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Thursday, October 04, 2012

Jazayerli: 2013 Is Our Time. Or Else.

Hell remains being a Royals fan.

And then there’s Oakland. Of course there is. The A’s have been the polar opposite of the Royals since Sandy Alderson was the GM and Billy Beane was a fourth outfielder. The A’s are the team of Moneyball; the Royals, as I outlined in my last article, have been the most anti-Moneyball team in the major leagues for the last quarter-century. It’s not just the walks, although of course they have the fewest walks in baseball over that span. It’s the attitude that the Royals have towards using modern baseball theory.

Oh yeah, some MVP jabber.

Of course, in the same interview, [GM Dayton] Moore was asked whether he thought Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout was the deserving MVP. As Buster Olney wrote (and Bob Dutton confirmed), with one exception, EVERY front office person he’s interviewed has said that they’d (correctly, in my not-so-humble opinion) vote for Trout, who is nearly Cabrera’s equal with the bat and is vastly superior with his legs and glove.

Moore, naturally, picked Cabrera, because he won the Triple Crown, and by the statistical standards we used in 1975, that makes him the best player. Only it’s not 1975 anymore. The A’s led the way into the 21st century, and are going to the playoffs in a year in which even their most fervent supporters thought was a rebuilding year. The Royals lag behind, and they’ve treaded water in a year in which most people thought they’d take a step forward.

Greg Franklin Posted: October 04, 2012 at 02:05 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, moneyball, royals

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   1. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: October 04, 2012 at 06:12 AM (#4253507)
What's he complaining about? KC had their chance with the Athletics.
   2. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 04, 2012 at 07:50 AM (#4253535)
To give you an example: the A’s won 74 games last year, and quite reasonably decided that a 74-win team didn’t need an elite closer. So Andrew Bailey, who in three seasons with the A’s had a 2.47 ERA and 81 saves, was traded to Boston for three young players. The Royals, who won fewer than 74 games year after year despite having a better closer than Andrew Bailey, chose to hold on to Joakim Soria because of some mystical notion that a great closer was like a security blanket, and that if they forced another pitcher into the ninth inning role, the psyche of the entire bullpen would collapse. So they kept Soria, and wound up with bupkis.

Meanwhile, without Soria this season, the bullpen nevertheless had the best season in franchise history. Greg Holland was forced into the closer’s role after Jonathan Broxton was traded, and was so traumatized by the pressure that he saved his first 13 opportunities.


FTA. I always wondered why the Royals didn't cash in on Soria.

He's right, though, there's no reason the Royals can't compete next year.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4253571)
It is kinda weird the Pirates and Royals haven't lucked into an Orioles-type season in twenty years. I guess the Royals kinda did in 2003, but 83 wins in a weak division is hardly the same thing as winning the AL East.
   4. Greg Schuler Posted: October 04, 2012 at 09:31 AM (#4253600)
Well, the Pirate have now twice gotten to 79 wins in their epic run of losing-ness. And once the SEAL-trained minor league prospects ascend (hopefully in a nice stack or conga line as they clear the bases, or dugout), it'll be a thing of the past.

As far as the Royals - living in their Class A town and watching the minor leaguers troops through, I wonder about the quality of instruction.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: October 04, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4253613)
Does the success of the O's and the A's finally put to the grave the line of thinking that a terrible team shouldn't acquire so-and-so because so-and-so won't be on that franchises 'next good team'?
   6. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4253631)
Just keep those revenue sharing payments rolling in to ownership accounts, surely something good will come out of it eventually.
   7. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4253651)
He's right, though, there's no reason the Royals can't compete next year.


Lets' see

1: Hosmer rebounds out of his sophomore slump, hits like 2011
2: Moosetacos gains another 7 OPS+ and cracks 100
3: Gordon splits 2011/12
4: Butler holds serve
5: Take PT from Frenchy and give to Cain...

You can get the offense up to league average, maybe a little over

pitching:
1: PULL THE PLUG ON HOCH

Yeah, things break right you can get an 80-85 win team

Need a #1 starters or 2 #2s if you want a reasonable shot at 90
   8. plink Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4253695)
#7 -- surely competing next year would involved giving a chunk of playing time to Myers?
   9. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4253702)
Eric Hosmer is a lost cause. You need to trade for a proven veteran leader, someone like Ryan Howard.
   10. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4253715)
It is kinda weird the Pirates and Royals haven't lucked into an Orioles-type season in twenty years.


