Monday, April 28, 2008

Chiefs Rock the Draft

Suck Peterson finally had a good day.

I, like the rest of the Chiefs faithful, were fully prepared for another WTF draft coming out of Camp "Suck Peterson" this year - and I do believe I was caught with my pants down.

Let's look at it objectively. The Chiefs went in needing (in order of priority in my opinion):
1. OL help
2. Secondary help
3. WR help
4. DE help

On need number one - they traded up (actually smartly I might add) to obtain one of the most versatile and "sure thing" offensive lineman in the draft with their second pick (15th overall) - Branden Albert. Let's forget for a second this his mom couldn't spell and realize that this guy can play guard and tackle and has a mean streak. They also added a tackle from Clemson (Richardson) in the 6th round who was predicted to go much earlier. Need definitely addressed here.

On need number two - not quite as strong, but still got Brandon Flowers from Virginia Tech in the 2nd round and JaJuan Morgan from UNC. Flowers is major physical and never gets hurt. Morgan is a natural, but still needs work. I think Flowers starts from day one. Morgan will be a nickel guy to start. Solid additions to the secondary.

On need number three - Let's face it, wide receivers have not been kind to us in the draft. Looks like last year's pick might be the first one to stick in a long while. But the Chiefs at least went "safe" here. They got William Franklin (a Mizzou Tiger - YEEEESSSIR!) who is solid and a good 3rd/4th guy in the 4th round. Then in the 6th they picked up a little know dude named Kevin Robinson. While he may never start at WR, we immediately got our return man for next year. Good support and role players here.

Finally on need number four - Okay, so we only drafted one true DE (a longshot out of Gardner Webb in the 7th round), but c'mon - WE GOT GLENN FRICKIN DORSEY!!!!!! He never should have fallen this far. We could have never dreamed it. And now, we have a DT who could be one of the best ever out of college. Can't wait to see him wreck some havok. Need not met directly - but DORSEY DORSEY DORSEY.

As for the other picks, we took our customary 2 tight ends at random and one RB named Jamaal Charles out of Texas. This was a shrewd pick in my mind. He is a burner and could push Larry, who we all know needs pushing.

Bottom line - best Chiefs draft in my memory. I'm actually excited to see the improvement.


Moose Goes Yard

Mike Moustakas hit the first of what will hopefully be many homeruns in his Royals career tonight. Unfortunately, it took this long to come (oh, and it was his first extra base hit as well). Here's hoping this loosens him up and sets him on a tear.

In other news, I have yet to be convicted that my calls to send TPJ down and Aviles (or even Berroa) up are incorrect. Please let it come sooner rather than later.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


The first game of the double header was actually encouraging. The game is essentially over if your starter gives up 7 and they battled back.

New thing I'm looking for:

As old Quigley would say, show your work!

I'm going to assume that 4 plate appearances is about average, it's likely closer to 5, but that gives us approximately 36-45 plate appearances per team per game.

Now, in order to neutralize a starting pitcher in todays game you need to get them to 100 pitches in the sixth inning, 5th would be nice, but that is stretching it (Bombko had 100 in the 4th *sigh*)

So that means that if you are looking at 4 plate appearances for each batter to end a game then the pitchers would have averaged 4 batters per inning, likewise with 5.

So using a conservative estimate of 4, each inning the starting pitcher needs to throw 17 pitches. This would equal 17*6 or 102 pitches. The odds of seeing the pitcher come back in for the 7th would be pretty squarely in the offenses favor.

So 17 pitches divided amongst 4 batters equals just over 4 pitches per batter.

So extrapolating it works quite well. If the pitcher is rolling and there are only 3 batters per each inning, each batter would need to take about 6 pitches, or 18*6 or 108.

5 batters per inning and you are nearing 3 pitches per hitter.

I'm sticking with 4 which appears to be a conservative or good real estimate.

If TPJ, Guillen, Buck, or any other strugglers aren't seeing at least 4 pitches, they are, in effect helping the pitcher to go longer without providing the benefit of fatiguing the pitcher.

Watch out for it, I would bet there is some merit to this


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

what a difference a week makes


Well I am writing this prematurely, but I feel pretty confident at 10-0 we have this one in the bag. Depressing. Boo. our ace suddenly became the pitcher everyone thought he would be. I'll still track, but they are starting to look like the 100 loss team everyone thought they were. How sad when you peak in midApril.

