Royals Rumblings - News for August 22, 2014
Ben Reiter at Sports Illustrated says that Alex Gordon is a darkhorse MVP candidate and details his unusual journey to defensive whiz kid.
All of this would have been rather unexpected back in the summer of 2010. Back then, Gordon was a 26-year-old who, after three-plus seasons as an error-prone third baseman who didn’t hit much either (over his first three big league seasons he batted .250), was demoted to Triple-A Omaha with a directive from general manager Dayton Moore to learn to play leftfield. It was a position that he’d last tried in high school summer ball in Nebraska, and only then because third base was manned by his older brother, and yet he was all for it.
"I was struggling at third, and my confidence was down," Gordon said. "Dayton called me in and thought it’d be best for the team, especially with [Mike] Moustakas coming up to play there. He referenced guys like Ryan Braun that made the switch pretty easily."
It wasn’t so easy for Gordon, at least at first. "There were a lot of mistakes in Triple-A that no one knew about up here," he said. Gradually, though, he got the hang of it, and soon he was thriving. There was no secret to the process: You start with a gifted athlete, which Gordon always has been — "I was a pretty good receiver in high school, so maybe playing the outfield, running and catching balls, related to that," he said — and then you add a drive that few can match.
Dayton Moore still thinks the Royals can do better.
"We're still capable of playing way better than we are -- I mean that," he said. "We're doing the things necessary to win, and that's a great sign. "But we really don't have anyone who is really hot offensively right now. That's why I say we can be better, and I fully believe we will be even better down the stretch."
"Yes, it has been fun watching this group of players mature and develop into winning baseball players," he said. "I have enjoyed that. It's why we're in this business.
"Early on in the process, as we were building, there was a balancing act of trying to win as many games as we could at the big-league level while still trying to develop players for the future. "But now, the future is here, and it really came last year and we started to expect to win. Any losses hurt more now."
Andy McCullough points out the Josh Willingham trade has worked out pretty well thus far.
Billy Butler, since not getting traded by the #Royals at the deadline: .338/.380/.500 -- 25 hits, 5 walks, 8 Ks. *1* GIDP.— MLB Daily Dish (@mlbdailydish) August 21, 2014
The Royals should have been sellers!
The Kansas City NPR station KCUR asks whether Sung Woo can save the Royals from the Sports Illustrated curse.
ATTENTION ESPN! Please stop talking about Johnny Manziel.
Some former SNL cast members talk about their experience on the iconic show for Grantland.
Your song of the day is The Smashing Pumpkins with "Cherub Rock."