Thursday, January 08, 2009

ANNOUNCEMENT: I have moved!

The other day I hinted at some possible news, and it is.

I have moved to MVN (Most Valuable Network) to be one of the featured Royals bloggers alongside Clark and Craig at Royals Authority.

I've shed my awkward name - the new site is called Royal Blues, and it can be found HERE. Please update your bookmarks/RSS feeds accordingly.

This site's archives were also moved, but I will keep them here as well, for posterity and for the sake of the good people who have linked here in the past.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A few links and a plea to Dick Kaegel

I'm feeling linky today, so let's share some cool stuff from around the sports Interwebz.
1. Fascinating 2-part series from Roto Authority. You know how, every spring, MLB players swear they've lost weight, gained muscle, or improved their body through some radical new workout system? These articles put those claims to the test.
Part I - Players who claim to have lost weight, gained muscle, or lost body fat percentage.
Part II: Vision improvement, new exercise routine, finally healthy, working on a new pitch, expected to run more

2. A horribly fascinating list of pro athletes who have illegitimate kids. Yikes.

3. Jonah Keri brings us this hilarious video of Pat Burrell showing off his condo. The video's old, apparently, but it's a hoot.

4. Royals Review's own devil_fingers makes his debut at Driveline Mechanics by awarding Gold designated hitters. He works in a Justin Huber reference, so you know it's good.

5. This wouldn't be a true Baseball and Other Things link post without a link to some of my own work offsite, so here are 7 little things I miss about baseball season.

6. Dick Kaegel is again unrealistically optimistic at The money quote is the very last paragraph, which I will post here in case you don't want to read the whole article:
Everyone seems ready to surge into '09 after a super September lifted the Royals into fourth place, ending a four-year stay in the American League Central cellar. If there's to be a new version of the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays, fans in Kansas City have a candidate in mind.

Sigh. Oh, Dick Kaegel. You honestly think that the '09 Royals and the '08 Rays are similar things? That's...cute, but horribly misguided. I'm amazed there are still so many baseball journalists - people whose job it is to know about baseball - who still refer to the Tampa Bay '08 season as "a total surprise" and things like that.

I'm no professional sportswriter, but I wasn't totally shocked by the Rays. You know why? I spent 20 bucks on a Baseball Prospectus book, and then read it. It's not that hard to be somewhat educated, and if mainstream writers continue to insist on staying in dark caves where only grit and RBIs matter, they are cheating their readers. It's not noble to hang on to antiquated sports ideals at the expense of actual expertise. Not when your entire job is to inform fans about a sport.

The Royals can not, and will not, have the kind of season that the Rays just did. The Rays spent years acquiring talent and building up a young core, and made a small number of moves last offseason that, in the words of the '08 Baseball Prospectus book, "[made] the Rays more of a real baseball team rather than a random assemblage of talented youngsters."

The Royals do not have an assemblage, random or not, of talented youngsters. They have a few elite pitchers, and a few sundry parts on offense who are either "solid," "unproven," or "horrible." Kansas City can't just make one trade, like the Delmon Young-for-Matt Garza deal, that will allow everything to fall into place for a playoff run. The Mike Jacobs acquisition isn't going to boost this team from the depths of hell to a 97-win season. Ditto for Coco Crisp. And signing Kyle Farnsworth for such a huge salary might actually damn us all to more hellfire.

So no, Dick Kaegel, don't try to say that the Royals are a candidate to do what the Rays did last year. That's an uninformed, hacky, stupidly optimistic proposition that does no good for anyone. False hope isn't enough to float a fan base that's been this far from goodness for this long. Please...just stop. You're hurting me.

...Wow, that got a lot more bitter than I thought it would. One more link for you:
7. Keith has supplied us with the latest profile of a Royals prospect: 2008 third round draftee Tyler Sample.

K, I think that's all. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Why? (and some possible news...)

Why didn't I see this utterly brilliant video BEFORE the Winter Meetings?

Oh, also...I might have some big news coming. Maybe. More details later.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Bottom 10: The Royals and OBP

Leaderboards are fun...I could look at Top 10s all day. (Related side note: Top 10 of Everything is a book I'd buy every year if I could afford it. It's fascinating stuff, and always random, which suits me well.)

But I am a Royals fan, and Royals fans have no business hanging around Top 10s. Royals fans are better suited to Bottom 10s, because our GM insists on signing players who rack up all the wrong numbers.

