Monday, August 31, 2009

Number 23

Game Date: August 30, 2009
Kansas City @ Seattle
Royals 3, Mariners 0 / Box Score
WP: Greinke (13-8), Rowland-Smith (2-2)
KC Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 50-80 / Record in August 10-20

On a 2-2 offering, Mark McGwire sent a ball between the shortstop and third baseman during the fourth inning. It would be the last hit an aging Mark Gubicza would give up that day. He went on to throw 107 pitches that day in Oakland, 69 of which where strikes. He had five strikeouts, so he had to rely on his defense. It was one of his final masterpieces. The date was June 15, 1995. He would retire just two years later. But number 23 had already left his mark on the baseball world by then.

His lively fastball and nasty slider allowed him to win 132 games in a Royals uniform. He finished slightly under .500 in his career, but he played for some bad Royals teams. In 1988 he won 20 games and finished third in the Cy Young Award contest. Unfortunately, the injury bug bit him and he never made more than 30 starts in a season after 1989, with the exception of 1995. The year he reached back in the tank one more time and produced the one-hitter at Oakland.

Fast forward 14 years to last night and another number 23 is on the mound for the Royals on the west coast. Zack Greinke throws a 2-0 pitch to Kenji Johjima in the bottom of the second and Johjima singles to center field. Greinke would go on to sit down 22 straight after that. He threw 114 pitches, 74 of which were strikes. He had five strikeouts, so he had to rely on his defense. It was one of the many masterpieces he’s thrown this season, but it may be the most impressive outing of his young career.

His lively fastball and nasty slider have allowed him to win 47 games in a Royals uniform. He’s slightly under .500 in his career, but he has played for some bad Royals teams. His anxiety order days seem to be behind him and he’s on the verge of greatness. Joe Posnanski says he’s the best pitcher in baseball and it’s getting harder and harder to disagree.

This number 23 seems to have picked up where the previous number 23 left off. If he’s able to avoid the injury bug, it’s hard to imagine the current version not surpassing the previous one and before he’s done, he might just become the best pitcher in Royals history. If that doesn’t excite you as a Royals fan, something is wrong.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Royal Reflections Podcast #6 with Gary Webster

There’s a new episode of the Royal Reflections podcast available. Gary Webster, a Royals fan, journalist, and current radio personality on KMDO-AM/KOMB-FM in Fort Scott, Kansas was my guest. He followed the Kansas City A’s as a young boy and during the podcast he recounts numerous stories about his boyhood memories of the team and of Municipal Stadium. After he got into radio, he covered the Royals from 1971 to 1992 and he offers listeners great insight into the guys who played for the Royals during the organization’s glory years.Gary was generous enough to allow me to publish the following photos that were mostly taken during his days as a broadcast journalist as he interviewed various Royals players and broadcasters (you'll have to listen to the podcast to hear the story about the photo of Gary shaking hands with Rene Lachemann):

Ken Brett (playing with the Twins at the time) and George Brett share a moment:

with Denny Matthews:

with Fred White:

with Al Hrabosky:

with Amos Otis:

with John Wathan:

with Paul Splittorff:

with Rene Lachemann:

Following Mike Sweeney’s example

Game Date: August 29, 2009
Kansas City @ Seattle
Mariners 8, Royals 4 / Box Score
WP: Snell (3-1), LP: Meche (6-10)
KC Home Runs: Buck (6), Teahen (11), Maier (3)
Royals Record: 49-80 / Record in August 9-20

Watching Mike Sweeney take it to the Royals this weekend reminds me of the fact that the 2009 version of the Royals lacks a hitter like Sweeney, who, for a couple of games, can pick up a team—emotionally speaking—and hoist it on his back. I’m not downing the Royals for failing to resign Sweeney. It’s a business and Dayton Moore believed that Billy Butler was ready to step into Sweeney’s shoes. To some degree, his decision has turned out to be correct. But as good as Billy Butler has been the last couple of months, he’s not at the level where he’s been able to do what Sweeney has done this weekend for the Mariners.

It’s not fair to expect that of Butler at this stage of his career. But the problem is, the Royals don’t have anybody else to fill the emotional void that Sweeney left behind. Sweeney played on some terrible baseball teams in Kansas City and with the exception of the 2003 season, their records looked pretty much like the 2009 Royals. So, in the big scheme of things, it doesn’t look like it matters all that much. But the teams Sweeney played on lacked a more mature Zack Greinke, a steadying force in the rotation like Gil Meche, a solid closer, and a hitter like Billy Butler who is coming into his own. His emotional uplift had little long-term effect on the team because, for the most part, the team was so bad.

After the game on Friday night, Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said this about Sweeney’s head first slide at home and his emotional outburst afterward: “I don’t know if in my lifetime I’ll ever see Sweeney do that again, but that’s what makes him special,” Wakamatsu said. During the television broadcast last night Ryan Lefebvre said that the play made quite an impact on the Mariner’s clubhouse. They see a guy who went through two knees surgeries during the offseason, who really has nothing left to prove at this point in his career, laying it all on the line for his team and it infused them with a spark of inspiration.

Seattle fans are noticing the difference too. In a comment left on the Mariners website after the game last night, one Mariners’ fan said this: “All credits go to Wak, his staff and his field commanders (Griffey and Sweeney). The Mariners are playing without their best players and still winning games. Yes, this homestand was against Triple-A teams, but in the long perspective, the M's were supposed to have a KC or Baltimore-like standings performance. Don is building a solid professional team playing hard and with heart.”

Yes, I know a team can play with heart and still be bad. But can a team become good without any heart? I can’t think of many examples. And that begs the question, who will step into Sweeney’s shoes in Kansas City and become the spark and ultimately the leader of this team in the future? Who will want to be at the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth with runners in scoring position and the Royals down by a run? Who will lay his body on the line by charging down the third baseline with a willingness to do whatever it takes to score? Who will earn the respect of his teammates, and opponents alike, like Mike Sweeney has?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Too many mistakes to overcome

Game Date: August 28, 2009
Kansas City @ Seattle
Mariners 6, Royals 3 / Box Score
WP: Hernandez (13-5), LP: Bannister (7-11)
KC Home Runs: Maier (2)
Royals Record: 49-79 / Record in August 9-19

I’d say it’s amazing regarding the number of ways in which the Royals give away runs, and ultimately games, but that wouldn’t be true. It’s pretty much a routine by now. There were numerous instances last night:

In the second inning, with Mike Sweeney on third base with one out, Banny snagged a comebacker—he looked Sweeney back to third, but when Banny threw to first base Sweeney darted for home. You know the result—a headfirst dive by Sweeney that beat Miguel Olivo’s sweeping tag. Olivo was, as is often the case, positioned several feet in front of home plate, giving a lot of the plate to Sweeney and Sweeney took advantage of it.

