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Monday, April 21, 2014

Posnanski: The Royals: A history of power

BTW, the recent Schur/Poz draft of superheroes went (Schur first): Batman; Superman (Schur had the usual problems with him); Thor; Hulk; Dr. Manhattan (Poz had never heard of him or Watchmen); Wonder Woman; Aquaman (Schur blamed his kid, but good God); Spider-Man (finally); Professor X; Captain America

the Kansas City Royals single season home run record is 36, and Steve Balboni set it almost 30 years ago…

only seven team home run records survive from pre-1996. Six of the seven are impressive home run seasons set by impressive players… And then there is … the Balboni record, which at this point has to be considered one of the eight wonders of the baseball world…

From 1998 to 2007 — the Selig Power Hour Decade — 157 players hit 37-plus home runs. More than 15 per season. Obviously no Royals player was even on that list. But even more remarkably, in that absurd stretch when baseballs were flying out like planes in Atlanta, the Royals had TWO PLAYERS who hit even THIRTY homers: Dean Palmer hit 34 in 1998 and Jermaine Dye hit 33 in 2000.

Yes, that’s right. The Royals have not had a 30-home run hitter since 2000…

The Royals have six home runs all year. At this point, they’re just hoping to break Balboni’s record as a team.

And you have to wonder: Why can’t the Royals catch a break on this home run thing? Other teams catch breaks. Why couldn’t the Royals have drafted Ryan Howard in the fifth round or selected Edwin Encarnacion off waivers or stuck with Jose Bautista (they are one of many teams to have Baustista) or lucked into a Chris Davis or Carlos Pena season? Why?

The answer, I guess, is that there is no answer. They are the Royals. The Balboni abides. In time, the Rockies may crumble, Gibraltar may tumble, they’re only made of clay. But the Steve Balboni record of 36 home runs is here to stay.

The District Attorney Posted: April 21, 2014 at 11:19 AM | 86 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, joe posnanski, royals, steve balboni

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4690228)
The Royals lucked into Gary Gaetti a long time ago, picking him up off waivers. He came just short of breaking Balboni's record. They lucked into Bo Jackson. They got Danny Tartabull for a song. They made a shrewd deal for Jermaine Dye.

The answer though, is the team has never placed much of a value on power.
   2. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 21, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4690237)
one could write the same thing about the twins

Tom Kelley's legacy lives strong on MN
   3. Greg K Posted: April 21, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4690247)
Weird, I had literally no idea that Gary Gaetti played for the Royals. I remember him going to the Angels, but then kind of thought he just faded away.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4690252)
He signed a big contract with the Angels, but sucked and they let him go. The Royals claimed him off waivers and he had a huge 1995 season - .261/.329/.518, finishing 10th in MVP balloting. He hit 35 HR in a shortened season, he almost certainly breaks Balboni's record if they play 162 that year. He then played for the Cards and Cubs. Fun fact: everyone played for the Cubs in the mid-90s.
   5. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: April 21, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4690263)
The Tick is a clear top-5 oversight.

And too lazy to RTFA to see if it's mentioned, but the ballpark is clearly the most important factor. According to some interesting data in this piece, it's the worst flyball park in the majors. It reduces SLG percentage by 140 points!

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-most-interesting-al-contender-boston-red-sox/
   6. cardsfanboy Posted: April 21, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4690274)
BTW, the recent Schur/Poz draft of superheroes went (Schur first): Batman; Superman (Schur had the usual problems with him); Thor; Hulk; Dr. Manhattan (Poz had never heard of him or Watchmen); Wonder Woman; Aquaman (Schur blamed his kid, but good God); Spider-Man (finally); Professor X; Captain America


Not sure what the goal of the draft is, but as I like to "brag"(geek alert) I have every Captain America comic since 1985 so obviously he would have been my first pick. (and as a general rule, I despise all the X-men...superheroes written by writers too lazy to create an origin)and c'mon....Aquaman ahead of Wolverine? Blue Beetle(my personal favorite DC hero)? or Shazam?

As far as Balboni and the Royals... whenever someone does something like this, I wish they would qualify it with a time frame that is based upon since the franchise's inception. From 1969-1998, 36 homeruns would have set the Cardinals record also. Of course the article really did a good job of reflecting on the relative recent time frame and how everyone else seems to be enjoying a power surge except the Royals.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4690282)
Of course the article really did a good job of reflecting on the relative recent time frame and how everyone else seems to be enjoying a power surge except the Royals.


Fun fact: The Royals have had more 30 HR seasons before the '94 strike (6 in 25 years) than during the sillyball era following the strike (4 in 20 years). They have had more 30 HR seasons in the deadball 70s era (one - John Mayberry in 1975) than in the last ten years (zero).

   8. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: April 21, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4690287)
Jeez, no one from Astro City makes the Top 10 draft board? The Samaritan? She's young, but Astra shows great power potential. Maybe not top 10, but certainly in the top 20.
   9. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:00 PM (#4690291)
only seven team home run records survive from pre-1996.

