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.