It's time for your weekly optimistic stats injection! With the Royals surging to win three out of their last four games with a chance to win the Oakland series later tonight, who can deny the optimistic thrum that surrounds this team? Okay, okay, it's very deniable. However, once we're through the Oakland Computerland Computing Computers of Computation, the boys in blue are headed up to the thin air of Colorado to start an interleague series with--who else?--the Denver Broncos. (Whispering is heard in the background) Right, who else but the Colorado Rockies, a team that last had a good season when Thomas Dewey was President. Seriously, the Royals may be 14-27, one game in the loss column behind the Washington Nationals for the title of 'second worst MLB team', but who's counting? The Rockies are a last place National League team, and if the Royals can take advantage of them we'll be nipping at the Twins or ChiSox heels in no time on a brand new hot streak.
Without further adieu, the reasons that we're going to sweep the Colorado Rockies.
10. The Lefty Starter Factor
According to mlb.com, your very own Kansas City Royals are 0-10 against starting pitchers who throw with the wrong arm. This is understandable because it's weird to be left-handed, and facing someone who throws a baseball with your left hand is almost as weird as watching "The Stand" (Stephen King movie) with a 103 degree fever. I'm not left-handed, but I know how weird it is to face a lefty pitcher because I've seen the entire movie "The Stand" while dying of the flu a couple years ago. Royals hitters clearly need to watch Stephen King movies more often to get used to the abnormality of the experience. I mean, seriously, if Buddy Bell doesn't rent good movies for the team, what the hell does he do?
9. The Inside Man
With none of the mastermindyness of Clive Owen in the movie of the above title, it's taken us a while to get a spy inside the Rockies organization-an inside man who will reveal his true colors when he is asked to fight against-er, pitch against his old team. Agent Affeldt and Agent Bautista were both installed last summer, infiltrating the dark corridors of the Rockies' caves. Since then, they'd been working their way up to powerful positions so they could do as much good as possible for the Royals when Kansas City finally invaded Colorado. Unfortunately, Agent Bautista died while trying to maintain his cover by throwing a fastball through his own skull. He never did have much control.
However, Agent Affeldt has entrenched himself in the terrifying recesses of the area the Rockies call "a bullpen," and with his 3.68 ERA he's got the Rockies fully convinced that he's an asset to their insidious organization. Little do they know that Agent Affeldt is just a time bomb waiting to explode; his 9 walks and 8 strikeouts in 14.2 innings show that he's ready to go all...Jeremy Affeldt any minute now. When the Royals jive into town, you can bet that Agent Affeldt will go active, walking in runs and allowing a home run to Tony Pena Jr. or something.
8. The Rockies have my ROY pick on their team
It's not that I have a history of being unsuccessful with picking ROY candidates, or even have a history of picking ROY candidates, it's just a matter of the law of averages. In the preseason, I picked the six teams who would win MLB's six divisions. Five of those teams are in first place right, with San Diego being the black sheep, three games behind Alyssa Milano's Dodgers. So I'm pretty darn right on that front.
The law of averages, which states specifically that "he who calls himself NHZ is not right a lot," suggests that the tragic yins to this successful yang must be my NL ROY pick and the hairline of my professor in my may term class. Troy Tulowitzki, the Rockies SS, is my ROY pick for the National League. He's hitting .245/.321/.353 with a VORP that is negative ten times the reciprocal of John Buck's. My professor is going bald. Thus, the Rockies are screwed because Troy is doomed to be a vortex of suck.
7. The Royals are .500 in Interleague Games thus far
That doesn't sound that good until you realize exactly how much better that is when compared to the Royals current overall winning percentage. The Royals are 13 games under five hundred overall, which is good for .341 WP. Our WP in Interleague Play is .159 higher! The Royals are stone cold killers against the National League this year, whereas the pathetic Rockies have yet to win a game against the American League.