Our catchers continue to be out of position on plays at home and I can really only think of three reasons for it: (1) They have been taught incorrectly. (2) Lazy habits. (3) They are afraid of taking a big hit. Options one and two are possibilities in this organization—especially since it has happened so many times by multiple catchers. But eventually option number three is going to go running through the minds of your opponents and if that’s the case, you might as well pack it in.

By the way, it was nice to see Sweeney playing hard and contributing again. His interview with Joel Goldberg after the game was pure class—pure Mike Sweeney.

In the third inning, Mitch Maier came to the plate with David DeJesus at second base and no outs. Maier struck out. Billy Butler followed with a ground ball to second that probably would have scored DeJesus if Maier had advanced him to third. Didn’t happen and we lost a run as a result.

You’d like to say that Maier made up for it later with a two-run home run in the fifth, but to me the two plays are mutually exclusive.

In the bottom half of the third, Miguel Olivo let a pitch squirt between his legs, allowing a runner to reach third, who came around to score with two outs when Mark Teahen committed an error, giving Seattle a 3-1 lead. The pitch was first ruled a passed ball and then changed to a wild pitch. It was a horrible correction and should have been called a passed ball, but whatever the case, it set the stage for yet another error, which gave Seattle another run.

Then we had the dropped throw by Billy Butler at first from Alberto Callaspo. And Kyle Farnsworth walking Mike Sweeney with the bases loaded. It’s a game that would have upset a little league manager. Trey Hillman was short with the media after the game—which I sort of understand because he’s frustrated, but at the same time, it’d be nice to see him exhibit his frustration with the proper people.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Seattle done in by the long ball

Game Date: August 27, 2009
Kansas City @ Seattle
Royals 8, Mariners 4 / Box Score
WP: Davies (5-9), LP: Fister (1-1)
KC Home Runs: DeJesus (11), Betancourt (5), Pena (5), Callaspo (8)
Royals Record: 49-78 / Record in August 9-18

Four home runs in one game? We’ll take it.

Kyle Davies had an odd outing. He struggled in the first inning, but once he settled down, he put together a three inning stretch in which he looked better than I’ve ever seen him. Loved seeing him throw all of his pitches for strikes. Then in the middle innings he started to struggle again. He got through six innings though, only giving up two earned runs, so we can’t complain. He’s made a change to his delivery recently that keeps him over the rubber a little longer so he doesn’t drift toward home plate so much. Let’s see if it pays long term dividends.

The bottom of the order, consisting of Pena-Betancourt-Anderson, went 5-for-11 with 4 RBI, 4 R, and a walk.

All in all, it was a good day.

A few items of note regarding the Omaha Royals:

  • I bumped into Joe Posnanski in the press box in Omaha last night. He’s working on his last official column for the KC Star that’ll be coming out this Sunday. He’s writing about Omaha reliever Chris “Disco” Hayes. Posnanski is one of the nicer guys I’ve ever met in the industry. We talked about the Omaha Royals roster and the direction of the organization over all.
  • And the Omaha Royals won.

Like I said, it was a good day.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thirty games under .500

Game Date: August 26, 2009
Cleveland @ Kansas City 
Indians 4, Royals 2 / Box Score
WP: Huff (8-7), LP: Hochevar (6-7), SV: Wood (16)
KC Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 48-78 / Record in August 8-18

Walks, an error, a wild pitch, another losing home series—it’s all par for the course. And for the second time this season, the Royals are 30 games under .500. There’s no way to put a positive spin on that. This team seems destined to lose 100 games again. But I still hope they don’t. The stigma is hard to shake. So is the disappointment.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Greinke sets a new record with 15 strikeouts

Game Date: August 25, 2009
Cleveland @ Kansas City
Royals 6, Indians 2 / Box Score
WP: Greinke (12-8), LP: Masterson (4-5)
KC Home Runs: Olivo (17), Maier (1)
Royals Record: 48-77 / Record in August 8-15

I ended yesterday’s post by saying you never know when you might see something special when Zack Greinke is on the mound. Then he goes out and strikes out 15 guys and sets a new single game Royals’ record by passing another guy who used to wear number 23—Mark Gubicza—for the most strikeouts in a game. [There’s a nice video montage of all 15 strikeouts on the Royals website if you didn’t get a chance to see the game.] Gubicza struck out 14 in a game in 1988 and if you look at Gubby’s numbers from that season, they are quite similar to what Greinke is doing this season. Gubicza was 20-8 in 35 starts with a 2.70 ERA. He threw eight complete games that season, including four shutouts. And he struck out 183. Greinke is in good company.

It was nice to see Mitch Maier get his first major league home run in this one—a no-doubter that he turned on and smashed over the wall in right field. Given that the Royals probably aren’t going to content in 2010, I wouldn’t mind seeing them reject the club option on Coco Crisp for next season and then give Maier a full season to see what he could do out there in centerfield. The numbers he’s put up in his 300+ MLB at bats aren’t overly impressive, but they aren’t awful either. And at 27, it’s time to find out what we’ve got in him. If it doesn’t work out, we could move on and sign a centerfielder for 2011—the year when some of Dayton Moore’s draft choices may begin making the major league roster.

The Royals play the Indians this afternoon. Luke Hochevar (6-6, 5.60) will go up against David Huff (7-7, 6.80). Hochevar is 1-2 in his career against the Indians with a 5.14 ERA in 14.0 IP. Huff has never faced the Royals.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The worst Royals team ever?

Game Date: August 24, 2009
Cleveland @ Kansas City
Indians 10, Royals 6 / Box Score
WP: Sowers (5-9), LP: Soria (3-2)
KC Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 47-77 / Record in August 7-15

According to the Associated Press, Joakim Soria “does not usually come in before the ninth” inning. You have to wonder if the writer has even been watching the Royals play recently because Soria has pitched in the eighth inning in four of his last ten appearances. But really, who could blame him if he hasn’t been paying attention?

