This year we enjoyed a 72 win season, one of the biggest trades in baseball, and a major site re-design. While all of those three events were met with widespread acclaim and accolade on this site, it wasn't all back-slapping and kudos around here. Some of the best pieces this year were downright critical of Dayton Moore. Can you believe it? Critical spirits, on our website. Let's go back and enjoy some of the best pieces written this year:
Scott McKinney gave us a projection of Royals starting pitchers before the year, and would you believe that his projections actually seem optimistic in retrospect?
How did you do in the Royals prediction thread? In the MLB prediction thread? From RoyalsRetro:
Getz really struggles, and is DFAed by Memorial Day, and Gia is up.
Hosmer becomes an absolute breakout star. Something along the lines of .310/.385/.525
Luis Mendoza craps the bed, they pull him after five starts and put Paulino in. Paulino posts a 3.80 ERA and wins ten games.
Nick Scott discusses why he is a Royals fan, and why he will continue. Well, at least until the Royals do something stupid like trade the best minor league hitter in baseball for a pitcher with two years left before free agency.
I know that the players that I despise and the management which I don't like will someday be gone. My fandom has outlived Allard Baird and it will outlast Dayton Moore. I've seen Scott Elarton come and go and so it will be with Jeff Francoeur....
I still believe that baseball has a huge impact on my life and the Royals are the outlet which has been provided to me by my geography and my family. I could never leave baseball the sport and changing horses at this time of the race just seems fake. Maybe I'm like Dayton Moore in that I don't understand sunk costs.
Tito42 and RoyalsRetro collaborated on a dramatic trailer to preview the 2012 Royals season.
The Royals engaged in some positional shenanigans with Wil Myers mid-season and Clark Fosler called them out on it.
I think there is a 10% chance that Myers breaks camp with the Royals in 2013, a 30% chance he is up by the end of April and a 99% chance he is starting somewhere for Kansas City by mid-July. Still, if we are counting on Myers to be the second coming, wouldn't it be nice if he was as prepared as possible to step in and play well both offensively and defensively?
Or do I have it wrong and developing super utility players is the new market efficiency.
Remember that one game Luke Hochevar just looked dominant? Craig Brown memorialized it and later submitted it to Dayton Moore as evidence why we must keep Luke at all costs.
Craig lamented the loss of Chris Getz when a broken thumb on a bunt attempt claimed our gritty second baseman for the year.
Getz is the kind of player you can carry on a stacked offensive team. Sadly, the Royals are far from stacked. They're more representative of Jenga sticks after your two year old decides to play human bulldozer.
We hosted the All-Star Game this year. Remember that? It was fun. Until you all had to ruin it by booing Cano. I hope you are still ashamed. Craig recaps some of that weeks' events.
KyleM remembered Jonathan Sanchez - and who could forget his magnificence? - with this stirring ballad.
Fools weakly tried to test Sanchez' dominance, to little avail. Vernon Wells? Kendrys Morales? Oh, how thy douchers flailed at Sanchez' arsenal as he painted his masterpiece!
Jeff Zimmerman warned the Royals to keep the receipt on the Ervin Santana trade when he found evidence the right-hander might be injured.
In 2012, his velocity stayed near 92 mph and his injury factor steadily increased with a couple of large jumps along the way. On August 26, his injury index spiked near .8. It is the highest value I have seen without the pitcher eventually needing Tommy John Surgery.
Jeff wasn't all doom-and-gloom though, he broke down the Salvador Perez contract extension and showed why it may be the best contract in the history of whatever.
The break even point for the Royals for offering the contract, versus him not signing it, is just below the 0.5 WAR level.
The contract offered to Perez is an example of the chance the Royals need to take on a player. The Royals are basically on the hook for $7M. If he happens to turn into a league average catcher, the contract looks to be great deal. If for some reason Perez happens to be an above average catcher, the contract may end up being one of the best team friendly contacts in the league. Good job Dayton Moore.
Craig examined re-signing Jeremy Guthrie and endorsed bringing back Jeremy on a one-year deal.
I'd offer a one-year, incentive-laden deal. Sit back and see what happens. Don't overreact. The temptation will be there - especially with a strong September. And that's how the Royals get burned.
Poor, sweet, naive Craig.
Clark Fosler looked at all the pitching rotations Dayton has put together and wondered if Dayton really understood that pitching is the currency of baseball. Ugh, John Bale. Remember him?
Clark also looked at how the Royals could compete in 2013, but it did require more contingencies than Karl Rove explaining how Mitt Romney wins Ohio.
Connor Moylan looked at how many general managers had survived six straight losing seasons and found the answer was - not many.
Although this was a simplistic exercise with a simple conclusion, I think it is worth pointing out that General Managers who lead a team to six straight losing seasons generally are not good General Mangers. Even though some of the General Mangers who lost for six seasons ended up having successful stretches as well, there are no World Series rings amongst the group I just mentioned. World Series rings are not the only way to measure success, but it is worth pointing on his current eight to 10 year plan, Moore could become the first General Manager to record six sub-.500 seasons and win the World Series.
