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Royals Rumblings - News for January 6, 2015

In a small way, it feels like you're all Hall of Famers.

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for January 6, 2015

David Lesky at Pine Tar Press writes the Royals core has to be better in 2015 for the Royals to contend.

I look at the offensive core of this team as Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas. Those five guys combined to hit .262/.315/.402 in nearly 2,800 plate appearances in 2014. While not awful as a group, compared to the AL average of .253/.316/.390, it’s clear there’s room for improvement. The offensive core of a team simply has to exceed the average of the league by more than that. We talk a lot about the performances of Omar Infante and Nori Aoki‘s struggles last year, but those guys were supposed to be the role players on this team, not the key performers. Yes, it would have been great if they had been able to pick up some slack, but the issue is that the big guns didn’t hit.

David Hill at Kings of Kauffman looks at whether Wade Davis can replicate his dominant 2014 season.

However, if any pitcher can perform at that level for a second consecutive year, it may be Wade Davis. His first go around as a reliever, back in 2012 for the Rays, was also impressive, although not on 2014 levels. Sent to the bullpen due to the Rays rotational depth, he posted a 2.43 ERA and a 1.095 WHiP, striking out 87 batters in 70.1 innings. It is apparent that his role should be in the bullpen.

Even if Davis is unable to match his performance in 2014, or even his 2012 performance for that matter, it may not be the problem it would have been last year. The Royals bullpen, instead of needing to have Davis, Herrera and Holland be almost perfect every night, has gotten much deeper. Jason Frasor will be around for the entire year, and Luke Hochevar is back. Even if Davis is not the strikeout machine he was last year, it may not matter with the improvements to the bullpen.

Joe Posnanski always has outstanding Hall of Fame columns, and he begins with the guys unlikely to even get 5% on this year's loaded ballot.

Jermaine Dye (Prediction: 0 or 1). Now we’re beginning to see some of the crazy offensive numbers of the 1990s — Jermaine Dye hit more home runs than George Brett, Joe Morgan, Ryne Sandberg, Brooks Robinson or Robin Yount. None of those guys was famous for home runs, of course, but the point is Dye hit 325 home runs in his fine career. In 2006 hit hit .315 with 44 homers and 120 RBIs, which would have won him the National League Triple Crown in 1988. Yes 2006 for the White Sox was a lot different from the 1988 National League, but that’s the point, isn’t it? Dye won a Gold Glove in 2000, and I watched him almost every day then and thought he was a good defender. He had a great arm. As time went on, he became a defensive liability because even as a young man he couldn’t run at all. I remember Dye telling me once in 2000 that teams threw over to first a lot when he reached base because he was African American, and they just refused to believe he couldn’t run. That was a pretty reasonable explanation; after all, in 2000 he didn’t steal a single base.

Craig Brown at Royals Authority gives his hypothetical Hall of Fame ballot.

Aaron Stilley has his January Royals desktop calendar.

Jeremy Guthrie has an interesting solution to the Hall of Fame ballot logjam.

Royals outfielder Lane Adams needs someone to play catch with.

While we're in single-digit temps in Kansas City, the Star's Vahe Gregorian is kicking off a series in the sunny Dominican Republic, visiting with Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura. Hey SB Nation, want to spring for a trip for me to visit Yordano?

Grant Brisbee still cares about the Baseball Hall of Fame, dammit.

Ted Williams condoms are a thing.

Democracy is an unwelcome intrusion when it comes to publicly financing the Braves new baseball stadium.

The St. Louis football Rams could be headed to Los Angeles.

Ohio State and Oregon will wear these uniforms, although capes and wings are illegal according to college football's antiquated rules.

Wesley Morris at Grantland looks at the 13 most underappreciated acting performance of 2014.

When a 21-year old Paul Thomas Anderson discussed Don DeLillo with David Foster Wallace.

Cord-cutters, rejoice! Dish Network may be here to save the day with a $20-per-month online service.

Your song of the day is Belle & Sebastian with "Piazza, New York Catcher."