Joe Posnanski is calling this team “the worst Kansas City Royals team I have ever seen.” That’s hard to believe because we’ve had some terrible baseball teams in the past 15 years. One wonders what Buck O’Neil might say about this team if he were still alive. Would he still be sitting in the seats every night with that big smile of his? I tend to believe that his personality transcended bad baseball because he’d seen so many worse things in his life—that indeed he probably would still be there every night, but you just wonder what he would think about this mess.

The Royals have lost five games in a row. The last two games, their pitching staff has given up 20 runs. The Royals are 7-15 in August. And another 100 loss season is looking more and more possible. As Sam Mellinger and others have pointed out recently, the Royals don’t really appear to be playing for next year. They seem to recognize that another 100 loss season is going to lead to a lot of grumbling this winter. That’s one of the reasons Soria is being used in the eighth and ninth innings. And it’s why Brayan Pena isn’t starting quite as many games as Hillman said he would. I really don’t blame Moore or Hillman for treating the final month like a pennant run. Their jobs may hinge on a mediocre or better finish.

Moore re-arranged a couple of chairs on the Titanic yesterday by designating Ron Mahay for assignment to clear a spot on the roster for Yasuhiko Yabuta. I’ve seen Yabuta pitch in a few times in Omaha this season and he was mediocre. He does have a 3.55 ERA in 26 appearances in Omaha, but I’m not so sure that’ll translate well to the big leagues for him, but it really doesn’t matter much in the big picture. At least the Royals will be out from under his contract after the season.

Wondering how things are going with Yuniesky Betancourt since the trade? His numbers are brutal. In 36 games, he’s 25-for-121 (.207) with 2 HR and 14 RBI. His OBP since coming to KC is .240.

So, what’s your take on Soria’s numbers in August? His ERA is 5.00 for the month and he’s given up three long balls in seven appearances. Are the two-inning outings wearing him down? I don’t see how they could be since he usually gets a number of days off in between. He was pitching on four days rest last night. Something sure doesn’t look right though. In July, Soria posted a 0.82 ERA and had seven saves. You can’t expect that from him every month, but his numbers this month have been surprisingly poor.

At least we get to see Zack Greinke pitch tonight. As bad as the Royals are, you never know when you might get to see something special when Greinke is on the mound.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Twins sweep the Royals

Game Date: August 23, 2009
Minnesota @ Kansas City
Twins 10, Royals 3 / Box Score
WP: Pavano (11-9), LP: Bannister (7-10)
KC Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 47-76 / Record in August 7-14

Thankfully, I didn’t see this game either. I was at Rosenblatt Stadium watching the Omaha Royals split a double header, but I kept GameDay up on my computer and followed the game in Kansas City. I turned away from it for a couple of minutes and came back to see an 8-run inning by the Twins and I automatically thought it must have been a break down by the bullpen and our defense yet again.

True to form, as I began reading accounts of the game it sounded like the defense made multiple mistakes. And I saw that Kyle Farnsworth gave up five runs on five hits in one inning. With 13 pitchers on hand I’m not sure why you let a guy get beat up like that, but in the big scheme of things it doesn’t really matter. The Royals are now officially on pace to lose 100 games again this season. If they do, this will be a giant step backward for Dayton Moore.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Oops we did it again

Game Date: August 22, 2009
Minnesota @ Kansas City
Twins 8, Royals 7 / Box Score
WP: Duensing (1-1), LP: Davies (4-9), SV: Guerrier (1)
KC Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 47-75 / Record in August 7-13

I missed most of this game, which from what I can tell, wasn’t a bad thing. I did happen to tune in for about five minutes and I saw the blooper drop in and I had a feeling that would be our doom. Sounds like it was. I couldn’t figure out why Anderson didn’t call everybody else off the ball and make a diving attempt at it. But then again, given how unsound this team is fundamentally, I’m not sure why I keep expecting anything different.

As bad as this team is, there are still a few guys I really enjoy watching. Brian Bannister is one of them. Unfortunately I probably won’t get to see much of the game today either because I’ll be at the double header in Omaha this afternoon, but I’ll be rooting for Banny to stop the three game losing streak.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Queue the circus music

Game Date: August 21, 2009 
Minnesota @ Kansas City
Twins 5, Royals 4 (10 inn.) / Box Score
WP: Nathan (2-1), LP: Soria (3-1)
KC Home Runs: Butler (15), DeJesus (10), Pena (4) 
Royals Record: 47-74 / Record in August 7-12

Another frustrating loss for the Royals—and so much to talk about:

First, I know it didn’t effect the outcome of the game, but watching Yuniesky Betancourt go into a home run trot in the bottom of the ninth inning only to watch the ball hit the wall and see him barely make it into second base is one of the more irritating things I’ve seen from the Royals this season. I’ve said this in the past about various guys—guys like Emil Brown who did the same thing while playing for us—but I simply don’t understand not running after a player has made contact with the ball. And I don’t understand why it is tolerated. But it is, and the action itself as well as the toleration of it, says a lot about this organization.

The second thing I don’t understand is why we need 96 pitchers on the roster. Okay, actually it’s only 13—while also carrying three catchers. I understand that our bullpen is horrendous and that Dayton Moore is just looking to give Trey Hillman another option or two, but you cannot put yourself in a position in which you don’t have a guy on the bench who can pinch run in a tight ball game—as was the case last night when Billy Butler singled in the tenth inning with one out with the Royals down by a run. John Buck was the only guy available and obviously that didn’t help. So Butler stays in and Willie Bloomquist singles but Butler doesn’t take third. You can’t really blame Butler. He’s slow, he knows it, and I rather see him stay at second then get thrown out at third. If we would have had a guy with decent speed on base, he would have taken third and came home on the subsequent fly ball to center. That scenario is on Moore for leaving Hillman short on the bench.

Next, we’ve got to talk about the defense. How about the play by Josh Anderson in right field in the sixth inning? First, he fails to stop the ball from rolling to the wall and then, when he picks it up—with his glove for some reason—the ball squirts out of his hand when he goes to throw the ball in and it shoots backward. How many lowlight reels is that one going to end up on at the end of the season? And we’d be remiss if we didn’t bring up Bloomquist’s failure to take the correct angle on the ball in right field in the top of the tenth inning—allowing the ball to get past him, hit the right field wall and roll away, which in turn allowed what turned out to be the winning run to score.

