At The Athletic, Alec Lewis wonders how or why Royals fans can stay engaged, considering...everything:
Multiple players have expressed frustration with the state of things, which propels the following questions: What is it going to take to maintain interest? What is going to give folks optimism that the club is destined for a run in the near future?
The questions, in general, conjure up a scene from July 2 of last year. Royals president of baseball operations Dayton Moore sat in the home dugout before a game. A reporter asked how surprised he was by the Royals’ lackluster performance.
“You’ve heard me say this before, but you’ve got to do a lot of things right to win a Major League Baseball game,” he said. “When you have breakdowns in several areas, I mean, it makes it darn near impossible to win. But you can’t make excuses with injuries. At the end of the day, you’ve got to look in the mirror as a general manager and evaluate your processes. But at the end of the day, I’m going to believe in our players, in (manager) Mike Matheny and the coaching staff.”
What’s striking is how seamlessly this quote fits into this story a year later — a year in which the club is supposed to be closer to contention.
The piece also contains a list of players who have gone on and played better with other clubs.
In his newsletter, Craig Brown pulls out this line from that Lewis piece: “Notably, current Royals big leaguers are not ignorant of the strides others have made elsewhere.” and goes OFF:
If the clubhouse is finally waking up, trouble is on the horizon. It’s another May in another rebuilding season and another year where contention is just a distant thought. It’s not reality or anywhere close. Not that contention was a realistic goal in 2022…It wasn’t, despite the messaging from the front office. However, respectability and improvement was a realistic goal. With the organization gouging fans to make some money back lost during the pandemic ($20-$30 to park your car in the vast pavement wasteland of the Truman Sports Complex, really?)…With a brutal broadcast partnership with Bally Sports where too many fans can’t even watch the games…With a product on the field that is uninspiring and, even worse, boring…
It’s May and as Lewis notes, the apathy, which is always bubbling under the surface with a fanbase that had been let down far too many times in the past, is here. If you can watch, why? If you have the disposable income to plop down over $100 to bring your family to The K, why? If you chose to spend three hours watching this uninspired style of baseball, why?
And in his newsletter, David Lesky calls for some changes:
...this has become a mess. The hitters are unprepared. The pitchers are unprepared. Every basic tenet of this team that was praised so heavily during the 2013-2016 run was about preparedness and being more ready than any other team. Can you imagine this particular version of the Royals being able to exploit something like Jose Bautista throwing to second on a ball down the line? Maybe it’s unfair, but I can’t. I think it’s at least worth considering that the Royals didn’t extend Matheny this year. They picked up his 2023 option, but that’s just to keep him from being a lame duck manager. Maybe I’m reading more into that than I should, but they need performance.
If I’m being honest, I don’t especially care if Matheny goes or not though if I was making the call, he would. Cal Eldred has to, though. It just hasn’t gotten better since he’s been here. There were years with very little pitching talent, so you could argue that it doesn’t matter either way, but they invested a lot into this pitching staff and they’re not getting nearly enough out of them. Kris Bubic has had one of the worst seasons in the big leagues. Brady Singer lost a rotation spot in the spring and is now in AAA in the hopes of him figuring something out. Jackson Kowar is a mess down in the minors. Daniel Lynch has looked good, but even that only came with Zack Greinke’s arrival.
At Kings of Kauffman, Preston Farr checks in with the minor leagues, tabbing Jonathan Heasley, Brady Singer, and Foster Griffin as the next arms back in the Majors.
Temperature check: would you say you’re angry with how the Royals are, or apathetic, or something else? Is anyone here happy with the team?
Ben Clemens at FanGraphs breaks down Liam Hendriks finally cracking.
Also at FanGraphs: what does an analytics coordinator do? Shelley Duncan is one now, and he describes the role in a Q&A with David Laurila.
The Twins are sending Carlos Correa to the IL for a bruised right middle finger.
Current Royals opponent news: Rangers catcher Mitch Garver is headed to the IL.
The Mets moved Jacob DeGrom from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL.
FIFA will release its own soccer video game, following the end of its deal with EA Sports.
Tom Brady will get $375 million over 10 years to be Fox Sports’ lead NFL analyst.
Disney released a trailer for a movie about the Antetokounmpo family.
Dolly Parton and Doja Cat are starring in a TikTok musical to commemorate Taco Bell bringing back their Mexican pizza. Obviously.
Here’s a stilt house falling into the ocean. It was probably half of the real estate inventory in North Carolina.
An unoccupied house on stilts in Rodanthe, North Carolina, as it collapses into the ocean this afternoon.— Tolly Taylor (@TollyTaylor) May 10, 2022
Was worth $381,200 according to Zillow. pic.twitter.com/RxkgOkBIv0
Apple has discontinued the iPod, now that phones serve that function and the some.
Nike alleges that the sneaker exchange site StockX is selling counterfeits.
SOTD: MUNA - Anything But Me.