I don't think it is. The Orioles didn't luck into an Orioles-type season for 17 years.
   11. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4253724)
The other point that Rany makes that teams like the Royals should really pay attention to is the value of platooning. The A's got a hell of a lot of production this year platooning with Moss/Carter/Gomes/Smith. The nice thing about guys like that from a small market perspective, too, is that they are relatively cheap to guys who can play every day.

#7 -- surely competing next year would involved giving a chunk of playing time to Myers?

The scenario I envision for the Royals competing definitely involves Myers playing well.
   12. Don Malcolm Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4253756)
Or else--what? He'll quit being a Royals' fan? AGAIN??!!

Proposed title for next year's edition, early October 2013: "This time I REALLY MEAN IT!!!"
   13. McCoy Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4253768)
Platooning may be cheap but it is also really really hard to pull off effectively and to do it year in and year out is virtually impossible.
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4253783)

Lets' see

1: Hosmer rebounds out of his sophomore slump, hits like 2011
2: Moosetacos gains another 7 OPS+ and cracks 100
3: Gordon splits 2011/12
4: Butler holds serve
5: Take PT from Frenchy and give to Cain...

You can get the offense up to league average, maybe a little over

pitching:
1: PULL THE PLUG ON HOCH

Yeah, things break right you can get an 80-85 win team


Simply not playing Sanchez and Frenchy adds four wins alone.


The other point that Rany makes that teams like the Royals should really pay attention to is the value of platooning. The A's got a hell of a lot of production this year platooning with Moss/Carter/Gomes/Smith. The nice thing about guys like that from a small market perspective, too, is that they are relatively cheap to guys who can play every day.


I agree, but they have mostly guys that should be playing every day in their lineup either because they're good (Gordon, Butler) or young (Hosmer, Moustakas) and I don't see big splits from most of their hitters.
   15. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4253793)
I'd bet on else.
   16. Topher Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4253834)
Jeremy Guthrie pitched well for them, but he's a free agent, no?

So in this hypothetical Royals in 2013 are the A's/O's of 2012, as the roster currently stands the playoff rotation would be Luis Mendoza, Bruce Chen, Will Smith, and Jake Odorizzi.

Seems like the only way 2013 would be "our time" as suggested would be if the Royals signed an entirely new rotation in the offseason. Or maybe just four, Odorizzi seems like he's a decent prospect.
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4253840)

Jeremy Guthrie pitched well for them, but he's a free agent, no?


Yea, but they seem pretty intent on overpaying to keep him re-signing him.

Luis Mendoza, Bruce Chen, Will Smith, and Jake Odorizzi.


Luke Hochevar sucks but will probably be in there. There is also a chance Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulno return from injury by next October.
   18. Morph Posted: October 04, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4254090)
Salvador Perez is a very interesting player. He just *looks* like a perennial All Star catcher, though I know there are some concerns about his plate discipline. The Royals will have a pretty impressive collection of talent next season. The front office needs to make some prudent pitching decisions.
   19. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 04, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4254152)
#7 -- surely competing next year would involved giving a chunk of playing time to Myers?


DOH! Smacks own head

It's quite possible he will not make much of an MLB impact for a year or two, either due to a rough transition period or the Royals screwing around.

Moore is signed through 2014, that doesn't mean he'll make it through 2014, most MLB teams have shown no problem eating be the last year of a GM/Manager's contract when they decide to make a change, sure Glass is a cheap penny pinching SOB as MLB owners go, but Moore's salary is more than accounted for by less draft day spending, and he can always pull the $ out of whatever budget he gives Moore's successor. What I'm saying is the clock is ticking for Moore- and he knows it, and this may be a very uncomfortable time for Royals fans- he could easily st this franchise back to where he found it if he tries to goose a winning team out of it- especially since while his regime has shown some adeptness at drafting and developing talent, they have shown next to zero ability at assessing MLB level skill.
   20. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 04, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4254162)
Seems like the only way 2013 would be "our time" as suggested would be if the Royals signed an entirely new rotation in the offseason. Or maybe just four, Odorizzi seems like he's a decent prospect.

