The Royals season thus far has been the perfect three act play.
Act One - Everything is terrific. James Shields, the hero, has marched into town to clean up this two-bit town. Him and his deputiees - Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie - quickly dispatch of those villainous White Sox and Twins. The townspeople rejoice! Lorenzo Cain breaks out into song. Lee Judge throws flowers at our heroes feet. All is well.
Act Two - The bats have gone missing! Sheriff Shields frantically search for them. Ned Yost drives the calvary over the cliff! Shields and his gang quickly try to pick up the pieces. The dastardly Cardinals lie and cheat and steal their way to power. Shields looks on helplessly at his impotent army. All seems lost.
Now is when the curtain rises on Act Three. Our heroes have been joined by a wise old wizard from the past - George Brett. Today we spell redemption - G-E-O-R-G-E. How will the Royals rise from the ashes? TUNE IN TO FIND OUT!
Or maybe it turns out this entire season was a dream by Victoria Principal. You never know with these writers.
The Royals head into Texas tonight, the team with the best record in the league, and an organization that has played for the last three American League pennants. They're considered one of the best organizations in baseball, run by one of the smartest General Managers. But people forget that early in the tenure of General Manager Jon Daniels, he made some real stinker trades:
- 2B Alfonso Soriano to Washington for OF Brad Wilkerson, OF Terrmel Sledge, and P Armando Galarraga
- 1B Adrian Gonzalez, OF Terrmel Sledge and P Chris Young to San Diego for P Adam Eaton, P Akinori Otsuka and C Billy Killian
- P John Danks, P Nick Masset, and P Jake Rasner to the White Sox for P Brandon McCarthy and OF David Paisano
That was all in the first eighteen months on the job. But then Daniels seemed to get better, and even bolder. He stole Nelson Cruz and Carlos Lee from the Brewers for Francisco Cordero. He got David Murphy from the Red Sox for two months of Eric Gagne. He made a huge gamble trading his top pitching prospect Edinson Volquez to Cincinnati for one year wonder Josh Hamilton. He reaped a huge windfall getting Neftali Feliz, Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison and others from the Braves for Mark Teixiera.
All the while, he was drafting and developing one of the best farm systems in baseball - Derek Holland, Mitch Moreland, Justin Grimm.
Jon Daniels was very active on the trading block. And he made a few really bad trades. But he didn't let those bad experiences keep him from continuing to improve his team through trades. He understood that to put all your eggs in one basket - whether its free agency, or developing from within - is folly. You need to find talent wherever you can find it, even if it means giving up assets you will later regret. Interesting how that PROCESS works.
Anyway, what's the over/under on Nolan Ryan appearances during the telecast tonight?