Saturday, March 31, 2007

Royal Optimism

That time of the year again, when we hope for the best. Usually we get the worst, but as a fan, I am hopeful that, even though we aren't stellar at most positions; SS, 2B, OF, C, SP, the "Curse of the Royals" was actually the "Curse of Allard Baird."

With a new GM in town, not all of his moves have been stellar, and we'll have to see which work out, which bust, and which we wait a year or two or a month or two to judge. For instance, I can see Gil Meche being a quality pitcher for this team over his 5-year contract (and with Dayton, we may actually keep him the life of it!!), but I can see fans turning on him early if he struggles and has a slow April/May. Or maybe he has a typical Meche year and doesn't turn the corner of quality until next year. Or maybe he doesn't turn it around until he has other quality starters behind him, when he doesn't have to be the ace like Greinke or Brian Anderson a few years ago.

Either way, it's the same feel of every year (lots of optimism in spring, bad April/May). I get the feeling we are in store for that same result, except that I've partitioned my stock of "false hope" into 2 separate camps for the first time since Spring Training 2004. One part is the "false hope" that with a new year comes a chance to not lose more than 90 games, even though we probably will. The second, and NEW HOPE (much smaller part of the Total Hope; 7/8 = "false hope, 1/8 = NEW HOPE) is that with Dayton Moore, the same hope that Allard instilled won't crumble around us. NEW HOPE = hopeful competence in Moore; not that he'll give us a winning team this year, but that this will be the VISUAL and ACTUAL turning point for this franchise.

Let's just not go 5-17 in April.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

And another thing...

I'm an idiot... these were the two reasons I had initially wanted to post, and I forgot to put them in there... wow... I am pathetisad.

1. tony larussa got arrested for drunk driving, what an idiot. The killer thing about it is that the cop noticed because larussa's vehicle stayed motionless through a stoplight after it had turned green twice for him. He had fallen asleep at the wheel! He awoke after the cop pounded on his window two or three times. Wow, that's pretty bad! I guess now I know what a World Champion caliber manager is like... damn.

2. I kinda liked signing Alex Gonzalez as a fall back in case Angel did what he is now doing, but I liked the signing even more when the Star ran an article about how Gonzalez has matured and realized the importance of back-up players. Basically he came out and said that he was happy being a role-player and understood that he could help the team out in that fashion and be ok with it. What pissed me off is that apparently his contract has an out, if he doesn't make the 25 man roster he becomes a free-agent. What an ass! I mean, he had to put that in the contract, because that doesn't solve the Royals' problem, so they wouldn't have put in that clause. So much for being a team player... I say we drop his ass or trade him off.

brandx - that spells IDIOT!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

42 (thoughts on life, the universe, and everything)

Ok, here we go...

The KC Star had two separate articles about Buddy Bell, and how he's here to stay, so... my guess is that Bell is not going to be a guy that's here for "the fall" and then shipped off for some other manager. In other words, Bell is Moore's guy barring some insane meltdown... like losing 130 games or something ridiculous like that.

Trivia Question: Who's the only player in the Majors to wear the number 42? He is only allowed to wear it because it was his number prior to the MLB retiring the number alltogether in honor of Jackie Robinson.

I must say that, yet again, I am completely excited about Mark Teahen. That guy has transitioned to an outfielder like a champ! So far he's committed one error (although there might have been a second) and that was in Center Field - a position he's not scheduled to play unless DeJesus needs a day off and Gathright doesn't make the team. This guy is amazing! Just make him Royals' Player of the Year right now, because that's what's going to happen!

Hey, how about those Jayhawks?!?!? That was an amazing game! I can't even begin to fathom how hard that game was for them in every way. I mean, that SIU team was ridiculous on D. I think they might be tougher than the '85 Bears. But, the Hawks held there own, played some stout defense of their own and found a way to win. I think that speaks volumes about this team and their character. Let's hope they can keep the momentum going!

