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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Royals Newsbeat

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Alex Gordon a Value Buy in Free Agency | FanGraphs Baseball

Gordon isn’t getting seven years. Five years at $90 million is a real possibility.

A seven-year contract for Gordon does not make a lot of sense, but if the FanGraphs crowd is correct and Gordon receives a five-year contract for $90 million or even Dave Cameron’s four year, $92 million prediction, that represent be a decent value. The Royals were in the middle-tier when it came to payroll last season and given attendance and another World Series run, Gordon might fit the team very well moving forward. There is risk in signing any player in his 30s to a long-term contract, and Gordon is no different. However, it is possible that either Gordon’s age or his injury this past season is keeping his price down. In free agency, Gordon looks to be a decent bet to fulfill the obligations of his contract in a manner with which his team will be quite pleased.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2015 at 07:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, free agents, royals

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sullivan: Quick Study: The Effect of Defense on a Low-Strikeout Staff

One area I have not seen quantified is the effect a good defense (such as that possessed by the Royals) might have when combined with a low-strikeout pitching staff. Would a good defensive team’s pitchers and defense record more outs and post lower ERAs than FIPs? Probably some, but also how much of difference would it actually make? I decided to perform a quick study to see if there was anything to my little theory.

JE (Jason) Posted: November 23, 2015 at 01:36 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, fip, royals

Friday, November 20, 2015

There will be three games on Opening Day, not just one

Royals fans can wash down their hot dogs with the tears of Mets players.

Major League Baseball and ESPN just did something kinda cool. Rather than give us the one “Opening Day” game on Sunday night followed by a bunch of day games the next day, this year we’re going to get three games on the Sunday which opens the season and it’s going to get going at 1PM Eastern.

Here’s the schedule — for ESPN anyway — for Sunday April 3 and Monday April 4, just released:


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 20, 2015 at 07:34 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: espn, mets, opening day, royals

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Kansas City Royals: the anti-Moneyball team | The Kansas City Star

How can a person who makes his living with the written word have such poor reading comprehension? Tip: Moneyball isn’t about OBP being the Holy Grail; it’s about finding undervalued assets. 

Dayton Moore and the Royals organization took a beating from some critics for not emulating the Moneyball formula for success. But Dayton Moore and the Royals had a formula of their own; one that has proven to be more successful than the Moneyball approach.

Here’s one more quote from Moneyball:

“There was a truly astonishing discrepancy between Billy Beane and every other general manager in the business. There was no question that Billy was the best in the game.”

GM Dayton Moore has been criticized and GM Billy Beane has been lionized, but only one of them has led his team to two American League titles and a World Series championship.

It ain’t Billy Beane.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 06:54 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: moneyball, royals

Sunday, November 08, 2015

David Glass plays big role in Royals’ success |

The Royals and Marlins are polar opposites.

Moore embraced the same approach that allowed the Royals to advance to the postseason seven times during the 10-year stretch from 1976-85, capped off by their first World Series championship in franchise history. He supplemented home-grown players with proven veterans—an opportunity he was given because Glass gave his GM the time to build a foundation instead of looking for a quick-fix to the long-term struggles of the franchise. Glass avoided the temptation of trying to appease fans by firing and hiring for the sake of firing and hiring.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 08, 2015 at 07:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Saturday, November 07, 2015


To copy the Royals, the Dodgers and the Yankees would have to strip their payrolls and start over. The Yankees would also have to jettison their vastly overrated general manager, Brian Cashman, and find a general manager more adept at putting a roster together and not do it by throwing the Yankees’ millions at free agents.


bobm Posted: November 07, 2015 at 08:32 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: dayton moore, dodgers, rays, royals, yankees

Friday, November 06, 2015

Were the Mets Ever Really in It?

A look at the World Series from a probability-added perspective raises some questions:

  1. Did the Mets *really* contend?
  2. Was Sally Perez the best choice for MVP?
  3. How big a deal was Murphy’s game four error?

