another starting pitcher (not Carlos "I Don't Walk Anyone, But I Get Shelled Pretty Hard" Silva).
3.) They need to deal Dave Dejesus or Joey Gathright.

All of this is based on the assumption that Gordon and Butler will improve, and Teahen will hit at least 15 homers. As previously discussed, if Teahen does not hit 15 or more homers a year, then he has very little value as a major leaguer. With all this said, here is my home run projections for our starters:

1.) David Dejesus: 8
2.) Mark Grudzielanek: 5
3.) Mark Teahen: 16
4.) Jose Guillen: 24
5.) Alex Gordon: 25
6.) Billy Butler: 18
7.) Ryan Shealy: 14
8.) John Buck: 15
9.) TPJ: 2
----------------------------
2008 Starters Total: 127
2007 Team Total: 102 (last in AL)
(Factor in approx. 15 bench homers)
2008 Team Total: 142

Even this incredibly optimistic jump in homerun totals puts the Royals 11th in the AL, tied with Baltimore, and we all know the punch that Baltimore packs in their lineup (big time eye-rolling).

The point here is that the Royals need more. Hopefully, A-God can become the 30-35 HR hitter we've been dreaming of for decades of Royals suckdom, but that's just one guy. The Royals need to get more, and develop the players they draft at a higher level. We've seen what Dayton has done with the minor leagues and player development so far, and it appears that he has us on the right track, but we need guys like Mike Moustakas (1st rounder in 07) to make impacts. We can't continue to miss on draft picks, especially in the early rounds.

Bomb jobs (much like blow jobs, i suppose) are more than just crowd-pleasers, they are game-changers. Unless I'm sorely mistaken (which is almost impossible), the KC Soft Singles did not hit one Grand Slam last year. Not one. That doesn't provide the "Sonic Slam" contestant very good odds for winning the 25 grand in the 6th, now does it? The most effective way of scoring runs in bunches is the homerun. It's not the only way, but it is by far the most efficient and the Royals simply have to hit more if they want to win more games. Without a "lights out"-type pitching staff, you have to be able to score runs in bunches. KC, who was somehow not the lowest scoring team in the AL (way to go, White Sox!), scored just 4.36 RPG last year. The Yankees, tops in the league, were at a 5.97 clip. Now, I know the Royals are not the Yankees, nor will they ever be, but they need to get that number up to about league average to possibly compete for division titles (taking out the top and bottom teams, league avg. is 4.86 RPG).

And, oh yeah, the powder blues are back. (blech).

Today's Lesson: Don't play in a division where one of the other teams in that division has a lineup that looks something like this:

1. Curtis Granderson
2. Pudge Rodriguez
3. Gary Sheffield
4. Miguel Cabrera
5. Magglio Ordonez
6. Carlos Guillen
7. Placido Polanco
8. Edger Renteria
9. Jacque Jones

Who is this team? Hint: They play in a really shitty city.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Winter Wonderland...


It is Monday afternoon on a chilly December day, and my Royals obsession has once again kicked in. Thanks to Dayton Moore competence, and David Glass's sudden drive to win World Series (thanks for the last 15 or so years, Dave), the Royals are suddenly in position to contend not only for division titles, but for big name players as well. Hopefully the days where the biggest news of the off season is the signing of Darryl May are long gone. Names like Jose Guillen, Andrew Jones (God I hope not), and highly respected Japanese sensation Hiroki Kuroda. The addition of Trey Hillman, Japanese manager for the past few seasons, as the new manager of the 2008 Royals has already paid dividends as the Royals were able to lure established reliever Yasuhiko Yabuta from the depths of the far east. It is obvious that this Royals squad is headed in the right direction. That's about it for my welcome back to the Royals blog intro, so let's get in to the meat (preferably lamb chops) of today's discussion.

Let me preface this rant by acknowledging that what I'm about to reveal is 100% speculation. Apparently, the demand for David Dejesus is extremely high right now. Because all of the free-agent high-level center fielders are quite pricey, double D has become somewhat of a hot topic as the off-season moves progress. From what I have heard, Dayton Moore has labeled Dave as one of our "young core position players" along with Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, Mark Teahen, and John Buck (sorry TPJ, maybe next time), he has openly said that Dejesus is not available. Now, hopefully this is simply a tactic in luring higher quality players (established and prospects) from other organizations. If not, this statement just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. While the lord of the KC outfield has been a reasonably effective player for the past 2 plus seasons, he is certainly expendable. Joey Gathright showed us last season that he has the ability to continue to grow and fill into the potential that the D-Rays saw when he was drafted. He showed improved defense, improved bunting/situational hitting skills, and improved base-running. Joey's rob jobs in back to back nights of what appeared to be Aaron Hill homers were easily the defensive plays of the year (the guy can jump over a damn car, for cryin' out loud!). Both Gathright and Dejesus do not have a spot on this roster. At this point in time, my preference would be the kangaroo kid. (Too obscure??? Look it up. I'm pretty proud of that nick name. not only does it fit his name, but also his leaping abilities! Yay, me!) I have no reason to doubt Dayton Moore at this point in time in his tenure as the Royals General Manager, but I pray that he is working on shopping one of these guys. It appears as if it will take quite a bit for Jose Guillen to not be a part of the '08 outfield, so maximizing value for one of these players is imperative.

Today's Lesson: Never bet more than $10 on a high jump contest with a kangaroo.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Trey Bomb



Introducing our new manager, Trey Hillman. Hillman, a vet of the NYY farm system (winning manager of the year several times), has been in Japan turning Nippon into a contender. From what I know (which is not much at this point), I like the move; risky, perhaps, but savvy and a good choice for a young team. After the progress Dayton Moore created this year, I'll trust him.

Pennant 2008.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Grocery List



First of all, we need a manager. Although the splendid reign of Buddy Bell makes many Kansas Citians wish that these days could last forever (cough cough), it's time to find someone else to helm this relatively rightward vessel. The names we've heard: Terry Pendleton, Frank White, and a gaggle of old-timers who haven't managed in a half-decade. The names we haven't heard: Tony Muser, Calvin Pickering, and that minor league manager who threw that ridiculous tantrum last year. I'm glad we are sticking to the former list.

As I've been saying to many of my friends (tuckcity edit: acquiantances), I actually think the Royals have pieces off which to build, as compared to the past, where these "pieces" (Neifi Perez, Carlos Febles, Chip Ambres) were mere mirages. We're set at 3B, 2B, C, SS for the time being, and have two outfield spots tacked down. Also, we have a fairly solid front end of the rotation and a bullpen that surprised a lot of people this year (although when we took Greinke out and plugged him in the rotation, the middle relief was much spottier). If we can go forth with Meche, Greinke, and the sublimely consistent performance of Brian Bannister, we're pretty good in that regard. Soria is awesome; he stays at closer. The rest? We will have to wait and see.

The problems we need to address are both the obvious (everyone needs middle relief help) and the not-so-clear. First of all, we need either Teahen to somehow learn to mash the ball, or we need to look elsewhere. If DeJesus is in center, his production is fine, but if you move him to one of the corners, the result is something short of desirable. We need a power bat. The Royals HR record is still 30. This is absolutely pathetic.

It has been suggested that the Royals will try to make a run at Andruw Jones, but that's just speculation brought on by the fact that Dayton Moore has already swiped every Braves player and Braves front-office member that he can get his paws on (not necessarily a bad thing, they did win like 10 straight division titles). What does help is that Andruw Jones left a lot to be desired, performance-wise, at the plate this year. This guy hit 50 homers two seasons ago. Many of the bigger teams' owners may have short-term memory loss in this case; Druw's gonna get PAID. If we can get into the mix, Jones's impact would be substantial; in this market with our pretty decent staff, he could be a 5-8 win player. No joke.

However, we will probably be forced to try to sign/deal for other cheaper options. The Indians' Franklin Gutierrez, the Ray's Rocco Baldelli and Jonny Gomes, and the D-Ray's Carlos Quentin are all gettable options (thanks for the excellent analysis on this, RoyalsReview).

Bottom line, it should be interesting. The Royals will be in the Andruw Jones mix; but we'll have to wait and see how much is too much for Glass and Co.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What to do, what to do....


First of all before we get started here... Gil Meche got his second straight victory last night after a stretch of 9 starts without a win. Even better, the Royals pulled back into fourth place over the dreaded White Sox. I'm gonna go crazy, and say that Gil wins 14-17 games next year......

