The long off-season lull is almost exhausted, giving way to a month of mostly meaningless stories from Spring Training. What those stories about X "feeling good" or Y "trying to get back on track" lack in value they make up for simply by existing in bulk. The happy news is that unlike Gerald Ford, John Heath-Stubbs, Sidney Sheldon and Anna Nicole Smith, we have made it through the depths of winter. Like Ishmael, we've survived the storm and have lived to tell the tale.
In terms of literal news the biggest recent item was the announcement that Billy Butler will be minor league bound after Spring Training. Lots of solid thoughts on this have already been expressed over in the diaries. Beyond the nettling details of roster construction, arb-clocks and player development though, I'm just ultimately baffled by team declarations like this.
Why are we publicly announcing on Feburary 9th that Billy Butler is going to Omaha?
This seems heavy-handed, even punitive to handle things this way. Why even send him to Surprise? Isn't there a Joe McEwing knockoff who at least could battled for the 25th man role? From the outside looking in it seems that the Royals are making every possible effort to send not-so-subtle messages to the Butler/Gordon generation that they have no leverage and that the franchise plans on handling things on their timetable. Look, Billy Butler's a young pro-baseball player, the odds of me liking him personally (or vice-versa) are incredibly small, so don't consider this a fanboy reaction. If someone can give me a reason why Dayton Moore wants to engage in this kind of message sending then I'll admit I'm wrong, but this certainly looks like the Royals Front Office got its feathers ruffled by the Butler media tour and now want to show everyone who's in charge.
Ahh, male posturing. Gotta love it.
Links for your edification:
-Breaking 100 is a new Royals blog worth checking out. Their most recent post reports on Dayton Moore's Q&A session during his Speaker's Bureau tour.
-Baseball Prospectus Radio has been updating on a near-daily basis. Good stuff worth checking out.
- One of the best blog-posts on A-Rod I've ever read. I think at this point Alex may honestly be one of my favorite players, simply because the hating on him has reached insane levels. Of course, if he had been drafted by the Royals he'd be in his 3rd season and playing left field with no patience at the plate.
- I'm becoming increasingly convinced that "JQ" knows more about KU baseball than anyone else alive. Quality material that should be printed in lieu of whatever game program type thing they are offering in Lawrence.
-DRays Bay interviews some college girl who has recently become noteworthy. I guess she's from Florida and there are like pictures of her all over the internet and stuff. Apparently, she's a Devil Rays fan.
Personally, I'm saddened that they are dropping the "Devil" next season. Not for thematic reasons, just because of the sound. I like long names, and have been recently saddened to see the Blue Jays and Trail Blazers become quasi-one-worders.