Quick answers, in reverse order: big deal but not the biggest; i’m leaning “no” but remain open-minded; not as well as they seemed to at the time.

J-Doug Posted: November 06, 2015 at 03:53 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, sabermetrics, world series

Bill James Online: Fleming: Royal Revolution

The higher the strikeout rate goes, the more the pendulum of value swings away from the quality of contact, and towards just making contact.

This is what the Royals are capitalizing on. What makes the pitchers on a team like the Mets so good is that they can count on getting a lot of strikeouts. The Royals took that away from the Mets: they didn’t give the Mets pitchers easy punch-outs. They said: “If you want to get out of this jam, you better make plays.” The Mets didn’t, and they lost the series.

The Royals are winning because they’ve hoarded players with a skillset that isn’t historically valuable, but it is valuable in the current contexts of how baseball is played today. The value of contact correlates directly with the strikeout rate: the Royals have found themselves with the most contact-prone team in baseball, at a moment when it actually matters.

That’s one trend that the Royals are vanguard on. The other is their bullpen.


bobm Posted: November 06, 2015 at 08:00 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals

Thursday, November 05, 2015

‘World Series’ Ratings Hit 12-Year Game 5 Viewership High

People must have tuned in to see Joe Buck’s beard!

The final scores are in, at least for one of the big games last night, and you have to call it a home run for Fox. With an audience of 17.2 million watching the Kansas City Royals beat the New York Mets 7-2 in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series, the net saw the highest Game 5 viewership since 2003. That Game 5 between the New York Yankees and the Florida Marlins snagged a crowd of 19.9 million. Let’s add some more history to that and note that the victory brought the Royals their first World Series since 1985.

Compared to last year’s World Series Game 5 between the Royals and the San Francisco Giants (a series the Bay Area team won), last night’s game was up 37% in total viewers. In the adults 18-49 demographic, Sunday’s winning game got a 5.1 rating, which was up 55% over last year’s October 26 game. The 2014 World Series went to seven games, with the final match-up getting a 6.6 rating on October 29 after what had been a record-low series. Up against the seven games of 2014, this year’s World Series bopped up 6% in total viewership — even with two fewer games.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 05, 2015 at 11:33 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball is dead, fox, mets, royals, television ratings, world series

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Royals’ remarkable run rewards fans beyond belief

Rany, they are all good.

So here’s to the 2015 Royals, for taking us there. For being the team I’ve waited my entire life to root for. For dominating the regular season from start to finish. For being the most unkillable baseball team October has ever seen. For finishing the season with a Game 5 that so perfectly embodied their season that it’s as if they had planned it all along.

If I live another 50 years, I may never see another Royals championship. Even if I do, I will probably never see another championship as gratifying as this one. And you know what? That’s okay. This was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of season. This was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of team. Sports are pain. And then, suddenly, they are perfection.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 04, 2015 at 06:00 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, world series

Jonny Gomes wins un-politically correct MVP of Royals parade | CSN Bay Area

Where will the good luck charm land?

This is what Jonny Gomes said at the Kansas City Royals World Series parade (attended by twice as many people as actually live in Kansas City, meaning that for the first time ever there was no lunch line at Oklahoma Joe’s) while holding an American flag for those revelers who thought they had been transplanted overnight by alien whim to Belgium:

“It’s unbelievable what those boys did,” Gomes said. “It’s unbelievable what they did! It’s unbelievable what they did! They stole bases, they hit homers. Hey guess what, Cy Young winner, not on our team, beat him. Rookie of the year, not on our team, we beat him. MVP of the whole league, (turns around) sorry guys, not on our team. But we beat that guy too! You know why we beat them. Because all of you all people had our backs. And Dayton Moore put this team together and (Ned) Yost delivered it by being the captain of the ship. You all want to be politically correct, I’m the un-politically correct person. We whooped their ass!”

