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.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Let's Shut This Dude Up!

This off-season, Royals GM signed righty Gil Meche to a "controversial" 5 year 55 million dollar deal. Blue Jays diminuative GM JP Ricciardi (pictured above) bitched and moaned about Meche not going to a contender and question his "competitive nature" (See Corby's previous post).

5 years. 55 million. what seems so familiar about those numbers??? hmm... hmm... oh, yeah, it is the exact contract that AJ Burnett received to go to Toronto in 2005. Toronto. When I think AL East, I think Bean Town and Pinstripes, not Moose and people speaking French, but maybe that's just me. Yes, Burnett's stuff is marginally better (ok quite a bit better) than Meche's but this is the exact same circumstance that the little biotch complained about when we signed Meche.

The point is nothing would satisfy me more if De La Rosa can go out there and win us this series tonight. I think we can probably handle Gustavo Chacin (knocks on wood).

PS: I heard a rumor that there is a Ricciardi v. Buddy Bell steel cage match after the game. My life savings is riding on Buddy.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Burnett to a Crisp...


The Blue Jays second in command next to Roy Hallady blew some serious smoke against the Royals en route to a strong 6 2/3 innings with only 1 ER (a John Buck no mrs. doubtfire, i mean no-doubter). Yes facing the likes of Shilling, Beckett, Dice-K, Verlander, Bonderman, and now AJ is about as fair as trying to hit a ball with a string of yarn, but the Royals need to start smoking some linedrives a little bit. Coming into tonight's game, the Royals were batting .230 as a team and just .213 with runners in scoring position. In the Royals' one offensive explosion so far this year (opening day), the offense game from guys that we are not counting on to put up huge numbers at the plate, such as TPJ, JB, and Grudz. Alex Gordon looks absolutely lost at the plate and continues to strike out more than CG on friday nights at the Hawk (zing!). After yesterday's ninth inning debacle and today's 9-1 blast job, things are already looking bleak. There's a lot of season left, i guess.
Note: I don't know what Alex is looking at in that picture because the ball is probably in the catcher's mitt behind him.
Second Note: (Gun Shot)

Whitlock anoints Meche savior


In today's Kansas City Star, Jason Whitlock proclaims the future greatness of Gil Meche. Along the way, he drops the classic line, "Captain Sweeney is swinging the bat like a fifth of Captain Morgan after a date with Grey Goose." But yeah, Sweeney is playing terribly. Just counting down the seconds to his inevitable half-season injury.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Deathblow


I guess this is what happens when your current closer's last name is "Riske." Wasted a completely improbable 4-hit shut-out start from Brandon Duckworth. Can't say I'm not used to this.

Happy Easter!!!!

Friday, April 06, 2007

How the AL Central will finish: Definitive Edition

1. Cleveland Indians--In recent memory, the only team to moreso violate their statistics was the 2003 Kansas City Royals, who were 83-79, but should have been six games worse if you looked at their runs scored vs. runs against numbers. The Indians outscored their opponents by about 90 runs, which would suggest an 89-73 record, rather than their 78-84 finish. Eleven game difference. Wow. A sleeping giant may finally awake this season on the banks of Lake Erie. Travis Hafner will be an MVP candidate, but won't win due to that DH thing.

2. Detroit Tigers--Detroit improved their offense by adding Gary Sheffield and losing deadweight Dmitri Young, but their pitching staff takes a huge hit with Kenny Rogers being lost until the summer. This team can win, but I just don't see the pitching holding up, especially the sparkling performance of last year's bullpen. Todd Jones? How did he do that last year? Look for Joel Zumaya to absorb the closing duties once and for all. Will certainly contend for the AL Wild Card and should be close to the top of the division by season's end.

3. Minnesota Twins--This team needs another Liriano to help them compete with the rest of the division, and AAA pitcher Matt Garza is no Liriano. Johan Santana, who will pitch decently for two months before becoming unhittable through the summer and into the end of the season, needs to perform at that clip again. C Joe Mauer is a solid player, but he's playing hurt. CF Torii Hunter is in a contract year and likely won't be retained. 1B Justin Morneau stole the MVP award from Derek Jeter, and maybe he'll be just as good as he was last year. This team is a few injuries away from the bottom of the barrel.

4. Chicago White Sox--Sigh. As much as I think the Sox are falling hard, I don't think they'll be in the AL cellar. They have a good bullpen, a good power lineup, and good, aging starters. They could finish anywhere 2-4 in the division, and it wouldn't surprise me.

