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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Royals are not the future of baseball | FOX Sports

The Kansas City Royals might very well win the World Series. That would certainly be wonderful for them, but of course, it will come at a price for the rest of us. There are already pieces about how everyone should be like the Royals, and a World Series win would mean that we’€™d all be treated to another 50 or so of those pieces. There are many commendable things about how the Royals were built and how they play ball, but let’€™s take a look at the evidence and ask the question: Are the Royals the future of baseball?

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2014 at 08:50 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals - Recap - October 21, 2014 - ESPN

Giants draw first blood.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2014 at 06:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, royals, world series

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

As Focus Faded and Losses Piled Up, Royals Change Their Game

When Kuntz walked inside the room, he saw a scene that had become all too familiar in recent weeks: a collection of Royals with their heads down, eyes locked on their iPads. The game was called “Clash of Clans,” and for a period of time this summer, its excessive usage by members of this club exasperated the coaching staff.

“At that time, in that situation, it’s really disappointing,” said Kuntz, the team’s first-base coach. He added, “You just got to a point where you go, ‘What’s the priority here? Is this just three hours out of your time, spent away from what you’re actually being interested in?

‘We’ve got to find a way to get this changed, so that the priority is the game, and all this other stuff is secondary.’ ”

Bourbon Samurai Posted: October 21, 2014 at 01:55 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, video games

Baseball Prospectus | Pebble Hunting: An Illustrated Guide to the People of Kauffman Stadium

Swinging rally towels? Tsk, tsk.

FYI, BP is free this week.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 21, 2014 at 10:48 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: royals


Monday, October 20, 2014


Calcaterra: So, if you’re not a fan of the Royals or Giants, who ya got?

ROYALS CON:

   Ned Yost is, objectively, not a good manager and sometimes it’s really hard to see people fall into success despite themselves. This could be mitigated against if, as he sort of did during the ALCS, he shows that he’s learning from his mistakes on the fly, but it’s also possible Yost Yosts it up, the Royals nonetheless win and we’re stuck with a winter in which we’re subjected to “Ned Yost: smarter than you think” articles.

I assume folks will tilt hard towards the Royals but I’m going Giants.  Number one reason is that I would like to see Tim Hudson get a ring.  Number two is similar to above.  I hate to see stupidity rewarded. 

 

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: October 20, 2014 at 04:29 AM | 100 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, royals, world series

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Could the Yankees ever be Royals? Young and athletic K.C. is everything that Bombers are not - NY Daily News

The Yankees are sinking in the standings because they have been applying patches to a problem which requires some dry dock time. It’s not because the game has shifted to benefit fast defenders.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2014 at 09:00 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, yankees

Saturday, October 18, 2014

San Francisco Giants save best for last in journey back to World Series | FOX Sports

Please, for the love of baseball, keep the Steve Perrys and Neil Diamonds away from the game broadcasts.

Unlike Peavy, who finally got his long-awaited ring last season with Boston, starter Tim Hudson has waited a teenager’s lifetime to even sniff the World Series.
Now, at 39, he finally gets his chance.

“You go 16 years without being able to experience something like this, you wonder if it’s going to happen,” he said in the locker room. “It’s hard to put into words. It almost feels surreal, like in a dream.”
Barely able to contain his smile, Hudson added, “I can’t believe it’s finally happened.”
With former Journey lead singer Steve Perry on hand to lead the hometown fans in three straight days of late-game karaoke, the Giants never did stop believing. Not when they needed a walk-off bunt in Game 3. Not when they surged ahead thanks to a quirky series of events in Game 4.
And when the homer by Ishikawa, who spent much of the year at Triple-A Fresno, landed in the right-field arcade, high out of the reach of Oscar Taveras’ flailing arms, belief had been replaced by a realization: This team may yet again shock the baseball world.
The Giants have won the pennant. Anarchy is coming to Kansas City.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2014 at 10:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, royals, world series

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Breaking down how Royals fought way to American League pennant - MLB - SI.com

The number one team in OF DRS in 2014? The Royals with 45 (Alex Gordon with 27, Lorenzo Cain with 24, and Jarrod Dyson with 14). The number 2 team? The Red Sox with 41 (Jackie Bradley with 14 and Daniel Nava with 17).

