Thursday, August 31, 2006


SI put the Chiefs number two in the AFC West. Mike and Mike in the Morning thought we'd go 10-6 and make the playoffs. I like these predictions since last week was the only week we should any cohesiveness and/or spirit and/or ability.

Personally, I think we go 1-2 or 2-3 and then come together as a team. I really think that the biggest off-season casualty was Tony Richardson. He may be getting older, but he still had gas in the tank. I'm OK with Roaf retiring, if he didn't think he had the spirit, energy, or ability to continue to block Trent, then awesome, but with a new line being put together, having T-Rich would have been the X-Factor to keep Trent protection intact... always a good thing to keep this O running.

I'm not excited about the Royals next year. This team is so bad that we will probably have to deal with another (knowingly) losing season. In the past couple years Baird never got it done, but there was always, always hype. Next year (unless Moore manages to trade Grudz (maybe, maybe not), ELARTON, and REGGIE SANDERS) will be letting players and managers play out their contracts so they don't look foolish releasing (losing all that money) or trading for junk players. It's possible that Gordon, Butler, Lubanski, Greinke, Lumsden, Hochevar... all make the team... but, not even likely. Meaning, we'll have Esteban German, Berroa/Blanco (I'm liking this guy if only b/c he's not Berroa), Buck (I'm the rest of the season away from giving up on him unless he starts hitting NOW!), Teahen (get excited), Dejesus (stay excited), Gathright (GIVE THIS GUY SOME PLAYING TIME!), Brown (unless they don't arbitrate... please don't arbitrate), Sanders (taking Costa's playing time), Grudz (taking.... Keppinger's playing time?), and Shealy (get excited!).

Wow, if Shealy hits like statisticians project and Gordon keeps slugging the ball.... what do you do with Teahen? I'm a fan of 2 things: 1) Trade him for some pitching (preferably starting, we can patch a bullpen together (Gobble, Peralta, Nunez, Nelson, Braun, Sisco?, Wellemeyer) or 2) Move him to 2B. Is he athletic enough to play it? Find out in Spring Training and then when we are 10 games out of the division after 20 games, trade Grudz and put him at 2b for the rest of the season and call up Gordon.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Holy Crap!

Holy Crap... where did that come from?!? Is this really Runelvys Hernandez? The guy with the highest ERA and lowest strikeout to walk ratio of any MLB starter with at least 14 games? Wow. This was the first since Aug. 4th 2004... wow... Runelvys?!? I'm gonna go read my bible, because I think that I read this in Revelations... Apocalypse anyone? But seriously, keep this up... we need it. He helped fuel our early success in '03, maybe he can help fuel our rejuvenation efforts... but as my cohort in crime says: that's gonna require some focus and dedication. Please, Runelvys, be that guy!



I hate him. Runelvys... you pitch 9 strong innings. strike out 4, walk 1 and give up no runs. you outpitched roy halladay, a possible american league cy young. it is clear, clear you have talent... talent is more than potential. you have proven time and time again that you deserve to be a 2, 3 starter in the major leagues, but time and time again, you act like a AA. i still say, let you go next year if, and only if, we have someone better. if not, be the number 4 or 5 guy. but your type of inconsistency is incongruent with a winning team. we don't need your inability to... focus, be consistent, stay in shape? ruining this teams chances.

Friday, August 25, 2006


I know that this really doesn't change anything, but it just kind of fits this season that both Doug Mientkiewcz (sp?) and Reggie Sanders are now out for the remainder of the season (both requiring surgery). I know that really, we have the youth that can produce in those positions, but it just sucks that this whole year we never really had our lineup or rotation or our bullpen set. At the beginning of the year our lineup and rotation and bullpen looked pretty solid... not playoff contention, but playoff spoiler. Then all the sudden everyone and their dog got hurt and we've been a rotating door the whole season. I swear, I know our AAA team better than our MLB team because they've been playing for us more than our real team... it just makes you wonder what the season could've been like if our team could have stayed healthy. I think the other thing that hurts about it is that Dougie is probably done here in KC... that sucks. Here's a great role-model and good ball-player. I am going to be sad to see him go. Thanks for everything Doug.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

I'll admit when I'm wrong.

