Monday, October 03, 2005

Phase II Begins

So the nightmare season concludes with a 56-106 record and just like with our last visit to Toronto, we come back with fewer coaches. Bell axed Bob Schaefer and Guy Hansen also got the boot. Both guys are going to be reassigned within the organization while Baird and Bell look for replacements. Bell wants to bring in his own guy as his bench coach, and who can blame him? And Hansen, while not even getting a full season to turn around a rotation that was awful, was probably the wrong guy for the job. So, we'll have a couple of new coaches going into spring training—one in which Bell and Baird are sure to feel a lot of pressure to produce results on the field.

After resigning Matt Stairs a couple of weeks ago, the Royals made another move yesterday with next year in mind. Terrence Long was informed by Baird that he will be released. It's understandable. He made $4.875 million this season—hardly worth the .279, 6 HR, and 53 RBI he produced while playing solidly in the outfield. Sounds like the Royals might be willing to negotiate with him for a much lesser salary after Long becomes a free agent. I wouldn't mind seeing him back next season.

Now where headed for "Phase II" of Baird's plan and I'm looking forward to actually signing a few guys to fill in our obvious gaps—starting with the rotation. I'd love to see Jeff Suppan back in Royal blue. Paul Byrd would be a nice addition as well, but he's so injury prone that I don't know if he's worth the risk.

Stay tuned to Royal Reflections as the off season progresses. I'll cover the new signings and take some time to reflect about the performances this season of the guys we plan to keep for next season.

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