Sunday, April 06, 2008

First O-Royals musings of 2008

The people above me are playing Rock Band again, so what follows is likely to be less than sane. It's hard to keep it together with that hollow, constant, inescapable a-rhythmic thudding going on. Also, I got a new keyboard ($1 from woot!) that is very tiny, which I guess means I'm obligated as a woman to think is cute, despite the lack of functionality its small size brings (see: poodle).

Thursday would have been Opening Day for the Omaha Royals, were it not for rain showers that day. So the team had O-Day on Friday, and a double-header yesterday. Those of you who have been around here a while probably remember that the O-Royals played what seemed like an ungodly number of rainout-caused doubleheaders last year, especially at the end of the season. It's good to be right back into that habit as we start the 40th Anniversary season.

I am trying to see if Trey Hillman's style will seep down into AAA at all. Thus far, we really haven't had the opportunity to even try any of the aggressive baserunning Trey has employed at the big league level, because everything Omaha has done is pretty non-strategic, as far as baserunning goes: doubles, triples, a couple of homers. I've noticed a bit of impatience at the plate -- in the first game, O-Royals swung at 7 1st pitches and 14 2nd pitches. Maybe it doesn't mean anything, but I'd love to see my boys take more pitches and drive every starter to higher pitch counts than they've forced so far (89, 89, 65 and 83 in four games).

While the offseason was happening, it felt like time was dragging, but once the season finally got here it feels like we haven't left. My favorite season ticket holders are back in their usual spots, the cotton candy guy still has his massive sideburns (yay!), the steps by the 3rd base dugout are still the best seats in the house, everyone cracks inappropriate jokes, and Angel Berroa still screams in our ears when we least expect it. It feels great to be back in action, and as soon as things settle down in terms of my actual work*, I hope to be able to give all of you non-Omahans some sort of feel of how the Royals' AAA prospects (and lifers) are doing.

*I still can't believe they actually pay us for this stuff. My job is the coolest! I get to sit right by the dugout, be as vocal of a fan as I can, be friendly to all the fans, and lead fans on to the field for various embarras--promotions. Seriously. How is that a job? I love every minute of it.

In the meantime, I have only a few things to offer:
-Former Royal Bobby Keppel has apparently shortened it to just "Bob." I don't like it.

- The O-Royals are averaging 3.31 pitches per plate appearance. I'd like to see a little bit more patience, so I'll be keeping an eye on that as time goes on. My unofficial count has Jason Smith with the most 1- and 2-pitch at-bats, but it's kind of working for him, as he's already collected 6 hits including a homer and a triple.

- Also, is it just me or does outfielder Brian Buchanan bear a striking resemblance to Dave Coulier, aka Uncle Joey from the show Full House? Oh crap I hope he doesn't read this...but surely he's been told that, right?

- Neal Musser has already given up more earned runs this young season than he did through part of July last year, because he surrendered a 2-run home run this afternoon (only one of the runs was earned).

- Roberto Giron is a heck of a reliever. I'm glad he survived Saturday's bitter cold (well, he thought it was cold and marveled at my choice in shorts and a tank top; apparently growing up in Nebraska gives one a far different idea of temperature tolerance than growing up in the Dominican Republic...) so I can continue to enjoy his work.

- I saw Shane Costa fall up some stairs on Friday night, and I wanted to share that, because I wasn't aware he had flaws.

Elsewhere in the world:
- The Ladies... want YOU to also be a Lady. If you happen to meet their standards.

- I don't mean to revel in someone else's misfortunes, but the Tigers are 0-6. However, I must take this time to blast Joe Morgan for yet another boneheaded thing he said on national television. As Detroit gave up the 8th and 9th runs to Chicago today, the boos from the Tiger home crowd were becoming very loud, and Morgan said "They should be booing."

You know, I don't care what the situation is; you DO NOT BOO the home team. What the hell, Joe Morgan? Every time I hear him call a game, I wish he had never gotten that TV work, because then people would remember him for his awesome playing career and not the fact that he is a mean, stubborn, awful announcer.

- I'm terribly disappointed in North Carolina for not being their usual UNC-ish selves, because I had picked them in multiple versions of my bracket in several pools that are for more than just the heck of it. But...go Big XII! Represent!

- Trey Hillman must love me, because the KC pitching rotation works out so I get to see Brian Bannister pitch in Kansas City on Tuesday! Of course, the forecast calls for a high of Garbage with a chance of Cancellation.

If you find yourself in Omaha today (Monday), be sure to come to Rosenblatt and enjoy some O-Royals action and some $1 hot dogs! (First pitch at 6:35)

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