Now, the soup de jour.... The Royals have a problem. It involves the Son of God, a guy who can jump over cars, and a Money Baller. Yes, the Royals outfield needs a change. David Dejesus, Joey Gathright, and Marvelous Mark Teahen have combined for 14 homers and 144 RBIs with just a handful (think Andre the Giant's hand) of games left in the season. Yowzba. 14 dongs from three outfielders. I suppose you could throw Emil Brown's six in there and make it a whopping twenty (Side Note: Emil Brown is once again leading the team in RBIs with extremely limited playing time...). A few names with 20 or more homers in the AL: Jack Cust, Curtis Granderson, Josh Fields, Neifi Perez... Ok the last one is simply not possible, but you get the point. The Royals have been on a serious power outage ever since Carlos Beltran was traded to the Oilers... I mean the Rockets... what's that?... the Astros?... huh. What is an Astro? Is that kind of like a Nittany Lion? Oh, like the Jetson's character? forget it. Where am I? Oh yeah: WE NEED TO HIT MORE HOMERUNS!!! Sorry, that was probably a little extreme, but come on, John Buck leads the team in big flies for crying out loud. The solution for me is to find a way to get rid of Dejesus. No power + no speed + no defense = anger for Dylan. I like the guy (Very friendly when approached at Tiffany's), and I know he is a run scorer, but come on, he is not a CF or a lead-off man. He is a solid number 2 hitter or 6 hitter, but he does not hit for enough power out of those spots. For me, the guy is Joey Gathright. He looks like a different player this year, e.g. learned how to bunt, playing good "D" (with the exception of some Metrodome blunders, but who cares about that piece place anyway?), hitting the ball on the ground... you get the picture. Gathright is my man in center, and I think that Teahen will rebound to hit 15+ homers in '08 and continue to improve in right field. I now place the responsibility in the hands of Mr. Moore and his staff to find a reasonable trade for Dejesus and acquire a power-hitting corner outfielder (is Vlad Guerrero available for the league minimum?).

Tonight: Bri Ban plunks AJP in the head and the world rejoices.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Gloomy September...


As rain water soaked my dome and cascaded down the steps of the University of Kansas campus today, I wondered to myself, "Why, Tuck? Why do you still care about the Royals right now?" Yes, the boys in blue are having a rough go at it this month. Losing 10 of their last 12 games has really done a number to my second half prediction that had them finishing just shy of .500. Though they still have a chance to finish ahead of the White Sox, with 6 games left between Good and Evil, it seems unlikely as the team limps towards the finish line. I then I found it. The reason I still care. Alex Gordon. The kid is the real deal. I had my doubts, as did many, when the month of May ended with Gordon looking like the second coming of Neifi Perez at the plate, but then he turned it all around, and looks to have the makings of a future hall of famer! Gordon has been sensational in his Rookie campaign since the start of June (coincidentally, the start of his Major League renaissance began on the date of my birth, June 6, as he went 4 for 4 against Cleveland). Since that fateful day, he has hit for power and average, ran the bases well, and played terrific defense. Gordon is the key to this team's eventually success (think 2009), and will hopefully retire in a blue and white uniform (Dodgers fans: shut up). Because of this man, and this man alone, I still flood my mind with Royals propaganda, and can not wait for his first "real" full season as a professional baseball player.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

How Sweet It Is....

Finally!!! Good Lord, it's about time. The Royals are not losing 100 games this year; it's finally official. Only eight games later after the KC Star's very well timed article stating the Royals will not lose 100 games, Gil Meche and Co. put some truth behind it. The Royals rattled off a pretty abysmal 7 game losing streak immediately following the Star's publication that begged the question, "hey, is it really possible that this team will lose 20+ straight games?" It turned out that the answer is no, obviously, but for it while it seemed like it was quite possible.

Anywho... Gil Meche has been a phenomenal signing for this team. The wins will come if he continues to pitch the way he has all season long. Is he a true #1? I doubt it, but he is certainly a more than capable #2 or #3. Meche's ERA in the three season's prior to his Royals debut stood at a not so impressive 4.90. Even worse was that his ERA was close to 6 on the road. These statistics just make this year's numbers look even better. A 3.78 ERA overall and a mind-boggling 3.47 on the road! It makes sense that his numbers would be impressive in the comfy confines of Safeco field for the previous three seasons, but what he has done this year has to be a shock for most. One group of people are not shocked, and that group is Dayton Moore, Dean Taylor and the rest of the KC front office. What was viewed by many as the most absurd cash splurge of the 06-07 off season has proven to almost be a bargain (just look at Adam Eaton, Barry Zito, etc.). In my opinion, Dayton has had a phenomenal start to his tenure as Royals GM and has to this point left me with little room to doubt further acquisitions...

tonight: The Royals enjoy their off day by taking a long steam shower together.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Way To Go Dylan! (and A Rod)

Well, I did it. I managed to destroy Bannister's chances at Rookie of the Year with one blogger post. Here's the telephone call I received last night at about 2 AM:

Dylan: ..... Um... Hello?

Random Voice: Thanks a lot, jerk.

Dylan: ... What?? It's 2 AM, who is this?

Random Voice: I saw your little blog the other day... something about me taking home all kinds of hardware this year. Well you blew it, you little punk, you blew it. And now you've been banned from the K.

Dylan: Alright, Michael Tucker, this really isn't funny any....

Voice: This isn't Michael Tucker, whoever that is.

Dylan: Allard?

Voice: Nope

Dylan: Albie?

Voice: It's Brian Bannister you fuckin' retard!

Dylan: Oh, Brian... it's you. I never thought that you would...

BB: Shut it! You shut your mouth when I'm talking to you! You promised me you would stop making individual player predictions!

Dylan: I know, I know... it's just that you were pitching so well and I thought that...

BB: Yeah, yeah.. same old story. You're never gonna change are you!?!

Dylan: I just... I just don't even know anymore... can we talk about it over coffee sometime or something?

BB:.....

Dylan: Bri?

BB: Yeah, I'm still here.

Dylan: Well?

BB: Sure, that sounds nice.

Dylan: K, it's a date then.

BB: I'm sorry I yelled at you like that, it's just that sometimes I...

Dylan: Brian, it's OK.

BB: I'll call you tommorow... I love you.

Dylan: I know. Goodnight, Brian.

BB: Night.


Tonight: Buckner puts in 8 innings of 3-hit ball and J Buck goes yard... twice.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Brian "Roy" Bannister....


Brian Bannister should be the 2007 American League Rookie of the Year. Just take a peek at this line...

12-7, 3.16 ERA, Complete Game, 1.15 WHIP (148+ innings), 2 K/BB

Yikes, that puts him 1st for rookies in ERA (4th in American League: .01 behind this scrub, not to be confused with this legend). 2nd in dubs behind the Second Coming: Dice-K, who got shelled for 7 runs yesterday and still got the win... which brings me to the biggest point for me: 10th worst run support in the American League! Bannister has won 63% of his decisions while the Royals fluff the ball around the yard for him!

Let's take a look at Ambiorix Burgos' replacement's challengers:

Dice-K: 14-11, 4.11 ERA, 2.5 K/BB, 1.30 WHIP

Jeremy Guthrie (Baltimore): 7-5, 3.62 ERA, 2.75 K/BB, 1.15 WHIP

Dustin Pedroia (BoSox): .327/.395/.449, 6 HR, 32 2B, 36 K, 43 BB

Hideki Okajima (BoSox): 3-1, 1.54 ERA, 3.6 K/BB

Clearly, of these three, only the miniature-masher is competition for Bannister. If B^2 gets his ERA in the top three in the league and under 3.00 by the end of the season, it should not even be a competion.

One major problem: Three of these players are on a dominant east coast team that gets a pretty good chunk of national baseball attention. To me, it would be shocking if Bannister wins the award, but it would also be a true injustice.

Tonight: The debut of Billy Buckner as a starter. Gordon hits homers 15,16, and 17.

Monday, August 27, 2007

What to do, What to do....


The Royals have some choices to make in regards to their 2008 pitching staff. This is a good thing. It is the first time in a while that it appears the Royals will have some starting pitching options.

Let's start with what is expected:
Starters: Gil Meche, Brian Bannister, Kyle Davies.....
Relievers: Jimmy Gobble, Joel Peralta, John Bale, Ryan Braun, David Riske (Assuming he resigns with KC)....