The Bottom 10 in OBP among all regular MLB nonpitchers (2008 salary)

#10: Jose Guillen - .300 ($12 million)
#9: Corey Hart - .300 ($0.4 million)
#8: Yuniesky Betancourt - .300 ($1.6 million)
#7: Kevin Kouzmanoff - .299 ($0.4 million)
#6: Mike Jacobs - .299 ($0.4 million)
#5: Freddy Sanchez - .298 ($4.2 million)
#4: Carlos Gomez - .296 ($0.4 million)
#3: Bobby Crosby - .296 ($3.6 million)
#2: Jeff Francoeur - .294 ($0.5 million)
#1: Michael Bourn - .288 ($0.5 million)

Drink up, Royals fans. We own two of the 10 worst on-base players in all of the Majors, and Moore has been publicly salivating over another of them (Francouer) since he became our GM.

Nothing more to add; just know that I am heaving a deep sigh as I type this. 2009 is not going to be very fun.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Looking back and looking forward

Long story short (for once), I didn't go out for New Year's. That puts me here, in my computer chair, at less than two hours into 2009, and somehow I don't feel any different than I did before 12:00 struck. Also, all the cool kids are doing years-in-review, so I have to too!

This blog and its author had some fun times in 2008.
Like...January, when we went to Texas and caught up with Mike Sweeney again. Fun times, right?
We also hit up the Royals Caravan in that month, got a snazzy pic taken with Ryan LeFebvre, and made John Mayberry chuckle.

In February, we had some trouble with an old laptop (may it rest in peace), and openly mocked KSU superfrosh Michael Beasley to his face. One of those things was more fun than the other.

In March, we fretted about Spring Training performances, made some pointless tables, and also got "discovered" by a couple of Royals message boards and other Royals blogs. Finally, someone who doesn't share my last name or bloodlines started reading this! Then Opening Day finally arrived, and we babbled like idiots.

Then came April, which meant the Royals home opener. We ogled Crown Vision's enormous glory and watched A-Rod strike out FOUR times. Then we became one of the Ladies..., which was pretty exciting, and reflected on the origins of our Royals fandom.

May...was mostly stupid. We stewed about the Buzz Bissinger affair, had our hearts broken by a 12-game losing streak, and finally had something to celebrate when Mike Aviles got called up.

June was all about branching out, like a piece for Yahoo! about Aviles, and a new sports blog elsewhere where I pondered the human drama of minor league ball, and shared a tale of a game the ORoyals played with no electricity after a horrible storm beat our fine city to a pulp. (That game ended up being my favorite sports moment of 2008 in this Ladies... post.) Oh, I also saw my first no-hitter in person, and was not amused. Oh, and I went to Kansas City for a few days!

The beginning of July contains my birthday, so we figured out how the Royals have done on birthdays past. We later wrote our first-ever FanPost at Royals Review, which was a trade rumor involving Tony Pena Jr. And then TPJ pitched. Then, we were giddy to learn that the Hawaiian Punch himself, Kila Ka'aihue, had been promoted to Omaha.

Remember the time the Royals won seven f*^*^&*^*ing games in an entire month? Yeah, that was August. But we had Kila to keep us sane. His plate approach was a sensational break from people who we won't specifically name, but whose name might rhyme with...Mason Pith. Oh, and here's a tale from the dugout.

September was SO. MUCH. BETTER! The Shealy finally got his much-deserved callup when rosters expanded - and was still misused - and hit a bunch of homers. But we also got to see Kila (now!) in KC. We enjoyed all the winning and pondered why we're still Royals fans. Then we got to see The Shealy at an awesome win over the Stupid PoopySox.

In October, we DID NOT WANT Mike Jacobs, but it happened anyway. How miserable.

November came, and the Royals did a bunch of stuff with catchers, which prompted us to examine the catching market. Then Coco Crisp happened, and we reacted. We then ate our words for your enjoyment, and hopefully more of those posts are coming soon.

December was a month of farewells, like Greg Maddux. And the Royals said farewell to Mark Grudzielanek but helllooooo to a sandwich pick. The Baseball Writers Association of America said some hellos, inviting two Baseball Prospectus writers to join their ranks. And we tried but failed to make any sense of the Kyle Farnsworth signing.

Going into 2009, I hope to post more often, use shorter sentences, and use more statistics. I hope more people find this blog to be worth reading and sharing. I hope the Royals give me happy things to say. I hope I don't suffer any awkward injuries at an ORoyals game in front of 6,000 people, because Joey Gathright is no longer around to save my life. I hope Brian Bannister bounces back to his 2007 form. I hope Zack Greinke signs a long-term extension already. I hope there's at least one person who has read this far, and I hope anyone who is reading has a happy new year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

If the Royals did MySpace surveys...

Where​ did you begin​ 2008?​
We had a fanfest thing in January in KC. Tons of people came out to see our new powder blues and our expensive new outfielder Jose. He took advantage of the spotlight to complain about the plan to use him as a left fielder. what a baby lol. Some of us went around the midwest on the Royals Caravan.

