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Friday, September 16, 2016

The Royals, not too long ago promising, just got dominated by the rotten A’s | The Kansas City Star

Exhibit 2,157,874: Winning is hard.

“It just isn’t happening, man,” said first baseman Eric Hosmer. “I don’t really know, man. There’s no excuses. Didn’t really feel like their pitching was overpowering, or good enough to hold us, but stuff just didn’t happen.”

These are proud professional athletes, and most of them are accomplished at their sport’s highest level, so most will bristle at what is nonetheless a fairly obvious and noncontroversial observation — they tapped out.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 16, 2016 at 09:38 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Nothing bugs the Royals like doubters, and they’ve still got plenty left

Bugs or propels?

Jim Furtado Posted: September 01, 2016 at 05:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Royals’ Cheslor Cuthbert regularly calls home to check on his chickens

When a young man receives a significant amount of money to sign with a Major League Baseball team, it’s no surprise that he won’t wait long to spend some cash.

You’ve probably heard about ballplayers buying fast, expensive cars or nice clothes or even a big house.

But Royals third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert apparently dropped some money on chickens. Seriously.

Zach Posted: August 24, 2016 at 07:59 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: ain't nobody here but us chickens, cheslor cuthbert, royals

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Kansas City Royals will miss the MLB playoffs; they have too much ground to make up | The Kansas City Star

Sam Mellinger is not optimistic about the Royals.

They have virtually no chance at making the playoffs. Still.

This is true, even now, with eight straight wins and 11 of the last 12. This is true, even now, with a wild-card deficit cut from 9 1/2 games to 3 1/2 . This is true, even now, with the starting rotation soaring and Alex Gordon hitting and Paulo Orlando making a sneaky case for team player of the year.

This is true, even now, for two main reasons:

Math, and July.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2016 at 11:21 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Q&A with the Los Angeles Times’ Andy McCullough on the insecurity of writing, what the Royals did for his career, and Twitter schtick

Interesting candid thoughts from the Dodgers (and former Royals, Mets, and Yankees) beat writer.

This past spring, I stopped by the Royals clubhouse. “We got you promoted!” Eric Hosmer said. In that moment, your insecurity creeps in, and you want to say “Fuck you, I did this on my own!” But that’s not totally true. So I wear it. I’m sure I’ll be connected with Kansas City for a while, and I’ll stomach the occasional dweeb on the Internet telling me I owe my career to the Royals. Only Billy Zane makes his own luck…..

As for good teams and bad teams: Either one can be interesting. The 2010 Mets were a delightful trainwreck: Jose Reyes pulled an oblique muscle, and instead of putting him on the disabled list, the team told him to stop switch-hitting. Francisco Rodriguez fought his spouse’s father at the ballpark and spent the night in a cell at Citi Field; the team put K-Rod on the restricted list, and when a reporter asked Jerry Manuel how the team would welcome K-Rod back next year, Manuel replied, “I’m here next year?” There was the embarrassing Walter Reed incident. Manuel suggested John Maine could make his comeback with the team by pitching on off-days. The team played with, essentially, a 24-man roster for months, because Oliver Perez refused a minor-league assignment, and Manuel refused to use him.

I’m sure I’m forgetting like 15 other ridiculous things. I just assumed all teams were that dysfunctional. As for good teams: You have a clarity of purpose that allows you to put events into context, and it is nice being around players who give a ####. You get a lot more eyeballs on your work when the team is good. My career arc is a testament to that. So, thank you, Dave Eiland, for convincing Ned to run his bullpen better, which got people to read my stories from the playoffs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 19, 2016 at 01:58 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: andy mccullough, dodgers, journalism, mets, royals, writing, yankees

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Billy Bob of the Baseball Movies

But Thornton was more than a fan. At Malvern (about 20 miles from Hot Springs) High School, he had some success as a pitcher. He was good enough to get invited to a Kansas City Royals tryout camp in 1973. And it was there that fate intervened.

On his first day at camp, he was hit by an errant throw during an infield drill. An anonymous but strong-armed third baseman broke his collarbone. Thornton was not participating in the drill but was just a bystander. And so his professional career ended before it even started.

Of course, the odds against any participant in a tryout camp getting a contract, much less making it to the major leagues, are overwhelming. In Thornton’s case, that was particularly true. But baseball’s loss was Hollywood’s gain.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 18, 2016 at 11:16 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball movies, billy bob thornton, hollywood, royals

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The agony of Alex: It’s been a painful season for Royals star Gordon | The Kansas City Star

It’s not a good year for Alexes.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 11, 2016 at 08:52 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, royals

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Ranking all 30 MLB teams by likability

This guy must be a Royals fan.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 03, 2016 at 10:10 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Friday, July 22, 2016

Kansas City Royals add ultrasound system MuscleSound

Looking for an edge.