I think the 2012 Orioles signed an entirely new rotation halfway through the season, so that's definitely doable.

Royals playoff starters, Orioles style
C Salvador Perez
1B Eric Hosmer
2B Jack Hannahan
SS Alcides Escobar
3B Mike Muskox
LF Mitch Maier
CF Lorenzo Cain
RF Ryan Doumit
DH Billy Butler
SP Randy Wolf
SP Mike Pelfrey
SP Josh Tomlin
SP Walter Silva
SP Ryan Rowland-Smith
RP Vin Mazzaro (ERA 1.23)
RP Greg Holland (ERA 1.55)
RP Aaron Crow (ERA 1.61)
RP Tim Collins (ERA 1.87)
RP Pedro Beato (ERA 1.91)
RP Jonathan Colonelangus (ERA 2.04)
RP Jonathan Abadabadango (ERA 2.11)
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4254172)
It is kinda weird the Pirates and Royals haven't lucked into an Orioles-type season in twenty years. I guess the Royals kinda did in 2003, but 83 wins in a weak division is hardly the same thing as winning the AL East.

The Orioles didn't win the AL East.
   22. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 04, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4254176)
It is kinda weird the Pirates and Royals haven't lucked into an Orioles-type season in twenty years.

I don't think it is. The Orioles didn't luck into an Orioles-type season for 17 years.


Well the Royals kind of did-
2003
Seriously, ever see Bill James' description of what usually makes a "miracle team"
It was something along the lines of young team improving, one position player REALLY stepping up, a pitcher or two really stepping up...

The 2012 team that 2/3 of the way through that seemed to fit that bill was.... The Pirates- McCutchen seemed to have made THE LEAP, McDonald had stepped forward, AJ Burnett of all people had stabilized the staff, good young position players stepping up (walker, Alvarez) and then poof.

The Orioles? It looks like very player either held serve or improved by 5-10%, and they ran the board in 1 run games (29-9)- 11 wins over pythag is A LOT, I mean it's not unprecedented, there are 30 teams but +11 doesn't happen very year.
   23. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: October 04, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4254195)
and they ran the board in 1 run games (29-9)- 11 wins over pythag is A LOT, I mean it's not unprecedented, there are 30 teams but +11 doesn't happen very year

I think this is a key element here, along with 13-2 in extra innings (probably some overlap there but I don't know how to check that). Every year some team outperforms its pythag by a ton or has a great record in one run games or whatever. People always want to ascribe that to an inherent quality of the team, but most often it's luck.

EDIT: The Pirates went 28-29 in one run games. Give them the Orioles' winning percentage in one run games and the Pirates win 94. For example.
   24. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4255065)
People always want to ascribe that to an inherent quality of the team, but most often it's luck.


In 2007 the DBacks went 90-72 despite having a 79-83 pythag, in 2008 they went 82-80

In 2009 the Mariners went 85-77 despite having a pythag of 75-87, in 2010 they went 61-101

On the bright side, in 1984 the Mets went 90-72 with a Pythag of 78-84- and in 1985 they went 98-64

   25. escabeche Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4255078)
I don't think it is. The Orioles didn't luck into an Orioles-type season for 17 years.


Then again, the Orioles over the years have been Pythag underperformers much more than they've been Pythag overachievers. In the string of 14 losing seasons they outscored their opponents three times, in 1998, 1999, and 2004. So it might be better to say that the Orioles lucked their way OUT of a respectable season several times.

   26. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4255096)
On the bright side, in 1984 the Mets went 90-72 with a Pythag of 78-84- and in 1985 they went 98-64
So all the Orioles need to do in order to prevent a backslide is add 1985 Dwight Gooden. No problem!
   27. escabeche Posted: October 05, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4255108)
So all the Orioles need to do in order to prevent a backslide is add 1985 Dwight Gooden.


Didn't you notice? We already brought him up and he pitched an inning and 2/3 scoreless.
   28. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 05, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4255141)
On the bright side, in 1984 the Mets went 90-72 with a Pythag of 78-84- and in 1985 they went 98-64
So all the Orioles need to do in order to prevent a backslide is add 1985 Dwight Gooden. No problem!


1: 1985 Gooden
2: Add future HOF (who would still have one last peak year left)- Gary Carter
3: Have your under 30 staff improve across the board (not just Dr. K)

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