Royal Ramblings

Just a few random thoughts as the Royals have jumped out to a 6-0 lead over the visiting Toronto Blue Jays after scoring in each of the first four innings on Thursday night.

BREAK OUT THE CIGARS! First of all, congratulations to Jimmy Gobble and his wife, Julie, who welcomed their first child into the world on Wednesday. Porter James Gobble was born at 4:14 p.m. and weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces.

DID YOU KNOW? KC is now 12-6 since June 16 after taking 2 of 3 games against the Astros, Brewers, Cardinals and Twins and sweeping 3 from the Pirates.

HOT HANDS: The Royals have raised their team batting average to a season-high .265 after a long, sustained stretch of success beginning on May 23. Since then, KC is hitting .281 (3999-1,418) as a team and has recorded double-digit hits in 22 of those 41 games. The Royals .281 average ranks ninth in baseball over that span. No surprice that KC is 19-22 in that stretch to follow a 10-32 start.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Despite ranking just 11th in the A.L. with a .265 average, the Royals rank sixth in the Majors and fourth in the American League with 171 doubles. More recently, KC has 57 doubles in its last 22 games since June 12, second-most in baseball behind the Detroit Tigers (61) over that stretch. KC has recorded at least 1 double in 27 straight games, the longest such streak in the Majors. Mark Grudzielanek (21), Emil Brown (20) and Doug Mientkiewicz (19) all rank in the top 20 in the A.L. in two-baggers. By the way, KC has already added five more doubles in this game.

PRESSURE COOKER: The Royals are hitting .331 (55-166) with runners in scoring position over the past 15 games. Emil Brown leads the way since May 29, hitting .412 (14-34) in those clutch situations.

DON’T JINX ME: If Mark Redman can hold on for the victory tonight (has allowed 1 hit through six innings and holds a 6-0 lead), he would be the first pitcher to win six straight decisions since Jose Lima won seven straight starts from June 20-July 27, 2003. Wouldn’t you know it. I get done writing that sentence and he has walked a batter and given up a second hit (Sorry Mark).


Hey Glass,
Sell the Royals.

“Welcome to the first official blog about the Royals, by the Royals! The Royals are committed to using to educate, inform and entertain our fans. In response to fans wanting to know the real stories behind a number of issues, we have created Around the Horn in KC just for you. Make sure to check this space frequently as we will be providing inside information into the Royals organization on a regular basis. We will use this forum to share our insight, thoughts and opinions, while helping separate fact from fiction on the Royals and other pertinent issues to the ball club. Be sure to share your thoughts and let us know what you think”
That’s not inside information. That’s obvious information. Anyone who follows the Royals knows that they have been playing extraordinary as of late. Tell us some information that we can’t pick up from the box score.

When are we going to get guys like Luke Hochevar, and Derrick Robinson signed, and what is in the cards for Jeffrey Bianchi.

Doubles are not enough. Currently, the Royals are 3rd in the league in 2B hits (178) That is a great stat, but in other stats we are not good.
2B 178, rank 3rd

OBP .330, rank 21st

SLG .407, rank 26th

Runs 388, rank 26th

HR 66, rank 30 out of 30 teams, 9 behind the next team and two teams have over twice as many.

Now some of those have actually gone up because of recent good play. In the last 30 days lets see what we have done.

2B 69, rank 4th

OBP .363, rank 4th

SLG .444, rank 11th

Runs 173, rank 2nd

HR 24, rank 23rd

This means we have been drawing more walks and hitting more HR (doubles have remained steady) and have scored more, a lot more.

I am not saying we need to become a HR hitting team, but we need to be able to compete with teams. We can hit all the doubles we want, but if our HR totals are dwarfed by everyone else, we are not going to win. Remember Cincinnati, we lost a game due to the fact they hit HR’s, but we also won a game becasue we hit 4 HR’s. The rubber game was decided by other means. We won two of three instead of losing two of three because we competed in the HR catagory.

This is true historically. From 1975-1985 (glory years)minus 1981, you would not consider us a HR team but we competed. Let’s take a look.

1975-1985 ranking out of 26 teams (not including 1981)

HR 15th

OBP 8th

SLG 5th

AVE 2nd

SB 2nd

Yes, we did have speed and good pitching, but we also hit well and we were a force offensively, lots of doubles, some HR’s.

Let’s keep hitting doubles, increase team speed, pitch a whole lot better and hit more HR’s. How many HR’s is the question. Where in the league do the Royals need to be to compete? Top third, middle third, or the high end of bottom third?

Middle third would be fine with me, plus I do not think we could payroll a top third HR team over the long term.

Yes, we definitely need to increase our offensive production, but a few quality arms would not hurt…when is mcdougal back? I hate the feeling of going into the 9th with only two or three run lead, and Burgos coming in. Anxiety! I know he is young, but, wow! Also, I am encouraged by DeJesus , Teahen and Buck, with how they have been turning things around at the plate. These are young guys that could be a part of the future of KC’s turnaround, but must continue the climb. Where’s Hochevar?

From what I’ve heard, look for McDougall after the All Star break. After “cbors” excellent post above, let’s boil things down a bit, your pitching staff and defense has to give up less runs than the other team, and your offense has to score more than the other team. In 100% of the games, if you do that you’ll win!

Please guys! Let’s not rush anymore kids to the majors….. I’m personally tired of watching A and double A ballers learn the game at the major league level.

One other note, the Royals in thier “Glory Years” won a lot of 1 and 2 run low scoring games. Our pitchers could pitch, not just throw hard. We had Gold Glovers at second, and third, always at least solid at short, and behind the plate, I think even Willie Wilson and Amos Otis had Gold Gloves, if not they should have. The teams were fundimentally sound.

