As we speak, De La Rosa is in the process of pitching himself right into AAA ball. Through 3 innings, he's allowed 5 hits and 2 HR's. As is typical of DLR, he teases you with greatness, only to screw it up. His four K's through 3 innings makes me think - "wow, this guy could be more than total dog crap". Then he wets the bed and lets friggin' Rafael Furcal go yard on him.
Since De LLLLLLa Rosa is blowing up, and my boy Hochevar was optioned to AAA ball yesterday, I'm thinking Tomko is the winner. Their is a slight chance that Davies could steal the spot, but I think that he and Jorge have options left. Tomko doesn't. That means a rotation that looks like this:
1. Meche - solid ace
2. Bannister - great last outing
3. Greinke - ditto
4. Bale - he's earned it
5. Tomko - Merry Christmas. For now.
I'm guessing that five spot will be a rotating door for the first half of the season. Hopefully, we can land on a solid one before the pennant race (snicker snicker).
6 days until Opening Day!!!!!
Monday, March 24, 2008
Posted by W at 7:12 PM
Man Rany's blog has been excellent. Billiam Butler is ROLLIN. Gordon is lookin solid. Pitching has been good as well.
I've heard the stadium looks not even close to ready.
Posted by Beetle at 6:40 PM
Sunday, March 23, 2008
I feel as bad as I look today. Long night. Dexter has to stop spending time with me, one of these times it's gonna be the movie "Very Bad Things."
Posted by Beetle at 2:08 PM
Friday, March 21, 2008
Two separate topics here, but I liked the title.
Meche is looking VERY solid heading into the season and that bodes well for us. Having a "stopper" who can end potentially season-ending losing streaks is step one in turning the franchise around. Above all, he has been consistent, which is extremely encouraging heading into the season.
Hitting looked great today. It was nice to see Gordon and Guillen get off the longball schneid, and having Teahen, Butler, DeJesus, and Gordon all hitting over .300 is a very good thing. Callaspo did it again today, and it is getting to the ridiculous point if we don't start the season with him in powder blue. Soria is not himself though, and without a sure closer, any game is up for grabs.
As for the tourney, I'm passively watching. My only emotion today was when W. Kentucky beat Drake on that awesome last second three. Unfortunately, I really liked the Bulldogs this year and I truly think they win that game 9 out of 10 times. Too bad they played the 10th game today. Also of note-Connecticut falls to San Diego. Love it. Calgoon is totally overrated in my book. Mark my words - Memphis is the first #1 seed to fall, likely in their sweet 16 game to Pitt.
That's all for tonight- I might grab a drink with Pester tomorrow. I'll let you know.
Live from the SGF -
Posted by W at 7:19 PM
Thursday, March 20, 2008
I had planned on writing about the "flip em" concept that we have talked about many times. I haven't seen this anywhere in the national media, and wanted to put it down as "our" concept. I don't feel so hot tonight so I don't think I'll be doing it.
Basically, it's playing a veteran signee in hopes they produce enough to get a draft pick for them. Sounds not very novel on paper, but it has some details that make it fascinating. Playing a veteran over a young player, in order to get a value pick and build your farm team has an interesting motivation behind it. Maybe I'll write a doctorate level paper later on it.
Posted by Beetle at 7:21 PM
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
I'm not specifically boycotting March Madness, I've just got some apathy this year. Think the poor MU play had me down early, and then the suspensions... Ick.
Hey we lost a linebacker and almost lost Maclin, don't know if you saw the story. Pinkel was quick to say "we are done with this event and are moving forward." *Whistles innocently* Well, gotta love my thugs.
Ran across this quote, and I HAD to post it.
"That guy throwing 95 (mph)," Hough says, "he's got physical ability,but I've got more nerve, you know what I mean? When the catcher got down and flashed the one finger for a knuckleball, I felt like Nolan Ryan throwing 100 mph."
Dude, Charlie Hough for president. "I've got more nerve." You know, *pause* he's right. A knuckler is essentially throwing gopher balls that break funny. Ya the "talented" guys throw 90. I gotta use the vaseline under the hat and maybe some jallapena in my nose. ("you put snot on the ball??") God I miss the Houghster- bastard pitched to 60- first win in (Marlins?) history- one of those young upstarts.
The only thing I hope is that KU is the first 1 seed to lose to a 16. That would make my century. Hey send me an email with the fantasy baseball stuff so I can sign up. Might as well, worst case scenario is I quit half way through...again.
Posted by Beetle at 7:19 PM
First - I got you on the minors piece Beetle. I was playing out the "dream scenario" assuming Tomko and the rest of the veterans actually take a shot at the minors. Realize we are probably out of luck, and that's probably why realistically Callaspo and Hochevar end up in the minors.