So who are the seven:
Yankees - Maris
Tigers - Greenberg
Royals - Balboni
Reds - Foster?
Indians - Belle (did Thome hit 50+ in Cleveland)?
Pirates - Pops?

   10. The District Attorney Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4690294)
I'm so sick of all these ballplayers like Chris Truby and Albert Belle being the single-season home run leaders for teams I don't associate them with.
   11. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4690298)
Indians - Belle (did Thome hit 50+ in Cleveland)?

Thome has the Indians record with 52 but he did it in 2002.

Kiner-Pittsburg
Foxx--A's
Killebrew--Twins
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4690300)
Jeez, no one from Astro City makes the Top 10 draft board? The Samaritan? She's young, but Astra shows great power potential.


The problem there is that they don't have enough books focused one one character, the title is more about the city than anything else, and often times the stories focus on the non-powered in that town. I would have seriously considered the original Confessor.

un fact: The Royals have had more 30 HR seasons before the '94 strike (6 in 25 years) than during the sillyball era following the strike (4 in 20 years). They have had more 30 HR seasons in the deadball 70s era (one - John Mayberry in 1975) than in the last ten years (zero).


That is just weird... Cardinals were a little different than the Royals, from 1970-1994 they had 2 30 homerun seasons (Dick Allen in 1970, Jack Clark 1987) then had 26 from 1996-2014...with at least one every year.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4690304)
Cincy is Foster
Pittsburgh is Kiner.
Thome hit 52 in 2002 and holds the franchise record.

Closest post-'96 for those pre-'96 teams:
NYY - ARod (54) in 2007
DET - Miggy Cabrera (44) in 2012 and 2013
KCR - Dean Palmer (34) in 1998
CIN - Adam Dunn (46) in 2004
MIN - Josh Willingham (35) in 2012
OAK - McGwire (52) in 1996
PIT - Brian Giles (39) in 1999
   14. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4690305)
Killebrew--Twins

Of course.

I couldn't remember if McGwire was able to pass Foxx before he left Oakland.

So with Foster, that's all of them.
   15. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4690308)
Jeez, no one from Astro City makes the Top 10 draft board?


If someone hasn't heard of Watchmen, you think he's heard of Astro City?
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4690317)
If someone hasn't heard of Watchmen, you think he's heard of Astro City?


So my thinking that the lack of mention of someone from WildCards (the Great and Powerful Turtle, Popinjay or Croyd aka the Sleeper) was a big slight, is probably just because of "ignorance"* instead.


* Does anyone else have friends who get upset if you use the word ignorance to describe their knowledge on a subject? It's not an insult, it's a statement of fact, yet I have had a few friends who fully admit they don't know about a subject we are talking about, yet get really offended if I used the word ignorance to describe their knowledge... Somehow the connotation of ignorance is considered insulting....oh well. Just wondering.
   17. Greg K Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4690322)
* Does anyone else have friends who get upset if you use the word ignorance to describe their knowledge on a subject? It's not an insult, it's a statement of fact, yet I have had a few friends who fully admit they don't know about a subject we are talking about, yet get really offended if I used the word ignorance to describe their knowledge... Somehow the connotation of ignorance is considered insulting....oh well. Just wondering.

I think some people focus on the similar roots to "ignore" - in that there is some kind of active choice to disregard the subject or the information. Of course this would make the phrase "wilful ignorance" redundant.

It probably also doesn't help that "ignorant" can be used as a general description of a person, without referring to the specific knowledge they are ignorant of. In other words, in that form, it is a character trait (and a fairly obviously negative one).

It never bothers me, I recognize there are a lot of areas of which I am totally ignorant (comic books for one). My brain only holds so much so priorities have to be drawn. Baseball, 17th century history, and Star Trek are obviously the top ones.
   18. JRVJ Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4690328)
I'm a comic book guy, though not a super hero person.

I wonder what the results would have been like if characters like Concrete, Hellboy, Vanth Dreadstar, Morpheus or even Bigby Wolf had been included.
   19. TerpNats Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4690329)
The Royals need a (Chisox) Frank Thomas (remember, the Sox were in a similar historical position, power-wise, before he arrived -- anyone recall Bill Melton?).

Regarding superheroes, didn't DC's Doom Patrol (slightly) pre-date X-Men? DC dropped the ball with that combo, especially ending the comic in the late '60s and killing off Elasti-Girl (the original one, a former movie star who could enlarge or shrink at will, not to be confused with the Incredibles character).
   20. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4690340)
DC's Doom Patrol (slightly) pre-date X-Men


By about 6 months. The first Doom Patrol appearance is cover-dated March 1963, compared to September 1963 for X-Men #1.

As for whether DC "dropped the ball with that combo," Marvel pretty much treated the first X-Men the same, moving to all-reprints in late '69.
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4690344)
I wonder what the results would have been like if characters like Concrete, Hellboy, Vanth Dreadstar, Morpheus or even Bigby Wolf had been included.