Now find the un-politically correct thing in that paragraph. I’ll give you just 63 years.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 04, 2015 at 06:45 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: jonny gomes, royals, world series

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Let’s build a Scouting Report on Lucas Duda’s arm

You’ve got an opinion on the Eric Hosmer play. Y’know, the one where he broke from third on a ground ball that didn’t get out of the infield grass and scored the tying run in the ninth inning of the World Series? Y’know, the one where if he would have been out, the game would have been over but he wasn’t and now the Royals are world champions? That’s the one. You’ve got an opinion on the Hosmer play, I’ve got an opinion on the Hosmer play, and even if you say you don’t have an opinion on the Hosmer play, well, that’s your opinion.

Zach Posted: November 03, 2015 at 07:34 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: eric hosmer, lucas duda, mets, royals

TomoNews: Kansas City Royals destroy the New York Mets to win the World Series

You have got to see this Taiwanese animated video summarizing the World Series. It’s worth the 30 second commercial.

Monday, November 02, 2015

One Inning, Two Decisions, One Champion (Baseball Prospectus)

A few batters later, Hosmer had his own choice, and he decided to go home. Third baseman David Wright fielded a groundball with one out, looked at Hosmer, but with third base unoccupied (Wilmer Flores somewhat sheepishly ran over to cover, but he was going to be far too late to matter) Hosmer was able to hold his pretty-good lead off the bag and leave as soon as Wright fired to first. It was going to be close. Lucas Duda misfired. The throw wasn’t caught. Hosmer scored. “Brilliant baserunning!” Joe Buck said.

· Was it?

· Does it matter?

Davo Posted: November 02, 2015 at 02:39 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball prospectus, mets, royals, world series

Long May They Reign

Poz weighs in as only Poz can.

This will be a story about luck and magic and the Kansas City Royals, but why don’t we start with Art Stewart? That’s him over there by the wall, yes, the little guy, the scout with tears in his eyes. He’s 88 now, and he has been in this game long enough that he timed a young Mickey Mantle running to first base. Positive? Nobody has ever been more positive. One time, after the Kansas City Royals drafted a young outfielder named Chris Lubanski, the Royals brought the kid to Kauffman Stadium to take batting practice.

“Men,” Art told us all. “You will remember this day for the rest of your lives.”

Lubanski didn’t pan out; few Royals prospects seemed to pan out in those years, but we all remembered the day because of Art Stewart’s unquenchable and untouchable and unreasonable faith in baseball and promise and the Kansas City Royals turning it around someday.

Perry Posted: November 02, 2015 at 01:36 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: posnanski, royals

Slate: The Mets’ Anti-Gay Daniel Murphy Lost His Team The World Series. Good

This is a real article that was actually written by someone.

“I don’t think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent.” [...]

Of course, Murphy has every right to hold these beliefs, which earned him praise from such luminaries as the Westboro Baptist Church. He does not have a right to expand on them without discipline. Had an MLB player said something bigoted about a black or Jewish player, the league would have reprimanded him. Instead, it took no serious action against Murphy, effectively ratifying his views as reasonable and harmless.

Esoteric Posted: November 02, 2015 at 01:13 PM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, wtf

Why a Royals scouting report was start of the Mets’ demise (New York Post)

“Make [Lucas] Duda throw the ball. Make [Travis] d’Arnaud throw the ball,’’ was presented to every Royals player.

Davo Posted: November 02, 2015 at 10:42 AM | 151 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, scouting reports, world series

The Royals Are A Sabermetrics Team – The Hardball Times

Alex Skillin does a great job identifying why the Royals are winning. Of course, you don’t have to believe him. You could just believe what Dayton Moore said himself in his book, More Than a Season: Building a Championship Culture. I’ve been reading the book which has some interesting insight into Dayton Moore. I recommend it.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 02, 2015 at 10:04 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dayton moore, royals, world series

Even by championship standards, this Royals team is special | The Kansas City Star

Every championship is sacred.