Since there is not baseball today, a few quick thoughts on the tourney:
- I think there will be 3 #1 seeds in the final four (everyone sans Memphis)
- My 12/5 upset this year is the Temple/Mich. St game
- Watch out for: South Alabama, Temple, Pitt, and Louisville to all exceed expectations.
- Respect the Valley - Drake won't lose first round. They should have had 2 teams in this year.
- Wisconsin is BORING, but they are good.
- UNC will win it all unless there is an injury.
Should be fun - who doesn't love the tourney?
Posted by W at 4:59 PM
Good thoughts, but there may be some different concerns:
I don't think you can send someone like Tomko to the minors. I think, once you are veteran like that, you release them if they don't make the 25 man. Same may go with German. Huber is gone. Unless no one else wants him, he's going to waivers because he definitely can't go back to the minors. I just don't know if the club is going to not take German, that really sounds like a stretch to me.
Posted by Beetle at 3:51 AM
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Okay - rough loss today. Hate to see Soria lose the game after a great rally to take the lead. I think Bale did enough to secure the 4th spot in the rotation. Callaspo had another good day today, making it harder and harder to ignore him. That leads me today's topic: who I think will make the big club when we break Spring Training. As of today, here are my predictions for the 25 man roster. By the way, I am ignoring the Guillen/Olivo suspensions for this exercise:
I realize that taking Hochevar over Tomko is a stretch, but I just have a feeling. I know people probably expect Musser on this list too, but I think he starts at AAA. By the way, this would make for one heck of a AAA rotation (Tomko, Lawrence, Maroth, Lumsden, De La Rosa). That would actually push Rosa, Duckworth and Davies down to AA. Likely, some folks hit the road in this group for other opportunities.
Keep your eye on Braun and Giron in the minors too. I think they will be up quickly.
Now for positions players:
SS: Pena Jr.
That makes the bench only 4 deep, which is scary and tight. IMO, here are the four:
Biggest leap - Callaspo over German. I know this is a longshot, but I really like this kid. He's hitting .356 with the most spring at bats of anyone. You can't send this guy down. Look for these guys to make a push for the big club at early and after injuries occur:
-German (if he sticks around)
-Hollins (again, if he stays)
Well- predictions are always fun. What say you Beetle man?
Posted by W at 8:19 PM
I'm so posting more. Quality be damned!
Dub and I got to talkin and we decided the following things to be true:
1)The Colorado ROCKies had a miracle 2007 season
2)The Houston ROCKets are having a miracle 2008 season
We have decided that henceforth...(dramatic pause) (hold it) the Royals will now be called the ROCKals. Our goal, of course, is to capitalize on insane winning streaks and attempt to draw them to our team. Now I know Rockals doesn't roll off the tongue...yet.
I was about to write about the Royals beautiful come back win. Unfortunately, they *passed excrement* in *a place usually reserved for sleeping*. Worse, bring the pain:
J Bale 5 2-3 5 4 4 1 4 1 C Tsao 1-3 0 0 0 1 1 0 Y Yabuta 1 2-3 2 0 0 0 3 0 J Gobble 1-3 0 0 0 0 0 0 J Soria (L,1-1) 1-3 3 2 2 0 0 0
Thats right, yahoo Soria. Rany brags on you and then *boom* you Rockal up on us.
We had some notable hitting which was great, but I really couldn't wait to write the following line:
Fukudome had a steal
Won't get to write his name much this year. Fukudome. First child: Fukudome Beetle Jr. I can make this happen!
Posted by Beetle at 6:14 PM
Monday, March 17, 2008
So listened to the end of the game. Shock of shocks, mahay looked terrible. I won't even capitalize his name. Everyone else pitched pretty well who mattered. Bannister appears to be zeroing in. Hitting nowhere to be found, but they were in the game until the end.
I don't think I'm filling out a bracket this year. Just don't feel up to it. Stupid tigers.
Quick thoughts today. Trying to go to bed early.
Posted by Beetle at 6:34 PM
Sunday, March 16, 2008
As I looked at the final score from today's game (13-3), I was anxious to see who went yard. Looking through the boxscore, however, I discovered that the boys in blue had no homeruns today. I mention this, because I think this may be the style of ball we see all year. I'm confident in our ability to produce runs, but we aren't going to do it via the longball. Except for the occasional shot from Butler, Teahen, Buck, maybe Shealy - we are going to rally teams to death. This is very consistent with what we have seen from Hillman in his past experience. He seems to do well with "Whitey Herzog" type clubs. His Japanese teams were known for their fundamentals and their ability to put pressure on clubs via the running game. Perfect fit for our "popless" outfit in KC. I think the fit is good, as will be the results. As long as the pitching comes around.