Barring free-agency (In which I expect Dayton to add another proven starter to the rotation), there are several pitchers with uncertain futures: Zack Greinke, Joakim Soria, Leo Nunez, Brandon Duckworth, Billy Buckner, Luke Hochevar.

The thing is... all of these fellows can be viewed as starters. Assuming that Davies keeps his starting spot, that leaves just two spots in the Royals rotation. A combo of Zack Greinke and Joakim Soria will fill one of the last two starter spots and the closer spot. Soria has been sensational in his first Major League season, posting a sub 3 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning. He has 14 saves in 18 opportunities and has shown a toughness ("Mexican Tough" as Buddy explains) that is perfect for shutting down games. Greinke continues to be an enigma, and has been given yet another shot in the starting rotation after posting a mid 3 ERA in the bullpen. In my opinion, Greinke has to be a starter. It is obvious... he has four plus pitches that he can throw at a wide variety of speeds (high 60s to high 90s) which points to using him in more than just one inning per game. OK, we will say that problem is solved for now(obviously it's not; Greinke still has a TON to prove, but we will move on anyway).

That leaves just one starting spot, which ideally will be one by one of the AAA guys (Hochevar, Buckner). Buckner has been more consistent and pitched well in his MLB debut, but Hochevar was the #1 pick for the Royals and has posted fantastic strikeout numbers (over a strikeout an inning combined AA and AAA) while struggling to shut opponents down (especially the long-ball). Assuming that one of these guys gets the fifth spot in the rotation, our starters in 2008 look like such:

1. Gil Meche
2. Brian Bannister
3. Zack Greinke
4. Kyle Davies
5. Billy Buckner/Luke Hochevar

That still leaves Leo Nunez (who really has earned a serious look at this point in time) and Brandon Duckworth (who when healthy has been a valuable asset as a starter and reliever).

One of these guys will probably end up in long relief and the other will be traded or in the minors. this leaves my 2008 bullpen looking something like this...

Middle Relief:
Brandon Duckworth
Buckner/Nunez
John Bale

Set Up:
Jimmy Gobble
David Riske
Joel Peralta/Ryan Braun

Closer:
Joakim Soria

This is seriously the first time I can remember the Royals having options both in the rotation and in the bullpen, and shows to me how Dayton has really changed the developmental stages of this organization. Like I said before, I would really like Dayton to go out and try and get a proven starter (although, pickens are slim in the 07/08 free agency market) as an insurance plan; but even if he fails to do so, the Royals have options. This would leave some significant extra cash for some pop........ To Be Continued.....

Tonight: Royals dream about a Tiger sweep........

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Joey Gathright: Modern Hero



Bobby Jenks is a fat, modestly ugly White Sox pitcher who retired 41 consecutive batters, presumably on pure luck and/or an unholy contract. Joey Gathright is a diminuitive blur of an outfielder whose favorite pastime is jumping over cars at area stripmalls. I would certainly link you to that post and its glorious Youtube video, but the Google/Blogger people apparently hate Macs, barring me from doing so. Sidebar: Way to go, Google. Let's alienate the smartest and most creative populations (and dare I say most handsome) by alienating Mac users. Certainly those people aren't bloggers. Idiots.

Any-old-who, Joey Gathright was supposed to be victim #42, but Joey had the resolve and confidence of Rod Carew at the dish for this particular instant in Major League History. After falling behind 0-2 (and a foot away from a triple on 0-1), Gathright hit a clean single between short and third to end Jenks' streak, which left him tied with Jim Barr in regards to consecutive batters retired. And yes, the game soon ended in a Royals loss, but let's not that get in the way of a historic defense of purity and good by the Royals outfielder, who once brawled with one of my least favorite players in baseball, Julian Tavarez. Dude is doing the Lord's work.

You see, it is my opinion that the casual baseball fan should hate the White Sox more than the dreaded Yankees or the sublimely mediocre Philadelphia Phillies. They cheated in a World Series! Sure, the Sox owner at the time, Charlie Comiskey, makes Mr. Burns look like Mother Teresa, but let's be real for a moment. At a moment when baseball was perhaps at its golden age, the 1919 "Black Sox" corrupted much of that innocence, epitomized by children, puppies, and Saturday mornings. So, by preventing a White Sox pitcher from reaching a historic milestone (and remember, Bobby Jenks has one of those insufferable landing-strip goatees), Joey Gathright protected this innocence, romance, and purity. Joey Gathright is a beacon of everything that is right.

So, I ask that today you stop and think of what Joey Gathright has done for us all. As we all reach that inevitable conclusion that the world is not what we thought it was, think of a lithe, short, unfathomably speedy Royals outfielder who has our collective best interests at heart. Godspeed, young Joey. Godspeed.

P.S. One of Corby and the Royals good friends has started a sports blog, so I'd like to direct our billions of readers to his site at vranifieldhouse.blogspot.com. Good night, and good luck.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thank The Lord... (or David Glass)


The Royals pulled it off. The played chicken with Super-Agent Scott Boras and won. Dayton Moore, Deric Ladnier, and the rest of the Royals staff managed to come to an agreement with the second pick in the '07 draft, Mike Moustakas (Above right). It went down to the wire, but they managed to sign the young slugger with a 4 million dollar bonus. Along with the rest of Royals nation, I was starting to worry. All reports told me that the two sides were not even close and a deal would most likely not get done. If the deal fell through, it would have been a giant step back for the Royals organization that had appeared to turn a corner with the Gil Meche signing (who once again got screwed with no run support last night). While the player draft is still flawed in my opinion (RHP Rick Porcello signed for 7 million at the 27th spot!), the Royals managed to get their pick signed without spending too much more than slot money ($.9 million). To me, this is still just notch number 2 for the "new look Royals", but it is an extremely important step.

Tonight: Nunez continues to wow....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

'Bout Time!



Congratulations to Mark Teahen for hitting his sixth home run of the season, enough to tie the home run totals of such sluggers as Marco Scutaro and Dustin Pedroia. Yipes.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ye Ole Reality Check...


Ok, fine. We get it baseball gods, the Royals are not a playoff caliber team.... alright, they are not even close to a playoff caliber team; but, come one! Throw us a freakin' bone here! I'm sick of the continuous vomitting induced by the Yankees lineup thoroughly raping us. Just give us one close game where we can go into the bottom of the ninth with a reasonable chance of winning the game! We get the point, and we've fallen hard off of our high horse that we mounted and tamed after an extremely successful road trip. I thank you for taken Scott Elarton to the baseball afterlife, but we need more! We want Mark Teahen to squeak a line drive off of the bottom of the foul pole! We want a complete game from somebody, anybody! We want Jason Larue to crawl into a hole and never come out! And mostly, we want the MOTHER F$%*ING Yankees to leave and bother someone else!!!


Tonight: De La Rosa continues to struggle, and Kei Igawa finds his rythm (Not rythm at the level of the blockbuster hit "Stomp the Yard", but rythem none the less!)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Has A New Era Begun...


Or are we just getting set up for extreme disappointment? The Royals have been trapped in the cellar, feeding on rats and bread crumbs, since an extremely fluke 2003 season (though not at the fluke level of Jeff Weaver, Jeff Suppan and the 2006 World Series Champions). After a great win (and series win) in Detroit, the Royals find themselves tied with the always hated and lowly White Sox. Yes, it's just fourth place, and yes, there is indeed a lot of season left, but things seemed to have really turned a corner. The Royals have played above .500 baseball for two months now and just finished 5-4 on the hardest possible road trip in baseball. Billy Butler appears to be an absolute prodigy and the bullpen continues to excel. Which leaves us with the question of "What is next?" Well, hopefully for the die hards who have suffered through 20 years of miserable baseball (luckily it's only been about 6 for me), this marks the beginning for a team that will contend for division championships for years. I'm obviously getting way ahead of myself, but this is about as exciting as Royals baseball has been in a long time. Just think... when was the last time you can remember not counting down the days before the Chiefs go to River Falls just to take your mind of the disgrace of KC baseball? It's been a while. Go out and continue to watch this team develop because I think that good things are in store for Royals fans soon.

Tonight: Roger Clemens realizes why Chet Steadman (Gary Busey) is the real Rocket.