That brings up a point I didn't even think about...was this a draft with a finite list of superheroes, or was it all heroes throughout comic book history etc? And of course what was the goal of the draft? Coolest? Favorite? Most powerful? Most influential/popular? etc.

The Royals need a (Chisox) Frank Thomas (remember, the Sox were in a similar historical position, power-wise, before he arrived -- anyone recall Bill Melton?).


Do the Royals have anyone possible in the pipleline?
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4690349)
Vanth Dreadstar


The rights to the movie have been picked up for development...not sure how it will go down...but hopefully the success of Guardians of the Galaxy inspires people to attempt to do a real adaptation of the source material, instead of having a studio scared of the source material and make it in name only(see He-man, 1st GI Joe Movie, or Fantastic Four past films and upcoming travesty for examples.)

   23. Greg K Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4690351)

Do the Royals have anyone possible in the pipleline?

I think Moustakas could have been that guy. He hit 36 homers across AA/AAA in 2010. It seems unlikely to be him now, but I guess he's still relatively young.

Baseball America lists Bubba Starling as their best power hitter in the system, though he's still in A ball.
   24. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4690352)
Do the Royals have anyone possible in the pipleline?



Barring PEDs becoming legalized again, no.
   25. bfan Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4690358)
Do the Royals have anyone possible in the pipleline?


Yes, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, as of 2 years ago.

If what someone said above is true on the park effect, it is almost as dramatic in keeping HRs down as Coors Field is to boosting them. If all of that is true, I think it is time to re-look at John Mayberry's hall of fame case.
   26. Greg K Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4690363)
The other side is which team HR records have been set since Poz's cut off of 2007.

Off the top of my head you've got Bautista for the Jays, and Chris Davis for the Orioles.
   27. Zach Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4690366)
The Royals don't have any power hitters on the horizon. Hosmer and Moustakas were both possibles, but developed in another direction.

A lot is the ballpark -- it's just naturally a doubles hitting ballpark. So a young guy gets to the major leagues, and he notices that all of the successful players are doubles hitters, that he can't personally drive the ball out of the park with any regularity, he puts two and two together, and you get Alex Gordon or Billy Butler. Alex in particular had huge power as a young hitter, but could never seem to put it together until he figured out how to hit a line drive the other way. Mike Moustakas is patiently teaching himself not to pull the ball as we speak.
   28. JRVJ Posted: April 21, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4690371)
22, Dreadstar was very good space opera (though it dragged a little during the traitor storyline).

No reason why it can't be made into a couple of good films, up to the final showdown with Lord Papal.

(I gave my Dreadstar comics to my wife's godson about 4 months ago, but I re-read them first to see if there was anything there he shouldn't read at 13. Some strong subject matter in a couple of places, but surprisingly tame, the 80s - even Willow's abuse by her father was portrayed in a comparatively subtle way).
   29. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: April 21, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4690375)
So my thinking that the lack of mention of someone from WildCards (the Great and Powerful Turtle, Popinjay or Croyd aka the Sleeper) was a big slight, is probably just because of "ignorance"* instead.


I think so. (And for the record, when I was in a superhero draft on a podcast, I did select the Great and Powerful Turtle, so I'm on board)
   30. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4690377)
FWIW

Royals HR, Home/Road
2013 55/57
2012 62/69
2011 53/76
2010 60/61
2009 65/79
2008 50/70
2007 49/53
2006 65/59
2005 51/75
2004 56/94
2003 69/93
Total 635/786 45% of HR hit at home

Royals Opponents Kauffman/Opposing Stadium
2013 70/85
2012 87/76
2011 68/95
2010 82/94
2009 69/97
2008 73/86
2007 79/89
2006 102/111
2005 80/98
2004 90/118
2003 113/77
Total 913/1026 47% of HR hit at Kauffman
   31. nick swisher hygiene Posted: April 21, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4690386)
isn't it more than past time for the "OT: General Superhero Discussion" thread?
   32. smileyy Posted: April 21, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4690390)
I know a lot of it has to do with Bill James...but do the Royals have the highest Sabermetrician/Success ratio in the league?
   33. beefshower Posted: April 21, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4690394)
Pos makes a brief mention of the '96 Tigers staff when he writes about how moving the fences in led to the Royals pitchers giving up a near record amount of home runs. I was 13 and at the height of my baseball fandom when that Tigers staff was setting the record and I know that staff is historically atrocious, hell I even sponsored that teams b-r page for awhile and I still didn't know that they gave up 241 home runs that season. 241!!! Poor Greg Gohr just got demolished giving up 24 home runs in 91 innings and was still able to fetch Damion Easley at the trade deadline. I know I'm not really adding anything to the discussion here but if you want to see some grisly pitching stats check out that '96 Tigers page. Yeesh.
   34. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4690395)
I know a lot of it has to do with Bill James...but do the Royals have the highest Sabermetrician/Success ratio in the league?


No. You cannot divide by zero.
   35. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 21, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4690396)
The other side is which team HR records have been set since Poz's cut off of 2007.