Even though I despise, or megaloathe, king carl and his boy wonder/toy herm, they have made a wonderful move or two so far. First, I like Napoleon Harris, the guy seems tough and smart, that's a great combo, and complement for DJ (Derrick Johnson). Then Donnie Edwards, I know he's old, but he doesn't play it. I think we can still get a couple of good years out of him, and he'll help some of those younger defensive players develop and mature. And, lastly, Sammie Knight. I am miffed at why we didn't try to trade him, I have to believe that we could have gotten something, ANYTHING, in return, but this clears space for our two freaks of nature: Page and Pollard. Does anyone else get the feeling we may have the beginnings of the greatest DB corps ever (if we can cut about 200 years of age off our cornerback crew)? I do also wonder, however, why wesley wasn't the first to go... I mean, Knight did seem to tackle every once in awhile, wesley just kinda runs at people and then tries to fall on them. Anyway, let's just hope he's the next to get the axe in some way, shape, or form.

Does anyone else feel like Trent is just completely getting the shaft?

Let's hope Alex Gordon's defense improves come regular season play. I'm not worried, but if his miscues keep up for much longer I will be! The kid's gonna be a stud, though, no doubt. Oh, and if he has a killer year and "Dice-K" get's rookie of the year, I think I'll kill bud selig, because, really how is Matsusaka a rookie?

Oh, and when selig finally retires I'm still planning on throwing one HELLACIOUS PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for sitting through this ADD rant... I just had a lot I wanted to get out there!

brandx (I swear I'm looking for my meds right now!)

Trivia Answer: Mariano Rivera. He's the Yankees stellar closer for those of you scratching your brow.

If you got it right you've earned my respect and admiration for the next 30 seconds, use them wisely!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Random tidbits

Octavio Dotel rocks. Check out his line, I'm too lazy to type it, but check it out. So yah! we have a closer. Anyone else feel the Royals curse and this guy will be broken by the end of opening week? I feel like, even if we are 32-1002 at the trade deadline, we'll probably still keep him (or offer an extension), I no longer have a fear of our good players being traded away with Dayton. I still fear HOPE. I HOPE we can compete more (around .500), I HOPE Dotel stays strong and good (but I doubt he will). Just like I HOPE Greinke bounces back, like I HOPE Hochevar was better, or at least, equal to Andrew Miller; I HOPE Gordon isn't overwhelmed at the ML. Hope is a bad thing in baseball. Good for life. Bad for baseball.

810 WHB thought this was a significant article, making the Royals important again. Good article? I didn't think so, but always nice to read about the Royals nationally. But then, it becomes less important when you realize the guy is writing about every team.

Happenings in KC

1) Just when I back my horse, Bannister has two bad games in a row. Hopefully, he'll bounce back as a long reliever or starter in AAA (he's only 25).
2) Sammy Knight is released, giving his position to the youngsters (Pollard or Page).
3) Trent may be traded to the Miami Dolphins.
4) Croyle may be the starter next year; is reporting that it's his job to lose.
5) Alex Gordon officially makes the Royals.

I really don't have anything new to add. It all speaks for itself. Gordon deserves to be on the team. One assumes, his defense will improve (not good this Spring), because he's been solid in the past.

For a team that is transitioning from ancient to slightly-elderly, don't you want Croyle at the helm. It seems like it'll be a miracle for the Chiefs to truly compete next year (i.e., a throwaway), so why not give Croyle the chance for some experience for 08 and Beyond.

Bad for Trent. He's going to be in a log-jam (Culpepper, Harrington, Lemon or something), plus, is stating they want to renegotiate and give him veteran-league-minimum $$. Good for the Chiefs, we may get a second round draft pick this year.

As with Croyle, what does Sammy Knight really do that Page or Pollard can't do this year and probably better the year after and Beyond. This is a good move, he's fairly cheap to release (1.5 million).

Bannister, well, this is a bummer for me. I was hopeful, but the guy gave up 7 runs (4 homers) tonight, so... THAT is not how to win a starting job in the majors. It may be how to win a job with the T-Bones.

Derick Ladnier, head of scouting (or something) for the Royals, just said (without realizing he tipped his hand) (810 WHB announcing the A's/Royals spring game) that Soria has a chance down the road to crack the rotation. I will not put exact quotations since I'm writing this 5 minutes after he said it. But he did say, Soria could crack the rotation down the road, but not initially.

This is bad news. Even with a semi-bad night, he went 3 or 4 innings tonight giving up 2 runs, walking 1 and striking out 6. When have we had a guy striking this many people out? OUR BEST STRIKER-OUTTER LAST YEAR WAS JIMMY GOBBLE (A RELIEVER!!!)!!! Good for Jimmy (my favorite player for no real reason), but bad for all 35 random starters we had last year. Maybe it was b/c none of the opening week starters from last year made it even close to the All-Star break. Bummer for them, bummer for Soria, bummer for me, bummer for you.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I know this isn't KC, but what a damn good story....

