Royals Rumblings - News for October 20, 2014
Royals owner David Glass reflects on the Royals rise and explains why the team was so cheap for so long
"Our goal here has never been to make money on this franchise: It’s to keep the franchise in Kansas City, to win pennants and to try to break even," he said, later adding, "The Royals were hurt somewhat by trying to execute Ewing Kauffman’s plan."
Kauffman left the team to a charitable trust, stipulating that it be kept in Kansas City but having the impact of putting it in financial gridlock as the five-person board sought to implement it.
Or, as Glass put it Wednesday: "The government wouldn’t let us do it. The IRS wouldn’t let us do it, (so) we sort of treaded water for a number of years. When we finally could do it, it wasn’t until Dayton (Moore arrived in 2006) and built the organization that we could do it the right way."
Sam Mellinger chronicles the Royals journey from joke to contender.
After he fired his general manager, Glass went to see Dayton Moore in Atlanta, because that’s who people kept telling Glass he needed to hire. He made an appointment, shook Moore’s hand and asked for help. Moore told Glass about a plan. Virtually everything about the Royals, from big-league payroll to rookie-league instruction, would have to change. It wouldn’t be easy, wouldn’t be quick and wouldn’t be cheap.
Glass listened. Took notes. Nodded his head. He was sold. That was the summer of 2006, when Glass turned around how he ran the Royals, becoming a model small-money owner, and when this week — the World Series starting in Kansas City on Tuesday — became possible.
"I always had the commitment," Glass says. "Until we got Dayton on board, we didn’t really have the organization that could carry it out."
We really have gone back to the future. Joe Posnanski is back writing at the Star!
The greatest thing about this Royals team, I believe, is that it has unshackled a quarter century of collected Kansas City hope. There’s one game I remember clearly, a Saturday night game 15 years ago, where the Royals trailed Cleveland by seven runs. That team, like so many others, was dreadful. But the fans decided that night that they simply would not give in. I remember one fan started whirling his arm, and then other fans followed, and then there was feet stomping and loud whistling and screaming. The Royals slowly, absurdly, impossibly came back and won. After the game, a giddy Johnny Damon said, "We can go to the World Series in two years."
Sure, it took a little longer than that. But it happened. Everyone talks about the atmosphere around town and the craziness at The K — I cannot wait to get to Kansas City and see it live. I’ve imagined it many times.
Is this the worst World Series ever? ESPN's David Schoenfield thinks so, although he doesn't think that will stop it from being a highly entertaining series.
The Kansas City Royals won 89 games during the regular season and the San Francisco Giants won 88, the fourth-fewest combined wins in World Series history, behind only 1981, 1918 and 1973. But 1981 was a strike season and the 1918 season was shortened due to World War I. That leaves only the 1973 matchup between the 94-win A's and 82-win Mets with a lower win total. At least that matchup featured two teams that won division titles. Neither the Royals nor Giants won their division, making this the second all wild-card World Series showdown and the first between two teams with fewer than 90 wins (the Angels and Giants met in 2002 but those were 99- and 95-win teams).
The Royals and the Giants are the best teams in baseball because they won the games that needed to be won.
And that’s what makes sports compelling, at least to the majority of us. We care about who prevails, not who the sportswriters tell us should end up victorious based on their deep pondering of depth charts and past box scores.
Andy McCullough profiles Jarrod Dyson's long-shot path to the big leagues.
Dyson earned his braggadocio along a path with few big-league comparisons. He spent his youth in public housing in rural Mississippi. He was drafted in a round that no longer exists. He couldn’t crack a starting lineup in his first three seasons in the minors. A toothache almost ended his career. A defiant spirit — and those prized legs — carried him to the majors, where his obstinacy once threatened to derail him.
"I’m like an inspiration to this team," Dyson said one day earlier this summer. "Because of what I’ve been through and where I’ve come from. To still make it to the big leagues, it’s huge."
Sports Illustrated profiles Lorenzo Cain and his journey to become an ALCS star.
Royals trainers suspected that Cain's injuries over the years — groin, knee, hamstrings — had something to do with the way he moved through the field and the way he ran. That's why they sent the outfielder to see Hobson, a Kansas City native who considers himself a lifelong Royals fan but who — like most casual baseball fans just a year ago — had never heard of Lorenzo Cain.
That morning, Cain ran sprints on the track as Hobson looked on. What Hobson saw was a train wreck — a runner who was doing almost everything wrong. "His strides were too long," recalled the coach. "He ran with his shoulders behind his hips." Hobson cut straight to it: He told Cain that if he wanted to maximize his talent, if he wanted to stay healthy, he had to change completely how he ran.
Tyler Kepner at the New York Times writes about how the Royals had a vision and saw it through.
"I know he took heat because, along the way, when we weren’t winning as much as fans thought we should, he used the word ‘process,’ and people made fun of that," said Mike Arbuckle, a senior adviser to Moore. "But it was a process. He stuck to every part of the process to get us where we are, and his leadership has allowed us to do that."
ESPN's Tim Kurkijian has his five key questions for the World Series.
Everyone wants to emulate the Royals now. Can the Red Sox follow the Royals' run prevention model? Could the Yankees ever be like the young Royals? Could the Blue Jays learn from the Royals? What could President Obama learn from the Royals? What can you do in your everyday life to be more like the Royals?
Royals beat writer Andy McCullough did a chat with Baseball Prospectus.
BH (Independence, MO): Barring injury, next years KC rotation will have Duffy, Guthrie, Vargas and Ventura. While your crystal ball is broken: What's more likely for the "5th" starter, having a Brandon Finnegan prospect type there, or having a short-term veteran in the rotation with DD/JG/YV/JV?
Andy McCullough: You've heard about my crystal ball, eh?
I would say short-term veteran makes a ton more sense. Brandon Finnegan has been a solid reliever this last month. He has also made five (5) starts as a professional. All three were with Class A Wilmington. He needs seasoning. He'll be given a chance to win a job on the Opening Day roster next spring, but I would suspect you'll have to go to Springdale or Omaha to see him early next year.
Artist Chris Sembower does it again.
Brian McGannon has put together a terrific video of the Royals run this year.
Frank White will be watching the World Series at home due to his spat with the franchise.
White mentioned that the Royals had, indeed, extended an offer to be out on the field with other Royals Hall of Fame members on Tuesday, before Brett threw out the first pitch...
White said he decided "the timing wasn’t just right for me" to take part in those festivities.
Eric Hosmer's hairstyle is getting a lot of recognition.
Yordano Ventura in a bunny suit? Yordano Ventura in a bunny suit.
Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder showing the Royals some love at his show in the Quad Cities over the weekend.
A six-year old Royals fan stricken with cancer will be attending the World Series now thanks to his awesome neighbor and the generous spirit of thousands of donors, Stubhub, and Major League Baseball.
Cool first-hand account by former MLBer Al Oliver on what it was like to lose the 1985 ALCS to the Kansas City Royals.
Numerous Royals players spent their leisure time at the Heat-Warriors NBA exhibition game downtown at Sprint Center.
A San Francisco radio station has banned the song "Royal" by Lorde because of the World Series.
NFL games are mostly standing around and commercials, but baseball is the one accused of being boring.
Stephen Colbert talks about how the "Colbert Report" is made.
Comic-con in Idaho can get a little nuts, as the recently-arrested actor Nicholas Brandon found out.
The new Scrabble dictionary disrespects the game. What a load of qat.
Your song of the day is "Birdhouse in Your Soul" by They Might Be Giants.