Trade Bait, Summer Edition



Whenever I get crap for being a Royals fan, I always run to the same maxim: yes, it may suck now, but imagine how good we are going to feel when we actually win something. If we won the World Series, I would go on a bender that would topple half the freakin' continent.

But that won't be for a while. It's amazing to see a team once so far down and out resurge, and really play some awesome baseball against the best teams the American League has to offer--on the road, of all places! It is becoming clear we have the pieces to make something special, but we as fans now need to be patient as development is often a painfully slow process.

Though the Royals have won 22 of their last 38 games, it is important to see what kind of moves we can make to ensure a better future. In the Glass-Ball era, we pretty much sold off guys we had developed for years to the highest bidder to avoid paying them what they were worth and trimming the thrifty Dave Glass's profit margins. But, as you see so often, a contending team pressing for an impact player will toss up some of their best prospects--think of the Mets trading Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano, and The Cards trading Dan Haren for Mark Mulder. But, more often, the prospects never deliver on the promise you traded away (Dye for Neifi Perez, ahem ahem), and you are probably stuck with a malcontent who can't hit or field.

So, it may suck to see some very likeable players get traded. However, if it pans out and the Royals win 100 games in three years, it may be a little easier to forget about the Mark Grudzielaneks of the world.

Tradeable Assets

Mark Grudzielanek, 2B: Since coming of the DL, Grudz has been hotter than the shores of Rio de Janeiro. He has also been a reliable veteran leader, and he won a Gold Glove, for Chrissakes! When was the last time a Royal did that? However, it looks like the Mets are in need of a 2B, and if there is anyone we can pry uber-talent Lastings Milledge out of their grasp...we gotta do it. But I looooooovvvveee me some Grudz.

Octavio Dotel, RP: I have less fuzzy feelings about this one. While I admire Dotel's performance this year (holding righties and lefties to matching .379 slugging percentanges), I don't see how he could possibly pitch better than this. Also, he pitches with a tremendous amount of emotion, and when the pressure is on, he has the poise of Kid Rock in Congress. Every contender is going to want bullpen help. If we get tossed a B/C pitching prospect, who are we to say no?

Reggie Sanders, OF: Ok, we won't get much for this one unless we take the entire cap hit, which is something the Royals will do. The Red Sox are interested and are growing disenchanted with Wily Mo Pena, a guy who can hit it to Nantucket from Boston...if he makes contact. Big, big if.

Emil Brown, OF: My theory about the reason Joey Gathright was sent down was that Dayton Moore would try his best to deal Brown for, well, anything. Gathright is the guy they wanna keep; it's impossible to send Brown to the minors without waiving him. Every night, I pray that his bat wakes up for a magical week so that we can get some discarded, left out minor league pitcher who amazingly develops into our best pitcher. I just finished Harry Potter, so maybe I am thinking too fantastically.

Yanks tonight...for four games. They have been pounding the ball like Team AppleJuice (our softball team's) talented opponents this year.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

This is the end



In today's KC star, Sam Mellinger wrote a piece trying to elicit sympathy for the oft-injured Royals captain Mike Sweeney, piling up the stats, and making an effort to relate Mike's mental and physical struggles. I respect the attempt, but I'd like to offer my interpretation of the Mike Sweeney saga.

When Mike is healthy, he's good. Batting title good. However, since he signed that mega-deal 5 years ago (5 years, $55 million, evenly dispersed at $11 mil per year), he has played in about 60% of the Royals' games. Now, he's down and out again, and if there is merit in the poll conducted by the Star, Royals fans want to see Billy Butler out there even when Sweeney comes back. If he comes back.

It's a sad end for a guy that has stood out in the community who said and did all the things you could expect from a team captain--except play the freakin' games. However, I'm not really sorry for him. I was more patient with Sweeney than most of my friends, but that patience has been completely depleted. I don't think he's "stealing" the money, but he's just not on the field, bottom line.

Baseball is a bigger business now than it has ever been--in 2007, all of the attendance records are going to be shattered, and it won't even be close. Our team is starting to show some promise, and while I agree that it's unfair to characterize Sweeney as the symbol of some of the most truly awful teams of the last decade, that's just how it works. We need to part ways for the culture of the team, which some people probably think is some hooey gooey bullshit, but it exists. It comes down to a business decision.

And I think that decision has been made.

Brandon Inge has red hair. I hate that guy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Trouble with Teahen......


Before I begin this infuriating look inside the season of Marvelous Mark Teahen, I would like my readers to know that I am a huge fan of the 3B/OF/1B/OF again/PIMP. That said.....

There are very few positives: Pretty good defensive adaptation, decent batting average (.282), and a great batting average with runners in scoring position (.378).

Other than that it has been a pretty rough go for the young man. David Dejesus has as many homers and also carries a higher slugging percentage than Teahen (Double D: .418, Teabag: .402). Teahen is striking out like a power hitter (81 Ks!!!!, tied for fourth in the AL. Currently riding an unbelievable 20 game whiffing streak) and is hitting homers like a girl scout (5, tied for 33rd of AL OFs. He has not hit a homer since May!). He is on pace for just over 80 RBIS (43 at the break, tied for 40th in the AL) and has just 24 extra base hits total. These are not the kind of numbers that even an average corner outfielder/infielder can expect to keep a job with. Especially on a team that already can't hit the ball out of even the little K on most nights. Which brings up an interesting thought... did the Royals miss out on an opportunity to trade a young third baseman while he was hot? I know it's just one half of a year, but Teahen has also only had one good half of a year in his career. Teahen turns 26 in September, so he is no spring chicken by any means. If he does not start driving the ball with more regularity and reducing the whiffs, Royals fans may have to sit and wonder if the Royals missed a chance to trade a piece of their team that the front office was ready to replace by a prodigy (Alex, duh).

Tonight: Gil fans the side in the seventh inning...

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Oh, this is &*#$&% great

Mike Sweeney will be out longer than we expected. Sayonara, trade value.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

What the White Sox Club House Looks Like After A Win

Yep, yet another reason to despise the White Sox (yet getting mildly turned on)

What A Shocker...


Two things should shock Royals fans right now. 1.) Yes, we really did spend 55 mill on a free agent and 2.) IT ACTUALLY WORKED (so far). Gil Meche has been named the teams lone all-star representative after putting up great numbers in the first half. Dayton Moore has done some good things for this team so far and it is starting to look like we are headed in the right direction. Yes, we blew a chance to hop into fourth place in the division (the bats once again looked aneamic in the last two games), but we had a winning month and some young bats look good, and i'm not talking about bats in the sense of the academy award winning film, appropriately titled BATS. Speaking of crazy animals killing people in movies, I highly recommend the movie Piranha, in which a school of mutated Piranha designed to wipe out the Vietnamese in the Vietnam war are unleased in a Texas river. Sounds awesome right? Right. Anyway, back to baseball. Or do you want to here more about Piranha? Circle YES NO . Fine, baseball it is. Joe Posnanski wrote a steller article in the star today about the fleet-footed Joey Gathright. Apparently Joey has finally learned that swinging for the fountains is not the answer for the minuscule speedster and has learned to put the F'in ball on the F'in ground. As Corban said, when this guy gets on base, havoc ensues. I think that the Royals can play .500 ball over the next three months and finish fourth in this division, I really do. I just wish some of the guys on this team could figure out how to put the ball over the fence in between the foul poles.
Prediction for Royals record on October the 1st: 80-82

"I am the man"

When we're bored, there's nothing my friends and I like to do better than go to a local strip mall and jump over cars. This old video (from 2002) shows Joey Gathright practicing our favorite activity.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

What happened to my favorite team?



In June, the Royals have hit .272 and scored 5.5 runs per game, both season highs. Like tuckcity may have told you, we swept the Angels on their home field, where many bewildered Angels fans looked toward the skies after the sweep was complete awaiting the presence of the Four Horsemen to emerge and dance on that fiberglass volcano in left center field The third game of the set was won 1-0, which set all sorts of landmarks: first shutout of the season, guarantee of a winning month (first since 2003), and a prime example of how in baseball you can get ridiculously outhit and still win a close one. I love this game.

Last night, the Royals doled out an 8-1 ass-beating to pull a game behind the maligned (not just by Royals fans, but I think the baseball fan population in general) Chicago White Sox, who played so sluggishly it would appear they had all eaten some pretty terrible shellfish before the game. A lot of mysterious things happened. The Royals built an early lead and instead of the usual relinquishing of this lead, they piled even more runs on. Also, Zack Greinke got a save...in an 8-1 ballgame. I know the save has always been a really hokey statisitic (a relatively subjective one), but how does this happen? I'll take it I guess. But if that costs the Royals $500,000 in his arbitration case, I'm gonna be pissed.