I'll admit it when I'm wrong, my campaign to keep redman was premature. He consistently gives up 3-5 runs per game (not bad for a 5 starter... with a good offense behind him), but he doesn't eat innings anymore. His pitch counts the last few times (going off memory b/c i'm lazy) have been in the 100s, but he hasn't gotten past the 6th inning. For instance, today, he when 5 innings and 101 pitches. That, to me, isn't good enough. Sure, it's fine once in awhile, but this has been a consistent battle with Redman; he's walking too many and striking out too many (if that's possible, which it is b/c he walks to many). Think, on average, how many pitches he probably wastes to get 4K, 3BB, 1HBP. Let's find out. In total, for the amount of 8 K/BB/HBP : 44 pitches in all. Almost half his pitchcount went to 8 K/BB/HBP. That, to me, isn't very efficient (in 5 innings) and shows me that Redman isn't what we really need at this point with our glutton of sub to above (but not good) average starting pitching: elarton, gobble, greinke, hochevar, hernandez, duckworth, keppel, madritsch, Hudson, Wood, & Bernero. To me, Redman seems the odd man out.

I hate projections, but barring any trades, winter signings, everybody healthy, this is the starting 5 I would throw out there.

1-Hudson 2-Elarton 3-Greinke 4-Bernero 5-Duckworth

I think you ease Greinke in and give him matchups that, initially, will be against subpar pitchers (i.e., pit him against a 3-5 rotation pitcher, even though he's better than that) and slowly move him up in the rotation. Hochevar and Lumsden will probably start off in AA, AAA. Runelvys will be gone (I hope), put wood and gobble back in the bullpen and hope that Ryan Braun is ready (or continue to use Nelson (who has been good in REAL save situations, not mop up (8/23/2006)). My hope is Ryan Braun takes over. Check out his AA, AAA numbers, they are pretty darn good (AAA - 2.21 ERA, 20 K, 9BB in 20.1 IP... the only nervousness is 20 H in 20.1 IP, but he just got called up a month or less ago) (AA - 2.21 ERA, 58 K, 16BB, 10SV in 40.2 IP w/ 30H). This kid could be good and he's 26; probably mature enough, and brought along slowly. Has a chance to make the team in spring training. either that or hope burgos learns control over the winter, otherwise, he should never make it farther than setup man... which actually gives me respect for him... he's maintained a 5+ ERA with 14 saves, but no command in the MAJORS... that actually ain't bad since he should be in AA or AAA if you want to stretch it.

Here's where I think the Braves have it right (sort of). They stockpile pitching and trade them for players they need. Simple right? Well, in the past few years, the Royals have WASTED too much $$ on free agent pitchers. So you have to like what Dayton's done. He's gotten pitching so that he can develop it CHEAP within the organization -OR- trade it for proven pitching -OR- trade them for hitters. Pitchers, usually the average to just above average, flucuate in numbers year in and year out (the good ones: Santana, Mussina, Clemens, Zito usually don't). The Royals, where they are now, are probably a few years away from having these types of pitchers. So stockpile 30 and and 5 or 6 may pan out.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Guy You Just Hate!

Runelvys Hernandez has done nothing to endear himself to the fans of Kansas City (unless you include his awesome couples weeks in 2003 before he got hurt). He has had poor production and a poor attitude. He isn't the guy you root for (even though he sucks) b/c he works so hard at his job; he is lazy and incompetent. The only reason this becomes an issue is b/c he's had JUST enough performances where you can't outright him to the minors... and if he were on any other team, he probably would have been anyway b/c most farm systems have depth. I could have seen a possibility (if Bernero were still healthy, god speed! or Keppel panned out, or Madritsch had returned or Gobble did well, or Greinke wasn't crazy, or Elarton wasn't hurt, or Duckworth hadn't gotten hurt, or Hochevar was signed earlier and had better experience) that he would have been designated. unfortunately, we are a bad team with no hope this year. To the hardcore fans, though, this is still a depressing outcome. Granted, none of us are dumb enough to root for the year, but there exists pride within us all and we want to win individual games. Sadly, when Runelvys pitches, you are surprised when he wins. It's not hard to envision that Odalis will start winning games, and Redman has shown he CAN do it sometimes, and Jorge pitches just well enough to keep us in games (though drop those walks!), but with Hudson seems to have the Magical Touch and hopefully can successfully return next year! Runelvys, you expect a loss. Worse, you expect to be out of the game by the 2nd inning. At least with the others, you can expect a game (usually) up until the 7,8 or 9th innings (unless Burgos comes in to the game).

