The Royals "War On Walks"

Photographic evidence of a Royal walk - Ed Zurga

Officially declared around 1998.

Last week we looked at the home and road splits for Royals home runs going back to the birth of the franchise. Today, we turn our attention to walks.

Remember this quote from our walkless leader:

"We have the largest ballpark in terms of square footage of any ballpark in baseball," Moore says. "When pitchers come here, they have the mindset to use that park -- put the ball in play, throw strikes, attack the zone. There isn't the same fear factor of getting beat deep that you might have elsewhere."

"I think that plays a huge factor in that walk statistic."

Ahhh, yes. Square footage equals attack the zone equals balls in play. Blame The K.

Let's take a look.

BATTING

PITCHING

Home

Road

Home

Road

*1969

300

222

264

296

1970

247

267

338

303

1971

255

235

261

235

1972

271

263

212

193

**1973

341

303

297

320

1974

262

288

211

271

1975

276

315

222

276

1976

232

252

234

258

1977

264

258

236

263

1978

249

249

206

272

1979

272

256

271

265

1980

267

241

220

245

1981

128

173

107

166

1982

231

211

230

241

1983

214

183

223

248

1984

216

184

201

232

1985

239

234

236

227

1986

239

235

229

250

1987

274

249

260

288

1988

250

236

206

259

1989

278

276

202

253

1990

245

253

252

308

1991

273

250

257

272

1992

217

222

219

293

1993

205

223

270

301

1994

210

166

187

205

***1995

224

251

259

244

1996

252

277

216

244

1997

294

267

245

286

1998

256

219

268

300

1999

269

266

313

330

2000

250

261

331

362

2001

206

200

280

296

2002

272

252

298

274

2003

250

226

291

275

****2004

233

228

245

273

2005

220

204

280

300

2006

252

222

336

301

2007

211

217

266

254

2008

197

195

252

263

2009

258

199

288

312

2010

229

242

254

297

2011

235

207

289

268

2012

202

202

268

274

2013 (through 85 games)

110

109

131

129

1969-1972

1073

987

1075

1027

2060

2102

% of Total:

52.1%

47.9%

51.1%

48.9%

1973-1994

5382

5257

4976

5713

10639

10689

% of Total:

50.6%

49.4%

46.6%

53.4%

1995-2003

2273

2219

2501

2611

4492

5112

% of Total:

50.6%

49.4%

48.9%

51.1%

2004-2013

2147

2025

2609

2671

4172

5280

% of Total:

51.5%

48.5%

49.4%

50.6%

2007-2013 (Dayton Moore Era)

1442

1371

1748

1797

2813

3545

% of Total:

51.3%

48.7%

49.3%

50.7%

1973-2013

9802

9501

10086

10995

19303

21081

% of Total:

50.8%

49.2%

47.8%

52.2%

Franchise Total:

10875

10488

11161

12022

21363

23183

% of Total:

50.9%

49.1%

48.1%

51.9%

* = Municipal Stadium (1969-1972)

Park Dimensions: LF: 369'. RF: 338'. LF Alley: 408'. RF Alley: 382. CF: 420'.

Fence Height = LCR -13'-22'-12'

** = Royals/Kauffman Stadium (1973-1994)

Park Dimensions: LF: 330'. RF: 330'. Alleys: 385'. CF: 410'. Fence Height = 12'

*** = Kauffman Stadium (1995-2003)

Park Dimensions: LF: 330'. RF: 330'. Alleys: 375'. CF: 400'. Fence Height = 9'

**** = Kauffman Stadium (2004-Present)

Park Dimensions: LF: 330'. RF: 330'. Alleys: 387'. CF: 410'. Fence Height = 8'

Some facts that won't surprise you:

-- The Royals have drawn fewer walks than their opponents for 15 consecutive seasons.

-- Since 1998, the Royals opponents have drawn 1,765 more walks.

-- In the Dayton Moore Era, the Royals have drawn 732 fewer walks than the opposition. If we start his "era" in 2007, that averages to 105 more walks for the opposing team per season.

-- While according to Moore opposing pitchers have the mindset to throw strikes at The K because of the massive amount of square footage, I don't see that hypothesis holding water based on the raw numbers presented here. The Royals have generally walked more at home than on the road. It's a slim margin and probably not enough of a difference to draw any sort of concrete conclusions.

But that won't stop our GM.

-- It's largely the same story for the pitchers. Some years, they allow more walks at home. Other times, the split leans more walk heavy numbers on the road.

Going back to 2007, Royals pitchers have thrown 51 more walks on the road than at home. Is that because they're consciously throwing more strikes at home and letting their fielders do the work? That seems a bit of a stretch to me. But again, this is Dayton Moore. He's been known to float a few crazy ideas out there from time to time in search of justification of a breakdown of baseball fundamentals. And is an average of around eight walks a year a large enough difference to contend that the ballpark is a factor? I'm not buying.

Blame The K? No. Blame the GM for constructing a lineup composed of free swingers who make weak contact and habitually post low OBP rates? Yes.

And go back to the huge difference in walks between the Royals and their opponents. Somebody is walking at The K. It's just not the Royals.

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