The Royals are really hitting the ball--and we have the emergence of Alex Gordon and the steady play of the outfield to thank for that. Joey Gathright, who last year was a worse hitter than about 99.9% of major leaguers but given an opportunity because of an unholy amount of speed in his legs, has been REALLY good. Since being recalled from Omaha (only 51 ABs), he's hit .353 and his OBP is .450. And when Joey is on base, it's a great thing for the Royals. His speed is truly thrilling. My favorite play in baseball is the triple--the whole park is on their feet, the crowd swells, and this is arguably the most action that can happen on a baseball field. Joey Gathright's inclusion on the roster gives me a chance to see more triples. And for that I say, God bless you, Joey Gathright.

And I know I'm going to sound bitter, but I'll try to end on a positive note. I liked Mike Sweeney a lot longer than many of my friends; when healthy, he's a good hitter, not a $11 million dollar hitter, but a good hitter none the less. I know he's a good "team" guy (this would've been totally nullified if we had acquired Milton Bradley), but I have to think much of the Royals success is due to him being out, and having a lot more flexibility with the lineup card. I mean if Gordon and Teahen are willing to play first, it's a whole lot better than sitting them, that's for damn sure. Also, we need Billy Butler to get some ABs, and besides the fact that he's the definition of a defensive liability, there is no doubt this kid has a major league swing and he's already got a pretty impressive way about him when he's in the box. In regards to Mike Sweeney, I think it is time to just cut him loose, eat the salary, and move on to the new era of Royals baseball.

Dayton Moore has done a wonderful job in my opinion, and I along with the inevitable quadrupling of our bandwagon fan base have much to thank him for. I don't think that Sweeney will be cut, but it's time.

GO FREAKING ROYALS one game out of fourth!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Befuddled...

Yes, that is the look of a random man who looked in the paper and saw that the KANSAS CITY ROYALS!!!! swept baseballs hottest team, the LA Angles of Anaheim of California of Coors Light of the USA of Sasquatch. After a 12-4 bashing, the Royals finessed their way to a 1-0 win in the series finale. Hey, i'm just as confused as everybody else, but it is encouraging. It was also the Royals first sweep in 15 years (or something like that). What was truly great is that we saw pieces of the Royals future (Gordon, Teahen, Butler, Buck, Gathright, Fozzie Bear(not really, sorry)) really guide the offense throughout the series. Butler hit his first career homer (a Sweeney-esque linedrive to left-center) and Gordon continued to swing the back with authority. Jorge De La Sol Rosa was somehow able to shut out the Halos for six innings (and manage to keep his job momentarily), and miraculously, John Thomson (who looks less athletic than a Panda Bear) was able to pitch a gem, and Gil Meche did what he's been doing all year (but the Royals actually managed to squeak a run or twelve across for him!). It was a great road trip that finished with the Royals going 5-4 and securing their first winning month in the last centon (or something like that).

This week, the Royals get the Sox and a chance to pull into fourth place... see previous posts....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Return...



Here I am. Everyone can take a deep breath and relax (and by everyone, I pretty much mean Corban). Things have been crazy for old Tuck city lately (St. Lou road trip, Assorted family, Brigade playoff march), but I have rededicated myself and you can expect daily posts for the most part. So... lucky you, i guess. First order of business...

St. Louis Trip: Royals sucked, but it was a drunken fiesta of classy Kansas Citians in a foreign land. Brief documentation can be found here... Busch II is an awesome stadium, but I almost junked my pants in elation as we spotted good old Kaufman Stadium on the return trip to KC. Second order of business...

Billy Butler and Ryan Shealy: WTF? At what point do the Royals bite the bullet on the softest swinging 6'5" baseball player in the history of the game. I'm pretty sure that Shealy's swing couldn't put a dent in a carrot cake (why carrot cake, you ask? because I was looking for a way to plug award-winning-comic Carrot Top's visit to the beautiful Ameristar casino). Shealy's defense is pretty solid for a big ogre that moves like molasses, but his bat has been known to bring tears to little girls eyes who realize that they could beat this softy up. Can Butler's defense really be that, that bad? Well, maybe it can but if his bat is what everyone thinks it is then he should be at the bag while keeping Gordon at third, Gathright in left/center, and Emil Brown at the DH. I can't stand to watch Shealy go up to the plate and look like he's swinging at the ball with a pool noodle anymore. If Butler is up, then he plays every single day, end of story.

Third order of business....

Jhon Thomson: Hold on a second... this isn't Scott Elarton, right? Ok, good. I'm fine with it. Much better than bringing up one of our highly coveted prospects (most of whom are getting torn apart in the minors). The guy beat the angels in LA last night, so I would say that's a pretty damn good start to a brief Royals career.

Fourth order of business....

Craig Brazell and Milton Bradley: Brazell is just another Calvin Pickering/Brandon Berger type guy, so everybody keep your pants on. As far as Milton Bradley is concerned... Why would a team that is looking to be a class organization want the league's biggest team cancer roaming around the locker room. It makes no sense at all to me, and thank god that he is hurt and it didn't happen.

Final order of business...

This post is in memorium of Canadian hero Chris Benoit whose electrifying Crippler Crossface/Sharpshooter special move can no longer be witnessed and cheered by the trashiest people in the country.






Friday, June 15, 2007

In Which the Offensive Juggernauts Appear through the Myst



Thank God the Cardinals are gone so we can focus on our only natural rival, the Florida Marlins. Nothing boils my blood like seeing those old pictures of Kevin Brown, Shef, Livan, and Jeff Conine wearing the much maligned teal and black...I'm getting irate now. This is what Interleague is all about; this very series. Florida and Kansas City, always coupled in thought.

Anyways, we kicked the crap out of the Cardinals last night in the most poorly pitched game I have ever watched part of while at a bar. Is the National League really this bad? I sure hope so. Even Emil Brown gets in on the action!

I'd like to bring up some disturbing news concerning our good friend and co-conspirator tuckcity. Not only has he posted less since he became a journalism major (commonly pursued by sorority girls), he is really starting to lose the race for best looking man at KU Camp with all that facial hair. Come back Dylan; I love you.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

MLB Draft LiveBlog



12:41 pm: So it appears the Royals have narrowed their choice to four prep pitchers, assuming David Price is the overall #1 selection. This author wonders how the first televised MLB draft will be conducted; will there be a podium, like the NBA and NFL drafts? Will Bud Selig call the names? Will the draft choices be in attendance? Will there be unfathomable levels of style faux pas like the NBA? I can't wait. I'm going to make a sandwich.

12:54 pm: NBA Inside Stuff? That show is still on?!

1:06 pm: Pretty much the same exact setup as the NFL draft, but without the fanfare. Basically, an empty room. But imagine if there were thousands of fans booing 18 year olds. Am I the only person who thinks that would be awesome? A brief rundown of the Royals recent first picks: 2006 RHP Luke Hochevar (too early to tell), 2005 3B Alex Gordon (hitting below Mendoza line), 2004 3B Billy Butler (recently figured out he has no position, just a huge bat), 2003 CF Chris Lubanski (flop), 2002 RHP Zack Greinke (crazy), 2001 RHP Colt Griffin (this guy is the definition of flop), 2000 P Mike Stodolka (he has been converted to a hitter; 'nuff said), 1999 RHP Kyle Snyder (got lit up every time he pitched), 1998 P Jeff Austin (involved in the blockbuster trade for minor league catcher Damon Espino), 1997 P Dan Reichert (diabetes). So overall, really great results!

1:16 pm: ALEX GORDON SIGNS OF LIFE! He has a single, double, and a triple in today's game. Hooooo-rah!

Editors note: I am just blogging until our draft pick. This is much, much too boring for anyone to seriously liveblog (go for it, Bill Simmons)

1:19 pm: Everyone sitting behind David Price looks like they should--listless. Their friend/family member was just drafted by the Devil Rays. See you at the Trop!

1:21 pm: Keith Law's ESPN blog lists all of his pretty great academic credentials right next to the columns themselves. Not only is this extremely pretentious, but he buries the fact that he was the Blue Jays assistant to the GM far into the bio before the Richiardi regime. Good work, buddy.

