Tuesday, February 17, 2009

*blowing the dust off*

Wow, I think we need to kick start this thing up again after 7 months. Ole Dubya will be back as well.

We've got top 10 Tigers and the opening of Spring Training.

More to come

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hope is spelled A-V-I-L-E-S

Tonight, Mike Aviles stuck the dagger in our hated rivals' hearts in the top of the 8th inning. Mike Aviles, who has never projected as a Major League shortstop. Mike Aviles who according to some (ahem- NY Royal on Royals Review) - "he’s not a below average SS; he’s an awful SS. No one would play him at SS in the majors. No one."

Yes - that Mike Aviles.

But wait - he's also the perfect symbol for the Royals. The little guy who couldn't. The team that doesn't stand a chance. It's just a great story. He may fall flat on his butt in a few weeks, but man, what a ride this is now. Mike Aviles provides the Royals with something that no Tony Pena AB ever did - hope. And no matter how spectacular Pena is in the field (and he is), TPJ never provided us the slightest inkling that he might win a game for us with his talent.

In 45 ABs, Mike Avi"les is more" has gone .333/.362/.689. In 162 ABs, TPJ went .154/.171/.191. In 1/4 the at bats, Aviles has the same number of total bases as TPJ this year, 3 more HRs, one more 2B, and one less hit. His OPS is 1.051. He is on pace to commit two more errors than Pena over the same time period, and I'm sure he's missed some that Tony could have reached with the range, but man....HOPE.

I'm feeling for the first time in a while like we almost have our ideal team on the field. I think one more piece (Butler back at first) could seal the deal for our best chance at winning. Let's keep it rolling.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Well said

It's time.

We have been in Mark Davis shock for so long, I'm glad you finally broke through. Like Harry Potter we have finally decided that treating him with so much reverence as "He who must not be named," has only given him more power.

So, I say again, with emphasis- MARK DAVIS

Though he continues to hurt us, maybe if we try to understand his evil spirit, then we can exorcise the demon.

I hate being in this place. I try to track every game. I think "hey at least they are scoring in the first few innings, that's a plus," but I KNOW they are going to lose. It's a dreadful certainty. No lead is safe. No pitching combo is safe. No bases loaded "hey Buck is up, he kills with runners in scoring postion," will save my dread and certainty that the game is over shortly after some yahoo sings "home of the Brave..."

Our pitching staff looked so good at the beginning of the year, and now... the dreaded words LEAGUE FREAKING AVERAGE COMES OUT OF MY MOUTH EVERY NIGHT. I'm so tired...

I also know that, and this hurts to say, the Tigres will not save us. They won't. I pass a church sign on the way home that says something to the effect of "none need saving." Well I agree. We don't need saving, we are not granted redemption. Missouri is cursed beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Given the way our sports are going, the Tigers are going to fail. I could pretend this is a reverse hex or jinx, but I know that I am only postponing the inevitable. There is no alternate strategy. There is no "maybe I could switch teams." We are stuck with the Blue, the Red, and the Black/Gold. We are stuck with pain and misery. We will not be saved... God I hate sports.

Enough. I'll post again when I can pretend I care. Going to the check box scores mode, no more tracking. No more local sports talk radio.

The Curse of Mark Davis

Is it bad that I knew that it was over as soon as Teahen dropped the ball? As a lifelong Royals fan, I am accustomed to (and almost expect) the new and different torturous ways that my favorite team finds to lose. Sure there are many "logical" reasons for why we lost last night (Pena Jr, Yabuta, Tomko, Hillman, Teahen, etc), but I choose to believe there is something greater at work here.

Specifically, the curse of Mark Davis.

In 1989, Mark Davis had a 44 save, 1.85 ERA season with the San Diego Padres. He also won the Cy Young Award that year.

In the offseason, he was a free agent, and the Royals signed him to what was an enormous contract at the time. In 1990, he only made less than one Royal (George Brett) and only by $100,000. That year, he made more than Bret Saberhagen, Mark Gubicza, Danny Tartabull, Frank White, Wilie Wilson (and more than Bo Jackson and Kevin Seitzer combined). Also that year, he had 6 saves. He also had 6 wild pitches, 7 losses, and a 5.11 ERA.

For the next two years, he devastated Royals fans with one more save, and 4.45 and 7.18 ERAs respectively. Also, in combined salary over those 2 years, he made more than any other Royal on the team. Including the King.

Davis went on to torment a string of teams before his retirement, including the Braves, Phillies, Padres and Brewers. But the beginning of that run, and the team that literally paid the most for his hideous performance, was our beloved Royals.