so i guess this be a pointless rant b/c we really have no one else, but it is depressing to see him pitch every 5 days b/c there really isn't much hope that he'll give up less than 5 runs a game.

Belated Thank You

I know that this happened a few days back... hell it might have even been a week ago at this point, but I have got to say something. Thank you, Mark Grudzielanek, for signing an extension with the KC Royals. You could have easily said no thanks and gone to Detroit to take a shot at a World Series, but you chose to stay with us. And, to top it off, your reasoning gives us fans hope... you believe that this team is headed in the right direction and has a chance in the next few years to be a contender. For a veteran with a chance at winning right now to stay and to say that means that something is going right with our organization finally and we can rest assured that in a few years we will have a team that can compete for playoff contention. This is also a relief because this gives the Royals as solid a second baseman as there is in the majors (not to mention a stud no. 2 in the lineup). And by having you for another year (possibly 2) we don't have to force someone into the role or find another (I'm not sold on Keppinger... if he's our answer long-term, why didn't the Mets call him up? Matsui was a dissapointment, and Valentine is, well, Valentine). So thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking with us and doing it because you believe we have a winning (near) future.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

This is going to sound like I'm sucking up

I am completely against the use of steroids and HGH and whatever else is out there in any sport. But, I think if players will step forward and admit they're wrongs, they should be forgiven. I have had a real strange series of events come about recently that I think have really brought this feeling forward. I recently read that Jason Grimsley had been fighting with the Diamondbacks to get the rest of his money on his contract. At first I thought this was a little shady and I was a little pissed, but then just the other day I read another article. This one said that Grimsley had gotten the rest of his contract from the Diamondbacks, but he was giving all... ALL of it to charity. That says something about his character, maybe it was just to make up for a mistake, but at least he is doing something. I commend him on his actions and I hope that more players follow suit. Now for the reason that this sounds like I'm sucking up... just tonight I actually got a chance to meet Jason Grimsley. I happened to be a wedding shower at his neighbors' house. As we were chatting outside and carrying on our host actually walked over to his house and invited him to meet some extreme Royals fans (myself and my buddy). He gladly came over and was an extremely down to earth guy... he was really the life of the party at that point. He was telling all kinds of jokes and just getting to know people. I can really respect someone like that... under so much pressure and scrutiny and still able to be so personable and friendly. So, I say if sports stars make an effort to make ammends after a bit of a flub up, forgive them... really who are we to judge?

brandx (I guess you can call me a suckup, even though I felt this way prior to meeting the guy)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Ego vs. Id

North is up.
Ego = Oakland A's
Id = Kansas City Royals

Is there anything more exciting and confusing than when 2 teams (whom you both root for) play? It is the joy of knowing that at least one team you root for will win and thereby help their cause in the regular season, playoffs, World Series. I have that sad conundrum. It became apparent after 2003 that I would need another team to root for b/c the Royals were the definition of poor (poor play, poor skill level, $POOR$). This realization coincided with Moneyball, an interesting book that tried to show ways of projecting players into the Majors and the probability of being successful. I also happened to like some of their existing players and Billy Beane is a hoot.

Fortunately, I don't have a difficult decision to make. If I root for the Royals, then they may not lose 100 games this year (and they are actually pretty good against winning teams), but this may affect the A's race to dessimate the stupid Angels and Rangers. The Royals will most likely lose a 100 games this year and whether they do or don't, doesn't really matter. They will be who they are with or without 100 losses. Therefore, I'm rooting for the Athletics, but maybe in a fair fashion (1-0, 2-1, 3-1).