I know this team is nearly 30 games under .500, but I still can’t stand to see baseball played this way. Of course, this team is nearly 30 games under .500 because they are playing baseball this way.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Greinke’s shot at the AL Cy Young Award is fading

Game Date: August 19, 2009 
Kansas City @ Chicago
White Sox 4, Royals 2 / Box Score
WP: Contreras (5-11), LP: Greinke (11-8) SV: Jenks (26)
KC Home Runs: DeJesus (9), Teahen (10)
Royals Record: 47-73 / Record in August 7-11

If you do the math, Zack Greinke probably has eight more starts this season. After getting tagged with the loss last night, you have to believe he has to win at least seven of his final eight starts to still have a shot at the Cy Young Award. That’s not very realistic and it’s a shame, given the season he has had, but it’s the reality he faces.

He’s not pitching to win awards. I know that. But it’s all we have left to root for this season. I’m with many of you who believe that judging a pitcher by his wins doesn’t accurately portray the way he’s pitched, but clearly, piling up wins puts a pitcher in contention for the Cy Young Award.

The last time a pitcher in the American League won the Cy Young with less than 18 wins was in the strike-shortened 1994 season. David Cone went 16-5 with a 2.94 ERA in 23 starts for the Royals that season. Toss out the 1994 season because of the strike and expand the view back to 1985—the first season Bret Saberhagen won the award—and with the exception of the season a reliever won the award, none of the remaining pitchers had less than 18 wins.

This season there are ten other pitchers in the AL who have at least 11 wins, tying Greinke, and seven of the ten have more wins the Greinke. Josh Beckett and C.C. Sabathia have 14 wins and if they win half of their remaining starts, that would put them in the 18-win range. If they win more than half, Greinke doesn’t stand much of a chance without running the table.

None of the contenders have a better ERA than Greinke, who currently sits at 2.44, although Felix Hernandez is close at 2.66 and Roy Hallady isn’t far away with at 2.78. Unfortunately, ERA is only one of the three main criteria the baseball writers seem to take into account when handing out the award: wins and team performance being the other two.

Of course, when it comes to team performance, Greinke is in trouble and that brings me back to my first point. To have a chance, Greinke needs to win at least seven of his final eight starts. But we saw Greinke win seven of his first eight starts to begin the season, maybe he can do it again. It might not be very realistic, but I’m rooting for it to happen anyway.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Solid performances all around lead to win

Game Date: August 18, 2009
Kansas City @ Chicago
Kansas City 5, White Sox 4 / Box Score
WP: Meche (6-9), LP: Garcia (0-1), SV: Soria (20)
KC Home Runs: Buck (5)
Royals Record: 47-72 / Record in August 7-10

Over the course of the past several months, I’ve certainly been hard on the bullpen, justifiably so in my opinion, but they certainly deserve some praise for the game last night. Robinson Tejeda had dominant stuff for three innings and he didn’t allow any hits or runs. He picked up Gil Meche who looked flat again. He doesn’t have any command of his fastball right now and he’s paying the price. Let’s hope that consistent work will take care of his command issues.

Billy Butler, fresh off winning the American League Player of the Week Award, had three more doubles and two more RBI. We’ve been waiting for him to come around, and frankly, I was losing hope in him, but he’s knocked the cover off the ball over the last two months and is putting together a career year. He might be laying the groundwork for becoming the fixture in Kansas City that we need him to be. By the way, it looks like Butler might be on Twitter now (@BillyButlerKC). I haven’t seen this confirmed anywhere yet, but it looks legit. I added the account to the Royals Twitter Directory.

Willie Bloomquist quietly had a solid performance. He was on base twice when Billy Butler doubled which led to two runs. And he made what turned out to be a game-saving throw to home plate from right field in the fifth inning to nail Carlos Quentin who tagged up on the play. If he had scored, the game would have been tied 5-5. Instead, Bloomquist threw him out on one bounce and neither team scored after that.

Joakim Soria gave us a scare when he turned an ankle on the second pitch he threw in the ninth inning while trying to nail down the save. After the game he said he twisted his ankle in a hole on the mound left by another pitcher. For a reason I couldn’t understand, some in the crowd booed when Soria took a couple of throws to test his ankle. Not exactly a classy move by the fans.

The Royals play this afternoon at 1:05 pm and it will not be televised by FSKC. I checked WGN and it won’t be on there either. So, the radio it is, which I don’t mind. Zack Greinke (11-7, 2.33) will go up against Jose Contreras (4-11, 5.40). Greinke is 5-9 in his career against the White Sox with a 4.14 ERA. Contreras is 9-4 against the Royals with a 3.51 ERA.

Update on Aug 20 @ 12:11 pm: Just heard from Doug Rogalski, Billy Butler's agent, and he confirms that Butler's Twitter account listed above is legit. Many thanks to Doug for taking the time to do so.

Kids' Day Photos

Back on August 9, many of you participated in sending a boatload of kids to the game at Kauffman Stadium against the A's. The Royals have sent me three photos that one of their photographers took of some of the people you helped. I don't know if you remember or not, but the temperature was off the charts that day, so people scattered to find shade any where they could. I don't have a group shot as a result, but I do have a few individual shots that are priceless. Thanks goes out to the Royals for providing them:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Alex Gordon optioned to Omaha

When the game between the Omaha Royals and New Orleans Zephyrs was postponed on July 3 to August 27 because of rain, nobody would have expected that Alex Gordon, who was in Omaha on a rehab assignment, would end up completing the game. But he might.

To read the rest of the article I wrote for, click here.

Photo by Lee Warren, taken before a game in Omaha on July 3.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Omaha Royals break ground on new ballpark

The Omaha Royals broke ground on their new stadium this week in Sarpy County. Bob Gibson, George Brett, Warren Buffett and Governor Dave Heineman were on hand for the event and each took turns addressing the crowd.

Click here to read the article I wrote about the event for I included video of George Brett addressing the crowd and of the actual groundbreaking. Many thanks to Thomas Hyde from for the video and photos.

Royals shutout in another Grienke start

Game Date: August 14, 2009
Kansas City @ Detroit
Tigers 1, Royals 0 / Box Score
WP: Lyon (6-4), LP: Colon (1-2)
KC Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 45-70 / Record in August 5-8

If you are new to watching the Royals—although I don’t see how they could be attracting new fans these days—then you have to be wondering if the Royals ever score when Zack Greinke pitches. They were shutout again last night with Greinke on the mound. The answer would be, not often.