As the highlight reels have reminded us throughout this month, a key facet of the Royals’ run prevention was their glovework. The team’s .693 defensive efficiency ranked sixth in the league, their 41 Defensive Runs Saved second. Their infield was actually below average via Defensive Runs Saved, by anywhere from one to six runs, with third base (Mike Moustakas and company) the weakest spot; Ultimate Zone Rating saw them as slightly better, but no more than two runs above average at any of those spots.

Their outfield defense was something truly special, though. Royals outfielders led the majors in both measures; their 46 DRS was two more than the Red Sox and 12 more than the next-closest team, the Marlins, while their 59.8 UZR was 25.5 runs ahead of the Orioles. Gordon, Cain and Dyson all placed in the top 10 in both; the first two were third and fourth in DRS with 27 and 24, respectively. With Dyson often entering the game as the team’s late-inning centerfielder and Cain shifting to right, the team’s centerfielders combined for the AL’s highest totals in both categories to go with Gordon’s MLB-best work in left.

Thanks to that, even with their offensive shortcomings, the Royals’ lineup featured two players worth at least 5.0 WAR (Cain exactly that, Gordon 6.6), with Dyson, Escobar and Perez all between 2.4 and 3.3. Take all the various facets together, and Kansas City’s starters, relievers, catcher, shortstop, and all three outfield spots were above average, with their team WAR of 41.2 ranking fifth in the league behind the Angels (46.8), Orioles (46.1), A’s (45.7) and Tigers (41.7) — all playoff teams.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2014 at 07:55 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, sabermetrics

The Survivor’s Guide to Beating Kansas City’s Ultimate Outfield

Royals outfielders collectively led the league in both DRS and UZR this season, and Gordon, Cain, and Dyson ranked third, fourth, and ninth, respectively, among individual outfielders in DRS. The Royals outfielders’ arms account for some of the strength of their defensive ratings, but they nearly doubled the closest club in UZR Range Runs, which measures only how good they were at getting to balls. “We’re not just talking about a good outfield, or a great outfield,” wrote Baseball Prospectus’s Sam Miller on Monday, noting that the three outfielders’ 2014 DRS totals at the positions they play would prorate to a combined plus-80 over 135 games. “We’re talking about what one might decide to argue is the greatest defensive outfield of all-time.” It’s certainly looked like it lately, as all four Royals outfielders have taken turns topping each other with increasingly spectacular grabs.

Zach Posted: October 16, 2014 at 06:07 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: death to flying things, defense, royals

How the Royals reached the World Series after 29 years of angst - Yahoo Sports

In early December 2012, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Moore called a meeting for the Royals’ braintrust. Scouts and development guys and transaction specialists and sabermetricians filled Moore’s suite and started to argue.

Him was Wil Myers. Him was Jake Odorizzi. Him was Mike Montgomery. Him was Patrick Leonard. They were four prospects in the Royals’ farm system. Myers was one of the best in baseball, Odorizzi another high-reward sort, Montgomery and Leonard each with significant upside. Trading a prospect such as Myers is somewhere between heresy and lunacy in the modern-baseball handbook. Moore disagreed. He needed a starting pitcher. He wanted the decades of losing to stop.
“It was time to win,” Royals assistant GM J.J. Picollo said. “The window for Alex Gordon, Billy Butler and the young guys coming into their own was now. Planning to get to the World Series and the actuality of getting there are two different things.”

Moore believed in himself, in his plan. He told the fans, tired of waiting, to trust the process. The phrase took on a life of its own, the T and P capitalized as the Trust waned and the Process floundered. This was the last step of the process. “Usually when you’re trying to win,” Butler said, “you trade prospects for the veteran guys.”