2013 - Orioles - Davis (before him, Brady Anderson, 1 ahead of Frank Robinson)
2010 - Blue Jays - Bautista (before him it was the very Balboniesque George Bell)
2009 - Rays - Peña
---
2007 - Brewers - Fielder
2006 - Red Sox - Ortiz (before him, Jimmie Foxx)
2006 - Nationals - Soriano
2006 - Mets - Beltran
2006 - Phillies - Howard
2005 - Braves - Andruw Jones?!
2002 - Indians - Thome
2002 - Rangers - The Rod
2001 - Dodgers - Shawn Green
2001 - Giants - Barroid
2001 - Rockies - Helton
2001 - Dbacks - Gonzalez
2000 - Angels - Glaus
2000 - Astros - Bagwell
1998 - White Sox - Belle
1998 - Cardinals - McGwire
1998 - Cubs - Sosa
1998 - Padres - Greg Vaughn
1997 - Mariners - Griffey
1996 - Marlins - Sheffield
---
1985 - Royals - Balboni
1977 - Reds - Foster
1964 - Twins - Killebrew
1961 - Yankees - Maris
1949 - Pirates - Kiner
1938 - Tigers - Greenberg
1932 - Athletics - Foxx

Killebrew has 8 of the top 10 Senators/Twins HR seasons!! Who has the other 2, do you know?
   36. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 21, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4690427)
Gary Gaetti and the aforementioned Josh Willingham?

Interesting that when Ortiz broke Foxx's mark in 2006, it meant no player was the single-season home run leader for more than one franchise. Thome had earlier stripped Belle of that distinction in 2002.

   37. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4690436)
Killebrew has 8 of the top 10 Senators/Twins HR seasons!! Who has the other 2, do you know?

one would be Roy Sievers, I'm pretty sure
   38. attaboy Posted: April 21, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4690440)
Names that stick out, Balboni, Vaughn and Green.
   39. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 21, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4690442)
Killebrew has 8 of the top 10 Senators/Twins HR seasons!! Who has the other 2, do you know?


It appears he has 9 of the Top 10 (or 9 of 11)?

one would be Roy Sievers, I'm pretty sure


And the other would be Roy Sievers.

   40. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4690447)
Names that stick out, Balboni, Vaughn and Green.


Vaughn was only 7 HR away from holding the Reds record, and 7 away from holding the Devil Rays record. He could have had 3 records!

Richie Sexson was the Brewers HR record-holder until Prince Fielder.

Also Beltran only SHARES the Mets record. Who does he share it with? Mets legend Todd Hundley.
   41. Jeff R., P***y Mainlander Posted: April 21, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4690452)

The problem there is that they don't have enough books focused one one character, the title is more about the city than anything else, and often times the stories focus on the non-powered in that town. I would have seriously considered the original Confessor.


I would disqualify titles like Astro City from a superhero draft because most of the characters are pastiches of other heroes from the Big Two. If you want to draft Winged Victory just take the original, Wonder Woman, instead. I suppose you've got to make a judgment call at some point--do you disallow Shazam/Captain Marvel because he's a Superman rip-off?
   42. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: April 21, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4690453)
I would disqualify titles like Astro City from a superhero draft because most of the characters are pastiches of other heroes from the Big Two. If you want to draft Winged Victory just take the original, Wonder Woman, instead. I suppose you've got to make a judgment call at some point--do you disallow Shazam/Captain Marvel because he's a Superman rip-off?


You can't disqualify pastiches. If I like Batmanuel more than Batman, I should be able to draft him.
   43. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: April 21, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4690465)
Does Dr. Who count? Because the ability to time travel anywhere in the universe would be pretty valuable.

Or better yet, Hiro Nakamura.
   44. The District Attorney Posted: April 21, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4690471)
Baseball America lists Bubba Starling as their best power hitter in the system, though he's still in A ball.
Where he has a 577 OPS.

do you disallow Shazam/Captain Marvel because he's a Superman rip-off?
First off, I agree that just the fact that the comics say that two characters are different from each other means that they are. Hell, there can't be more of a "rip-off" than the Squadron Supreme is of the Justice League, and yet the tone is so different that they all become entirely distinct characters. (Similarly, even just sticking with the word "Supreme", Supreme as compared to Superman.)

Even if you did disallow "pastiches", Captain Marvel is not a Superman rip-off! The fact that his alter ego is a little kid changes everything.

The Poz/Schur drafts are deliberately vague in terms of what they're drafting. I suppose "coolest" is the closest approximation. Poz won this one for sure, which I can't remember the last time that happened.
   45. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: April 21, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4690475)
Does Dr. Who count? Because the ability to time travel anywhere in the universe would be pretty valuable.


In my draft, I tried to pick Death from the Sandman series, but apparently that's too powerful a concept or something.
   46. Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 21, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4690485)
Weird, I had literally no idea that Gary Gaetti played for the Royals.