RoyalsRetro wondered if it was time to expect Dayton to have produced some good pitchers by now.
All we hear from this organization is that "pitching is the currency of baseball", and "we have the best minor league system in the history of whatever", and "Pepsi Max has fewer calories than regular Pepsi." And yet, out of 154 pitchers selected over six seasons, just one has had a Major League start.
Old Man Duggan questioned why we should believe Dayton Moore would ever develop pitching talent when you looked at his track record in Atlanta.
Of the seven starters that the Braves system produced through the Draft in the ten seasons that Dayton Moore was in the front office and accordingly privy to and to varying extents involved in their development, the Braves got a total of 5.4 rWAR* (-0.2 Marquis, 2.9 Ramirez, 2.7 James) and 4.8 fWAR (1.6 Marquis, 3.1 Ramirez, 0.1 James) from starting pitchers in Braves uniforms.
Nick Scott concluded that now is the time for change. Sheesh Nick, its only six losing seasons in a row. Why the impatience with the Process?
The organizational philosophy of anti-intelligence and paranoid secrecy is so against what I believe in that I can not continue rooting for the success of those in charge. For me, rooting for this team to win another game is like rooting for my own personal demise.
KSinDC responded to owner David Glass' bull-manure statements on payroll with a creative idea to determine the Royals true financial picture through crowdsourcing.
JKWard further rips into David Glass, accusing him of feigning attempts to win to recover public perception.
This strikes me as the worst kind of public relations pandering. A feint to the masses, trying to set a precedent and cull good will when the team does actually extend the budget. So they can say, "Hey. Look at us. We're going all-out. We're doing what's necessary to win. Don't you love us? We're digging deep. So deep it hurts. It hurts to write those checks. But man, you know I'm doing it. I'm doing it for you. Because I want to win.
RoyalsRetro had the bright idea of hosting an off-season transaction simulation, with 30 pop-tart eating SB Nation fans posing as baseball general managers. Old Man Duggan proved to be fairly adept at improving the Royals, picking up Trevor Bauer, Ryan Dempster, Bud Norris, Rickie Weeks and Jake Westbrook.
im_not_that_bright was easily Rookie of the Year, enjoying a meteoric rise that found him on the Royals Review masthead by the end of the year. We fully expect him to injure himself in an arm-wrestling contest this off-season that will affect his writing and lead to a Bob Hamelin-type decline the next few years. Before he crashes, enjoy his piece "Thoughts on the James Shields trade as if written by Kansas City Star cartoonist Lee Judge"
A handful of people are upset about losing Wil Myers, but he was only a prospect. Prospects come and go. A few succeed while many more fail. He was not a sure thing like James Shields is a sure thing. Besides, not everybody in the front office was sold on Myers. One member of Royals management said, "We had real concerns about Myers and his ability to fit into our culture. He struck out 140 times last year, and corner outfielders need to have a good handle on the strike zone. He also is a bit slow, and speed in the outfield is very important. His attitude was also a bit of a red flag. We had a conversation with Wil about bringing him up to the majors around June and having him back up Frenchy for the rest of the season and that did not go well. You can't be bringing up a guy like that if he is only going to destroy the clubhouse chemistry."
Hard to believe that is parody.
He also wowed us with a review of the season in the style of Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Francoeur began to wander--muttering disconnectedly; then he took to shouting and laughing. Moore stretched out a trembling hand and gently stroked his hair and his cheeks--he could do nothing more. His legs trembled again and he seemed to have lost the use of them. A new sensation came over him, filling his heart and soul with infinite anguish.
I had no idea there was so much musical talent lurking at Royals Review. Jeff Zimmerman provided a parody of "Friends in Low Places" with Jeff Francoeur filling in for Garth Brooks. RoyalsRetro provided a parody of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" called "We Didn't Start the Losing." Weird Al Yankovic would be so proud.
Crooow put together some good playlists this year, but I think the one for music before you were born was my favorite.
Still need overdue holiday gift ideas? Tracer Bullet provided us with some awesome gift ideas from the Royals team online store.
Women's Quilted Vest by Cutter and Buck ($99.99)
Target demographic: Mid 50's aged women whose imminent presence is announced by a choking cloud of perfume.
Why to avoid: Never all that stylish to begin with, performance vests simply do not work for women's fashion in light of how a woman's metabolism works. Always freezing until they're sweltering, sleeveless items designed with the illusion of fashionable warmth make little to no sense for women to wear, as it practically begs them to make the wrong decision for gameday clothing.
Thank you for a great year from everyone at Royals Review, and don't let the upcoming championship season deter you from bringing the snark even harder in 2013. See you at the Plaza Parade.