1:23 pm: Royals select Mike Moustakas, a 1B/3B prep prospect (so much for my pitcher projection). I'm not sure that Dayton Moore knows this, but our organization is crammed with 1B prospects, and we already moved one of our best players away from third to make way for Alex Gordon. Kansas City Royals baseball, ladies and gentlemen.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

1/3 Season Review (It's Not Looking Good)

We are approximately through a third of the 2007 baseball season, and our Kansas City Royals are in familiar territory: dead. last. With the second worst record in baseball (The worst is held by the gayest state in America), and spiraling their way towards another 100 loss season, things are looking pretty bleak. It's a stretch to find any positives outside of Gil Meche and John Buck, which are debateable in their own rights (Meche's WHIP (1.29), Buck's average with runners in scoring position (.244)). But we will try to take a look at the individual pieces and see if there is light at the end of the tunnel, or just a dead end with a grizzly bear that hasn't eaten in a month. Here we go: (These grades are based on expectations)

Lineup:

David Dejesus-CF. Grade: C : After a hot start, Dejesus has entered one of the worst offensive stretches of his career. He hit over .300 in April with 4 homers and since has batted around .200 with no homers. He has no stolen bases and his defense has been suspect at times. The Royals are desperate for consistency at any spot in their lineup and Dave needs to be one of those guys. Making lame commercials with Mark Teahen also does not help his cause.

Mark Grudzielanek-2B. Grade: B: Grud has been Grud. Solid defense and a decent bat with minimum power. He has hit a truckload of 2 baggers (16), but lingers around .270 which is a little bit lower than KC fans would like. Having Grud hit in the 3 hole is an unacceptable lineup choice by Buddy Bear.

Mark Teahen-RF. Grade: C: Teahen has been blah. Decent average (.277) but absolutely no pop from the corner outfield position (5 HR). Dayton has preached power in the corners but all we can come up with is a couple of pussies in the corners. Teahen is tied for the MLB lead in outfield assists (9) but it is most likely due to an increased number of base runners testing the new outfielder. Teahen needs an improvement in the second half to show that he is going to be a significant part of the Royals' future. (or else...) (Ok, I don't know what else, but more homers would be nice for Dylbone's fantasy team).

Michael Sweeney-DH. Grade: B : The miracle that is Sweeney's 2007 health is the only reason that his grade is so high. He has hit 6 homers and come up with 23 RBI in 176 abs, but his average stands at just .243. Sweeney has also struck out more than he has walked which is common place for a Royals batter, but not for a man who once challenged the batting title and drove in 144 runs.

Alex Gordon-3B. Grade: F : (Sigh). I tried to find a way to not give Alexander the Grief an big fat F, but couldn't come up with one. I'm not going to say much, but the bat looks pathetic and the defense is shaky. The kid needs some time in Omaha, that is pretty clear to everyone except for Dayton Moore right now. The strikeout numbers are appaling (54 in 180 abs), and only 3 balls have left the yard between the foul poles off of Gordo's bat. Yikes. Improvement must be imminent.

Emil Brown-LF(kinda). Grade: F: (Groan). Emil has flat out sucked. Known as a perennial slow starter, Emil has been even slower. Just 9 extra base hits and a .220 average ain't getting it done. On top of that, watching the man circle around the ball in left field is like watching William Bartee attempt to pick one off (Obscure Chiefs reference, I know. But, come on. The guy went a multiple year career with out one F*$king interception.)

Ryan Shealy-1B. Grade: D- : Why a D-? I don't know, I just felt like laying off of the Fs for a minute. What can I say, we have the single weakest swinging 6'5" baseball player in baseball. It is embarrasing to watch a guy as big as Shealy to swing softer than Madonna in "A League of Their Own". On top of that, his "compact", "contact" swing has allowed him to see a third strike hit the mit 36 times in 114 at bats. Alright, I need to move on because I have soaked my shirt in tears from all of the sad realizations I am coming to.

John Buck/Jason Larue-C. Grades: A-/C : John Buck has been the Royals best hitter this season. Let that sink in for a minute. He leads the team in bombs (10) and has done a fine job of catching new Royals ace, Gil Meche. Back has seen some pretty meaty pitches since he is still stuck in the eight or seven spot in Professor Bell's lineup. Larue stinks. I give him credit for starting a fire under John's finely toned ass, however. Why he is catching 2 out of 5 games is beyond me, much like a lot of decisions being made in the Royals dugout right now.

Tony Pena, Jr.-SS. Grade: B : Tony has been steadily improving on defense while still making the occasional spectacular play. He also recently concluded an eleven game hitting streak that boosted his average up to .267 (tied for third highest on the team, my good god). He has no pop and will never be more than a singles hitter, but if he continues to play great defense he will work at Short... for now.

Extras:
Reggie Sanders-RF. Grade: B+: Reggie hit the ball well.... until he realized that he is an old man and got hurt

Ross Gload-Util. Grade: B+: Did everything that he was asked to do, and did it well... until he realized that he is a Royal and got hurt.

Shane Costa-OF. Grade: D: Shitty Defense. Shitty Bat. Shitty Player.

Esteban German-Util. Grade: B-: Regular playing time has shown Esteban for what he really is, a decent bat with a not so decent glove.

Billy Butler-DH/LF. Grade: INC: Wait, Butler was up here? Butler was sent back to Omaha after getting Hubered for a couple of weeks.

Angel Berroa-SS. Grade: HaHa: Yep. Still the same Angel.

Tomorrow: Pitchers

I need to stop typing before I get carpel tunnel or my head explodes from Royals patheticnicity.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Manta Rays are no Great Whites...


The title is in reference to one of my favorite movies of all time, Jaws. I cannot help but watch the damn thing every single time it is on TNT, TBS, BET, or any other of the classic movie channels. Anyway, the rays really have some pathetic pitchers on their staff (I'm sorry Mr. Jackson, you can't be for real. Watch-in You-pitch makes me want to cry, then Emil Brown clobbered a big fly). I can not wait for the highly anticipated Elarton/Howell matchup tomorrow. Can you feel it? That is the electricity that has been circling around "The Trop" (aka "The Shithole") all weekend. If you are really desperate to put a positive spin on things, look at it this-a way: (1.) In the last 19 games, the Royals are 10-9, (2.) TPJ is riding an 11 game hit streak filled with looping liners and weak rollers between second and first, and (3.) Meche dominated once again, and Brian Bannister had the best outing for a Royals rookie since some guy named Hippo (or something) in 1992. What's really embarrassing, however, is how much the Rays have dominated the Royals over the last three or so years and still manage to get a better draft pick than the Kansas City Sucks next week!!! Unbelievable!


Dylan's Rants:

1.)Jason Larue catching two out of every five games. Absolutely absurd. You have one of the better hitting catchers in the freaking league right now, and your throwing a guy hitting something like .004 into a lineup that already blows.


2.)Alex Gordon. Alright son, it's time to start hitting the f'in ball. You started to look decent there for a while (by decent I mean one or two pretty average swings a game), but now it's time to reach that Everestian peak of .200 (at least before the allstar break please).


3.)Delmon Young. You let Michael Sweeney cruise into third base standing up for the fifth triple of his 74 year career. Well done.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New Lows


Why the hell is Shane Costa playing? I thought we had enough outfielders as to prevent a four A player from getting a healthy diet of at-bats, but I guess not. After getting our bells rung by the elite likes of the Orioles and the Mariners (a team that paid about a hundred million for Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre, who should be convicted of grand theft), the Royals are laying lifeless at the bottom of the AL table. It's been truly a horrible set of performances. Scott Elarton is pitching like one of those guys in baseball movies that gives up so many hits that the sequence is made into a montage with a wacky, basebally song (but in the movies, it always seems like the guy gives up about half the runs as you had calculated. How does a guy that gives up 20-plus basehits in a given montage only give up 5 runs? He must have a deceptive pickoff move). We had three hits against Arlo Guthrie, or whatever the hell his name was. Hey pitchers, need a confidence boost? Come to KC!

Yesterday, the players called a meeting to try to talk about how badly they had been beaten, and divy up the money they had earned by going under the spread for so many consecutive nights. I wish it were that simple.

We're 15 games back of .500 in a division whose two best teams are really starting to get hot. The young players need to play. NOW.

