Today families all over this country will get together and break bread, eat turkey, drink too much wine, and fall asleep watching Detroit Lions football. While blood may bind us, we often come from different perspectives, particularly when it comes to politics. Your uncle's rants on the state of the nation run the risk of ruining a perfectly good dinner before you've even had a chance to get a piece of pumpkin pie. It is up to you to steer the conversation back to a topic that can unite the family - Royals baseball. With that in mind, here are a few Royals conversation topics to share with your family this Thanksgiving.
Will the Royals re-sign Alex Gordon?
Star beat writer Andy McCullough seems rather pessimistic on the chances of the Nebraska native staying with the team that drafted him #2 overall back in 2005. Gordon should expect to get five-year offers in excess of $100 million, numbers that will make the Royals very uncomfortable to match. Gordo will be 32 by Opening Day, and the Royals are wary of committing to deals that long, particularly for players on the wrong side of 30. While Alex might give the Royals a bit of a "hometown discount", the Royals will likely need to make at least a competitive offer. Already the Astros, Red Sox, and Cubs have reportedly shown interest in the four-time Gold Glover.
Of course, this conversation could very well head into "players make too much money" territory. Your uncle could suggest that Alex Gordon not be so greedy and take less money to stay with the team that gave him a shot, and Pete Rose only made a million bucks a year, so why does Alex need so much money? Tread carefully with this topic.
Should Danny Duffy be a starter or reliever?
When Danny Duffy has pitched out of the bullpen in his career, he has been very gnar, braj. He has given up just three runs in 16 2/3 career innings out of the pen, but looked very impressive doing it with 23 strikeouts and just five walks. As a starter, he's gnar sometimes, not so gnar other times. He made major strides in 2014, but regressed in 2015 with inconsistency. Duffy shows flashes of being a solid mid-rotation starter or even more, but has trouble going deep in games due to poor command. Duffy as a reliever would give the Royals another power arm in that pen they can use to mitigate the loss of Greg Holland and possibly Ryan Madson. However the Royals don't have a ton of options for the starting rotation, so they may not be able to afford to move Duffy to the pen. Duffy will turn 27 in a few weeks and is at a crossroads in his career. 2016 could be a huge season for him.
Is Ned Yost actually a good manager?
He has been much maligned over the years, but with two pennants, a championship, and the most wins in franchise history, is it time to give Ned Yost his due? He has now guided two franchises in a rebuild and taken them to contention. Sure, some of his moves are baffling, such as hitting Alcides Escobar leadoff (although your uncle would like to point out the team's record with Esky leading off! You gotta love his aggressiveness!) But Ned seems to have the respect of the clubhouse and he simply gets results. No American League manager has won more games over the last three years than Ned Yost. Not even "chessmaster" Buck Showalter.
Which current Royals will make the franchise Hall of Fame?
Championships teams usually get immortalized forever. Eight players from the 1985 Royals championship team are now in the Royals Hall of Fame (George Brett, Frank White, Willie Wilson, Hal McRae, Bret Saberhagen, Mark Gubicza, Dan Quisenberry, and Dennis Leonard), as is manager Dick Howser. Will the current team match that mark? Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez seem like pretty good bets. Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain are close to sure things. Does Wade Davis make it? Yordano Ventura? Alcides Escobar? Mike Moustakas? Heck, Christian Colon has two of the biggest post-season hits in franchise history, put him in!
Seriously, how awesome is it that the Royals are WORLD CHAMPS?
If your Thanksgiving dinner is going downhill quickly, immediately break out the Royals championship DVD, pop it in, and discuss Eric Hosmer's break for home. Ballsy or stupid? Who cares? He scored! The Royals won! They're champions! Let's come in for a family hug! FOREVER ROYAL!