Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A little late, but

- Casual Royals fans, and even somewhat impassioned ones, can sometimes miss out on some of the talent their team has at the minor league level. Until this season, I really only knew about a handful of players in the KC farm system, because people only ever talked about a few: Mitch Maier, Billy Butler, Chris Lubanski, and so on. It makes me a little sad to see how many awesome players about whom I hadn't heard before this year. Should it really have to take attending every home game to know what's going on in your team's farm system (beyond the marquee players, that is)?

Omaha put up an impressive battle against their rivals, the Iowa Cubs, this past weekend. A roughly equal number of I-Cubs and O-Royals fans filled a good number of Rosenblatt's seats throughout the 4-game series, and were delighted with three close games, two of which went into extra innings.

**Whoa, my roommate's cat, Sophia, has hopped up on a scratching post behind my desk and placed her head right under the bottom edge of my monitor. I guess I'll finish this post with an audience. Speaking of cats, I bought a Nerf gun this afternoon to deal with Kronk, my other roommate's cat who loves to get on the kitchen counters and in the sink. It doesn't hurt him, but boy is it gratifying to get a good shot in!**

ANYWAY, I don't want any Royals fans to overlook Mike Aviles. He was Mr. Clutch in Saturday night's 4 1/2 hour, 15-inning win. Twice in the late goings, once in the 10th and once in the 14th, Aviles made spectacular plays to end Iowa's offensive assaults and hold the Cubbies scoreless for an astounding total of 10 innings. Then, in the 15th, it was Aviles who drove in the winning run.

His batting average is only at .301 right now, but only because of a slightly less-than-average June and July so far. He's still pretty reliable at the plate, and more than capable at either middle infield position, and at third base.

If you don't get the chance to go many O-Royals games (or any at all), you really don't get the chance to hear about some of the not-quite-big-name-but-still-damn-good players. I'll definitely profile more players as the 2nd half progresses, but wanted to start with Aviles for his awesome contributions to an exciting series against the I-Cubs.

- In other O-Royals news, Justin Huber is back in the lineup! He rejoined the team last night in Albuquerque after spending a little time rehabbing in Surprise. He had a double in last night's loss to the Isotopes. So far tonight he is hitless, but he has at least one more AB coming (more if Omaha decides to play yet another extra-inning game).

- In still more O-Royals news, Reggie Sanders has rejoined the Kansas City lineup (at least temporarily, as the club is very open about the fact that they're shopping him around, probably for some pitching) so Joey Gathright is coming back to his adoring fans at Omaha.

I'm assuming that Gathright will be called back up to KC at the start of August, assuming KC finds a good exchange for Sanders. In the meantime, Omaha's outfield will be pretty stacked, with the likes of Gathright, Maier, Shane Costa, Lubanski, and probably Huber on some days.

- For those of you who watch Prison Break...does anyone else see a resemblance between Captain Bellick and Craig Brazell of the O-Royals? It's especially apparent when Belick is wearing his hat and smirking, which is most of the time. The fact that Brazell, too, spends a lot of time smirking makes the resemblance even easier to spot.

That's it for now; I have to go try to catch the naughty kitten doing something he's not supposed to so I can Nerf him. Yes, I just used 'Nerf' as a verb.

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