Royals Rumblings - News for November 3, 2014
Rany Jazayerli writes about the beautiful agony of losing the World Series.
Sports are a land steeped in income inequality that would make the Gilded Age blush, where the top 3 percent take home all the spoils and the bottom 97 percent get nothing and have to like it. And where there’s no income equality, there’s no income mobility: Just six teams have accounted for the last 11 MLB championships, meaning 25 have gone at least a decade without a title. If, like George Steinbrenner, you measure success or failure simply by whether you take home a ring, you’re consigning yourself to an almost perpetual state of misery by choosing to care about sports.
But it’s the dream of joining the 3 percent that tempts us into that pit of despair. The promise of the orgasmic joy of celebrating a championship, and the postcoital bliss I’m told lingers for years to come, cons us into a sucker’s bet like a scratch-off ticket. Sports fandom is a triumph of hope over experience.
Vahe Gregorian writes about how Ned Yost is decompressing now that the season is over.
Royals’ manager Ned Yost typically arises around 5 a.m., unless, that is, he was restless and vacuuming at 3, as he did once during the playoffs.
But on the morning after the all-consuming thrill ride abruptly ended, no doubt mirroring much the same feeling as his players, he didn’t want to get out of bed.
He just wanted to lie there, really.
Not to mope, but to keep processing and decompressing from the Royals’ narrow, harrowing 3-2 loss in game seven of the World Series that ended a stupefying playoff run that Yost called "magical."
As happy as he was to be surrounded by family, he only halfheartedly took part in breakfast when he did get up.
"I just want to kind of just get in a closet and shut the door and be quiet for a little while," he said. "And reflect on all of this."
Sam Mellinger writes that the foundation is there for the Royals to have future success and looks at how the Royals might upgrade.
That means the Royals should be able to play next year with a payroll over $100 million for the first time in franchise history. Across baseball, distribution of growing national TV revenue is giving all teams more money, but a $105 million payroll is almost exactly halfway between the 15th and 16th biggest payrolls from 2014.
Andy McCullough writes that the Royals will need Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, and Mike Moustakas to hit next year like they did in October.
To at least improve on their 89-win regular season, the Royals require steps forward from this trio. They showed what was possible in October.
Yost felt his entire team benefited from the experience.
"All of a sudden, they went from trying too hard to believing that they belonged there," Yost said. "And got real, real comfortable on the big stage. It was almost a joy to see. That these guys are totally confident, totally comfortable in the biggest stage of all of baseball."
They will all improve!
Jeff Sullivan argues its time for the Royals to capitalize on their success by increasing payroll.
Vince Gennaro is probably the foremost authority on the relationship between performance and revenue. He's spent a lot of time looking at the link between winning and money, and this is a link to just one of several things that he's published. Let me share with you a particular excerpt:When you combine all of these incremental revenues [...] a team can generate from $25 million to say, $70 million, over a 5-year period, from reaching the playoffs just one time.
That was written a couple years ago, but little will have changed. For the Royals, this run could be worth as much as $70 million over five years, and that's just an estimate. The particulars depend on too many variables to count and factor in, but the Royals got as deep as you can without winning it all, and the total boost could be worth about as much as, for example, James Shields' coming free-agent contract. Not that I think the Royals should give him that, but it's the first name that came to mind.
Nick Cafardo writes the White Sox will have a lot of interest in Nori Aoki.
Tim Kurijian of ESPN writes that one of the top ten off-season storylines will be where James Shields ends up.
Big Game" James did not help himself with the way he pitched in the postseason: 6.14 ERA in five starts. His velocity was down, he threw too many cutters and, as one scout said, "[Shields] seems to have lost confidence in his fastball."
Only Justin Verlander has thrown more innings and more pitches the past eight years than Shields, and maybe that workload is starting to show. But Shields is still a good pitcher. Is he a four-years-at-$64-million pitcher? Or, as one GM said, "He's still a five-year, $100 million pitcher."
The Red Sox have to add a premium starting pitcher and Shields seems to be a good fit, but if they weren't willing to give Lester a five-year deal, why would they give Shields that much? How the Red Sox get a No. 1 starter, without changing their philosophy on paying pitchers, will be a key story this winter. They might trade Yoenis Cespedes in order to get the ace they need.
MLBTradeRumors gives its free agent predictions and has A.J. Burnett as the only top 50 free agent the Royals sign. They have James Shields to the Red Sox, Billy Butler to the Mariners, and Nori Aoki to the Reds.
Here is the complete Fielding Bible Awards voting, with Alex Gordon getting the left-field award and Lorenzo Cain getting the "Multi-position" award.
Want a specialty Royals license plate in Missouri or Kansas? Not possible right now. And I thought this was America.
The Star gives out its Royals Awards.
A photo gallery of Billy Butler over the years.
Brewers acquire Blue Jays first baseman Adam Lind, removing any small possibility they would have been interested in Billy Butler.
Bill Plaschke thinks the World Series is dying and has some ideas to fix it.
Marc Normandin has an American League off-season preview.
Mets owner Fred Wilpon has been sued for sexual discrimination.
The division rival Minnesota Twins hired Hall of Famer Paul Molitor to be their new skipper.
Lauren Hill, who is dying of brain cancer, scored in her first college basketball game. All the feels.
Another cool sports story - baseball for the blind.
"Saw" was re-released in theaters just in time for Halloween, and no one came out to see it.
Three states and the District of Columbia will vote on whether or not to legalize it tomorrow.
Your song of the day is Radiohead with "Let Down."