The veteran guy was named James Shields. He wasn’t one of the 10 best pitchers in baseball, more an excellent No. 2 starter than a lockdown No. 1. No matter. The Royals’ supposedly great class of pitching prospects went belly up, and after days of phone calls to gauge the market, Moore settled on Shields and a maybe-starter, maybe-reliever named Wade Davis.

So he asked the question: “Do we still have a good system?” The answer was overwhelmingly yes, as was the idea the Royals would be better with Shields and Davis than without. Moore consummated the deal. Outrage blazed. Critics accused him of moral hazard, of setting back the franchise years by dealing a potentially dynamic middle-of-the-order bat for two years of a starting pitcher.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2014 at 10:37 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, world series


“The Kansas City Royals Are the Future of Baseball” — someone actually said that. | HardballTalk

A bunch of good Royals links and commentary from Craig Calcaterra over at Hardball Talk. It’s worth reading his take and clicking though on the articles he linked.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2014 at 09:32 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Morosi: Could Cain’s story make baseball king of sports world again?

Seriously thinking of changing my handle to Lorenzo Cain’s #1 Fan. Dude is fun to root for.

McCullough wrote that Cain was cut from the freshman basketball team, and his mother wouldn’t allow him to play football.

“If I would have made the basketball team, there’s no chance I would have played baseball,” Cain told McCullough. “I know that for sure. There’s no chance.”

Cain, 28, came from football country — Madison County High School in northern Florida and Tallahassee Community College. Now he’s the talk of baseball and is poised to earn $2 million or more through salary arbitration next season.

Is this the traditional path to major-league stardom? No, but Cain’s story should remind everyone in the chain of youth sports — high school coaches, college coaches, professional organizations, Major League Baseball and (most importantly) families — that success in baseball is largely a function of athletic ability and the opportunity to play, even if a kid’s first exposure to the game is as a teenager.

Baseball needs to become more aggressive in marketing itself to our country’s best young athletes, at a time when many parents are giving serious thought to whether they want their sons associated with football’s violent culture. For a 16-year-old with equal potential in the two sports, baseball offers a far better future than football by almost any objective measure.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 16, 2014 at 12:00 AM | 108 comment(s)
  Beats: african-americans, basketball, football, lorenzo cain, royals

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fangraphs (Sullivan): Defense Needed The Royals

It’s Jeff Sullivan, with GIFs, talking about defense on Fangraphs. Read it.

The Royals feel like an exaggeration of what defense can do. In this way I can only speak for myself, but when, say, Miguel Cabrera goes on one of his tears, I see him at the plate and I feel like he could hit a dinger at a moment’s notice. I can sense the threat of a slugger, because I’m aware of the range of possible outcomes. The Royals have made me sense a defense. The feeling I get is that every ball in play is doomed. Hit a ball to the outfield and you might as well just walk back to the dugout, unless you hit it 420 feet. Not every ball in play is converted, naturally, but not every slugger plate appearance turns into a handful of bases. It just happens often enough to set the expectation. The expectation is that the Royals will make the out, if it’s in any way possible. [...]

I get how weird it might be to see something of a pro-Royals article on FanGraphs, given, you know. But for one thing, this isn’t specifically about the Royals. And for another, there’s no better current representation of something we all hold to be important. The Royals are like if UZR were a general manager, and while there have been great defensive teams before, the Royals are sensational and the Royals are one win away from the World Series with limited other strengths. Is defense really as important as WAR suggests? I mean, I don’t know with 100% certainty, but the Royals make a hell of an argument. Outs are in — and so are the Royals.


Royals sweep Orioles to earn shot at crown | MLB.com

Congratulations to the Royals and their fans!