This has nothing to do with Trey Hillman. They just can't do anything right, and they have that mojo of appearing to "feel" as if they can't do anything right. This = big losing streak that will bury them for the rest of the season.

No particularly happy right now

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sorry for the length between posts

Greetings again,

I guess that's the nice part of a two man blog. When one guy goes down there is always a good chance the other guy is still functional. I was out of town, traveling a lot, computer busted, dog ate home work, etc etc.

Tracking the boys in blue everyday. Seriously, how punchless are we? I mean this inability to generate even a modicum of runs is startling. 63 runs in 19 games. Yes you can multiply 19 x 3 and still get under 63, but not by a bunch. 3 and some change per game. Swept by the A's. Emil Brown has to go all Gannon on us. I just feel that the team is going to go into a dive mentally soon if they don't break out for 9 or 10 runs soon.

Hochevar sounded (radio listen) sharp for the first few innings and he was able to get at least one key strikeout to bail him out of a 2 man no out situation early on. I am happy that he is able to have some moments of success, even if he does seem to have the potential to let the wheels come rolling off rapidly in games.

I can't get over the basepaths of despair thing though. I mean this is getting patently ridiculous. I anticipate that they are going to fall victim to the hidden ball trick soon. I think the term kamikaze is absolutely the case at this point. When you average 3 runs a game, throwing away outs and baserunners is such a terrible thing.

I think I will hate Olivo until he hits 20 homers in a season. Pretty sure its a safe bet that I can stoke that fire for awhile to come.

Butler has been quietly plummeting offensively, just hate it, but pointing it out.

Jared Allen. The NFL has evolved so much. I, and many rational Chiefs fans, are oddly "ok" with the thought of losing the most popular Chief since DT. Allen is Kansas City. His musical tastes and attitude mesh perfectly with the culture here. I would love to say he can't get arrested, but we know that's not true. Everyone here is so drained of cheer and emotion and quite frankly freaking hope. Coach Herman Edwards is a nice man. I'm sure he'll go to heaven. I have ZERO faith in his ability to draft, manage, and lead at this point after two years. His little ranting and raving press conferences are old. He says the same thing everytime. He could go up to the podium and say "please review my speech from last Thursday, all questions will be answered the same, I will be providing no new information, thank you," and leave. No one would be surprised. So when we have to look at a talented player leaving, all anyone can think is "we need SO MUCH just to go 8-8," leading to, "Hey we may be able to get further along in a direction if we have base block talent from a superstar."

I will hate Herm until he brings home the big one. I think I'm pretty safe stoking that fire for a long time to come.


Allen to be traded?

So the rumor is that Jared Allen is all but gone, looking for a new spot with a new contract. Man, I love this guy, but due to the fact that he is asking for $30Mil, I think we have to let him go.

My suggestion: let's trade Jared for a first and a third. That gives us two first round picks to get instant starters for this year's squad. I would love to see those go to an offensive lineman and a defensive back.

A more controversial move, but one I would endorse wholeheartedly, is to trade Larry Johnson if there is a possibility to get Darren McFadden. I think we could swap our first round pick with someone and pick up a second. I like the way D-Mac runs, and he's a lot better attitude than LJ's cancerous one.


How to stop a losing streak

Well, as I write this the Royals are headed for their 4th straight loss, dropping them below .500 for the first time this year. It's not time to panic yet, but I do think a few moves would help them significantly and help stop the slide.

The first one happened earlier today when we elected to go with no mo Nomo. This was a great potential story, but their just isn't anything left in the tank. Having Peralta up in his place is a very good move.

The second one was slightly misplayed. Instead of Hochevar, DLR was due another shot at the rotation. He is the lefty that we need in the mix to keep teams off balance, plus he is lights out right now in Omaha. After his win today, he is 2-0 with a Greinke-eske 1.15 ERA. His control is much better (5 walks in 15+ innings) and his K's are at 1 per inning. I want to see Hochevar produce as much as the next guy, but I think a mid-summer call-up might give him enough time to really feel comfortable when he gets his shot. DLR has been there before, and that's what we need.