As Royals Review pointed out, the Royals have been shutout four times this season while Greinke was on the mound. If you take a look at Greinke’s game log, you might be appalled. They Royals are 11-13 when Greinke starts. They have scored five or more runs for him six times in those 24 starts. And it has only happened once since his start on June 23.

I love what Brandon Inge said about Greinke after the game last night:

"He's got five or six pitches that are just ridiculous," Inge said. "Tonight he threw me a pitch I had never seen from him before—a 95-mph cutter that looked like Mariano Rivera. He's so good [that] he's just inventing stuff out there."

If a poster were going to be made of Greinke this season, this quote from Inge should be on it.

The funny thing is, Greinke didn’t have great control last night, but he still kept the Tigers off the scoreboard. And he dropped his ERA to 2.33. You have to wonder if pitching for the Royals is going to cost Greinke a shot at winning the Cy Young.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Royals win a series, finally

Game Date: August 13, 2009
Kansas City @ Minnesota
Royals 5, Twins 4 / Box Score
WP: Meche (5-9), LP: Pavano (10-9), SV: Soria (19)
KC Home Runs: Gordon (3)
Royals Record: 45-69 / Record in August 5-7

How about that? A series win in Minnesota. You've got to go back to June to find the last series win for the Royals.

Gil Meche's numbers weren't the greatest. He fell behind too many guys, but it was good to have him back in the rotation. The bullpen was the bullpen—walking guys like crazy, but they didn't let the game slip away, so maybe it wasn't the bullpen we are used to seeing. It looks like Hillman is finally resigned to using Joakim Soria for two innings nearly every time the Royals are in a save situation and I can't blame him. Soria threw 35 pitches, and that's asking a lot from him, but it would be far less taxing if Hillman would stop using him in blowouts. I don't expect that to happen though.

Billy Butler continued his hot streak with two more hits. He's hitting .364 in August with a .400 OBP. Alex Gordon hit his second home run since coming back.

Willie Bloomquist was 1-for-4 with 2 RBI, but have you seen his numbers lately? Yikes. He's hitting just .135 with a .216 OBP in August and he's lost twenty-nine points on his batting average since June 1.

So, now it's on to Detroit. And Zack Greinke is pitching. That's always a good thing.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Twins take it to the Royals

Game Date: August 12, 2009
Kansas City @ Minnesota
Twins 7, Royals 1 / Box Score
WP: Liriano (5-11), LP: Bannister (7-9)
KC Home Runs: Bloomquist (4)
Royals Record: 44-69 / Record in August 4-7

After the Royals lost to the Rays on July 17, Bob Dutton began the countdown to 100 losses. At the time, I said this about it:

Bob Dutton has begun the countdown, pointing out that the Royals must go 26-47 in their final 73 games to avoid losing 100 games for the fifth time in eight seasons. That means they have to play .356 ball from here on out. They’re playing at a .415 pace right now, so the 100-loss season should be avoidable. But if this team quits, anything is possible.

Since then, the Royals have gone 7-17 (.291) and their overall winning percentage has dropped to .389. They now have to go 19-30 in their final 49 games, which is a .387 pace, which, as you can see, is pretty close to the overall pace they are playing at this year. As of today, they are on pace to go 63-99. Avoiding the 100-loss season no longer looks like the lock it once did.

Enough bad news.

Gil Meche makes his return to the rotation this afternoon in Minnesota after missing a month of action. From what I saw in Omaha last Saturday night, Meche’s main concern will be throwing his fastball for strikes.

Even though things are bad for KC fans at the Major League level and in Omaha (Omaha has the worse record in the PCL), they aren’t so bad in the minor leagues. Bob Dutton reports that Mike Moustakas hit a two-run home run for Wilmington on Tuesday and the Blue Rocks have won 14 of their last 15 games. He also reported the Mike Montgomery has lowered his ERA to 2.16 in 16 starts in Wilmington.

The NW Arkansas Naturals are tied for first place in the Texas North with a 63-52 record. They are 6-4 in the last 10 games and they have an impressive 30-27 road record. Wilmington sits alone in first place in the Carolina Northern Division with a 67-46 record. They have an incredible 32-23 away record.

I’d like to think that some of this talent, especially from NW Arkansas, will find it’s way to Omaha next season, and then on to Kansas City in 2011. But Dayton Moore doesn’t seem to work that way and of course, we don’t know how these players will progress. I’m just looking for hope anywhere I can find it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Royals take it to the Twins

Game Date: August 11, 2009
Kansas City @ Minnesota
Royals 14, Twins 6 / Box Score
WP: Davies (4-8), LP: Blackburn (8-7)
KC Home Runs: Olivo (16)
Royals Record: 44-68 / Record in August 4-6

In a season in which wins are becoming less and less frequent, a 14-6 win feels like somebody flipped the switch on the pressure cooker and let off some of the steam that threatened to blow the lid off the pot. It’s temporary of course, but seeing the guys pound out 18 hits and score 14 times was fun nonetheless.

I thought Miguel Olivo might hit a double in one of his final two at bats and that would have gave him the cycle. But he wasn’t able to pull it off. It’s still hard to believe that George Brett was the last guy to hit for the cycle for the Royals (he did it in 1990).

Yuniesky Betancourt had another good game, going 2-for-4. He’s 7-for-16 over his last four games and he’s having a great August (he’s hitting .333 for the month). But July didn’t work out so well and since coming to the Royals he’s 18-for-85 (.211 average). Let’s hope we see more of the August version of Betancourt from here on out than the July version.

We got all we could have hoped for from Kyle Davies. Well, I guess you would hope that a guy wouldn’t throw 105 pitches in five innings, but beyond that, he did only give up one earned run in five innings. Doug Waechter got shelled for three runs in relief, but thankfully it didn’t matter by then.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Royals Done in by the Long Ball

Game Date: August 9, 2009
Oakland@ Kansas City
A’s 6, Royals 3 / Box Score
WP: Anderson (7-8), LP: Hochevar (6-5), SV: Bailey (16)
KC Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 43-68 / Record in August 3-6

I made it out to the game yesterday. The temperature was brutal—so much so that I wasn’t feeling all that great for a while, but after I got some water in me I felt better.