The Royals have never been a HR hitting team. First of all the park doesn’t lend to it. If the Royals led the league in doubles, and triples, had 4 players about .295, one hovering around .298 to .300 the other 4 hitting between .250 and .270, and a pitching staff that could pitch, they would be competetive…… some speed thrown in there wouldn’t hurt a thing either! HR’s are indeed entertaining, and necessary if you’re playing from behind all the time!

I personally would like to see this team stay pretty much the same next year as it is this year, with a few different (better) pitchers maybe. Let the prospects stay in the minors another year, or maybe bring them up the middle of next year.

By the way, I heard that they are still talking to Borras regarding Hochevar…. supposedly, that’s a good sign. Who really knows???

What are we going to do with the upcoming problem of Teahen and Gordon playing third? In my opinion we should be grooming one of them up the middle since we have NOTHING there. Berroa and German up the middle for the next couple years is ok, but a little sub par. It sounds like we might put Gordon at first, but what about Huber, are we giving up on him? By the end of next year, I guess our lineup would be C: Buck, 1st: Gordon? 2nd: German?, SS: Berroa, 3rd: Teahen, LF: DeJesus, CF: Gathright, RF: Butler, DH: Sweeney. I envision the batting lineup by the end of the year being:
1. Gathright

2. Dejesus (better in this spot)

3. Gordon

4. Sweeney

5. Butler

6. Teahen

7. Insert SS here (hopefully not still Berroa)

8. Buck

9. German

This is a very respectable lineup. I would go to battle with that team for the next few years, as long as we get someone to play the middle infield eventually.

Ok, time for midterm grades.

DeJesus–improvement over last year. Teams pitch to him every which way and he gets it done.

Grade–The Boy Scout Handbook

Teahen–improvement over last year for defense and the bat. Developing some power.

Grade–A Passage to India

Brown–A fall off of last years production but improved defensively, then we moved him.

Grade–Hubble Space Telescope

Berroa–Production down significantly but I think he is attempting to control his bat. I know the clamor is to get rid of him, but the Royals are not becasue he plays good defense and he has the quickest hands swinging the bat on the team–by far. He hits .270 in pitchers counts. If he learns to work counts he will easily hit .300 and pop 20 HR’s.

Grade–The Running Man

Sanders–Underperforming from last year. Sanders, if you get hot for the next month you would have trade value and might play for a contender.

Grade–Tuesdays with Morrie

Stairs–Does his job and earns playing time. He will stop playing when someone shows they are better than he is.

Grade–The Old Man and the Sea

Mientkiewicz–Hitting 5th early on hurt his average as he was trying to hit for power, but now fills the #3 spot the best he can. Can not ask for anything more except to clean your bat. I bet their is 2oz extra you swing around.

Grade–The Power and the Glory

Grudzielanek–Don’t worry, you will get 500 AB’s and the performance bonus that goes with it. Legitimate trade bait with the Angles.

Grade–A Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

Buck–The same little “o” as last year. Seems mentally tired on defense sometimes, but hey wouldn’t you?

Grade–Schindler’s List

I will do pitching when, you know, we have some. ok, ok, here we are–We have 4 legitamate number 5 starters.

Starters’ Grade–To have and Have Not

Dessens and Gobble performing relatively well in the pen.

Grade–Pride and Prejudice

Burgos–May I say, not a closer. Set-up man good, closing bad.

Grade–It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

It looks to me like the Royals are turning things around for the long run. That futures game was just what us fans needed to see… some hope on the horizon. I think if Butler, Huber,and Gordon win spots on the team next year that we could have a legitimate, 3rd place-in-the-central team.
Then we can start working in some of the other prospects (Lubanski, Maier, Bianchi, Costa, Robinson, Tupman, Blanco, Sanchez) into the lineup, we could have a strong team for the next 5-7 years.

We just need to develop and sing some pitching and i think we have a legitimate “Team for the Future”.

Interesting… It looks like the Royals are making some changes in the Public Relations area as well…

Royals name vice president of public relations

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Royals on Thursday named Toby Cook, a local TV anchor, vice president of public relations.

Cook, who has worked for WDAF-TV in Kansas City since 1998 and co-hosted the station’s weekday morning newscasts, will report Aug. 7.

“I always said the one thing that would get me out of television would be an opportunity to promote an organization I believe in,” Cook said. “There is no organization that fits the bill like the Royals.”

Royals president Dan Glass said Cook will oversee the club’s community and charitable efforts.

Before moving to Kansas City, Cook worked at WSET-TV in Lynchburg, Va., and co-hosted a morning news broadcast in Pittsburg, Kan. He has also taught classes at Pittsburg State University, his alma mater.

I am one who believes that what the Royals are currently doing is good for the future of the game in Kansas City. Dayton Moore comes from a team that has been successful now for over 15 years, under the tutoring of John Schuerholz. Looking back at Schuerholz and his Kansas City days, I can’t help but be excited about the product that will be on the field in the near future. It’s not difficult also to look at the future of the team when you look down in Wichita. Granted, the Royals brass have done a tremendous job at publicizing the players of the future, but you can’t help to get a little pumped when you see the offense being assembled. The likes of Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, Chris Lubanski, and remember that Zack Greinke is polishing what could be a tremendous future with the team. Kudos to the Glass family for finally realizing what this town needs, hope for the future!

What costs more money on the free agent market? power or speed? power costs money. the royals need to focus on speed. quality players could be added in the next couple of years that would not cost us alot of money. speed would improve our defense, and increase our offensive output. speed NEVER goes into slumps. power does. moderate power is all we need. I like to see the improvement in the double production. with the increase in double production our Win Lose total has improved. Speed is where we can make up the gap.
bottom line pitching overcomes all. bullpen pitching is the place where we must improve to get back into the playoff race in 07!

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