Kenney says the players remain divided on the new technology, with some fearing that any information—the technology does read the quality of a muscle—will get used against them in future contract talks, but others stay “very, very interested to see where their body is taking them.”

“We are trying to get guys to optimal levels and increase performance levels,” Kenney says. “That is our intended use.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 22, 2016 at 10:22 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, science

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bird was nearly obliterated by a pitch and a bat at Royals game

While Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright was pitching to Cheslor Cuthbert, a bird flew near home plate at Kauffman Stadium.

Not only did the bird narrowly miss the ball, but also the bat as Cuthbert swung.

Zach Posted: June 28, 2016 at 11:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bird, near miss, royals

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Edinson Volquez may have just thrown the worst start of the modern era

Royals starter Edinson Volquez entered Friday night’s appearance against the Astros with a 106 ERA+—meaning, in the simplest terms, he’d been an above-average pitcher on the season when things like his ballpark and the league as a whole were taken under consideration. Volquez then had one of the worst starts in big-league history, thus ensuring that was no longer the case.
Not only was Volquez lifted after recording just three outs—he failed to get anyone out in the second inning—but he yielded 12 runs (11 earned).

It’s worth noting that Volquez’s negative-18 Game Score ranks as the 15th-worst of all-time. All but one of the starts worse than Volquez’s came before World War II, however, with Mike Oquist being the lone contemporary pitcher to perform so horribly—he threw five innings, allowed 14 runs, and gave up four home runs. As such, it would be fair to argue that Volquez’s effort is the worst of modern times.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2016 at 08:27 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: edinson volquez, royals

Sunday, June 19, 2016

George Brett has never stopped trying to please his old man, in spite of it all | The Kansas City Star

We only have one.

George Brett is thinking about his father again, the man who punched him and kicked him and at least once threatened to kill him. George loved the old man. Sometimes people have a hard time understanding that.

George has read stories that say he hated his father, and, sure, there were moments back when he was a kid in Southern California when that was true. But isn’t that how most of us are with our parents?

No, George never hated the man. Not in a real, lasting way, at least. He was scared of him. Scared to death. But that’s different than hate. Jack Brett demanded the best from his kids. There’s something to be said for that.

Father’s Day is this weekend. This summer is 25 years since George’s dad died of cancer. But George would be thinking of him anyway.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 19, 2016 at 09:57 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: george brett, royals


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Royals move on from struggling second baseman Omar Infante, designate him for assignment

Would he still wear a Royals uniform when he starts the All-Star Game?

The Royals officially cut their losses with second baseman Omar Infante on Wednesday, designating him for assignment to clear room on the roster for left-handed pitcher Brian Flynn.

The move results in a significant amount of dead money for the Royals. Infante is still owed roughly 60 percent of his $7.75 million contract this season, which comes out to about $4.7 million. The Royals also are on the hook for $8 million next season and a $2 million buyout in 2018, meaning they still owe him about $14.7 million — an amount that is nearly half of the original four-year, $30.25 million free-agent deal signed in the 2013 offseason.

“It’s a mistake you don’t like to make,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “You don’t like to spend money unnecessarily. You make these types of commitments, and sometimes they don’t work out. You are paid and evaluated so they will work out.”

Infante’s struggles were well documented. In 39 games this season, he batted .239 with a .279 on-base percentage while offering little power and diminished defensive abilities.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 16, 2016 at 04:53 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: omar infante, royals

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

The reason why the Royals have considered trading Yordano Ventura - Yahoo Sports

Another stupid skirmish.

Yordano Ventura, petulant child, roared back to life Tuesday night, when after missing Manny Machado twice with brushback pitches during his second at-bat he planted a 99-mph fastball in Machado’s ribs in the third. Were this some other pitcher, maybe any other, Machado would’ve shaken off the pain and hobbled to first base. That it happened to be someone who in three consecutive starts last season incited benches to clear provided the tinder, kindling and logs for a Machado spark that otherwise would’ve idly died.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 08, 2016 at 09:07 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, royals, yordano ventura

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Royals fans are once again stuffing the ballot boxes for the MLB All-Star Game

As you can see, Royals catcher/warrior-poet Salvador Perez is right now the leading vote-getter in the AL, and he’s right now the only AL-er to top the one million vote mark. Eric Hosmer is also in line to be a starter, as is Lorenzo Cain. Elsewhere, there’s no earthly justification for having Omar Infante ahead of Robinson Cano in the balloting, but fans shall behave like fans. Such are the hazards of direct democracy.
If you recall, Royals fans were put under intense scrutiny a year ago for their manipulation of the All-Star voting process.