What was your statu​s by Valen​tines​ Day?
all checked in at Surprise and in the best shape of our lives! or at least that's what we always say.

Were you in schoo​l anyti​me this year?​
Only the School of Hillman, where we learned how to make idiot baserunning mistakes, cut down on walks, and say inflammatory things to the media.

Did you have to go to the hospi​tal?​

some of us had some pretty crazy injuries, like hives in the middle of a game, punching doors, and having Ross Gload cut us down at the ankles.

Did you have any encou​nters​ with the polic​e?​

Yeah Callie got picked up for driving drunk. we also had an encounter with the mitchell report. Oh, and some suspensions for punching pierzynski and Co. too. We have no regrets for that.

Where​ did you go on vacat​ion?​
Well all of us were free to go wherever we wanted after the regular season ended, just like every year. Then some of us went to Venezuela, Hawaii, the Dominican, and other places for winter ball.

What did you purch​ase that was over 100?

We bought an outfielder before the season started, but it turned out that may have been a stupid idea. We got a raise in our allowance after the season, and got all excited and spent it foolishly on junk we didn't need and won't like by the time we actually use it.

Did you know anybo​dy who got marri​ed?​

Yeah, a couple of our guys get married every year. As long as their wives are nice and they keep playin decent ball, we don't mind much.

Did you move anywh​ere?
Our AA players moved from wichita to nw arkansas, but other than that we mostly stayed put.

What sport​ing event​s did you atten​d?​

Do our own games count as sporting events? lol I guess we went to about 162 of those, even though we were told during ST to prepare for about 185. Some of us - OK just Jack - also attended the all-star game and stuff.

What is the one thing​ you thoug​ht you would​ not do, but did, in 2008?​

we did better than some ppl - ok just the baseball prospectus ppl - said we would. it was only one game's difference, but we'll take what we can get. We also gave in and gave some major league ABs to a few first basemen whose initials are not RG. That's something we never saw coming, and might regret someday.

What has been your favor​ite momen​ts?​

We had a lot of great moments from our pitching staff, and we're really happy with those guys. We signed Joakim to a pretty cool long-term deal, and felt great about that every time we watched him pitch. Filthy, isn't he? We also had some exciting moments from DeJesus, like that walkoff he hit in July against the Mariners, and one he hit off of Mariano Rivera in June. Grudzy got his 2,000th career hit - he's the 6th guy to do that as a Royal. And we as a team played a big part in making the battle for the division as tight as it was. Those games felt a little like the playoffs, and we liked that! Oh, and we didn't finish in last place. That was sorta cool too.

Any new addit​ions to your famil​y?​

Well John Buck's wife had twin boys, and we made a lot of changes to the "family" of the team - like Hillman and everyone else.

What was your best month​?​

September was a blast. We won a ton of games and people quit making fun of us so much.

Who has been your best drink​ing buddy​?​

Alberto Callaspo...well, he used to be. j/k but seriously i dunno.

Made new frien​ds?​

We always make new friends but the thing that never changes is how much aj pierzynski is NOT our friend.

Favor​ite Night​ out?

Prolly the night of that DDJ walkoff. Is there anything that feels sweeter than a win like that? Well prolly the playoffs but we don't relaly know how those feel.

Chang​e your hairs​tyle?​

Well this one time Gil shaved Bucky's head and then he pitched really well, so he kept doing it. Whatever works for the team, right? And a bunch of us grew all different beards, but none were as awesome as the Soria Abe Lincoln look lol.

Do you have a New Years​ resol​ution​?​

We gotta play at least .500 all season, and try not to let the Star pick up on so many things we don't like in the clubhous. And maybe don't make Trey wanna yell at us out on the field again!!1!

Do anyth​ing embar​rassi​ng?​

Lots of things - see above - getting yelled at right there on the field made us feel like total losers. Then in August we got no-hit, which was cool for Lester but that doesn't mean we liked it! Then we lost 11 more games in a row after that. Oh and then there was August - we only won 7 games that ENTIRE month. wtf? What kind of major league team does that? seriously it was stupid.

Buy anyth​ing new from eBay?​

idk maybe like some ash for new bats!

Get arres​ted?​

Yeah one of us did but Callie's turnin it around

Been snowb​oardi​ng?​

That's prolly not a great idea, we might get hurt. That doesn't mean none of us went though!

Did you get sick this year?​

Lots of us had the flu in arizona, that was really gross. Puke everywhere ewww. Then there were some problems with hives for SOME of our guys - DDJ i'm lookin at you lol - but otherwise no huge illnesses i don't think

Are you happy​ to see 2008 go?

YES!!!!! we can only get better from here, right? ...right??????

Been naugh​ty or nice?​

lol we all try to be nice buuuut it's hard to be that way in baseball. plus we lost a lot of games which isn't very nice.