I got to the stadium early and the party I was with decided to go through the Hall of Fame. If you haven’t done so yet, you need to. The line to get in is long, but it’s worth it.

Once you are inside the door, a guide explains the various headlines that are carved into the walls. He provides a quick history of baseball in Kansas City—much of which I didn’t know—and he sets the stage for the video you are about to see. You transition into a room that is shaped like a dugout and there you get to see the Royals’ history unfold on a screen which I believe they said is nine feet tall and thirty five feet wide. It’s pretty hard not to get caught up in the video—especially when they get to the 1985 season. Overall, it’s a great experience.

I was a little puzzled by the omission of a few players, namely Mike Sweeney, Bo Jackson, Amos Otis, and Hal McRae. I could have missed them, but if I did, that means they didn’t get enough attention.

The game itself yesterday looked to be over in the second inning when Oakland blasted two home runs and took a 4-0 lead. Luke Hochevar said afterward that neither pitch was where he wanted it. But Hochevar impressed me by battling back and shutting the A’s down over the next five innings in sweltering temperatures.

The Royals’ defense was one of the surprises of the days. I’m not going to say they were great because the plays they made need to be made by big league teams, but they were good. Alberto Callaspo made a nice diving stop at third base. Yuniesky Betancourt made several good plays. Mark Teahen looked good at first base. And Josh Anderson showed that he could cover some ground in right field. Everybody looked to be playing in the right position and that’s not normally the case.

The Royals made a game out of it by putting up a three-spot in the seventh inning to draw close to the A’s, but then things got fairly typical for the Royals; our bullpen gave up a couple of runs and our bats got quiet. But at least this was one of the games where you feel like the Royals got beat, rather than beating themselves. It’s still a loss, but it doesn’t leave such a bitter taste in your mouth.

Update @ 10:47 AM: In the next couple of days, I should be able to provide a photo for you of the many kids you helped send to Kauffman Stadium yesterday. From what I understand some of them probably spread out to take shelter from the sun, but it'll still be nice to see a photo or two of them. The kids came from the Red Bridge YMCA and Kansas City Parks & Recreation. The Royals Community Relations department works closely with both organizations.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Meche Picks Up Win in His Second Rehab Start

Gil Meche made his second rehab start for the Omaha Royals at Rosenblatt Stadium tonight since going on the DL on July 12 with back problems and it looked a lot like his first rehab start in Memphis on Monday. He struggled with his control—especially early on—but he was able to limit the damage. In fact, Las Vegas didn’t get a hit against him until the fourth inning.

To continue reading the article I wrote about Meche’s start in Omaha tonight for, click here.

Meche’s velocity was down a little, but I interviewed Omaha pitching coach Tom Burgmeier after the game and he said there is no reason for concern.

Photo by Eldon Lindsay /

Friday, August 07, 2009

Kids’ Day Final Tally

The deadline for sponsoring kids for Kids’ Day at the K has passed and I’m thrilled to tell you that the Royals community is sending 109 kids to see the Royals play the A’s this Sunday at 1:10 pm. Thanks to Will McDonald over at Royals Review for getting the word out and to so many of you who responded. You’ve done a good thing.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Why We are Turning on Dayton Moore

I’ve been trying to figure out what irks me so much about the two recent articles about Dayton Moore defending “the process” and subsequently defending his actions since becoming the GM. I’ve never believed Moore to be arrogant, and up until a few months ago, I haven’t questioned a lot of his decisions. He needed time to rebuild a team that has been run into the ground over the past 20 years.

Moore looked to be stockpiling good, young arms, and for the most part, fans could see that and were patient. He told us that he was going to rebuild this team around high character guys who played the game the right way and we nodded in agreement. He began using the phrase “the Royal way” tapping into the emotions and beautiful memories of Royals fans who are old enough to remember the glory years—when there actually was a Royal way. We heard and read analysts say that Moore looked to be turning things around in KC. And who can forget Moore saying before the season started that this was the best lineup the Royals have had since 1994?

There were some inconsistencies with Moore’s stated intentions along the way: the acquisitions of Jose Guillen, Ryan Freel, and Sidney Ponson to name a few. And then there was Moore’s stubbornness to keep guys like TPJ on the roster way longer than he should have. But, for the most part, we trusted him. He knows these guys far better than we do. Surely, these apparent contradictions would turn out okay—or, at least most of them would.

We knew we were going to have some issues at the back end of the rotation, and that the team had some defensive issues, and that the offense lacked punch—even with Mike Jacobs in the lineup. But we had a good rotation, a great closer, and belief that Moore could put together another solid bullpen. We had visions of Coco Crisp getting on base early and often. We figured that either Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, or Mark Teahen—hopefully all three—would put together solid offensive numbers. And somehow, it would work out.

I don’t think most fans had any illusions of this team winning the World Series, but in a division in which you only need to win around 90 games to win it, we hoped the Royals would stay in contention. If not, we were simply hoping for a competitive team. Early in the season, a poll here at Royal Reflections showed that 51% of those who responded believed the Royals would win 81-90 games; 22% believed the Royals would win 71-80 games; and 12% believed the Royals would win 91+ games. The number of people taking the poll wasn’t large enough to really mean anything, but a few diehard fans expressed their optimism.

We had hope. And the fast start in April fanned the flames. We lost Alex Gordon to an injury, but Teahen was fine at third base and we still had a good month.

Along comes May and the Royals started losing. A few fans began to say that this was the same old Royals. I disagreed and wrote a post titled 10 Reasons Not to Jump Off the Bandwagon. By late May, we lost Mike Aviles for the season and the offense was struggling to score runs. The defense was breaking down too.

By June 3, I came to the conclusion that indeed this really did feel like the same old Royals. On June 12, we had the classic post by Rany titled “The Five Stages of Being a Royals Fan” and by then, most of us sensed that this was going to be a long summer—again. We didn’t like it, but we’ve grown used to it, and besides Moore knows what he’s doing. He’ll get it figured out.

By mid-June, we lost Coco Crisp for the season and we were seeing some of the worse defensive baseball imaginable, causing us to wonder if Moore had even considered defensive skills when he acquired so many of these players. Then came the embarrassing sweep at home against the Cardinals in which the Royals were outscored 29-11.

