The Royals dropped their Cactus League opener 11-7. Season ruined. Danny Duffy labored, throwing 37 pitches in the first two innings, including a ball crushed by Prince Fielder for a solo home run. Not a good start, but its not even March yet. Put the panic button away, at least for another week.
Fox Sports Kansas City announced that 156 games Royals games will be televised this year, most in club history. On the downside, those games will be announced by Rex Hudler. But Fox Sports Kansas City finally figured out a team that is notionally competitive in Kansas City will draw better ratings than exciting Missouri State/Northern Iowa football games.
The Royals have settled contracts for many of their pre-arbitration-eligible players. None are getting "Mike Trout-money", but Lorenzo Cain will make $546,000 this year.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick stopped by camp to get a sense of the higher expectations for the Royals. Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet in Canada has a similar piece with quotes from Dayton Moore. How will the team handle all this media scrutiny????
Royals beat writer Andy McCullough had a live chat where he dropped some nuggets of truth.
- He thinks Yordano Ventura gets the #5 spot ahead of Duffy.
- The club insists Kyle Zimmer is completely healthy.
- Wade Davis is likely a reliever this year.
- Chen topped out at 84 mph yesterday.
- There is still concern about the rotation.
- Andy's top three favorite albums from 2013 were albums by The Wonder Years, Jason Isbell, and 1975. I have literally heard of none of these things. What happened to bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd?
Lots of good back and forth from Andy. He is a worthy successor to Bob Dutton's sarcastic snark.
Fangraphs has the Royals as one of the least-improved teams since last year. So we have that going for us. Which is nice.
Here are AL Central Division lineups and rotations described using Google autocomplete (h/t/ Quisenberry4Ever)
Finally, the big news is the Royals have decided to end the 7th inning tradition of playing Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places" at Kauffman Stadium. What began as a totally engineered and copycatted tradition, will end in a whimper. No word if they will replace the 24-year old song with something more contemporary or something more classic and timeless.
If the Royals are to have a 7th inning sing-along song, what should it be?