Royals Rumblings - News for August 21, 2014
Joe Posnanski has a nice long piece detailing how the Royals got here, and that it might actually be part of a plan.
And so, more or less from the start, the Royals became a more professional operation under Moore. He hired some excellent people to work with him. He dazzled people inside baseball with the team’s commitment to building a farm system. And, in short order, the Royals were not the joke of baseball. The Royals lost 100 games four times between 2002 and 2006. They have not lost 100 since.
That, though, is not exactly something you brag about on your resume, and while Moore made the Royals slightly more respectable, he and his staff could not do much more. They continued to make horrendous blunders on the Major League roster. Moore hired Trey Hillman to be the manager. He signed Jose Guillen and Gil Meche to team-record contracts. The Royals talked a better game but continued to feature an allotment of aging Jason Kendalls and Ross Gloads and Miguel Olivos and Scott Podsedniks, while mixing in relatively-young versions of Yuniesky Betancourt and Kyle Davies and Luke Hochevar. The results were, in their own way, as depressing as ever.....
The surprise is the wonderful part. It’s not only the surprise of the team winning baseball games … it’s the surprise of Royals’ decisions actually working. It is notable that the Royals, for the most part, are NOT winning because of those talented young prospects I wrote about in 2011. Moustakas still isn’t hitting. Hosmer’s power disappeared, and he’s hurt. Wil Myers is gone. John Lamb is on the comeback trail in Omaha.
No, they are winning because they made a series of quiet decisions that did not necessarily seem great at the time but are working.....
And what makes all of this so satisfying for Royals fans because most never saw it coming. They were the same old Royals until, suddenly, they weren’t. They were defined by their blunders until, suddenly, some of their plans actually worked.
Grant Brisbee calls Lorenzo Cain one of the top ten most underrated players in baseball.
It's led to Cain playing one of the best center fields in baseball, and his bat catching up with his glove. He's hitting .297/.335/.406, good for a 105 OPS+. Those are fine numbers, sure, but you have to force yourself to remember it's 2014, which is a lot closer to 1968 than 2000 when it comes to the run-scoring environment. Put him on the 2000 Royals, and you might have a .330 hitter, someone who clearly stands out. As is, he's a shining example of the platinum-glove, high-swing, plus-tools center fielder who is probably more valuable than you think.
Rookie Christian Colon has been contributing, but don't look for him to eat into Mike Moustakas' playing time.
But do not expect a return to the platoon, like the one the team fashioned with Moustakas and Danny Valencia. "Colon has been fine," Yost said. "But Moose is the every-day third baseman."
The difference between the two is defense. Moustakas is a good defender. Colon is shakier, a middle infielder just learning to handle third this season. Moustakas showed his ability in the seventh inning on Tuesday. With Kelvin Herrera reeling, Moustakas fielded a grounder, stepped on third for one out, held the runner at second and pumped a throw across the diamond for a double play.
Darin Watson at Pine Tar Press has a nice piece that looks back at the playing career of Hal McRae. Hey, didn't we have a writer here who used to write pieces like that?
This is awesome - "Breaking Bad" actor Bryan Cranston was absolutely overjoyed to meet Dodgers legendary announcer Vin Scully.
Every Easter egg you missed from "Guardians of the Galaxy."
AMC's "Halt and Catch Fire" was renewed for a second season despite awful ratings. I have...thoughts about this show.
Not too late to get in line for the September 10 opening of Kansas City's first IKEA. Then, the next day, you can get frustrated assembling furniture with your significant other!
Your song of the day is the Talking Heads with "Once in a Lifetime."