6. Angel Berroa returns to haunt his former team!
Berroa's punchless bat in past seasons caused the Rockies to callously cast off the former ROY despite all his contributions to their organization. The upstanding Berroa is an excellent clubhouse presence and his great glovework has...wait, what? 'Great glovework'? I'm sorry, I was thinking of Neifi Perez. Never mind.
5. Buddy Bell returns to haunt his former team!
In one of those intangible things that us stat freaks just can't understand the full magnitude of, Buddy Bell returns to get in a tactical duel of three games against Clint Hurdle. If you don't know of the hatred that exists between these two men, you just don't know baseball. When Buddy Bell was the manager of the Rockies in 2000, he fearlessly led his charges to their first winning season since 1997! Despite this achievement, the organization soured on Bell when the team went 73-89 the next season, despite Bell having little or nothing to do with his underachieving team's listless attitude. In April 2002 he was replaced by...you guessed it, John McGraw! Replaced by a ghost after all he did for them? Those bastards! Clint Hurdle took over after McGraw's five-second tenure went sour when it was discovered that he was dead. For some reason, Clint Hurdle was picked for an important post over a dead man. Take that, John Ashcroft.
4. Ryan Shealy returns to face his former team!
You know that Shealy has been waiting the entire season and is really pumped to face the Rockies and other cliches. Those "Player X returns to face Team Y articles never get old. I hate some members of the MSSM with a passion.
3. Todd Helton, Rockies' stud, is washed up
Helton has been a very good player over his entire career, but he's done. Like Mike Sweeney, a fellow former slugger, Helton has only four home runs this year and his strikeout total is three times that. Helton has actually struck out more than Sweeney (13 to 12), and he's no longer providing the power you expect from a first basemen. The sooner the Rockies flip him at the deadline, the better. Except, uh, they still have to wait for the deadline to be sooner because it's not soon enough yet. Yeah...uh...point is, Helton's RBIs are more a function of his place in the line-up than an actual home run sock. What a bum.
2. We Have John Buck! They don't!
How important is it to be able to say about your team "we have John Buck, they don't"? Just as important as The Punisher saying "I'm fine, he's not" after killing a gigantic Russian mobster hitman. That's right, folks, the loyal2 dubbed "McSteamy" is hitting a ridiculous .295/.393/.614 with seven homers in 101 plate appearances, and he's solid as ever behind the dish. Now that Paul Phillips shot Jason LaRue in the leg, Buck figures to get more playing time than he's ever dreamed of. That's good news for the Royals, who are inspired by Buck's team-leading 13.5 VORP.
And The Number One Reason Why We're Going To KICK ROCKIE ASS is that...
We're an American League team!
Yes, it's stupid! Yes, it's anti-climactic! Yes, it may be horrible writing to do a list like this in the first place! No, I really don't have anything to say to turn the worm on the above statements! Crap!
What I mean to say is that the Rockies play in an inferior division in the inferior league and they talk funny too; everyone knows the American League is the better league by far, and that thoroughly mediocre teams like last year's Cardinals can compete in the vortex of something-not-quite-as-bad-as-suckage-but-not-as-good-as-not-suckage that is MLB's Senior Circuit. The Royals are 14-27 in what is probably the toughest division in baseball! The Rockies? Ha! The Rockies are only 3.5 games better, at 17-23, in the National League West! It's rumored in the Rockies division, the teams do ridiculous things like letting the pitcher hit, playing "small ball," being nice to each other, and naming their stadiums silly names like "Chavez Ravine" or "Coors Field" (after beer, seriously?)! These are the marks of true losers. In the American League Central, the Rockies would probably be 2-38.
Tonight, Oakland. Tomorrow, Colorado! Let's take it to these National League bums and get a winning streak together, for chrissakes!
Spreadsheet Baseball returns next Thursday with more excitment, hopefully less caffeine compounded. This NHZ reminding you that energy drinks are bad for you, and that comments are, as always, welcome/encouraged. Sorry about the small size of this post; now that I'm in the flow of the may term class, I should be able to return with more hard analysis next week.