Every champion is remembered fondly, but this one is different even by that high standard. Some of that is in wiping away two decades of losing, and some of that is in the way they attacked every day, every game, every inning, every pitch. Kansas Citians bought more tickets than ever before, and spent more time watching on TV than ever before. Following this team became more than a pastime, and more than a habit. It is now an addiction.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 02, 2015 at 07:59 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, world series

Royals Run to a Crown No Longer Out of Reach - The New York Times

Congrats to the Royals fans!

Jim Furtado Posted: November 02, 2015 at 07:49 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, world series

Posnanski: Royals, Flush: How Kansas City built a team to be envied

How did the Royals reach the playoffs in 2013, win the World Series in ‘15 and then dominate the latter part of the decade? Well, it was that minor league system ... that amazing Kansas City Royals minor league system.

Congratulations, Kansas City.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Hard times for the Mets

Baseball is not sweet. Baseball is not a good guy. Baseball is judgmental, a tough dad. Baseball is tougher than manganese molybdenum. Those who ignore this and want to cling to its sweetness—a sixty-six-year-old manager getting into the World Series for the first time after more than forty years in the game, a beloved team captain hitting a home run in a winning cause after painful struggles with physical disability, a local kid pitching in front of his mom and dad—will get their heads handed to them later in the evening. Never mind what’s happened, baseball says, Go and be perfect again tonight.

Zach Posted: November 01, 2015 at 06:48 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, mets being mets, royals, world series

Matt Harvey is the Mets last hope to keep World Series dream alive | Politi |

Of course, if the team doesn’t player better defense and the bullpen continues to misfire, even a great performance by Harvey won’t be enough.

“It seems like when he has a below-average Matt Harvey start, he comes back the next start a lot better,” Mets captain David Wright said. “He’s seen this lineup, he has seen kind of what they’re all about. And I know he’s one of the best at making adjustments, so I’m sure he’s gonna go in with a good game plan and go pitch like Matt Harvey can pitch.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 01, 2015 at 08:41 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets, royals, world series

Jeurys Familia blew the Mets’ lead, but he had lots of help | New York Post

How much will Murphy get in free agency?

“For me, in my mind, it’s still the same. Every time I go in to pitch I just want to get the hitter to hit a ground ball with the first pitch I throw,” Familia said. “That’s what I tried tonight, every time I pitch. It doesn’t matter if I have men on base. I don’t try to put pressure on myself. I just want to believe in myself. I know I can do it.”

He got the grounder. Murphy made an error. Tie game. Familia got another grounder. That one, by Mike Moustakas, got through to right field cleanly. Royals up, 4-3. Salvador Perez went line drive to right, 5-3 Royals. Finally, the horror inning ended with an Alex Gordon double play.

“For me, I just try to forget and move forward,” said Familia, who tied the Mets record with 43 regular-season saves and then racked up five more in the postseason before blowing saves in Games 1 and 4. “It doesn’t matter what happened. I tried to forget, move forward.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 01, 2015 at 08:38 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, world series

Sleight of hand works for Royals, too, as they capitalize on Mets’ goofs for 3-1 Series lead | The Kansas City Star

Trailing 3-2 on Saturday, a Royals team that for 13 months has thrived on the sorcery of the comeback conjured yet another on decidedly slim pickings:

Walks to Ben Zobrist and Lorenzo Cain; a tame grounder by Eric Hosmer that magically bypassed the glove of second baseman Daniel Murphy; and a Mike Moustakas single to right just past the groping Murphy.

Sal Perez made it 5-3 with the only emphatic hit of the inning, and, shazam, the Royals’ comeback recipe was punctuated by a six-out shutdown from closer Wade Davis.

“It’s just kind of how the ball bounced today,” Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas said. “It kind of rolled right for us.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 01, 2015 at 08:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, world series

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