Sunday, August 19, 2007

No Longer Cellar Dwellers

The Long Climb Out of the Basement

Ladies and Gentlemen. Royals Fans and my esteemed fellow bloggers. The moment has come... For the first time since 2003, the Royals no longer own the distinguished position of last place in the AL Central.

Its hard to describe the elation I feel of such a small victory. Actually, its not that small of a victory, its a large step in the upward swing in Royals baseball.

The best part about the climb out of the cellar, is that it wasn't done with old grizzled veterans, but young players brought through the system or acquired by Dayton Moore.

Just like with an acceptance speech there are some people I'd like to thank:

First, of Allard Baird. I know he wasn't given the all the tools that he might've need to make a quality team, but he did hit on his last few draft choices. Bullpen Zack Greinke, DH Billy Butler and third, not first baseman, Alex Gordon.
Those young players have really been stepped up and played well for this team. Remember Gordon and Butler still don't have a full season of ball combined between the two of them...future looking good.
Also Greinke has been nuts out of the pen. Unhittable. Which leads me to my second thanks.

I'd also like to thank the bullpen for being as good as its been the last 2 1/2 months. Without them, the Royals would be flailing and more then likely in last. It's nice to have a complete reversal of bullpens. From getting blown out, to blowing out. Nice John Bales in not very good.

The third group I'd like to thank is Dayton Moore and the family Glass. They stepped up this past off season and made a statement that the Royals would no longer be pushovers. See: Gil Meche and Michael Moustakas. Being a winner is about mentality and the Royals are earning it.

The final group I'd like to thank is Ozzie Guillen and the Chigaco White Sox. Thanks for having a great team on paper, but the consistency of flood water. Without your 7 game losing streak, it would've taken the Royals longer to achieve this monumental achievement. I implore you to continue to implode and boost my boys in blue to highs we haven't seen since the great season of '03. The Royals are coming to Chicago this week so this could be the battle for 5th in the Central. Please drop 2 or 3 to my team and continue on your downward slope. If not it was great being 4th for a while.

In closing how about world peace.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dayton Moore

An interview with GM Dayton Moore about Michael Moustakas and a bit about Kyle Davies


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

And Now Deep Thoughts...

Random Tidbits

Thought 1
Johan Santana is good. I went to the game Wednesday night and watching him pitch was something I hope the Royals pitchers took an interest in. He wasn't dominant 6IP W 2ER 6K, but he was flat out good. Watching him mix his fastball and changeup, keeping the Royals hitters flailing was a masterpiece. I hope all the Royals pitchers took their notebooks and learned something from that.

Thought 2
Esteban German should never, never, ever fill in for Alex Gordon or anyone else playing third for the Royals. I know the guy can hit, but watching him make poor fielding decisions, whether letting balls go by he should field or fielding balls he shouldn't leading to a 5 run inning. I know he can hit, but please leave him at second or as a DH...but what about Billy Butler?

Thought 3
Do not worry about Michael Moustakas, at least in the signing aspect, as a player who knows. The gentlemen of Royals Authority put together an excellent column on what to expect. I had an interview with Dayton Moore earlier this KMBC 9 News in Kansas City, but what Dayton said is don't worry, he's not and he foresees Moustakas signing and starting in the fall instructional league.

Thought 4
Do begin wondering about Luke Hoechaver. So far in AAA 1-2 5GS 7.18 ERA 19K 14BB 7HR. I'm not sure why the Royals moved him from AA earlier this year because he was far from lights out in Wichita. Maybe they thought he would rise to the challenge, but so far he's just been beat like he stole something. Keep an eye on him, but hopefully Andrew Miller won't bite us in the ass.

Thought 5
Rowdy Hardy. Remember that name. Rowdy Hardy, not only is it a porn star name, but a pitcher in the Royals system currently pitching at High-A Wilmington. Hardy's numbers so far this season are 14-3 19GS 2.38ERA 79K 14BB 4HR 2CG. Hardy is not known as a stuff guy, but more like a Brian Bannister type. The best comparison right now to Hardy in the bigs is Kason Gabbard. Both are soft tossing leftys with big curves and excellent off-speed command. I'm sure everyone remembers what Gabbard did to the Royals earlier this season.
Editors Note: Rowdy Hardy was recognized as having the best control in Class A, Carolina League, by Baseball America's "best tools" survey.

Final Thought
Emil Brown's walkup music is the Dixie Chicks...WTF?


Saturday, August 4, 2007

Buddy Bell Resigns

Better late, then never...

I know I'm a bit behind the times, but lets talk a bit about the Royals head, er, former/current head coach deciding to step down.

First of all let me start with the fact that I believe Buddy. He is stepping down for family reasons. The main thing that I don't understand is his contract expires at the end of this season, so how do you resign when you don't have a contract?

I believe that Buddy knew or had a conversation with Dayton that basically led to the realization that he was not going to get a contract extension. After coming to terms with the decision Buddy decided it would be better to go out on his own terms and therefore resigned.

Buddy Bell was a manager, but he is not the anointed one to lead the Royals out of the depths of despair. He was a poor in-game manager, had a tendency to leave pitchers in to 1 inning to many, is too loyal to his favorites...Ross Gload, Emil Brown...and can't pick a consistent lineup to save his life. He is not a motivator, he was a rub some dirt on it leader. A tough baseball lifer, but just not a winning manager. His winning percentage with the Royals is a lowly .402.

Buddy wasn't given much to work with being the manager during the Wal-Mart era of Royals baseball, but that's no excuse. He should have won more games.

After looking back at what I've written so far I realized that Buddy needed to go at the end of this season. I liked Buddy Bell. He helped start what will hopefully become the revolution of the Royals. He kept the young players in the lineup, saw to the end of Angel Berroa era and showed the Royals what its like to be tough major league players, but that's not enough. I respect Buddy, but the Royals need more.

The Royals need an in-game manager. The Royals need a motivator. The Royals need to win and Buddy Bell wasn't that leader. Dayton Moore realized this and maybe Buddy did as well.

I hope Buddy enjoys the time with his family, but I'm sure we will see him again in the near future.