Finally, I won't stop my petitioning for the jettison of TPJ. His .120 average makes Buddy Biancalana look like Derek Jeter and with our lack of offense in general, we can't pretend play in the National League with an automatic out in the 9 slot. There are two red hot bats in Omaha - Aviles (.324/.347/.603) and Berroa (.339/.350/.542) whose errors certainly can't outweigh their .200 point BA jumps. And yes, I'm the only Royals fan left up for giving the Devil one more chance.

On the bright side our starting pitching gives us a chance to stop a streak every night. Butler and Gordon continue to rip. Guillen is getting "hot" (at least making contact every other at bat).
With a few changes we can jump right back in this thing.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Your NWA Naturals Report

As a huge Royals fan who lives 1.5 miles from the new Northwest Arkansas Naturals, I will be providing intermittant updates as the season goes on.

Opening Day: It was fantastic. The park is great - maybe the best minor league park I have seen. Lots of fanfare including a flyover, the Naturals mascot being helicoptered into the stadium (he's a 6'9" Sasquatch named Strike), and David Glass making some comments. There were some major opening day logistical glitches (horrible parking coordination, long lines at the concession stands, etc), but the facility is just top notch. Now onto the team.

Unfortunately, the Naturals performance on opening day may be very indicative of things to come. No batta, no batta, no batta. They mustered one run that day. For the season, the team is batting .225. No, that is not a typo. Their offense if horrifically anemic. Going into tonight's game (where they have mustered one run through 8 1/3), here are the key stats of the starters:

CF Duarte - .207, 0 extra base hits, 5 SBs
SS Sanchez - .188, 2 errors, 8 K's in 32 ABs
3B Lisson - .132, 1 BB, 11 K's in 38 ABs
DH Richardson - .225, 10K's in 40 ABs
1B Kaaihue - .294, 5 HRs, 16 RBIs, 2 errors
2B Maddox - .179, 2 SBs, 7 K's in 28 ABs
RF McFall - .160, 1 HR, 1 SB
LF Valentin - .405, 0BB's, 1 HR
C Donachie - .150, 6 Ks in 20 ABs

Yuck. The two bright spots are Kaaihue and Valentin. Kaaihue shows lots of power, but a propensity to not do much else (including field). Valentin is the classic "tweener" outfielder. Not quite enough power, not quite enough speed.

The most alarming thing is the high strikeout ratio. They just aren't making contact. The team has a K/BB ratio of 2.84/1. They are averaging a strikeout every 4.7 AB's. But hey, they are AA kids and I imagine the contact will come. They have been raided of significant talent at this level over the past couple of years.

The pitching staff has a couple of ones to watch. *on 40 man MLB roster

Daniel Cortes - 2 starts and a 1.08 ERA. In 8 innings he has struck out 6 (but walked 6 as well).

Carlos Rosa*- made his 3rd start tonight and through 14 IP has a 1.83 ERA with 10 Ks and only 2 walks allowed

Julio Pimentel* - Getting rocked early. 8.59 ERA. 12 hits allowed in 7 innings. Should come around.

Dusty Hughes - 10.2 innings of relief with only 1 run allowed (0.83 ERA). 0.66 WHIP.

Rowdy Hardy - My personal favorite - you just gotta root for this guy and his backyard fastball. A rough start to the season in his first 2 starts (7.27 ERA) - but of course - no walks.

That's it from Northwest Arkansas for now. Let's hope the sticks come alive soon.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Gaping Holes

While our beloved Royals are off to a solid (and not expected) 7-5 start, I have to be a typical Royals fan and focus on the negative. Thus, this entry.

There are two gaping holes in the Royals lineup. One bats 4th or 5th, and the other bats 9th.

Step right up, Mr. Free Agent Bust, Mr. HGH, Mr. Jose Guillen. Don't get me wrong, I'd love it if this guy proves me wrong and produces. But let's look at facts. He came in complaining that he might not get to play right because our ASSIST MASTER Mark Teahen was already there. His whining led to Teahen bending and moving to right.

Then, he promptly skipped Spring Training. Because he was a "veteran" who didn't need all the work. (Note: true veterans like Mark Grudzy actually can do this and still perform). Now, he has played in every game, and has managed a massive 6 hits in 49 ABs. To top that off, take those hits, mulitply by 2, and you get his strikeout total!!!! Not one HR for the prolific power guy, and today he was 0-4 with 2 K's and a double play! Oh, and an error that led to the Twins' only run.