Chiefs Preseason 2

Anyone else sorely disappointed in this team so far? I thought we were a shoe-in for the playoffs, but after watching the 1st and 4th quarters of the game last night, I'm fairly concerned. The offensive line looked AWFUL making Trent and Larry Johnson look AWFUL. Damon Huard looked no better in the beginning of the 2nd and Dante SCREWED THE POOCH when he tried to turn a punt into a gain at the 10 yd line and got slammed for a huge loss. The starting D looked like CRUD. The Giants were never opposed on their opening drive. I heard Troy Aikman say that Ty Law said we were holding something back for the season on the D-schemes and Troy scoffed saying, they better show something soon or what's the point? Overall, my hopes of an overall B+ team have dropped to a D-. Gunther looks like he doesn't know what he's doing, and he should, we have much better players on D now. The offense looks bottled up, which is bad if we can't get a D to play. We will be shut out week in and week out. I do not oppose games that are 16-13, as long as we are the 16 every week.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Joey Nelthon

BrandX, I totally agree with you. You and I have both been preaching Joe Nelson as the closer. I'm glad someone finally listened... or did they? This closer by committee is probably the dumbest thing I've heard the Royals do in awhile b/c they are leaving Burgos in the mix. He obviously can, and can't, do the job. Most likely, the culprit (as has been stated) is his lack of command. Obviously, even the great ones struggle with their command on some nights, but they do this rarely while Burgos does this nightly. Clearly, he cannot control his pitches the way he needs to to get ML outs. Send him down. Let him learn. bring up Leo Nunez (who I think has potential as a closer) and put him in the committee. See if Sisco can do it (now he thinks he's been tipping his pitches, but Bob McClure should have seen this months ago) or try Dohmann... or, try Mike Wood when he gets healthy since he can't make it through a lineup more than once anyway... he's a 2 innings max pitcher.

Other thoughts:

1. Greinke stays in Wichita so the Wranglers can compete for a MinorLeague Championship before they leave town.
2. Hochevar gets his first taste of MLB tonight at Burlington.
3. I hate Runelvys b/c every time I give up on him, he pitches an above-average game, making me think that he could be a decent 4-5 pitcher.
4. I agree with 810 radio in KC that the royals will take next year and just suck. None of the youngsters will be here, and they will take the year to eat salaries. An intriguing idea was that they will let Berroa go and eat his salary, trade Mike and eat his salary, keep Bell and eat his salary, keep elarton and eat his salary, and keep Reggie and eat his salary. Meaning, we'll probably be looking at Limey back next year and also another 100 loss season.
a. delay gratification and things (2008) will be much better.
b. in this scenario, i'm ok with keeping Buddy Bell and it makes sense that Moore stands behind him. I feel like an idiot for not seeing this strategy before and Bell must feel like a father who sees his wife cheating on him with an upcoming new stepfather (i.e., Moore is probably courting ideas and people for Manager in 2008 and buddy is just interim daddy). If he doesn't realize this, then HE is dumber than advertised b/c he is a "baseball man" and should know how these things work.
5. Whitlock's article didn't suck hard today. Wow.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Riddle me this Batman...

Here's your scenario:

You have a struggling player who has shown promise and even sparks of brilliance at the Major League level. However, he has been horribly inconsistent and is costing your team games. What do you do? What do the Royals do?

Well the Royals actually take two separate approaches to this little dillema. If you happen to be Mark Teahen they'll send you to Omaha to work on your inconsistencies and then bring you up when you're suddenly playing like God himself. If you happen to be Ambiorix Burgos (you could even lump Andrew Sisco in here... he still needs more time in the minors) they sure will leave you up to get yourself and your team killed.

I understand that this season is lost, so we can allow players to develop at the major league level... by God I am preaching that right now, but this is ridiculous. Why the double standard? Burgos needs to head to Omaha to regain some confidence and learn how to pitch. Last year he and Andrew Sisco had so much success because no one had seen them, they were able to get up there and just throw the ball to get people out. Now, hitters have seen them and are hitting them like crazy. Now they need to learn how to pitch... that's tough against major league hitters. If we send them down then they can learn and get back by next year, maybe even later this year and be effective. Look at what it did for Mark Teahen.