If you haven't already read this article by Jayson Stark, you need to.

I realize that this article is about a rival. But I also realize that this article is about a great human being, not just one of the best pitchers alive (maybe that I will see in my lifetime). I do however, feel that this article is important to read. It just goes to show the true nature of baseball, good and bad.

Firs, the bad. It shows how a small market team (Twins, Royals, Pirates, etc.) are completely hosed when it comes to talent. We may have the best talent in baseball, but at some point, no matter what, we will lose that talent to the "Big Boys" (Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, etc.). This is what is wrong with baseball. Santana says in the article that he loves being a Twin, he loves everything about the team and the city, however; he also realizes the business of things and knows that he will not be a Twin much longer (without some sort of miracle). THIS SUCKS!!!!! I know that is comes down to money, and it is a player's choice of how much to take and the situation, but seriously, can anyone say that they would not take a $200 million contract for a team? I mean really!!! I can tell you if I was a great player, playing for the Royals, my hometown team, and free agency struck and I was offered that much money it would be a hard decision. So damn it, baseball needs to sack up and help the little guy, start real revenue sharing, get a REAL salary cap, not this penalization bulls*%t.

Ok, now for the good. This article shows that there are still good men, even GREAT men left in the sport. With all the damn steroid controversies, Barry Bonds being an a#*hole, and Juan Uribes killing men on his land, we needed something good to come from baseball. Johan Santana is one of the good, one of the best, and just a damn good person to boot. He wants to better? His goal is to better....not just as a player but a person. Wow, how often do you actually hear that from a professional athlete.

All I can say is that I am impressed. I just wish the league could be full of people like Santana, and not more like Bonds. Here's hoping the Twins get that miracle to keep Santana (even though that really kills us Royals fans) they deserve a guy like him. Shoot, every team needs a guy like him.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Buddy Bell hates Royals Fans, he must.


"'[De la Rosa], if he doesn't make our rotation, there is a chance he would be in our bullpen," Bell said. "Right now, he still figures in the rotation. Bannister and Greinke for me are kind of even (for the fifth slot). De La Rosa, again for me, is a little bit ahead because we liked what we saw last year. We didn't see Bannister and Greinke really at all last year. Soria is throwing really well. He is not with Bannister and Greinke, but he is a consideration for the rotation."

Duckworth gave up three solo home runs in three innings against the Giants, but struck out five.

"Honestly, we want to find a spot for Duckworth on our staff somewhere," Bell said. "That is what we would like just because he is a strike thrower. Whether that happens, I don't know. There are a lot of people we like that we're trying to fit on our club. Unfortunately, we don't know how that is going to work out. [Minor League] Options may come into effect as well. This guy has an option, this one doesn't. That is not necessarily the best way you want to do it at times, but to your depth we might have to do it that way.'"

Bell cheeses me off. For one, how can he say that Soria is behind Greinke and Bannister? For goodness sakes the guy has been UNTOUCHABLE. He may not have struck out as many as Bannister or Greinke, but he also hasn't given up the runs. Who gives a poo if he is a Rule 5 pick who people think may not have the experience to pitch in the ML. You have to keep him anyway, if he earns the spot, he earns it. Sometimes, people really DO exceed expectations and overachieve and they continue to overachieve b/c along the way of overachieving they gain a new confidence in their overachieving-ness and actually get better as a player forever. Maybe this is Soria, maybe not, but if he earns the spot and doesn't get it... Bell should be fired and Moore should be fined.

How does Jorge even register on their radar? It's has to be b/c he has no 0ptions left. Really. Sure, he finally didn't walk anyone today, but he did give up TWO solo shots to some obscure oldie from the Giants. Meanwhile, Greinke was untouchable last start and Bannister has been showing some major gumption.

I decided, JUST NOW, that I am rooting for Bannister. I like what I hear about this kid and hope he makes it. If he keeps throwing the ball with control, but only throws 88MPH, so be it. As long as he gets people out.

At this point, I'd say De la Rosa deserves a SP spot more so than Perez. Neither of these guys make me hopeful for our rotation. See previous post about my 2007 dream team rotation.