World Champs, 2037.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Whatever it is you're doing, Buddy Bell, just don't mess with it


Well, here we are, winners of eight of our last ten. We've won more games than last year's World Champion Cardinals, and we're hitting homers like our team was put together by Mr. Burns. It looks like A-God is getting on track (brilliant insight in the paper today by Alex; "I don't know what I'm doing different"), Shealy has put it together, and we finally got to see Octavio Dotel pitch yesterday.

Certainly, we are benefitting from playing some inferior teams (I'm looking your way, Rockies), and we have stayed clear of the Trent Green soap opera occuring right across the complex (a drama that has the whole city rapt!). I mean, you sort of knew the hitters would come around--it was unlikely Alex Gordon, whom everyone championed as their ROY pick, was going to hit .150 all season. Same goes for Ryan Shealy. Let's just hope the pitching holds together, or rather more unlikely, we just keep summoning titanic bats from the on-deck circle (John Buck). Either way, if this keeps happening, Buddy Bell and his bum knee will still be getting a paycheck for much longer than we, or he, had anticipated.
Go Royals!
Or something.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Has the Ghost of Allard Infiltrated the Soul of Dayton?

Billy Butler just got Hubered. As one of our top prospects (#1 hitting prospect), Billy Butler needs to be playing everyday at some level developing his defense, but for some reason he was called up to the big leagues and sat on the bench for a week and a half after playing just a handfull of games. I don't know about Corby's feelings on the matter, but this drove me absolutely bat s**t crazy. Well, he has now been sent down to Omaha to continue to work on his defense. On that subject, it is pretty obvious that Billy Butler is not a big league outfielder. We heard all of the stories from the minors, but my goodness, that guy looks like Mike Sweeney after he's just eaten a dozen Krispy Kremes out there (not a compliment, by the way). This leaves us the mess of having a future DH stuck in Omaha right now. If Billy Butler wants to have a big league career he better be able to rake, and I'm not talking about the leaves in his back yard. Side Note: Is there a chore in the world that is worst than raking? I'm pretty sure there is not. Anyway, the point is that I hope Billy's got a good enough head on his shoulders to keep his confidence up and continue to mash in Omaha.

Really quickly: What was Alex Gordon doing at first base? For a couple of games there it appeared that we had moved Teahen to the outfield so that the dazzling (sarcasm) glove of Esteban German could "Wow" fans at third. German should have been at first seeing as Alex Gordon has more important things to worry about, e.g., his .164 batting average!!!

Royals look for their second series win of the season today as Captain Shoulder Surgery Scott Elarton goes against Rookie Dallas Braden whose 5.something ERA leads me to believe that he is just about due for a no-hitter.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Meaningless Sunday Win!


I was wrong about Jorge de la Rosa. At least kind of wrong. Earlier this year, I could be found remarking that "if this guy was in any other organization, he would've been a middle reliever five years ago," and "he threw strikes like his name was Ambiorix Burgos." He and Gil Meche are really the only guys who have got it done this year, especially since Luke Hudson pitched like he was drunk in his return start and Zack Greinke is the lastest Royal to look like his considerable upside may never be realized. Scott Elarton pitched decently. Who saw that coming?

Alex Gordon needs to be sent to the minors to find himself, and let's pray that this mirrors last year's Teahen send-down (where he came back SCORCHING). I do agree with Dylan that TPJ is pretty lousy, but I guess it was worth a shot to try something knew (I guess). David DeJesus continues to be a poor man's Bobby Abreu, and Teahen is starting to come around. But let's not let this mild positives get in the way of the bigger problem--the 2007 Royals are one of the worst situational hitting teams I have ever seen.

Also, though I know he didn't truly "win" the game (only statistically), it sucks losing to Mike MacDougal, still the proud owner of "The Worst Mechanics in the Major Leagues" title belt. Dayton's plan to rid the bullpen of inconsistent power pitchers in favor of pitching placement strike-throwers...that hasn't exactly worked out for us.
If you want to read a truly depressing column, check out Joe Posnanski's column from last week (http://www.kansascity.com/180/story/105060.html). Think we're bad in April? We're worse in May!
I'd feel bad if I didn't leave on a positive note. Royals own the #2 pick in this years Amateur Draft!

A Sad Reality...


A butt-load of strikeouts. Few (if any) walks. Limited power. The ability to make a dazzling play, and botch a simple one. Sound familiar? Yes, it does sound an awful lot like recently recalled Angel Berroa, but it also is a fairly accurate description of Tony Pena, Jr. On the year to this point, TPJ's line looks like this:


.237/.275/.321 26 Ks, 6 walks, 0 HR, 7 Extra Base Hits


That projects to over 100 strikeouts and less than 30 walks. Yikes. Even Henry Roengardner, the 12 year-old phenom from the classic film "Rookie of the Year", could draw walks better. Angel's career line and current Omaha line look like this:


Career: .264/.305/.386


Current (Omaha): .303/.336/.369 17 Ks, 3 walks, 1 HR, 6 EBH


The unfortunate reality is that T appears to be just about the exact same player as the "big whiffer". He makes similar fielding miscues, strikes out swinging at the same damn breaking ball away, and generally provides less than average major league service. The difference to me is that the Angel in the Infield has a little more power. Bottom line is, and I hate to say this to you... I would rather have Angel Berroa starting at shortstop right now (I just threw up, by the way). It is pretty evident to me that neither of these guys is the shortstop of the future, so I go with the guy that's probably going to hit a little better. I'm sorry you had to hear that, but if you really think about, I think that most would tend to agree...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Who Is Playing Two-Face in the New Batman Movie? Zack Greinke.


The kid you see on the left is Zack Greinke #1. This Zack Greinke works fast and efficiently. He mixes his array of dazzling pitches with pinpoint accuracy and oozes confidance. There are no runners on base for Zack #1. He is a bright young man with a future and the potential to live up to his draft status.
The man you see on the right is Zack Greinke #2. This Zack Greinke allows fans to go take a leak, get some food, and visit the gift shop or even the "little K" inbetween his pitches. He labors and slouches and ambles aimlessly around the mound. The only spot he can hit in the strike zone with his fastball is the "Burgos Spot", belt-high, right down the pipe. He leaves his curveball in such a bad place that you can literally see drool dripping down the chins of even the weakest of hitters. There is at least one runner on base for Zack #2. He is a steely eyed, confused man with no interest in baseball.
What sucks is that Zack #1 and Zack #2 co-exsist. He clearly has not overcome his inner-demons and it is likely that he never will. Can he be effective out of the bullpen? maybe. Will he even be playing baseball in 2008? maybe. With Zack Greinke you never know what you are going to get. I really hope that for Royals fans, and more importantly for Zack himself, that he figures out where he belongs. Until then, all we can do is bite our nails and hope that Zack #1 takes over.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Zack Greinke, Home Run Derby Pitcher


I'm not sure if the Royals coaching staff will ever figure out Zack Greinke. He's got amazing stuff, but a shaky demeanor, a lack of a true killer instinct. When he gives up a couple hits, his body language suggests a thin middle schooler who just got pantsed in front of the auditorium, not frantic with embarassment, but pondering a sad realization.
Anyways, the Tigers lit the Royals up again, as Chad Durbin pitched solidly (!!!!!!!) and picked up the win. When Chad Durbin (once again, !!!!!!) outpitches someone who was once anointed as the next Greg Maddux, it makes you wonder.
Zack needs confidence, and he needs to be moved to the bullpen, or maybe sent down once again to find his stride and try to wean the gopherball from his repertoire. Kansas City is not a high pressure environment, relative to the other 29 markets, so I don't think it would be beneficial to Zack to move, only to succumb to more intense and foreign pressure by journalists who have not covered the team where he went through his developmental stage.
I think the world of Zack's ability, but his head is a different story. I want him to succeed, but the Royals and Dayton Moore will need to learn that they're going to need to take a radical approach, not bury him with virtually no responsibility and no confidence. Bullpen. Zack Greinke needs to be moved to the bullpen for, if not just for a few months, the duration of Kansas City's regular season. With Luke Hudson making his way back, this move could more easily be facilitated and reasonable. Now, it appears that the only way we can salvage this fine prospect is to try something new and different.

Monday, April 30, 2007

It's Gordon to Get Better...