The superdelegates will probably keep Omar Infante winning anyway.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 31, 2016 at 04:34 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star voting, royals

Here’s what keeps Royals officials up at night | The Kansas City Star

Winning is difficult.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 31, 2016 at 08:37 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Monday, May 30, 2016

Royals rally to top White Sox for series sweep | MLB.com

Champions doing champion things.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 30, 2016 at 10:05 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, white sox

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Royals rally for 7-run 9th to beat White Sox | MLB.com

“It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 29, 2016 at 08:25 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, white sox

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Epic fall: Royals score seven in ninth to stun White Sox

Tough loss to Omaha, I mean, the Kansas City Royals.

It came the day after the bullpen blew a three-run lead to start a nine-game road trip. It was the Sox’ fifth loss in a row and 13th in their last 17 games and it left more than a couple players sitting at their lockers in stunned silence, a scene more common in late August or September than late May.

“When they won, I was like, ‘This is true?’ I can’t believe it,’’ Sox left fielder and former Royal Melky Cabrera said. “I just can’t believe it.”

Nor could a Sox fan base that saw its team storm to a 23-10 start and six-game lead in the American League Central. As the Cleveland Indians, who took three of four from the Sox at U.S. Cellular Field to start the week, won in Baltimore to knock the Sox out of first for the first time since April 22, “fire Robin Ventura” petitions were circulating on the Internet.

“You get to that ninth, and the way games have been going, you go to the guy to close it out, because we haven’t been able to get to him,’’ said Ventura, noting Robertson’s light workload of four appearances in the last 18 days and his first in five days. “There’s no time clock. If you can’t close it out, that’s what happens. And today we couldn’t close it out.’’

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 28, 2016 at 10:57 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: comebacks, royals, white sox

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Mike Moustakas out with ACL tear

The Royals announced that they have placed third baseman Mike Moustakas on the 15-day disabled list with a tear in his right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and have called up outfielder Brett Eibner from AAA Omaha. Moustakas injured himself in a collision with outfielder Alex Gordon on a foul pop up in Sunday’s game against Chicago. Gordon was placed on the disabled list earlier this week. Moustakas finished the game on Sunday, but missed all three games since then. Moustakas was hitting .240/.301/.500 with 7 HR 13 RBI in 27 games. He has already served a stint on the disabled list this year for an injured thumb.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2016 at 04:58 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: acl, injuries, mike moustakas, royals

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Raul Mondesi Jr. suspended 50 games for PEDs found in cold medicine

Royals prospect Raul Mondesi Jr. has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for Clenbuterol, a performance-enhancing drug, MLB announced Tuesday. The suspension is effective immediately.

Mondesi, 20, is on Kansas City’s 40-man roster, though he is currently in Double-A. His suspension was reduced from 80 games to 50 games because he showed Clenbuterol can be found in cold medicine.

“I took an over-the-counter medication [Subrox-C], which I bought in the Dominican Republic to treat cold and flu symptoms. I failed to read the labeling on the medication or consult with my trainer or team about taking it and did not know it contained a banned substance. I tested positive for that banned substance, with a minuscule amount of Clenbuterol in my system, which could not have possibly enhanced my performance on the field, and now must face the consequences of that mistake.

“I apologize to my organization, my teammates, the fans and everyone who has supported me in my career. Never did I intend to take a substance that would give me an unfair advantage on the field. It is solely my mistake and there are no excuses for my carelessness in not being fully informed of what I put in my body. My goal is to work through this setback and make it back in time to help my organization compete for another World Series title.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 11, 2016 at 05:54 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: peds, raul mondesi, royals

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

When Athletes are left to their own digital dating devices

Tinder’s location-specific search makes an athlete’s road game easier, and longer stays increase the chances of consummating a match, so for MLB players, in particular, scores come in bunches. “Tinder is better for an area you’re not familiar with, so that’s how a lot of guys meet people,” says Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, who’s off the market but estimates that a third of his single colleagues are right swipers. And that number spikes during spring training, when regulars can punch out by the fifth inning. The taken might kill that time with golf and pool parties. The single guys? “They’re having lots of sex out here, and at least half are using Tinder to do it,” says a Cactus Leaguer with the Giants. “It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.”


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Royals continue to defy projections

“I really think the bullpen can explain at least half of that overperformance during the year,” Davenport said. “Their bullpen is that good.”

But how can just one aspect of a team be so disproportionately responsible for underestimating the entire team? Without turning this into a Ph.D. dissertation, we could sum it up a couple of ways.

Many stats define how great this bullpen has been. But it all comes back to this: When the Royals have led after eight innings over the past four seasons, they’ve gone 241-4. When they’ve led after seven, they’ve gone 211-10. So when you win pretty much every game in which you take a lead, over that many years, you’re defying all probability and all norms of bullpen volatility.

Not to mention, Davenport said, that only in the bullpen does a team have “the ability to selectively use [its] best players at key times.” So where most projections assume that players find themselves in a wide variety of random situations, “Wade Davis is not used in a random fashion,” Davenport said, “but at very precise, high-impact times.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 20, 2016 at 11:46 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: pecota, projections, relievers, royals

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