I don't have any memory of Dean Palmer there.

I'm guessing that Balboni is not No. 46 of Posnanski's 100?
   47. alilisd Posted: April 21, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4690487)
Killebrew has 8 of the top 10 Senators/Twins HR seasons!! Who has the other 2, do you know?


I would have gone with Frank Howard.
   48. alilisd Posted: April 21, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4690491)
Killebrew has 8 of the top 10 Senators/Twins HR seasons!! Who has the other 2, do you know?


I would have gone with Frank Howard.


Ah, but I see he was a Senators/Rangers, not a Senators/Twins. He's very impressive on that franchise list though! 3 of the top 10, acutally tied with himself for 10th with 2 seasons of 44, but he put up his numbers in the 60's/70's in a cavernous stadium. All the other top seasons were from 1993 to 2003 in Arlington. Hondo was a stud!
   49. alilisd Posted: April 21, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4690497)
All the other top seasons were from 1993 to 2003 in Arlington. Hondo was a stud!


Using "the neutralizer" at bb-ref, I put Hondo in Arlington 2000. With that ballpark and that run environment, his 1967 to 1970 HR totals become 46, 59, 59, 53. Fun stuff!
   50. Walt Davis Posted: April 21, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4690537)
A bit of a clubhouse cancer but Galactus has impressive power.

(I see from wiki that they somehow worked Galactus into a Daredevil in the 60s ... WTF?)
   51. Walt Davis Posted: April 21, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4690538)
Would have been more appropriate in the other thread but this got me thinking:

1. True but what outstanding hitter have the Royals ever developed other than Brett

2. OK, Beltran ...

3. If Beltran makes the HoF, he has to go in as a Royal doesn't he?
   52. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 21, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4690544)
Aquaman kicks ass.

That is all.
   53. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 21, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4690545)
3. If Beltran makes the HoF, he has to go in as a Royal doesn't he?

1: More WAR as a Met
2: More PAs as a Met
3: Single best season was as a Met

   54. bunyon Posted: April 21, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4690546)
The Royals don't have any power hitters on the horizon. Hosmer and Moustakas were both possibles, but developed in another direction.

This has got to be part of the deal, though, right? The Royals clearly neither draft nor develop power. One could make the argument that it makes some sense given their park. I suspect that is the case. Which would make a lot of sense if they then focused on high HBP speedy guys. But they don't get that, either. They seem really good at teaching "don't hit HR!" but less good at "get on base!". EDIT: They seem to develop pudgy, slow white guys. Who have no power. I mean, pudgy, slow white guys have their place in baseball. And that place is cranking out HR and strikeouts. All the Royals get are strikeouts.

Basically, they're a crappy organization and, so, the team record for a vitally important offensive statistic sucks. It's like they have a superhero whose power is spell check.
   55. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4690559)
1. True but what outstanding hitter have the Royals ever developed other than Brett

2. OK, Beltran ...

3. If Beltran makes the HoF, he has to go in as a Royal doesn't he?


Johnny Damon, but he wasn't a power hitter.

Most career HR, player drafted or signed as an amateur by Royals:
Carlos Beltran 362
George Brett 317
Johnny Damon 235
Mike Sweeney 215
Jeff Conine 214
Frank White 160
Bo Jackson 141
Mike MacFarlane 129
Michael Tucker 125
Joe Randa 123

They've done okay over time picking power hitters from other organizations like John Mayberry, Danny Tartabull, Jermaine Dye, or Raul Ibanez, but they've traditionally been terrible at developing their own power.
   56. Nasty Nate Posted: April 21, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4690563)
Has anyone had a subsequently-lost franchise record for HR's for longer than Foxx (Red Sox) and Hack Wilson (Cubs) at 68 years?
   57. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 21, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4690567)
Basically, they're a crappy organization and, so, the team record for a vitally important offensive statistic sucks. It's like they have a superhero whose power is spell check.


first 23 years went 1903-1753
well run organization from the outset
then:
1: John Schuerholz left
2; Ewing Kauffman ceased having any day to day role in running the team
3; Hal McRae hired to manage
4: Ewing Kauffman died

Last 23 years, 1545-1967
absolutely terribly run organization at every level.

When I was growing up possibly the best run organizations were the LA Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles and KC Royals, what happened?
Ownership change is obviously a factor, but there are other things as well- case in point- there seemed to be a Dodger Way of doing things, drafting and development and advancing prospects and filling in missing pieces, a conception of how a team was built, how to score runs and how to prevent runs from being scored- and it seemed that the higher Lasorda rose, the more real power he wielded in the organization, the further the Dodgers drifted from the Dodger Way- since despite having been in the organization for his entire adult life, he seemed utterly clueless as to how and why the Dodgers had been successful for so long. He was fine as a field manager when someone else decided who was on the 25 man roster, 40 man roster, who was traded away, who was traded for- but when he was the one who decided those things, disaster followed. What was important to him was the clubhouse, for him a harmonious clubhouse was THE real Dodgers way, so every personnel decision he made was made at a "gut" level, what did he fell about the person involved (player, prospect, scout, coaching staff etc). He may have bled Dodger Blue, but he had no idea why that blood was blue.
   58. toratoratora Posted: April 21, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4690569)
FTFA
From 1998 to 2007 — the Selig Power Hour Decade —

I love this. It's so much illustrative than saying "Steroid era."
   59. Walt Davis Posted: April 21, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4690589)
Well I'll be. WAR I could have believed but I never would have guessed he had more PA as a Met. And the WAR's not as close as I'd have guessed (7 more in NY). But then I remembered it as a 5-year contract, not 7.