Everyone who reads this glorious website knows a little something about the Royals and knows that Alex Gordon's early struggles are more than evident (If you don't, I'm going to assume you were surfing the interwebnetblog for Corban porn. Note: it can be found at twoandahalfinchgoble.org). Anyway, the point is that Alex Gordon is improving noticeably. While he has never looked overmatched, he did take a lot of strikes and swung at a lot of bad pitches throughout the first couple weeks of the season. While his average still stands at a paltry .169 he has worked his OBP up to an approximate league average of .319. The biggest stride that I have seen AG make so far is his ability to work counts. Over the past week he has taken 8 walks compared to just 6 strikeouts. He was also hit by pitches twice which brings his April total up to 6! (Good god, will you just leave the kid alone! The team as a whole has a major league leading 20 HBP this year, which is ridiculous when you think that all you have to do is throw the ball within a foot of the strikezone to get these chumps out.) I digress. Alex Gordon will hit this year, and he will hit well. The power numbers will come and I expect him to finish the year somewhere in the .265-.285 range. Tony Pena, Jr. is another story that we will talk about tomorrow... Alright, you can go back to your porn now.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My Night Not In The Crown Club...

After a lovely afternoon at KAB (Kansas Association of Broadcasters) day at the K, myself and other members of the KJHK sports radio crew walked through the crown seats (the very seats that the boy with the beaming smile above would plop his drunk ass into) and were suppossedly going to watch BP on the field. Well they kicked us off of the field and eventually out of the stadium by 4:30. Great. Gates didn't open until 5:30. Great. Finally we are let in the stadium and we do all end up picking up a double dose of sweet sweet Teahen shirts (one of the few positive notes, and you're welcome barnesey). Then it proceeds to down pour and while Corban and Co. were pounding brews in the comfort of the Crown Club, i was paying something like the price of the Crown Club ticket for a freakin jumbo dog and a water! The PA announcer made a bold statement to the crowd that the game was for sure going to be played, so of course we stayed. Big mistake. As the first pitched crossed the plate at 8:56 PM, I had been at the K for 11 hours. The biggest disappointment of the game was not the bullpen. It was Mark Teahen taking a third strike call in the bottom of the 8th with 2 out and runners on 2nd and 3rd.

Description: All 75 people that waited out the storm were on their feet screaming their lungs out. T-shirts were a whippin' and that magical name echoed throughout the catacombs of the K (TEA-HEN!!! TEA-HEN!!!! TEA-HEN!!!) Not only is Mark on a couple of my fantasy teams (don't ask why) and I was looking forward to a couple of RBIs, but the game was tied with a chance to take the lead and turn it over to Joakim "The Padres Are F***ing Idiots For Letting Me Go" Soria! Then Teahen doesn't even take the bat off of his freakin' shoulder for cryin' OUT LOUD! (Dylan passes out)

Alright, I'm back. So of course Soria came in and it started to pour and he ended up giving up a couple of cheap runs. Good! Great! Grand! Wonderful! I've got a bowl of chocolate pudding in my underpants! As I clicked the "stop" button on my official 1974 Olympic stopwatch (ok, i actually just looked at the clock on the scoreboard) I had been at Kauffman Stadium for 14 hours and 21 minutes. Yikes. Will I be back at the K the next home stand? Of course I will. It is a disease... no an addictive disease that keeps me crawling back for more and leaves me tearing my hair out and forces me to pad the walls of my room. But I love it. And I love Royals baseball. And no matter how the heavens test me, they can't and won't keep me away.

Wow. Anyway, the Royals won tonight and the bullpen didn't give up a run against the struggling Twins, who somewhere along the way forgot how to run the bases. Soria pitched great again and Dejesus got back on track. Hopefully the Zack Attack can rebound tomorrow against the future #47 Hennegan's Whiskey Car NASCAR driver BOOF BONSER!!!

Tucker. Out.

My Night in the Crown Club


When you first inspect the Crown Club level ticket and see the $180 tag, the prospect of getting your money's worth is, at first, difficult to fathom. Last night, I came close.
First of all, watching the game from the Crown Club is an unbelievable experience. The only way to get closer to the plate is to set up launch chairs behind the umpire, wearing full catcher's gear, and that is BARELY an upgrade.
Now, though I believe that the Royals should have paid me for all the closeups and constant screen presence that I gave their broadcast (holla at you Craven, and my brother for the constant updates), me and my cohorts made the price tag look like an extreme discount. We like beer. We really like beer.
I'd like to thank everyone involved for a kickass time. I won't forget that for a long time, although the rest of the night...well, use your imaginations people. I go to KU.
Thanks a ton, Brian.
Jake, you're a good lookin man. Just puttin it out there for the web to know.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Monday, April 23, 2007

A Strong Return!


Wow, so sorry for the delay to our loyal CorbyandtheRoyalsers. There was a lot of pretty frustrating ball there for a while that really wasn't worth writing about. You know what would be great? If every single time a starter took the mound he doesn't leave until the eighth inning or later. You know what sucks? That is impossible for any team, much less the Royals. Royals middle relief has been an absolute joke and it is a farce for Jimmy Gobble to look like the best middle man.... again. I hate to tell you this and don't read to much into it but check this out:


Jeremy Affeldt: 1-0 1.29 ERA 1.00 Whip 7.0 IP...


Andrew Sisco: 0-0 2.57 ERA 1.29 Whip 7.0 IP 6 Ks....


Mike McDougal: 0-0 3.52 ERA approx. 1.00 Whip 10 Ks 7.2 IP.


In comparison go here and check out the Royals relievers right now.


With the exception of Joakim Soria (who seems like an absolute steal and a credit to our scouting department), I just about dump my pants every time a reliever stomps his cleat on the mound. Aside from an amazing performance opening day against the BoSox, Joel Peralta has been an absolute mess. The only things Todd Wellemeyer appears to be capable of are having really broad shoulders and looking like a stand in for Jeff Daniels in "Dumb and Dumber". David Riske appears to be "Riske"-ier than we thought and Ryan Braun appears to be all Braun and no Brains (aka no control). And we haven't even talked about the Standridge/Musser debacle. One of the best things we can say about the 'pen is that it isn't home to Rick Dehart or Albie Lopez! It is going to have to change soon or we might blow more saves than a drunk David Hasselhof on the set of baywatch (??? sorry for that, but i'm not going to delete it).


2nite: Gil takes the Hill against a guy that just threw a no-no. Did I mention that it's the WHITE SOX? At least Jose Valentin and Carlos Lee still aren't on the team anymore.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Still Early...?


As amazingly frustrating as the beginning of the season has been, there are a few diamonds that we can dig out of the pig slop. First and foremost is the early dominance of Zack Greinke. The ultimate head-case is 1-1 with a steller 1.38 ERA and a 12:1 K to BB ratio. Greinke looks like a new pitcher out on the mound with a renewed sense of confidence. Second, the 55 million man, Gil Meche has gone 6 or more innings in 3 starts and has a 3.10 ERA with 15:4 K to BB. Rule 5 phenom, Joakim Soria, has been steller in the bullpen and has yet to give up a run in six innings with 6 Ks. Offensively, it's pretty hard to find any decency from the regulers, with one lone exception. Double D, David Dejesus, is hitting .327 with a .971 OBPS that includes 7 extra base hits. Dave is a notoriously slow starter so maybe this is the beginning of an All-Star year for the centerfielder. The bench players are also playing great, with Ross Gload, Reggie Sanders, and Esteban German all batting over .333. John Buck is clearly winning the catcher's duel right now as he is batting .389 with 2 homers and 3 doubles in just 18 at bats.


I really think that the offense is going to turn around, so we just need to grit our teeth and take it from behind like men until we do. Tomorrow we have the new Ace of the staff, Zack Attack, against Verlander so let's hope for good weather and warm bats.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Odalis Perez and His Magical Fastball

It doesn't spin! Mesmerizing work from Odalis Perez, who was the same guy who ceased his O's 45 charity because he wasn't getting any recognition, saying, "When you spend your own money you want to be recognized for that," Perez said. "I don't want to be a hero, but just pay more attention to what I'm doing. People don't want to give me the recognition for it." Here's to honesty. Thanks to deadspin for the lead.

Wow


After acknowledging the various signs that the Royals are just going to nestle into old patterns (i.e. lose), I turned to the "hype" game, and what an amazing performance by Felix Hernandez. I know this is a Royals blog, but I swear this will be my last Mariners' post all year. But seriously. That was incredible.