A few other gems. Alberto Callaspo has 6 hits as 18 ABs. Guillen is 8th in the AL in ABs among outfielders, and 64th in batting average! Only one outfielder who has played in all 12 games is batting worse - Jack Cust, a man in his second full major league season.

My solution: There is this guy down in Omaha named Costa. He's only hitting .350 with no errors, but I think he might be an upgrade. At a minimum, Guillen should hit the bench when (if) DeJesus ever comes back.

The second hole is the magnificent TPJ. While I do appreciate his fielding prowess, 1 friggin' hit is ridiculous. My blind, one-armed mom could have one hit after 30 ABs. Oh- and he has 8 K's to go with that big helping of nothing. No surprise, he is the worst hitting SS in the American League.

My solution: There is this guy down in Omaha named Angel Berroa. He does have one error, but I somehow think that his .371 average and 13 hits might make up for that. And I think he might have shown some promise at one point in his career.

Fill these gaping holes and you have at least one more win this season so far - and over a full season that translates to 12-15 more wins. And that could cost you the playoffs....

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Seex and TWOO

Biggest question? Kansas wins the national title, I'm ok with that, but...


Seriously. I had to turn my XM to freaking The Michael Kay show to get some Royals talk (New York local guy). Bill Self. Who cares? The Royals (were) 5-2, all you need to do on local sports talk radio is this...

First guy: "Royals,Royals,Royals,Royals,Royals,Royals,"
Second guy: "Royals,Royals,Royals,Royals, Royals,Royals,Royals?"
First guy: "Royals"

Wash, rinse, repeat. Instead it's the most in depth analysis of Bill Self's 2 liner from the Lawrence paper today. They analyzed EACH WORD.

"I think when Bill Self said 'I think' that this shows some significant insight into what he is going to do..."

REALLY? YA THINK? ABSOLUTELY REEEEEDONKULOUS! Best start in 5 years and we have to put up with this crap.

Here, let me finish it:

"Rock Chaulk, Gay Hawk, Gay U"

Ok, there's your props. Now GIVE ME MORE ROYALS TALK!

Feel better, yes I do.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Well it was bound to happen. The enemy of my enemy is my friend and Memphis was my friend last night. Resounding boo.

Bannister v whatever poo 4th starter for the Yankees (Phil Hughes?) Knowing my luck, the Royals bats will continue to go into hibernation and it won't matter how well Bannister pitches. Here's to hoping!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Kansas, the Yankees, and Keppinger

A few thoughts tonight on a variety of subjects.

1. Kansas Suckhawks

As I right this blog, the Suckhawks are leading Memphis in the national championship game 22-15. If things continue like this, the will unfortunately be winning the National Championship. As a Mizzou fan, I was raised to hate Kansas and they are just flat out obnoxious in general. My bracket was crap this year, Mizzou didn't make the tournament, and now Kansas is going to win it. Suck. Only brightside is that the sports "geniuses" will stop talking about how the Big 12 isn't a real basketball conference since we haven't won a championship since 1988.

2. The Yankees. That is who the boys in blue face tomorrow for the home opener. Before the season started, if you had told me that the Royals would start the season with a 4-2 roadtrip vs. the Tigers and Twins, I would have laughed in your face. I would have hoped for 2-4, dreamed for 3-3. To be where we are now is incredible.

That being said, my perspective has changed significanlty in the span of a week. As the Yankees roll into town, I actually like our chances of winning the series. Our staff is leading the league in ERA, and we have Bannister, Greinke, and Bale lined up. That makes me hopeful. If the good guys win 2 of 3 in this series, look out - we may be for real.

3. Jeff Keppinger. Who, you may ask, is Jeff Keppinger? Jeff Keppinger is the starting SS for the Cincinnati Reds, and for you diehards, a one-time Royal. For a brief period (6 months), Jeff Keppinger was a Royal. Dayton Moore acquired him in July of 2006 for Ruban Gotay. Then, in early 2007, we traded him for a pitcher named Russ Haltiwanger. Why the history lesson, you may ask? Because I think it tells us something significant about our GM.

You see, Jeff Keppinger is currently the best hitting SS in the majors. He's hitting .423 with 2 HRs and 3 doubles. Last year, in 67 games for the Reds, he hit .332 with a 2/1 BB/K ratio. Russ Haltiwanger, on the other hand, is at single A Wilmington for us, where he had a middling ERA last year. When I first looked at this, I thought, "Wow, we were robbed here. I certainly would rather have Keppinger starting at SS right now over TPJ, and this pitcher is a bust."

