Royals Rumblings - News for September 22, 2014
Rany Jazayerli has a lot of thoughts about Saturday's nail-biting game:
For the second straight year, the biggest at-bat of the season (final results pending) was given to a player who had been released by another team earlier in this season. ON PURPOSE.You remember the Carlos Pena debacle last year, don’t you? Well, I present to you the Raul Ibanez decision...This year, Ibanez came to the plate with two outs and runners on second and third. Strikeout rate didn’t matter; batting average did. A hit would tie the game, and probably win it. But as with last year, an extra-base hit was no better than a walk, and a walk was of minimal value.So naturally, in a situation in which batting average is essentially the only skill you’re looking for, Yost called upon Ibanez, who was hitting .168 this season. In a situation that called for a high batting average, Yost called upon the player with the lowest batting average in the major leagues among players with 275 plate appearances. So far this year, 273 players have batted 275 or more times. Ibanez ranked dead last in batting average. So naturally, in a situation in which a single would turn defeat into victory, Yost DELIBERATELY put Raul Ibanez in the game.
Again, we are left arguing sub-points of the rulebook rather than pointing out the most basic fact of all — Perez most definitely did not touch third. The umpires got the call OBVIOUSLY right. That would have been a farce if the Royals had been allowed to score that run … and I say that as someone who obviously wanted the Royals to win.This is one of those side effects of replay. A friend and a Royals fan asked me if the Royals JumboTron operator actually cost the Royals this game by doing his/her job properly. That’s how ridiculous it can become. Salvador Perez’s base running brain cramp … Ned Yost’s inane bunting strategies … James Shields letdown against the bottom of the order … Alex Gordon and Josh Willingham’s ineptness at the plate … these are the things that cost the Royals the game. Also Max Scherzer’s dominance, Torii Hunter’s homer and Joe Nathan’s last strands of effectiveness.
Speaking of replay, crew chief Larry Vanover explains why they overturned their call in Saturday's game.
The umpires came to the consensus that ...
"He started back, but he didn't touch the bag. So at that point, we overturned the call and that's when I went to the middle of the infield, signaled the guy out and waved off the runner. … The video board did not come into play in the decision. You're not allowed to do that."
Ned Yost insists he wasn't slighting Billy Butler when he said he was looking for a "professional at bat" out of Raul Ibanez on Saturday.
"There’s a lot of things going on that nobody really knows about," Yost said. "What I mean by a ‘professional at-bat,’ was a guy that’s been there, done it . . . Billy’s in a funk right now. And Billy has no idea what he’s doing wrong. You see what I’m saying? He’s working really hard at it.
"I put Billy in that game – I sat there and thought about it a million times. Raul, Billy. Billy, Raul. Billy, Raul. You look at Billy’s numbers – that doesn’t come into play right now. Because he’s 1-for-35, whatever. You look at what’s done against [Justin] Verlander. And then you look at the last two games against Verlander. The numbers don’t come into play."...
"It was absolutely no slight against Billy," Yost said. "I’ve got Billy in there today. People that think I’m slighting Billy, they’re off base."
ESPN's Christina Kahrl says the Royals are botching the little things and the big things. But other than that they're playing great.
That’s because the Royals are up against a basic problem: They may have to scrabble and scrape after runs with little-ball tactics, but even after a full season with this roster, they don’t seem all that familiar with using them to their advantage. You can understand why the Royals use one-run strategies: They’re last in the league in Isolated Power (.114 through Friday), and last in the league in walk rate (6.3 percent). That said, Saturday’s loss was a classic case of a manager’s overcompensation making a bad offense worse.
Atlanta could fire General Manager Frank Wren this winter, and Dayton Moore could be their prime target.
The Braves would look at all their options to fill the general manager's position. But the most intriguing candidate appears to be Royals general manager Dayton Moore, who learned his craft while working for Braves president John Schuerholz from 1996-2006. Schuerholz was the club's GM throughout that span.
Moore has two years remaining on his contract and he has further endeared himself to Kansas City's ownership by taking the Royals to the brink of a postseason berth this year. But there would certainly be many members of the Braves organization pulling for the chance to work for Moore, whose people skills have been likened to those possessed by Schuerholz.
Nori Aoki spent a few innings accidentally wearing Dale Sveum's uniform, which explains why Sveum was sitting stark naked in the dugout Saturday.
1,956,482 people attended Royals games at Kauffman Stadium this year, the most since 1991.
What does the increased attendance mean to the bottom line? An estimate would be about $5 million more than 2013 based on an average ticket price of $24.73 this season.
So, this happened.
Ray Lewis talks about covering up crimes.
College students aren't going to college football games as much anymore. If this was baseball, people would be writing about how the game is dead.
"True Detective" Season Two details have been made public. Andy McCullough and Ned Yost will try to solve the mystery of how a designated hitter went missing for a month.
The opening credits of the Cosby Show were genius, even thirty years later.
SB Nation and Vox.com are partnering with Generation Progress to support the "Its on Us" campaign to increase awareness of sexual assault.
Your song of the day is The Barenaked Ladies with "One Week."