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Royals Review mailbag for January 23

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Where we talk Tom Brady's balls, superstar free agents, and the Founding Fathers.

Shields waiting longer to sign doesn't really make it any more likely that he returns to KC next year.
Shields waiting longer to sign doesn't really make it any more likely that he returns to KC next year.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

This week's mailbag is brought to you by Hamm's tallboys, leftover Papa John's, Cheerios, and Shannon Tweed on Murder, She Wrote.

The call went out via Twitter, Facebook, and in yesterday's Rumblings comments section. These were the questions submitted.

From Jack Hillyard via Facebook: Should we send him softball or hardball questions?

Sure.

From Michael K. Barber via Facebook: Do you think the longer James Shields remains unsigned, the more likely he considers returning to KC?

Max Scherzer finally signed, so Shields is the best starter left out there on the open market. He'll sign soon, but there is a less than 1% chance that Shields re-signs with the Royals. It would take an Ervin Santana situation from last season repeating itself with Shields this year. There is no way that happens, especially since the Royals already committed what is presumed to be nearly its entire budget for 2015 to the free agents they did sign.

From Gopherballs: TV shows that return as movies usually suck. Did any beside Veronica Mars and Wrath of Khan not suck? What TV show would you not mind if it returned as a motion picture?

To answer the first question, I'd say that Alan Partridge worked pretty damn well. I also love the Jackass movies and Bruno and Borat were both pretty damn funny, but those selections are playing fast and loose with the spirit of the question. It may have been for HBO, but Hello Ladies: The Movie was actually really good.

As for off-the-air TV shows that I think could work as films, I still hold out hope for a Party Down film. I'm not sure how it would work, but the show is so fucking funny that I just want that cast back together. I actually think a Garth Marenghi's Darkplace film would work spectacularly well. I think Dan Harmon could pull off a Community feature, too. I don't know that there are many hour-longs that would work well. I'd love some Carnivale closure, but that's a pipe dream, and I wish those two Deadwood movies to wrap things up had ended up getting shot.

From Andrew Earnest via Facebook: What's the chances of scoring free tickets for a Sunday game?

Either four or thirteen. I'll get back to you.

From Jon Sofen: What does Gisele think about Tom Brady deflating his balls?

Brazilians loathe fully inflated balls. He did it for her.

From mitchfreakingmaier!: My question is why in the hell did I take his bait and begin binge watching Veronica Mars? I can't stop watching.

Mission accomplished again. You and Klaassen (and whoever else) have had your lives enriched. I was just the conduit. I cannot answer why; I can only say you're welcome.

From Tim Fredricks via Facebook: What is the impact of the Royals appearance in the 2014 World Series on the future of the organization and other small market teams?

Aside from the short-term ramifications that increased revenues are having on payroll, one World Series appearance for the Kansas City Royals isn't likely to change a whole lot. Small market teams make the playoffs and the World Series with enough regularity as to render the Royals' getting there relatively insignificant. If the Royals continue to have postseason success past this season and begin to make more at the gates with consistency, then we might be looking at a different situation, but until then or a TV deal that didn't place the Royals amongst the teams deriving the very least amount of annual revenue from their local TV pact, not much is likely to change in the organization.

From Tim Tibbits via Facebook: What does he predict our starting rotation to look like?

Viagra and a whole lot of blah until Medlen is healthy. Duffy will likely regress from what the non-sabermetrically inclined fan thinks he was last year. Probably the rough equivalent to Vargas in terms of WAR. That's if he's healthy. That's also not particularly good. Hopefully Medlen makes his return faster than expected because he'll probably be necessary.

From Chad Woelk via Facebook: Will there ever be a day that Mr. Glass spends big and signs a superstar in free agency like Mr. Kauffman would?

The economics in baseball are markedly different than they were 20 years ago. Big mistakes in free agency cost a lot more. It should also be noted that when Ewing Kauffman started opening up the checkbook and signing big-money free agents, the team began its descent from annual contenders to also-rans.

But moving past the changed-landscape discussion, signing superstar free agents is simply a bad idea for a team like the Royals. The Royals make roughly $20MM per year from their local TV deal and will likely move past the 2MM mark in attendance for the first time since 1991. They haven't been above-average in the AL in attendance since 1990. Until they find themselves near the top of the league in attendance and with a TV deal that nets them competitive money (their current deal is through 2019), huge payrolls are simply not in the cards. With a margin of error as thin as theirs, the Royals cannot and should not get involved in trying to sign aging superstars who are on the downward slope of the aging curve to five-plus year nine-figure deals. So few of those deals end up being worth what the teams forked over that hoping for Dayton Moore and the Royals to ink one that works is an exercise in futility. Extensions buying out years of free agency are one thing. Signing superstars as free agents is simply committing too much money in years where that signing will be an albatross around the neck of the Royals who cannot afford to piss away $20MM+ on a single player in year five, four, and potentially three of such a deal.

From ksbuff: You recently visited Philly and took a picture in Christ Church. In your caption you noted that George Washington sat in a section of the church. You parenthetically mentioned that John Adams did the same. My question is: Why do you hate the man that signed the Declaration of Independence and was our second president, and can you point to the specific moment in time when this hatred formed?

George Washington (and John Adams) sat here

A photo posted by Josh Duggan (@oldmanduggan) on

Pew 58. The Washington Pew. I did read David McCullough's John Adams as thelaundry joked, but I actually think Adams is much more important than history generally recognizes. If anything, I'm of the mind that Jefferson is actually made out to be quite a bit more important than he was--the Declaration of Independence was largely borne from the ideas of others as debated on the floor of the Pennsylvania State House, and James Madison was much more than a trusted confidante. Unfortunately for Adams, he wasn't the skilled politician that some of his peers were, and he was stuck with a Vice President from an oppositional party and a Cabinet who actively undermined him at every turn.