Instead though, let's look at what it tells us about our GM. In this same 6 month period, the Graffanino for De La Rosa trade was made, along with the MacDougal for Lumsden/Cortes trades were made. Both, I think we would all say, were good moves for the depth of young pitching in the organization. The Keppinger trade made some sense at the time. Keppinger had done nothing extraordinary, and Haltinger was another young arm. Most importantly, it brought in depth in the prospect staff. Now, so far this trade has turned out bad for the Royals, but the strategy under which it was made, has not.

You see, this trade shows Moore's strategy in a nutshell. Young arms are top priority, then we will worry about everything else. Due to this philosophy, we have a solid starting rotation for the first time in years, and plenty of prospects in the minors. I think it is what will lead us into contention over the next few years.

So while Keppinger maybe got away - remember the strategy. I think this Moore guy just might know what he is doing.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Matrix

Clearly, I am Neo, living in an alternate reality where my Kansas City Royals are really good at baseball.

A few stats from this universe before someone unplugs me:
1. The Royals are 3-0 since the dream year of 2003. And for the second time in 28 years.
2. The Royals' team ERA is 1.55 and leads the AL
3. Alex Gordon leads the league in HRs
4. Joakim Soria leads the league in saves
5. The Royals have the best record in baseball.
6. All of those statistics have been accumulated against the prohibitive favorite to win the AL Central, the Tiggers.

Incredible. Now we will see what the new starter Bale can do, along with the shaky (at best) Tomko.

On another note, I will be periodically reporting on the newly minted NWA Naturals this season, the new AA affiliate of our beloved Royals.

Last night, in their first game ever, they defeated the San Antonio Missions 6-4. Highlights included:

  • OF Jose Duarte reaching base all 5 times (3-3, 2 walks, and 2 SBs)
  • OF Brian McFall showing off some power going 2-4 with a HR and a triple
  • Top prospect Carlos Rosa with a strong 4 inning start. He allowed 2 ER on 6 hits, but walked no one and struck out 5. Rosa is on the Royals MLB 40-man roster.
  • A solid 2.2 innings from Dusty Hughes to earn the win, giving up no runs, 1 hit, and 1 BB.

Can't wait for their home opener on the 10th.

Looking for the Oracle,


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Two and Oh!

Wow who called this...

What a DOMINATING performance. Gotta love Bannister showing last year was not a fluke and spring training was meaningless. That was a truly impressive performance. Soria sittin down 2-4 hitters with all K's was also just incredible.

I'm so excited for Greink's start tomorrow I can hardly sit still. I anticipate that he is going to have at least a quality start.

Anyway, gotta keep moving.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Wow. The Kansas City Royals are undefeated. They are also in first place, have a winning streak, and are above .500.

Yes, I realize that we are one game into the season. I don't care. There have been far too many seasons recently that begin with a multi-game losing streak, pouring huge amounts of ice cold water on my fandom before I even get out of April. I am genuinely excited and filled with ridiculous expectations AND I DON'T CARE!!!!!!!!

Now seriously - some great things I saw from the game, and some scary things too.

Good things:
1. Grudz is fine. Great performance by him at the plate. I was worried about his health and limited Spring ABs, but he looked good.
2. Nunez. MVP of the game yesterday with 2 crucial innings of shutting down the mighty Tiggers.
3. Gordon. Long ball!!!! It is crucial for him to not repeat the negative start from last year. While 1-5 isn't great, the two run homer was huge.
4. Soria. While shaky at first, he closed the door to earn the first save.
5. Meche. He did get hit a lot, but his Ks were up and remember, this is the best lineup in the league right now.
6. Hillman. It's a big deal to get started positively for the new skip.

Troublesome things:
1. Guillen. He did have the assist from right (justifying his persistence to play there), but he is looking beyond bad at the plate. No likey his bat - or his steriod reputation.
2. DeJesus. Let's hope these little injuries aren't a pattern.
3. Tomko. Biggest questionable move in my mind. Why was he in? Of course, he lived up to expectations giving up the game-tying bomb.

Can't wait for Wednesday. And I can't remember the last time I was this excited for the second game of the season.