Before Kansas City acquired Mark Davis, the franchise had a 1746-1587 record (.524). They had been to the playoffs 7 times in 20 years. They had won 2 pennants and one World Series. Fourteen winning seasons in 20 years.

Post Mark Davis, the club has gone 1282-1689 (.440) over 18 1/2 years. They have not made the playoffs once and had only 3 full winning seasons (1 strike shortened).

The reason I tie the curse to Mark Davis is for the following reasons:

1. Davis showed the Royals that spending large amounts of money was risky, and didn't guarantee winning. This led to a decade of cutting back that the club still hasn't recovered from.

2. Davis taught the Royals that losing was possible, even probable, even with the odds stacked in your favor. We had the Cy Young winning closer - it should have been automatic. The team learned that losing was possible and it has yet to shake that attitude.

3. Davis' acquisition was the peak of Royals optimism. The frenzy post his signing was palpable among fans. He was the ultimate diappointment - the landmark disappointment. The primer, the trailblazer, for all Royals disappointments since that moment.

The curse of Mark Davis lives on. Last night, it lived on in the glove of Teahen. It lived in the arms of Tomko and Yabuta. It lived in the mind of Hillman. Doesn't matter who is on the field, he can live through them.

What will it take to break the curse? Personally, I believe it will take an incredibly special player. It will take a player that can lead through performance, but more importantly, through attitude. He will refuse to lose. He will "will" the team to break the curse. He will be the second coming of George Brett. Some say it could be Gordon, but he has yet to prove it. Whoever it is, may he come soon.

Until then, the curse of Mark Davis lives on...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Royals progress and two Tiger tidbits

Good to see that the current regime will not tolerate ridiculous 12 game losing streaks. I'm a huge Billy B fan, but he was struggling mightily, and we needed TPJ out of the lineup. Aviles finally got the call-up that he deserved, and TPJ is riding pine (finally!).

Also, I'm a big fan of the Davies call-up. Bombko is going nowhere fast, and should be used only as mop-up to eat innings and save arms in my opinion. He's worn out, and very hittable. Getting Davies another extended audition after his solid start in AAA is a good thing.

On the Tiger front, our beloved Mizzou was disposed of in the baseball playoffs. Honestly though, the chances were really slim of advancing. They were facing the #1 team in the country in Miami, and really gave them a good run. Keep your eye on Aaron Crow. That dude is a stud and may end up a Royal.

Finally, Demarre Carroll made the wise decision to stay in school, giving us some much needed continuity for next season. I think we will see some real improvement in BB this year.

Dubya - OUT

Monday, May 19, 2008

TPJ must go

I really don't care how good he is in the field. His fungo bat is killing me. It's like having all of my toenails pulled out one by one watching him bat. Seriously, it's not like we dont' have options. Callaspo should play everyday, or Aviles and his .340 AVG and 9 HRs should be called up. I'm sicking of batting the pitcher in the American League every night.

Even the greatest defensive shortstops of all time could hit A LITTLE FRIGGIN BIT. Ozzie Smith hit .262. Omar Vizquel hit .272. Hell, even Buddy Biancalana hit over .200 for his career.

This is intolerable and it is time for a change. The lineup needs a shakeup and we should start there.

I'd also like to see Teahen benched and Maier given a shot in the bigs. At a minimum, maybe it would shake him up like a couple of years ago.

Clearly this is all stemming from my emotion over being no-hit. And of course by the jacky Red Sox. That means 7X as much coverage by the media as being no-hit by another team (except for the Yankees of course). Miserable to have to endure this crap.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Minor Talent

We have some hot prospects going right now, and that makes things exciting despite the lack of offense with the big club.

Moose seems to be heating up. He hit his second home run in 3 games last night and his average is on the steady increase (up to .210). The power stroke coming along is especially encouraging.
Aviles is STILL hitting the crap out of the ball, again prompting the question why we continue to settle for zero production out of the nine spot. He's hitting .344 with a 1.051 OPS. 14 doubles, 5 triples, and 6 HRs. Please, oh please, give him a shot. I'm tired of losing games where Bombko actually deserves a win.

Maier and Costa are also worth mentioning (.360 and .331 respectively) although the crowded outfield just makes them nice depth. I will say this though - Teahen and Guillen are on notice. A weak hitting corner outfielder and one that has as many strikeouts as total bases cannot be acceptable past June 30.

Pitching looks great with lots of depth. I expect the dominant Rosa (covered in another post) to be in Omaha within weeks, and the Davies is showing promise in Omaha currently (2.61 ERA in 6 starts). Lots to be positive about in the minors.