Too bad. Now I have to concentrate on all the reasons he doesn't belong. :-)
   60. geonose Posted: April 21, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4690593)
I know a lot of it has to do with Bill James...but do the Royals have the highest Sabermetrician/Success ratio in the league?

No. You cannot divide by zero.

That's absolutly untrue; the Royals have a very fine analytics department. The issue is that Ned Yost doesn't listen to them.

   61. Zach Posted: April 21, 2014 at 07:03 PM (#4690612)
A detail I had never noticed from the Bo Jackson story:

In the moments after Bo signed, he asked if he could take batting practice. Bo had not swung a bat in months. He hit the first pitch he saw off the base of the crown scoreboard in centerfield. It had to fly 450 feet. Avron Fogelman, who co-owned the Royals, shouted: “Get me that baseball.” Bo promptly hit the second ball he saw to almost the exact same spot, off the base of the scoreboard.

“Get me that ball too,” Fogelman said.


In Mark McGwire's 70 home run season, I remember watching agog when he would hit batting practice homers halfway up the hill leading to the Crown Scoreboard. Watching somebody hit the scoreboard twice would literally be taking the most impressive display of power I've ever seen and adding about 50 feet.
   62. Walt Davis Posted: April 21, 2014 at 08:42 PM (#4690684)
In Mark McGwire's 70 home run season, I remember watching agog when he would hit batting practice homers halfway up the hill leading to the Crown Scoreboard. Watching somebody hit the scoreboard twice would literally be taking the most impressive display of power I've ever seen and adding about 50 feet.

Which is all the more reason to think the Bo story is 1000% true! :-)
   63. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 11:40 PM (#4690825)
Bo's first ever home run landed at the top of the grassy knoll that used to sit next to the scoreboard. If he had it in center, it probably hits the scoreboard. Its still the longest home run ever hit at Kauffman Stadium.
   64. Zach Posted: April 21, 2014 at 11:51 PM (#4690828)
Which is all the more reason to think the Bo story is 1000% true! :-)

That was the day that Buck O’Neil heard the sound – a crack of the bat he only heard three times in his life. The first time he heard it was as a boy, when he watched Babe Ruth take batting practice. The second time was as a player in the Negro Leagues, and the player was Josh Gibson. The third time was Bo that first day in Kansas City.


I think if you make Buck O'Neill's lifetime top three, it's a pretty legendary day :)
   65. Walt Davis Posted: April 22, 2014 at 12:07 AM (#4690833)
Bo was also a steel-drivin' man!
   66. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 12:48 AM (#4690838)
It's kind of amazing how many tales there were about Bo's prowess, and yet he turned out to be a fairly run-of-the-mill player. Contact troubles, good-not-great power, no batting eye whatsoever.
   67. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: April 22, 2014 at 01:04 AM (#4690845)
It's kind of amazing how many tales there were about Bo's prowess, and yet he turned out to be a fairly run-of-the-mill player. Contact troubles, good-not-great power, no batting eye whatsoever.


Yeah, it turns out that just being an amazing athlete isn't enough. I mean, he had a career and made an All-Star Game, but there were certainly worse athletes who were better baseball players.
   68. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 22, 2014 at 01:10 AM (#4690847)
He got better every year and had an OPS+ of 142 at age 27 before his injury. Granted that's not especially young, but it's also pretty good. It's hard to say it "isn't enough." He could have played at that level for several years.
   69. KT's Pot Arb Posted: April 22, 2014 at 01:29 AM (#4690853)
The Royals don't have any power hitters on the horizon. Hosmer and Moustakas were both possibles, but developed in another direction.


Wil Meyers hit 38 home runs in 163 AAA games at ages 21-22. He had only 13 HR in 88 MLB games last year and is so far struggling this year, but is still only 23. He definitely has tremendous power potential, and looks great in the blue KC uniform with "Rays" written across his che...

oh.
   70. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: April 22, 2014 at 02:50 AM (#4690863)
It's kind of amazing how many tales there were about Bo's prowess, and yet he turned out to be a fairly run-of-the-mill player. Contact troubles, good-not-great power, no batting eye whatsoever.