Saw "3:10 to Yuma" last night. Great flick - I enjoyed a lot. I'm not normally a fan of westerns, but this was really good. Like him or hate him, Crowe can flat out act. I believe him as the hero or the villain, wholeheartedly, evertime. Saw "Michael Clayton" a few weeks ago as well as "the Kingdom". I would rate Kingdom better than the critics and Clayton slightly worse than the critics. Both solid, however.
Oh - broke down and did the midnight Wal-Mart run for a Wii last night. I am officially a dad of 3. I will say though that the think is pretty addictive. I imagine I will be quite sore tomorrow from my Wii activity. Upside - I'm one heck of a boxer. Downside - my 6 year old beats me at bowling every friggin' time.
Dubya - out
Posted by W at 6:11 PM
Sitting at home. Watched "Rescue Dawn" and "The Kingdom." Very good movies both. They both had their good points and were enjoyable. Did work out which I feel pretty good about.
Posted by Beetle at 3:24 PM
Saturday, March 15, 2008
I would like to officially apologize to anyone who had to endure the previous post. The responsible parties have been censured.
Posted by Beetle at 2:35 PM
Now for a little something I KNOW Beetle isn't tracking. Our hometown Kansas City Wizards. While I won't mention them much on this blog, I will occasionally talk of the world's most popular sport (and the sport that is treated like crap by we "ugly Americans").
The team had been on the downslide for the past couple of years (missed the playoffs in '05 and '06), and the departure of Eddie Johnson might lead some to think we are headed back there. I, however, am optimistic this season.
Let me remind everyone that we DID make the conference semifinals last season. I know Eddie is a talented player, but dude had a lot of the characteristics of a Prima Donna/Clubhouse Cancer (e.g. Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson, Barry Bonds) and clearly didn't play hard for the full 90. I think him leaving will help the team chemistry and Scott Sealy will step up and have a huge season.
Final soapbox on this topic: SUPPORT YOUR FRIGGIN' TEAM Kansas City! We are consistently in the bottom two in the league in attendance, and that ain't portraying the fair city correctly. Another couple years like this and that eyesore to the East will steal our team from us. This year the Wizards will be playing out of Arrowhead as they wait for a permanent home. Most of their games will be at the CAB and they are ridiculously affordable, ranging from $15-$25. So circle the home opener date (exactly 2 weeks from today) and support the other Blue vs. the D.C. United.
Posted by W at 12:01 PM
Friday, March 14, 2008
The hitting came out tonight, but jeez, not happy about Yabuta's performance. TPJ, Butler, Gordon and the usual suspects put on a clinic. Soria pitched two strong innings (imagine a 6 out closer *shiver with excitement). Tomko + Yabuta = ick today.
Posted by Beetle at 8:19 PM
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Speaking of the Tigers, I can't believe what we are seeing. This used to be a really competitive program before Snyder single-handedly tore it to the ground (I seriously think the developmental league is scraping the bottom of the barrell if they are resorting to the powder-sniffing Q). I feel for Mike A, but he's gonna have to turn up the winning QUICK or this experiment will be aborted within 2 years.
Even worse - our "scoring tandem" of Carroll and Lyons seemed to regress at the end of the season. They combined for 17 tonight. Some semblence of progress would have been nice this season. So far, the "40 minutes of hell" we thought he was bringing has been directed toward the viewing public. Yeeeesh.
I think Anderson has done what he can with this clusterbomb - and I admire his discipline with the thuggish behavior - but next season better not involve losing to anymore football schools. Man - just when we finally kick in and beat 'em in pigskin, we return the favor in hoops. Ah- the life of a Tiger fan.
Posted by W at 7:52 PM
Well I like the idea that we have more balance, but I don't think that Tomko or Nomo (the O brothers) will pitch meaningful games this year. Ageist that I am, I think both are wet noodle arms without enough guile to make enough valuable to starts to justify their roster spots. I think Bale is a reasonable shot to be a low average 4. I wouldn't touch Hocevar or however you spell is name for the 5th. I think starting would damage his long term prospects and so I say no no no (with all due Amy Winehouse trademarked props)
Dear God we lost 61-56 tonight (Teegrays). Can you say futility? I didn't even invest a second in watching it. When the conclusion is foregone, it's better to shoot the horse rather than watch it suffer.
I spent the time playing Call of Duty 4, which is NOT a foregone conclusion, and I rather rock at the game.
Well I'm going to get in bed, let's hope I don't post again tonight, as that means I didn't sleep well.
St. Patty's this weekend. Knock back a green one for me.