The Royals are so hell bent on getting Burgos to use his fastball, but all they do is pat him on the butt and say 'you really should throw your fastball more.' The Royals should take a page out of the Twins' notebook and send Burgos down; tell him if he wants to get back he needs to learn to throw his fastball in every situation in every count. Hey, Johan Santana is doing allright... the Twins sent him down early in his career and told him to do the same with his changeup - now he's got the best one in the Major Leagues, and he's got the ERA and SO to prove it.

And I really don't want to hear the excuse that we don't have anyone else to fill the closer role. Remeber, this is a lost season... send someone out there who isn't 22 and the future of our bullpen (Joe Nelson anyone, he's had some success).


Monday, August 07, 2006

Here's to our future

So the Royals finally signed Luke Hochevar. I am a little skeptical, however. We're giving this kid a lot of money for someone who hasn't proven themselves at all in any minor league system. This kid is going to make up to $7 million dollars... $7 million. Heads up... anyone who says we need to get rid of Sweeney because he's eating up payroll needs to be saying the same about Hochevar. Sweeney has at least shown that when he's healthy (really healthy... I have my doubts about the beginning of this season) that he can out hit just about anyone in the league. Hochevar has shown that he can strikeout Northern Leaguers... wow, I am amazed (notice the sarcasm so thick that it's literally dripping into my next few sentences). I was honestly a little pissed when I heard that we had drafted this kid... I mean, he didn't sign last year with the Dodgers because they wouldn't offer him enough money. I say leave him... let him continue to light up the Northern League, show players that their B.S. about not getting paid what they're worth ain't gonna fly anymore. I'm so sick of their whinning... 'but he's getting $4 million a year and I'm hitting 4 more home runs a year - boo, hoo, hoo... woes me...' It bogus, I'm sorry, I can't feel bad for a player who makes that kind of money... they are entertainers. It's not like they're job is essential to the survival of the nation, and yet, they expect to get paid for it. What happened to working your ass off through the minors and even when you got to the majors just to prove yourself to the fans, your coaches, and your teammates. I can't wait until some player comes up to the majors and lights it up... I mean does everything: .330, 40hr, 150rbi, 30sb, phenomenal defense, runs out every hit regardless of how far he'll be out by... and then demands that he get paid no more than $1 million, or even league minimum. Or, if he gets more he donates all but what he needs to live comfortably to charity. Just think how quickly the game would change. Ticket prices would drop drastically... concessions and merchandise too. God, it makes me want to cry I'm so happy. Anyway, I've gone off on a huge tangent here. Really, from everything I've heard and read, Hochevar is the real deal and could be competing for a starting job in the majors by the end of next season (he's going to start in AA). And, truthfully, I hope he is that good... because we really need our young guys to turn out if we have any hope for the future. Regardless, I still think that this is way to much money on someone who isn't proven. Look at how much success we've had in recent years with big prospect pitchers: Chris George, Dan Reichert, Zack Greinke, Colt Griffin, Mike Stodolka. And there's probably more that I've permanently blocked from my memory to keep me from collapsing and dying from a brain hemorhage. So here's to the hope that we aren't throwing money down the drain again... good luck Luke.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

RB depth

Chiefs sign Michael Bennett, already have Quentin Griffin, Ronnie Cruz, and some other schmoes. I'll take this running back depth since, if we're all being honest, Priest probably won't come back. It's like Roy Hobbes playing the last game in "the natural" when he shouldn't b/c of the dangerousness of the bullet wound. In this case, one hit and Priest's head, or spine, will probably explode. It'd be safer, and smarter, to retire after having some many successful comeback seasons. True to my belief, I think his inevitable retirement is good for him and the team, just like Roaf's was. These guys are more than football players, they are real people. In my current job (and I'm making millions less than these two rich fools) there is no way in hell that I would risk my life to get some department their mail during a tornado (for instance and for dramatic effect).