In early July, as we began to openly question some of Moore’s decisions, Ranygate broke, causing us to wonder just what in the world was happening behind the scenes at Kauffman Stadium that would prompt such a reaction.

The following week, news came down that Moore had traded two pitching prospects for Yuniesky Betancourt. As I’ve said here a couple of times, that was the tipping point for me regarding Moore. The move caused the Royals blogosphere to explode with wonderment over acquiring a guy who doesn’t get on base and has a low fielding percentage. Throw in the fact that the Mariners wanted to get rid of him and that he isn’t exactly known for having a strong work ethic and our complaints seemed justified.

At that point, the Royals were terrible in every facet of the game, save their starting rotation and closer. Not bad—as in we what have seen in Kansas City in recent years—but terrible. Then, on July 22, comes Bob Dutton’s article in the Star, Moore has no doubt that Royals are on the right track for long-term success. In it, Moore tells us to “trust the process.” He doesn’t really explain the process, although most of us thought we understood it to be what I outlined above (good young arms, guys who play the right way, guys who get on base, etc.).

After pointing out the injury problems the Royals have had this season, Moore said this in Dutton’s article about the team he put together for 2009:

“This is the funny thing about this job,” he said. “People think we’re idiots. Don’t you think we start with the very best (free agents) and talk to those players and talk to their agents and see what their interests are?

“There is talent here. We have some players who have to step up. Ultimately, it’s about players coming out and performing. We’re going to keep the group we have, and we’re going to work. That’s the only way I know how to do it. It might not be the right way, but it’s the only way I know how to do it.”

The truth is, we really don’t think you're idiots. But when you say one thing about the type of players you want to acquire and then do another, what are we supposed to do? We don’t have any expectations of top tier free agents coming to Kansas City. We just don’t want castoffs and guys who don’t understand how to play the game. We’re tired of guys who don’t understand how to hit the cutoff man, who are routinely out of position when taking throws at the bags, and who don’t understand situational hitting.

Here’s the thing—many of us have been fans of this team for decades. We’ve seen success and we’ve certainly seen failure. We’ve been lied to (“We’re rebuilding”—when even the players know that isn’t true). We’ve watched one plan or “process” after another blow up. We’ve endured poor leadership in the front office, poor managers, and players who don’t belong in the big leagues. We’ve been laughed at and we’ve been mocked.

Why put ourselves through it? Why not just tune out and do something else with our summer nights?

The answer is simple: because the Royals are our team. They are part of who we are. We grew up watching them and we’re still watching them. Now we take our kids to see them—but the problem is, we have to explain to our kids that this isn’t the way baseball is supposed to be played. And we tell them about the teams of old—about how they played the game the right way and how it paid off.

So now we have a GM who has been with the organization for three years—not 30 or 40, like many of us—and he’s talking down to us and we don’t like it. It’s too similar to companies we’ve all worked for who hire a boss from the outside, who, three months into his new position, tells his employees that they need to trust him rather than simply being a model of consistency that attracts and earns our trust.

Fast forward to August 4 and we read Dick Kaegel’s article, Royals’ plan didn’t pan out this season. Moore must have heard what fans were saying about his apparent lack of regard for defense when he put the 2009 Royals together because he said this in the article:

“Speed and defense are very important to the success of our team in that ballpark. We understand that, we recognize that,” Moore said. “That’s why we probably drafted and signed as many speed players as we have through the Minor Leagues over the last two years and three Drafts now. We try to draft and sign speed players, because you can’t develop them, and we’re always mindful of trying to acquire players with usable speed and players that can play very good defense.”

At the risk of stating the ridiculously obvious, drafting players with defensive skills for the future is a good thing—but what about the current roster at the big league level? We don’t need to rehash it, but we absolutely knew before we even played a single game that this team was not going to be good defensively. Why build such a team? Sure, there have been injuries, but this team would have been sub-par defensively even if it didn’t incur a single injury—and besides, injuries are part of the game. You have to plan for them. They have to be part of the process.

Let me close with this. Moore should be happy that the fanbase still cares about what is happening with this ballclub. The alternative would be apathy, and frankly, that’s what this team deserves. But we’re still coming out to the ballpark in droves. Moore should be happy that fans are pouring through stats, analyzing trades, and yes, even sometimes questioning his moves. It means we care. We know he does too, but talking down to us isn’t going to help his, or the Royals’, cause.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Update: Kids’ Day at the K

I just got off the phone with Joel Kammeyer, who is filling in for Adam Cain while Adam is on his honeymoon (congrats Adam!). We’re up to 98 kids right now. One more $10.00 donation puts us at 100. We have until 5:00 pm tomorrow. If you haven’t got involved yet but would like to, now would be the time. For every $10.00 you donate to send a kid the game on August 9 for Kids’ Day at the K, the Royals will match—so your $10.00 sends two kids.

Since Adam is away, you can contact Joel Kammeyer to make your donation. His email address is His phone number is: 816-504-4178. Let him know you are coming from Royal Reflections. I’ll let you know tomorrow evening or Friday morning the final tally. A big thanks goes out the the Royals community for jumping on board to support this cause. You guys are awesome!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Remember Rosenblatt

If you are a fan of Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, you will be interested in a Q & A interview I did with Paul Fiarkoski. He recently started a website called Remember Rosenblatt that is designed to be a place where users share videos, audio files, photos, and stories about Rosenblatt. Users even get their own profile page and blog.

Here’s a link to the interview.

Greinke’s Indoor Struggles Continue

Game Date: August 3, 2009
Kansas City @ Tampa Bay
Rays 10, Royals 4 / Box Score
WP: Kazmir (6-6), LP: Greinke (10-7)
KC Home Runs: Betancourt (3)
Royals Record: 41-64 / Record in August 1-2

Zack Greinke says it doesn’t feel much like a baseball game when you’re inside. Bob Dutton dug up these stats about Greinke:

“For his career, Greinke is 4-9 with a 5.05 ERA in domes or stadiums with closable roofs. He is 40-43 with a 3.73 ERA when pitching outdoors. This season, he is 9-5 and 1.88 in 19 open-air starts and 1-2 and 6.00 when pitching indoors.”

There must be something to all these numbers because Greinke’s numbers were awful yesterday: 6 ER, 3 BB, 10 H, and 9 K. He even threw a Meche-like 105 pitches in just five innings. Of course, the bullpen didn’t help when it gave up four more runs.