Jim Furtado Posted: October 15, 2014 at 07:48 PM | 102 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, playoffs, royals

NBC - Posnanski: Better Off Ned

Joe Posnanski ponders Ned Yost and, inter alia, the recent history of Royals managers:

The players, though, keep on winning for him. “We all know, Ned’s got our backs,” pitcher James Shields says. The Royals best overall player, Alex Gordon, talks at length about how big a role Yost played in his emergence after he was sent to the minors to learn how to play the outfield. “I know that his belief in me has been a big part of my story,” Gordon says. Ibanez, who was brought in more for his leadership than his bat, sees how Yost lets the players be themselves. “This is a fun team, a team with a lot of really fun personalities,” Ibanez says. “I give Ned a lot of credit for letting these young players breathe and enjoy playing the game.”

And this is Moore’s point too: All the strategic things Ned Yost does that may drive people crazy are a miniscule part of a very big job.

“Let me tell you how I look at strategy,” Moore says. “To me, every single one of those 25 players on the roster should be able to do whatever job Ned asks of them. If they can’t do the job, it’s my fault – those are the players I gave him. Those are the players that we, as an organization, targeted and acquired and developed. If they’re not good enough to get outs in the sixth inning or get a key two-out hit, that’s our fault.


Ned Yost did something right for once - SBNation.com

FINALLY!! :/

Jim Furtado Posted: October 15, 2014 at 09:11 AM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: ned yost, royals

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals - October 14, 2014 | MLB.com Box

The Orioles are in deep doo-doo.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 14, 2014 at 11:08 PM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, playoffs, royals

Sunday, October 12, 2014

NY Magazine: How Pro Sports’ Biggest Losers Became World Series Contenders

1. They started spending.
Royals owner David Glass had developed a reputation as a cheapskate, and for good reason. In 2011, the Royals had a payroll of just $38 million — less than a fifth of what the Yankees spent that year. (The Royals record in 2011? A weak 71–91.) In the seasons since, though, they’ve steadily raised that figure: from $64 million in 2012 to nearly $82 million in 2013 to $92 million this year. In 2014, their Opening Day payroll was a middle-of-the-pack 19th, ahead of big-market teams like the Cubs and Mets.

bobm Posted: October 12, 2014 at 09:15 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Pair in Greinke trade coming up Royal in ballclub’s turnaround | FOX Sports

Hearing “hitterish” makes me wince.

Finally, I thought “hitterish” was a newfangled term created by baseball scouts. Nope. When I talked with Hall of Famer Brett in the Royals clubhouse after Game 2, he invoked the term in reference to the emergence of Mike Moustakas. He said the iconic hitting coach Charley Lau used the word during Brett’s playing career to describe batters who look like they’re going to get a hit every time they’re at the plate — even though we know that’s not possible.
If the term is good enough for George Brett, then it’s good enough for me. And by the way, his assessment of Moustakas is correct: The third baseman’s at-bats in the postseason have been thorough and increasingly productive. Moustakas has four home runs in the playoffs, including a shot to right in the fourth inning Saturday.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2014 at 10:01 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball lexicon, royals

What a strange trip it’s been for the Royals and their fans | The Kansas City Star

The Royals are definitely on a roll. How long will it last?

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2014 at 09:32 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs, royals

How a Disgruntled Ace Gave the Royals a Full House - NYTimes.com

Moore and Melvin liked dealing with each other. Each had a scouting background and tended to trust traditional scouting methods more than advanced analytics.

“I have nothing against numbers, but everybody has the same numbers,” Melvin said. “When you’re talking about scouting and player development, that’s risk-taking. If Escobar’s hitting .170, that’s probably not a good deal for them. Same with Cain. But they did a nice job in the last years of their development.”

The teams completed the deal a few days later; Melvin worked on it for hours while visiting his parents in western Ontario. The Brewers also got Yuniesky Betancourt, a veteran shortstop, and included two pitchers in their package for Kansas City — Jeremy Jeffress, a hard-throwing reliever who had served a suspension for recreational drug use, and Jake Odorizzi, a former first-round pick who was still in low Class A.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2014 at 08:44 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: alcides escobar, lorenzo cain, playoffs, royals, zack greinke

Lo and behold: Cain a threat in all phases | MLB.com

Lorenzo Cain is this year’s playoff darling.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2014 at 08:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: lorenzo cain, playoffs, royals

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