Uh, you do remember he played gridiron in the baseball off season right? Of course you do. If Jackson had focused purely on baseball he'd be in the HOF(baring a career ending baseball related injury). But he did play football and that's why he's "Bo Jackson!"
   71. Flynn Posted: April 22, 2014 at 05:09 AM (#4690867)
Bo wasn't going to be Barry Bonds, but he wasn't done developing as a baseball player.
   72. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:57 AM (#4690872)
If Jackson had focused purely on baseball he'd be in the HOF(baring a career ending baseball related injury).


There is absolutely no evidence for this.
   73. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:58 AM (#4690874)
If you're holding a superhero draft, and you're basing your criteria on raw power, then screw Thor or the Hulk. What you need are some Fletcher Hanks heroes, like Stardust or Fantomah.

Exhibit A.
Exhibit B.
   74. bunyon Posted: April 22, 2014 at 08:12 AM (#4690888)
first 23 years went 1903-1753
well run organization from the outset
then:
1: John Schuerholz left
2; Ewing Kauffman ceased having any day to day role in running the team
3; Hal McRae hired to manage
4: Ewing Kauffman died

Last 23 years, 1545-1967
absolutely terribly run organization at every level.


That's a good point. I guess my statement would read better if I'd said "they've been a crappy organization throughout silly ball times". Basically, no one with baseball sense was involved after it became clear that power was important in the new era. The fact that so many hitters come through and lose power is damning, I think. Yes, it's a tough stadium to hit a lot of HR. But that should be a difference of a handful of homers. Someone should've hit 36 in the selig power hour.
   75. Jeff R., P***y Mainlander Posted: April 22, 2014 at 08:36 AM (#4690900)
(I see from wiki that they somehow worked Galactus into a Daredevil in the 60s ... WTF?)


Somewhere on my PC I have a .gif of Daredevil knocking off Ultron's head by repeatedly striking at the same spot. Guys, adamantium doesn't work like that.
   76. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 09:01 AM (#4690921)
Somewhere on my PC I have a .gif of Daredevil knocking off Ultron's head by repeatedly striking at the same spot. Guys, adamantium doesn't work like that.


Maybe he used resonance to make it fracture, taking advantage of his hyper-acute senses to determine the proper frequency for his strikes?
   77. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 22, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4690994)
It's kind of amazing how many tales there were about Bo's prowess, and yet he turned out to be a fairly run-of-the-mill player.


Bill James was absolutely right in his description of Bo Jackson- watching him play baseball was kind of like watching a kid learning how to play baseball- you'd watch him one week, then another, then a month later and he had visibly improved, you see little leaguers at that end of the learning curve, you generally do not see MLB players there. Then he went back to playing foot ball and got hurt.

I don't think he was ever going to be a great player, he just didn't have a feel/sense for some things, but he was massively strong and had ungodly speed. Athleticism doesn't always translate to baseball ability (see Michael Jordan), but I always had the sense that Bo could have been a great baseball player had he concentrated on baseball earlier, perhaps as a teenager.
   78. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4691005)
It's kind of amazing how many tales there were about Bo's prowess, and yet he turned out to be a fairly run-of-the-mill player.


He had amazing athletic prowess, but not necessarily amazing baseball skill. People think he may have developed that skill had he dedicated himself to it more, but its not like he hadn't dedicated himself to baseball prior to being in MLB. He played SEC baseball. He played in the minors - he just showed he was too good to be in AA for very long. But he was inconsistent, and I don't think that necessarily was going to change.

There are tales about him because he just did things you don't ever see other players do. He beat out a routine ground ball to second. He hit an upper deck home run in the Metrodome - in RIGHT FIELD. He walked up the wall! He hit a ball onto the grassy knoll at Royals Stadium. He threw Harold Reynolds out at home from the warning track. He hit a ball into the third level at Arlington Stadium. These are like all the Negro League stories packed into one player and THEY'RE ALL TRUE - we have video evidence of it!

That doesn't translate into a HOF stat sheet, but man, it was amazing to watch.
   79. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: April 22, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4691042)
There are tales about him because he just did things you don't ever see other players do.

And that's not even counting the time he threw out a guy at third, flat-footed, from right field. Or the time he ran up the wall. Or the deep-center homer run in the All-Star Game.

We're not even going to discuss Tecmo Bowl.
   80. alilisd Posted: April 22, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4691073)
They seem to develop pudgy, slow white guys.


It's the BBQ.
   81. PreservedFish Posted: April 22, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4691077)
It's kind of amazing how many tales there were about Bo's prowess, and yet he turned out to be a fairly run-of-the-mill player.


Others above me have already tackled this but it strikes me as a really strange statement. Jackson didn't really "turn out to be" anything, he was still improving as a player when he had what was essentially a career-ending injury. And we have no idea what would have come next, but he was playing at a level considerably above run-of-the-mill at his peak. Your summary gives the impression that he played out a string of boring 2 WAR seasons.