Yuniesky Betancourt finally did something at the plate, and the Royals did score four runs, but they couldn’t keep pace with the Rays and you can’t really blame them for that.

The Royals begin a new series at home tonight against Seattle. Luke Hochevar (6-4, 5.28) will go up against Ryan Rowland-Smith (1-1, 3.12). Hochevar is 1-0 in his career against the Mariners with a 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP. Rowland-Smith is 0-0 against the Royals with a 3.38 ERA in 10.2 IP.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Banny Being Banny

Game Date: August 2, 2009
Kansas City @ Tampa Bay
Royals 4, Rays 1 / Box Score
WP: Bannister (7-7), LP: Shields (6-8), SV: Soria (18)
KC Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 41-63 / Record in August 1-1

How good does it feel to see a team have a defensive meltdown against the Royals rather than seeing it happen by the Royals? Maybe we shouldn’t rejoice over such things, but with a season like this, every win feels far better than it should—regardless of the way it happened.

That’s not to take anything away from Brian Bannister, who looked like the Banny we’ve been waiting for. He improved to 7-7 with the win, but on this team, you have to figure wins in dog years because they are so hard to come by. Well maybe not dog years, but maybe multiplying it by 1.5 would be give you the number he might have if he were playing for another team. Although, at the risk of sounding like I’m inching toward sabermetrics, wins is one of the most meaningless categories in existence. Getting a win has just as much to do with the offense and defense on any given night than it does with the way the starter pitched. But I’ll let the sabermetricians handle that argument.

Remember when Banny didn’t make the club out of Spring Training? Kyle Davies was the number three guy to start the season. Sidney Ponson was number four. And Horacio Ramirez was number five. Wow. The Royals would probably say sending Banny to Omaha got him back on track, and maybe it did, but whatever happened, it’s nice to see him pitching the way he did yesterday. His change up looked better than I’ve ever seen it. Not only was the speed of it fooling hitters, but he kept it low and out of harms way.

Of course, he was just trying to keep the Royals in the game while his counterpart, James Shields, was no-hitting the Royals through seven innings. I never had the feeling that Shields would pull it off though. After the game he said he “really wasn’t thinking about the no-hitter,” which is probably not humanly possible, and given the way he dropped his head in reaction to John Buck lining a single into right field in the eight inning, not believable. His defense took it from there.

Mitch Maier probably had the game of his life—making a good throw from center field in the sixth inning to nail B.J. Upton at the plate. Two innings later, he drove in the first run of the game for the Royals, and then in the ninth he had a two-run single. He produces so very little at the big league level that it was shocking to see him come up big with the glove and the bat.

Throwing caution to the wind, Trey Hillman used “Jack” for the final two innings to nail down the save. I really like this move. I liked it two Saturdays ago and I liked it yesterday. Why use him in meaningless games just to get him work? Let him get his work in games that matter.

The Royals play at 11:08 am today and unfortunately, it’s not on TV. Zack Greinke (10-6, 2.08) will go up against Scott Kazmir (4-6, 6.22). Greinke is 0-2 in his career against the Rays with a 3.31 ERA in 35.1 IP. Kazmir is 1-2 against the Royals with a 4.95 ERA in 40.0 IP.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Some Astoundingly Bad Numbers

Game Date: August 1, 2009
Kansas City @ Tampa Bay
Rays 7, Royals 1 / Box Score
WP: Niemann (10-5), LP: Chen (0-6)
KC Home Runs: DeJesus (8)
Royals Record: 40-63 / Record in August 0-1

The funny thing about this game was, Bruce Chen wasn’t bad. He only gave up two earned runs in 6.2 innings. Jamey Wright, on the other hand, was bad. So was the offense, managing only five hits.

What can you say about a team that has lost 15 of 18 games? I guess you can talk about the astounding stats that keep showing up. Stats like, the Royals have lost all eight games they’ve played against the Rays this season. Stats like, Bruce Chen is 0-13 in his last 53 major league appearances—including 20 starts. Stats like, the Royals have allowed 56 UNearned runs this season. Of course, that leads the American League. Stats like, the Royals are 22-52 since starting the season 18-11.

I’d love to overlook it all if a I saw a “process” in place that made sense. But I don’t. I really don’t.

Ponson Gives Up Seven, Royals Lose Again

Game Date: July 31, 2009
Kansas City @ Tampa Bay
Rays 8, Royals 2 / Box Score
WP: Price (4-4), LP: Ponson (1-7)
KC Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 40-62 / Record in July 7-19

Last night, for the third straight game, the Royals lost by four runs or more. We have Sidney Ponson and Bruce Chen in the rotation. The bullpen is a disaster—although not bad last night. Mike Jacobs has been reduced to a coming off the bench. Yuniesky Betancourt is hitting .122 in his 14 games with the Royals. And Dayton Moore pretty much stayed the course at the trading deadline.

Those are the facts. Don’t drawn any conclusions from my presentation of them. I’m fairly happy that Moore didn’t make any moves. That’s not the right attitude to have because bad baseball teams become good ones by acquiring good young talent and then bringing it along. But I’m no longer all that confident in Moore’s ability to find diamonds in the rough—or even to acquire players that make sense for this team.

The Betancourt trade tipped the scales for me.

I’ve also seen a lot of games in Omaha this season and for the most part, Omaha is still everything it was under Allard Baird’s reign—a place where careers go to die (Yasuhiko Yabuta is 36; Brian Buchanan is 36; Brandon Duckworth is 33; Tim Hamulack is 32; Cory Aldridge is 30; Time Raines Jr. is 29; J.R. House is 29; on and on it goes) rather than a place to develop good young talent. You see a few young guys: Greg Holland (23), Jordan Parraz (24), and even Chris Lubanski (24), but not nearly enough.

So, for this season and probably next, we’ve got what we’ve got and I’d rather see Banny and Teahen at the big league level than the guys who may have replaced them. Arguably, guys like Lenny DiNardo (29) and Scott Thorman (27) deserve a shot in Kansas City and if Moore had moved Banny and Teahen at the trade deadline maybe they would have gotten their shot (I’d like to see DiNardo replace Chen in the rotation now), but I doubt if they would have matched their numbers. And since my confidence in Moore’s ability to acquire good young talent is dropping by the day, I wonder if we wouldn’t have ended up worse at the big league level with nothing to show for it in the minor leagues.

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