Posted by Beetle at 7:32 PM
Okay, so the top 3 are settled:
Now - who for 4 and 5? I have to say, this is probably the most depth in terms of experience that the Royals have ever had to choose from for those slots.
Nomo (11 years)
Tomko (11 years)
Duckworth (7 years)
Lawrence (6 years)
Bale (5 years + 3 in Japan)
Now I'm not saying the experience equals quality (see eLLLLLarton and OdaLLLLLLis last year), but it certainly doesn't hurt on a young team like ours. Combine that with some young promising arms (Hochevar, Lumsden, Nunez, De La Rosa, Davies) and you have a recipe for some strong starters. Not to mention that the depth helps a lot when pitchers go down, and you know they will.
My guess - 4 & 5 are split between experience and promise. Bale wins the four spot with a solid spring, and due to the fact that I can't see Hillman not throwing a lefty in the starting five. I also think he probably has an affinity for Bale because of the Japan connection.
Five goes to.....drumroll please....Hochevar. I know, I know - it's too early. We don't want to ruin him. Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah. Listen - the guy is a #1 pick who has his contemporaries already impacting the league (Joba Chamberlain, Tim Lincecum, Andrew Miller). The reliever thing doesn't make sense if we plan on him being a starter long term. What is the downside? Let the games begin...
Posted by W at 12:38 PM
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Music! I know you like your hip hop being a poor man from the inner city. I've always been here to provide you with the rock stuff that I think you'd like. If you haven't heard the Arctic Monkeys, I highly recommend investing some time. Nothing would be cooler than you sitting in the front seat of your car and having the following exchange.
Dubya: "Arctic Monkeys! I love the Arctic Monkeys!"
Dubya drops his seat to low rider position and begins thrashing about in the car
Dubya's child (Dubya Jr) and his close friend sit terrified in the back seat as one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse looks on
Posted by Beetle at 11:29 PM
Having a tough time sleeping tonight for some reason. Anyhoo, big day today, notables:
1)Royals win, Royals win! Happy enough. I am drinking the koolaid, aaaaaahgin. I just don't think enough can be stated that the Royals are 8-6 in Cactus play. I know that it's preseason, but the Chiefs showed what happens when you don't win a preseason game... worst season in franchise history. So, conversely we have competence in the preseason and tah freaking dah. Revised prediction of 85 wins. Biggest concern- Jose Guillen has been awful, and I have seen quotes essentially stating "Jose definitely is ready to get ready to play, he's had a wake up call." He is THIRTY-FREAKING-ONE. I'm glad he needs to figure out that he needs to be in shape to play. Otherwise the rest of the guys look sharp as hell. Pitching way ahead of schedule. "Let's get nuts!"
2)The Chiefs signed a wide receiver from the Ravens. They signed an UNHEARD of wide receiver from the Ravens. If there is a team in the NFL that is known for wide receiver incompetence MORE than the Chiefs, it is of course, the Ravens. Gratz Peterson. This guy is going straight to the practice squad if we are lucky, if not outright cut before game 3 next year. This whole offseason is making me want to cry. I do concede to Flanigan's idea that "well at least we didn't waste money on free agents in the offseason." Unless we could have gotten Faneca from the Stillers, overall I wasn't blown away by the crop of free agents. I just have no faith that the Chiefers are going to actually fill needs in the draft.
3)Spring football is here! This weekend I think there is a televised practice for the Teegrays! I have written off the ole basketball team. They have just enough talent to play themselves within 2 points of pretty much any team, then they choke big and bad. Might have something to do with no one on the team being a true point guard after Hanah. Call me crazy. Glad he got booted though overall. I love my thugs, but they gotta be accountable for stupid behavior.
First post came easily enough. I have no aspirations for this other than a running dialogue, documentary of our thoughts. If anyone reads it then kudos. I figure I'll just write something while angry that I'll regret down the line.
Posted by Beetle at 11:11 PM
Dubya: Okay, I have to admit it. I have a man crush on Billy Butler. The dude is just EXACTLY what I think of when I picture the quintessential ballplayer, and to make it even it better, he wears the powder blue. So far this spring, he's hitting a paltry .419 while leading the team with 21 total bases and 13 hits. Sick.
That follows a Freshman season where he hit .292/.347/.447 over 92 games. Do you know what George Brett did in his rookie year? .282/.313/.363 Now, I'm not saying Billy Butler is as good of a hitter as George Brett - yet. What I am saying is that the man could be shaping up to be the best pure hitter since "The Great One" if this trend continues.
Only problem with this comparison is the whole "complete player" thing. Brett was an incredible field player, while Billy looks like Britney Spears at a MENSA convention when he sets foot between the lines. Looks like we have Edgar Martinez on our hands.
Posted by W at 8:16 PM