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Royals Rumblings - News for February 25, 2015

Beat the shift, Moose.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for February 25, 2015

Sam Mellinger write the Royals are optimistic this spring, and its nice that their optimism no longer seems crazy.

If the walls of this clubhouse could talk, they would tell stories of a manager flipping a coin to decide whether to start Runelvys Hernandez or Jeremy Affeldt on Opening Day, or Emil Brown comparing himself to Roberto Clemente, or of Mike Sweeney, the incorrigible optimist, smiling and telling everyone he sees it’s "just another day in paradise" even through 310 losses in a three-year span.

The point is, the history of this clubhouse is of men in these same uniforms sitting in front of these same lockers doing their best impersonation of what a good and confident team would look and sound like.

No more pretending.

In his Twitter Tuesday, Mellinger also writes that finances will determine whether the Royals keep Alex Gordon.

One of the factors here is what the budget will be in the future. The Royals’ horrendous — and that’s not a strong enough word — TV contract runs through the 2019 season. They are leaving, and this is a very conservative guess here, $25 million on the table every year compared to what they could get on the open market. That means they are more dependent than most clubs on ticket revenue, and while all the projections are up for 2015, you can’t be sure how long that will last — especially with a club whose core is generally under contract for only two more years.

Mike Moustakas is looking to beat the shift more this season.

"I’ve got to find a way to beat it," Moustakas said. "I’ve been a pull hitter my entire life. It’s smart for everybody to go over there and shift that way against me." Moustakas said he’ll dedicate a portion of spring training to working on attacking the shift, but he found the best way to beat the shift at the most appropriate time last season, in the playoffs.

Between a new child and a World Series, Alcides Escobar had quite a year, but he's looking forward to leading off this season.

If he’s to stay at the top of the batting order, Escobar, a free swinger who drew only 23 walks last season, will need to adjust. "I like to swing the bat," Escobar said. "If I lead off, I’ll need to take more walks."

Christian Colon is ready to be a contributor anywhere on the infield.

Moustakas is a far more accomplished fielder at third than Colon. As a rookie, Colon tried to figure out the nuances of the position, besides the obvious task of making cross-diamond throws to first.

"It’s the footwork, too," Colon said. "The footwork’s different, because you don’t have time to really line up the ball to be able to catch and throw. You’ve got to catch it, set your feet, then throw. It’s not like you’re moving before the ball is hit. You can’t be moving. That was something I had to learn. "The throw, obviously, is different. But it’s just comfort. Just reps. Just playing every day."

Mellinger also has a nice profile of Royals third base coach Mike Jirschele.

New pitcher Edinson Volquez is looking forward to working with Royals catcher Salvador Perez.

In this video, Ned Yost discusses some of the Royals prospects coming through the system.

Brad Fanning of KCTV5 also has a video report on some of the young prospects in Major League camp.

Bill James compiles a list of the top 25 defensive second basemen of all-time, and the list omits Royals great Frank White.

Korean baseball could be more of a factor, writes Joon Lee of Hardball Times.

The Royals have drafted Dan Marino, John Elway, Archie Manning, Steve Bartkowski, Deion Sanders, and Bo Jackson over the years. Why not Jameis Winston?

California lawmaker is looking to ban smokeless tobacco in Major League parks.

The White Sox, like the Royals, are considering an eight-man bullpen, although they should be considerably worse than the Royals relievers.

Speaking of California laws, Giants General Manager Brian Sabean thinks high state taxes are hurting the Giants chances in free agency.

Former minor league pitcher Jason Burch says he is gay and his teammates knew and it was never a big deal.

Court-storming is a national epidemic and one of the most troubling problems this country is facing.

Derrick Rose has no more knees left.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce lost a rodeo dance-off.

Fivethirtyeight looks at how player ratings are made for the Madden video game.

The NFL's Cleveland Browns proudly announced a new logo yesterday. Look at the major change! What if they re-designed every NFL logo?

ESPN suspends Keith Olberman for picking a twitter fight with Penn State kids.

"Late Night with Seth Meyers" turns one year old. Is this a good show?

You're doing allowances to your kids wrong. Great, one more thing I screwed up about parenting.

"Pebble" is ready for the smartwatch wars.

Your song of the day is Grizzly Bear with "Shift."