I was just a kid when Bo was around, but my memory of him, bolstered by whatever I've read and seen since that time, is that he was one of those players with immense overt athletic skill that really lacked a feel for the game. Baseball is such a technically demanding sport, and in real life these guys tend not to make it to the majors at all, or they fail Ruben Rivera style. But Jackson's raw ability was enough for him to play regularly in the majors, and his baseball instincts were improving rapidly, which was changing him from an exciting but average player into a true star.
   82. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4691083)
The Royals clearly neither draft nor develop power. One could make the argument that it makes some sense given their park. I suspect that is the case. Which would make a lot of sense if they then focused on high HBP speedy guys. But they don't get that, either. They seem really good at teaching "don't hit HR!" but less good at "get on base!". EDIT: They seem to develop pudgy, slow white guys. Who have no power. I mean, pudgy, slow white guys have their place in baseball. And that place is cranking out HR and strikeouts. All the Royals get are strikeouts


The only pudgy slow white guys I can think of are Billy Butler and Bob Hamelin. Ken Harvey if you take out the "white." I think they should probably take more of a chance on those kind of guys. It seems to me they are instead obsessed with "athletes" - Hugh Walker (who? exactly!), Clint Hurdle, Brian McRae, Willie Wilson, Michael Tucker, Johnny Damon, Bubba Starling were all first round picks with the Royals. Some of those guys were great (Damon, Wilson) others were busts (Hurdle, Walker). They've taken very few pure power hitters - maybe Butler (although he was always seen as more of a high average, doubles guy than a HR hitter), Dee Brown (just didn't pan out) and Joe Vitiello (AAAA slugger).

But this organization has had guys like Cecil Fielder, Ken Phelps, Jeff Conine, and AAAA All-Stars like Vitiello, Phil Hiatt, Cal Pickering and Kila Kaaihue, and never given them much of a chance because they are plodders who don't hit for average, and they don't feel like that's a good fit for the stadium.
   83. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4691125)
[Bo] beat out a routine ground ball to second.


Speaking of this, did anyone else see Billy Hamilton beat out a routine grounder to first?
   84. BDC Posted: April 22, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4691138)
Re Jackson, has anyone else ever played major-league baseball for any length of time after a hip replacement? And this was early-90s hip replacement technology, where they probably used bits of a Meccano set and a toy gyroscope. That may be the most impressive thing about his baseball career.
   85. Barnaby Jones Posted: April 22, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4691140)
Aquaman is truly the Rodney Dangerfield of superheroes. Y'all are a bunch of philistines.
   86. Walt Davis Posted: April 22, 2014 at 11:33 PM (#4691664)
Of course we'll never know what Bo would have become much less what pure-baseball Bo would have become but ...

For ages 25-27, player's 1st to 5th years (to limit to later bloomers), at least 1200 PA, expansion era

Bo is tied for 140th in WAR. He's tied for 69th in OPS+ (Quentin, Ethier, Glenn Davis, George Bell). He's even only 26th by ISO -- that's with Albert Belle (impressive) but also Ron Kittle, pre-Cards Edmonds, Ron Gant, Tim Salmon, Jermaine Dye.

He was a much better athlete so likely would have had a longer career and more defensive value but is there really any reason to think he'd have been a better hitter than Andre Thornton? (who also suffered some sort of major injury at age 30 it seems.)

Here's a funny list ... ISO, age 27, 1961-1993, 1st-5th season, 450+ PA ... what a collection of decent but not excellent players ...

Kevin Mitchell 344
Gentile 344
Cash 270
Gorman Thomas 270
Thornton 264
Balboni 254
Bo 251
Larry Sheets 247
Justice 245
Pagliarulo 245
Bob Allison 245

Balboni and Sheets are not what one thinks of when one thinks of Bo.

Turns out we have stuff like HR/FB for most of Bo's career. His HR/FB was a very impressive 22% (6.5% league average, McGwire's career is 22.5%). But he was a GB machine with a G/F ratio consistently over 1. Add in all the Ks ... Fix one of those two problems and you've got yourself a legit slugger, maybe even a great one. But no evidence either of those issues was improving substantially before the injury. In fact:

Bo 21.8% HR/FB, 54% in-play, 1.04 G/F, 4.2 K/W
Mac 22.5% HR/FB, 53% in-play, .39 G/F, 1.2 K/W

Looks like somebody told Bo he should use his speed -- they were wrong. :-)

That's Mac career ... his HR/FB was in the high 20s, low 30s in the sillyball era. Thome from say 1994-2010 is probably the better comp in that Thome's HR/FB was pretty stable in that period. His K-rate was closer than Mac's too and the G/F was .66. Thome was 23 in 94 and wasn't a full-time until 24 so that's a bit similar to Bo too.

So teach Bo to hit it in the air, not on the ground, and he coulda been Thome in a non-Thome era.

The HR/FB data only goes back to 88 so it's a small window but I didn't find anybody who could challenge Bo pre-sillyball. Cecil Fielder, Balboni, Canseco (ahem) seemed the closest. Most of Balboni's career is missed but he had a couple seasons around 22-23%.

And there is absolutely no way whatsoever that Bo could have ever done steroids. No way. Shame on you for even thinking it.

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