How has Berroa still not found his way out of the lineup. I guess it's progress that they are saying he has work to be done and not just giving him the job, but really, aren't we just giving him the job. At what point does performance outshine personality? Berroa may well be the keenest, swellest guy just ever, but he sucks.

Is this oldie Alex better? Probably not, but maybe he can play D. And is D better than O? well no, I like the O-face better, but Berroa can't play anything. I wonder if he would make the starting lineup of the T-Bones? Magic Eightball says, "batch, yo' crazee?"

So says 8-ball, it always tells the truth. Just like a five year old, but the 8 ball is much more proficient in proper grammar and wordage; as clearly seen above.

In summary, I hate Buddy Bell. He smells like old crotch.

The "Dream 5ive"

"5ive" doesn't really work like "Se7en," but I wanted to be clever. Was it? Was it?

The first thing that should come to mind with the number five (anywhere) is baseball's starting rotation, which includes five players (NO WAY!).

Now obviously, the Royals don't have the personnel for a REAL "Dream 5ive," but with the players they do have, I think "Dream" should equal "most upside" or in my terms, "young."

Doesn't it just feel right to have a rotation consisting of:
1) Meche
2) Hudson
3) Greinke
4) Soria
5) Bannister

1 - Meche - Obvious, he's making $11 MILLION/year and he's 28. Yippee!
2 - Hudson - showed last year that he deserves a shot, plus he was once highly scouted and if professional sports isn't about one thing, it's about the ReTread.
3 - Greinke - having a good spring training and really, at 23 and psychologically unsound, would you want to face this guy? What if he throws and tantrum and decides to PUMMEL you with his 59 MPH, floating curveball! OUCH!
4 - Soria - This guy has been amazing. Next Johan? Some Rule 5 guy people thought could be good, but... Yeh, give this guy a spot based on RESULTS! What the hell is wrong with a GM and manager who automatically give spots to guys who probably don't deserve it. I'm not saying that if your the Braves, you shouldn't automatically give your spot to Smoltz or James, they are pretty proven and the Braves haven't sucked in 15 years. The Royals on the other hand should worry less about money (especially with Perez, since the Dodgies are paying most of his salary AND think Berroa OR De la Rosa and his obscene walk rate) and more about results.
5 - Bannister - he's young, he's got MLB in his blood and his name is Brian. What more do you want from this guy? He's had 1 year of MLB time and still could be good, yeh, he's a soft-tosser, but at least he'll challenge a guy (Gobble, wait, who got better as he challenged; Perez, damn nibbler, etc).

Leaving the bullpen with... well, who cares. With my dream rotation, we won't need a BP. 9 innings every time.

But seriously:
Peralta - just because
Gobble - b/c he's my favorite, and other than starting pitched well in relief last year.
Dotel - duh, he's our closer!
Wellemeyer - b/c he can't start and even though his stats weren't very good, who else is ready (ignore ERA, it could explode).
Neal Musser - I believe he's a lefty and the only one giving up 1-2 runs/inning.

Just say no to: Bale, Ray, Shiell!
Say yes to miracles of healing: Nunez
Just say, "Lou Brown, check to see if he needs glasses:" Jorge De la Rosa
Furthering the metaphor; guy most likely to be a bad Ricky Vaughn: Jorge De la Rosa
Guy that reminds me most of Jack Parkman: Odalis Perez
Rube Baker: John Buck: Hayseed
Pedro Cerrano without the power, cool accent, or voodoo: Angel Berroa (think can't hit breaking balls, or anything that has movement).
Guy who most reminds me of Willie Mays Hayes: Omar Epps

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Andy Barker, P.I.

Watch this show. It can only get better as it goes. This is clearly the first season and any show that re-collaborates Andy Richter and Conan O'Brien is worth watching.

Specifically, watch "Fairway, My Lady;" I laughed until I had a embolism. has the first 6 episodes free.

Ditto to the Ditto

This time of year rocks... AND IT ROCKS SO HARD THAT I paid for MLB Audio for SPRING TRAINING!!! and yes, I am listening to it every chance I get. You learn a great deal. For instance, Ryan Lefebvre (Royals broadcaster) is writing a book about his years of depression, semi-inspired by Greinke's plight. Wouldn't have known if not for him being interviewed by the Oakland broadcast team today during the game!!!

There is so much to cover and not enough space. Well, that's a lie. There's plenty of space.

