Who else is blogging about the Royals now?

The Royals scored 6 runs before the White Sox even came to bat on Sunday’s game.
The result? THEY were blown out, losing 12-6.

It’s been that kind of a year for the Royals.
They aren’t the worst team in baseball. That would be the Pirates.

They aren’t the worst team in the American League. That would be the Mariners and the Orioles.

They aren’t even the worst team in the AL Central. Right now the Indians are worse.

In fact there are 5 teams in baseball presently worse than KC.

And yet I can think of no team worse off than them.

Seriously, what is the direction of this team?
They were supposedly built around Zack Greinke, Billy Butler, Joakim Soria and Alex Gordon… and that plan isn’t working.

Oh, they got a Cy Young out of Greinke… All Star appearances out of Soria and Butler is a decent player.

But Gordon has been a bust (so much for the next George Brett) and the rest of the team is filled with guys who seem like prospects until you realize they’ve been prospects for years and are now on the wrong side of 25 with the word “potential” still dancing over their heads.

The Yuniesky Betancourts, Mitch Maiers, David DeJesus’, Wilson Betemits, Chris Getzs, Josh Fields’, Gregor Blancos, Kyle Davies’, Bryan Bullingtons, Robinson Tejadas, Brian Bannisters, Luke Hochevars, Phillip Humbers and Jesse Chavez’s of the world all seem like young prospects until you realize that they are all past 25 years old and might be in that world of “maybe we overrated them.”

The Pirates may be the worst team in baseball, but with McCutchen, Milledge, Alvarez and Tabata, they may have a core to a solid line up.

Baltimore is the worst team in baseball, but with Adam Jones, Brian Matusz and Matt Weiters, they have players in the big leagues to build around and so far they have been playing winning ball under Buck Showalter.

There’s nobody on the Royals now to build around… and Greinke is already making noise about wanting out.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Dayton Moore was supposed to come in and turn the Royals around. He learned under John Schuerholz while at the Braves… who turned a decrepit franchise into a model of consistency.

John Schuerholz of course learned the art of being a GM while being with the Royals in the 1980s. So basically his protege was coming back to Kansas City.

It was going to be the circle of life.
He arrived at the end of the 2006 season.

There was no big spender in the AL Central and he had a clean slate to build a team.

Here we sit in 2010 and the Royals are at drift at sea.

Four full seasons and nothing to show for it.

Is there even hope?

Well sure…
2007 #2 overall pick Mike Moustakas has been hitting the hell out of the ball in AA and AAA.

David Lough looks like a legit outfield prospect.

Left hander Mike Montgomery is having a good year at AA as is first baseman Eric Hosmer.

Left handers Danny Duffy, Chris Dwyer and John Lamb are shooting up the system
Will Myers is an excellent catching prospect.

But none of those guys will be ready for 2011. Maybe 2012.

So Moore has to gulp big and declare 2011 a lost cause. He HAS to.

With Billy Butler in line for a big raise and Greinke already grumbling, he needs to flip those two players into 4 good young players.

The only way the Royals can turn things around is if they draft well and bite the bullet by trading players when they are at peak value.

Tampa realized that they weren’t going to get what they were expecting with former first pick overall, Delmon Young, so they flipped him for Jason Bartlett and Matt Garza.

Those players came in just as an influx of young talent matured at the big league level and BANG! The Rays leap frogged the two behemouths of the league and went to the World Series.

Get two good players for each… don’t worry so much about quantity as quality and they’ll be ready when Moustakas, Montgomery et al are ready.

Save for the fun 2003 season, it’s been a while since the Royals have been relevant. If they don’t screw those trades up and get ready to insert a veteran into the rotation and the DH slot in 2012, they could make a run for the AL Central crown.

Just be prepared for irrelevance in 2011… irrelevance with a goal in mind.

Now Royals fans, don’t ever say I don’t write about you.

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It’s a big series! (Or is it?)

On the surface, the Rays vs. the Yankees looks like a clash of Titans. The two best teams in baseball going head to head… whoever wins tonight will be in first place by themselves with the best record in the bigs.

Each team is throwing their Cy Young candidate. Sabathia vs. Price.
Each team is coming off of recent losses where their bullpen coughed it up and will be looking to right the ship.
This is an EPIC showdown… right?
I’m not sure. It will be fun, no doubt, but what is on the line?
Neither team is going home for October… at least not without an epic collapse. And even WITH an epic collapse, it will take a big winning streak from the Sox to take advantage of it. (Red or White, it doesn’t matter.)
So basically this is a battle for pride of winning the Division.
Remember how or the Braves beat the Mets for the 2000 Division?
Or the A’s beat the Angels for 2002 Division?
Or the Diamondbacks beat the Giants for their 2002 Division?
Or the Braves beat the Marlins for the 2003 Division?
Or the Red Sox beat the Yankees for the 2004 Division?
Or the Astros beat the Cardinals for the 2005 Division?
Or the Twins beat the Tigers for the 2006 Division?
Or the Diamondbacks beat the Rockies for the 2007 Division?
Because the team that lost the Division in each of those years won the pennant. Which would you rather see? A Division Title or a World Series appearance?
Maybe this is a series to determine momentum going into the playoffs and get the match up you want.
I remember in 2002, the New York papers showed a special standings following how the A’s and Yankees compared. The Yankees were the 4 time defending A.L. Champs. The A’s were a dynamic team that won 20 straight at one point.
It was clear that the ALCS was going to be an Oakland/New York showdown.
The two teams had met in the Division Series the previous two years and they were both 5 game thrillers.
Giambi defected to New York but the A’s were somehow stronger.
The A’s/Yankees ALCS was shaping up to be one of the great match ups… and the question in the regular season was which team was going to have home field advantage.
The Yankees finished the season with one fewer loss than the A’s and captured home field for the clash. The Division Series that year were a mere formality. (The Yankees were playing the anonymous Wild Card Angels and the A’s took on the “Happy to be there after being threatened with contraction the year before” Twins).
Do you remember what happened in the ALCS that year?
Neither the A’s nor the Yankees made it out of the first round… and the Angels and Twins played for the AL Pennant.
All the posturing was for naught.
So have fun watching the series this week.
It should be fun… but this match up won’t be meaningful until it is played NEXT month.

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Giants passed a lot of tests

Well, both Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum passed their tests today with flying colors… and both former Cy Young winners gave their team the right to have visions of pennants dancing in their heads.

But man oh man did the Giants as a team show the NL West they are for real this weekend.

They were 2 back (3 in the loss column) when they showed up at Petco.
They leave tied (1 back in the loss.)

Remember when their starting pitching went AWOL?
Here’s how they did this weekend.

Matt Cain – 8 innings. 8 ks. 1 walk. 5 hits. 3 earned runs.
Jonathan Sanchez – 5 innings. 4 Ks. 7 walks. 1 hit. 0 earned runs.
Madison Bumgarner – 7 innings. 4 Ks. 0 walks. 3 hits. 1 earned run.
Tim Lincecum – 7 innings. 9 Ks. 1 walk. 7 hits. 1 earned run.

That means the average start this weekend was…
6 2/3 innings. 6.25 ks. 2.25 walks. 4 hits. 1.25 runs.

And that run total includes a garbage time home run in the 9th that Cain let up to Ryan Ludwick.

The Padres are stumbling against any team not called the Dodgers and are about to face a freight train called the Rockies.

And the Giants are going to host the “dead from the neck up” Dodgers.

The Padres could be in third place by the time they leave Denver.

Keep this up Giants.
There are other tests coming up and none of them are written exams.

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