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!