Let's start with Jared Allen. He needs to shut up and take a deal with the Chiefs. Yes, I disagree with my cohort in bloggin' crime. Peterson needs to make this guy happy. As much as I would like a team full of quality people, there's seems to be a shortage of those guys + talent.

Allen has the talent and is young. Peterson needs to split the diff and make this guy happy. With Mitchell, Edwards, and Reed possibly leaving (and these guys aren't very good) we need to keep Allen. Our linebackers can only get better if we get a line that can make holes for them. There are too many questions on this team not to sign a guy like Allen (who is consistent and good) for 5-6 million for a few years. Keep him and hope he stays off the sauce.

My sentiments exactly with baseball season. If there anything more beautiful than a curveball buckling someone's knees (Wainwright to Beltran in the World Series). I'm pretty tired of hearing about Kevin Durant and since I get no hockey channels in this town...

Speaking of hockey!!!! Go KC Monarchs. Pittsburgh came one step closer to handing us a franchise that is close to being a contender year in and year out, which will provide a much needed boost to KC where both of its major teams are still a year or two away from contention. Hockey could give us the respite we need until all the teams can contend.

Finally, GO Brigade. Won their first game against Chicago and a defensive player won player of the week!! and things are looking up.

Finally, finally, Napolean Harris our new MLB? I'll take it, as long as we resign Mitchell to be an OLB. Both are consistent, good players. Not stars, but good enough to boost this defense, especially with DJ on the other side. Resigning Mitchell will automatically be an upgrade over "Someone killed Kennie's Career" Bell.

Make it happen Peterson.

Here's the "How to go from Megaloathe to Loathe Handbook" by Kevin Fink, that Peterson needs to follow:
1. Re-sign Mitchell
2. Release Sims
3. Demand Bennett get more touches (i.e., lessen Johnson's load)
4. Re-sign Allen longterm and then kiss his ass for being an idiot
5. Release Sammy Parker...
6. Take a look at Kevin Curtis
7. Draft CBs to go with our new FS and S.
8. Trade for a backup, fading star type QB (a la, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Schuab, etc.)
9. Somehow get Fatlock fired for being fat. or dumb. mostly just fat.

Friday, March 02, 2007


I have to agree with my cohort in crime on this one. The beginning of baseball season is by FAR my favorite part of the year. I think the only way it will be topped is if the Royals suddenly become a given to participate in postseason play... at that point October/November will be my favorite time of year.

I also agree that we finally get to see true athletic plays everyday. I will never argue that it takes a great athlete to be a baseball player (it helps, but it's not necessary). But a diving catch, stealing a homerun, hitting a 90mph fastball, hitting a nose-diving curveball, and any number of other feats occuring everyday in baseball are insanely more difficult than slam-dunking a basketball. I'll admit that some dunks are amazing, but really, if you can jump high enough, you can dunk... I'm tired of seeing dunks on the top 10 plays of the day.

So let's all take a minute, close our eyes, and imagine the smell of the grass, hear the cheers of the crowd, sing take me out to the ballgame, and enjoy a beer and a dog. Because that, my friends, is truly heaven on earth.

GO ROYALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, March 01, 2007

This is the MOST wonderful time of the year...

As a popular Christmas song states, "This is the MOST wonderful time of the year...." NOT because of the improving weather. NOT because it is the season of love. NOT even because it signals March Madness. NO it is because baseball has returned to our lives!

I love Sports Center, but when did dunking become the most spectacular athletic feat? We can now look forward to REAL sports highlights, with guys diving several feet, making unbelievable catches with fluidity and grace. We can look forward to seeing guys laying it all on the line for a split second of glory!

For most kids, Christmas is the best time of the year. For this BIG kid, the beginning of baseball season is the most wonderful time of the year. Some will say that I am crazy to be so excited about baseball when I am a Royals fan, a team with 3 straight 100 loss seasons. A team that supposedly has no chance in hell to do anything. I truly think that ALL of these people are full of *#@$! However, it doesn't even matter if they are correct because BASEBALL is back. It doesn't matter how good the team is, it doesn't matter who you root for, all that matters is that America's past time is back. I sincerely hope that all the drug/steroid crap ends (however we all know that is not going to happen, I just hope we REALLY do clean things up), and I can always wish for a league that is equal on more levels than just each team having 25 guys. But here's to baseball. A sport with so much to offer. A sport that truly epitomizes what American culture and history is all about.