5, Kansas City Royals--The Royals are not going to lose 100 games this season, but they certainly won't benefit from playing in baseball's deepest division. The difference between this year and others, though, is I think for the first time in a decade we have a good young corps of players we can build off of with Alex Gordon, Zack Greinke, David DeJesus, Ryan Shealy, and Mark Teahen. We're not going to let our own developed players float to a bigger market anymore. Do I think we'll make some noise in the Central? Not this year. But it's a start.

Bill Simmons sucks


Bill Simmons, the Dane Cook of ESPN's Page 2, spent a whole column dissing the Royals. Like the Red Sox are so freakin' great.

"It gets through Buckner!"

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I Have A Present....

For This Guy!
AL Central Predictions:

1.) Detroit Tigers: A healthy Shef will be helpful and Bonderman projects as a potential Cy Young candidate. Maybe the Royals will make their fans cry at the end of the year again...

2.) Cleveland Indians: Sizemore and Hafner. Big bats. MVP candidates. The Indians have helped out the bullpen with several additions such as Joe Borowski and can't possibly be any worse in the pen than last year.

3.) Minnesota Twins: Johan Santana.

4.) Hold Yer Breath....... Kansas City Royals: Bold, I know. I like the young lineup and am prepared and expecting the new Yoga Master Mike Sweeney to play at least 120 games. Pitching gets a little dicey after Greinke, but the return of Luke Hudson and Scott Elarton should help.

5.) Chi Town White Sox: I really think this team is going to tank. Their pitching staff continues to age with guys like Jose Contrares and Mark Buerhle at the front of the rotation. The lineup also consists of a bunch of old men: Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko, Jim Thome, Darrin Erstad?!?!?!!, etc. I just don't see this bunch getting it done this year.



There ya go, Yao. Corban you can pick apart my way too optimistic Royals prediction if you want.

TPJ for MVP...


Could it really be any easier to please fans that suffered through one of the worst seasons ever recorded by a major league shortstop? Bang a couple triples off of the wall, make a nice play over second base, and don't boot any balls and tpj is on his way to becoming the next Cookie Rojas! When asked by Corbynation when I thought Junior's next triple would be, i foolishly responded with one word: "July". Several innings later, and the better half of the Pena family crushed one off of almost the exact same spot of the left-center field wall and safely slid under a Mike Lowell tag. He then got up, pranced over to the seats, walked up to my row, and swiftly slapped me across the face. Did I mention that our "shote"stop actually drew a walk as well? Let's review: In one day, TPJ doubled the number of triples that the "angel in the infield" hit in 500 at bats last year and came up with a 14th of the walks of big whiff berroa. Will TPJ come up with 324 triples this year? who knows....? It was a great day, and a great start, so let's hold onto that for now.

UP NEXT: A man with a lot to prove this year, Odalis Perez, faces off against a man who gave up a load of homers last year, Little Joshie Beckett, tonight at 7 out at the K. Hopefully OP(P)'s blister problem doesn't turn out to be like this fella's very familiar sounding blister problem.

NOTE: Check this out...

(For whatever reason, "Kevin's Royals Blog" does not sound very appealing to me.
Better than "Randy Rites about the Royals", I guess)

NOTE-NOTE: Does it not look like Varitek is just about to rip butt right in Pena's face in the above picture?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

What a way to start


As most of you know by now, our own Kansas City Royals dusted the Boston Red Sox 7-1 in yesterday's home opener. Mark Grudzielanek came through big on the same day he received his Gold Glove, driving in three runs as a part of the Royals 12-hit attack. Tony Pena, Jr. hit two off-the-wall triples. Gil Meche looked like a bargain. I'd like to offer some thoughts on yesterday's game (which both authors attended):
--Who the hell is Angel Berroa?
--The Royals struck out 10 and walked one, which has to be the greatest K/BB ratio the Royals have ever posted.
--People got drunk. Kansas City remains the classiest location in the midwest.
--Live hot dog race? I'm not sure I'm ready for this.
--Plenty more gimmicky Royals marketing to come, I fear
--REO Speedwagon postgame concert this summer is in the works (????)
--Buddy Bell had a blowup doll labeled "J.P. Ricchiardi" that he was punching after the game. Is the vaunted Royals/Blue Jays rivalry finally approaching Yankees/Red Sox levels?
--Odalis Perez vs. Josh Beckett, 7:05 PM, Wednesday. See you all then.