Thursday, January 28, 2010

Somebody must've been drinking when this post was originally written

We think Billy Beane signed Ben Sheets in order to trade him at the deadline. Might not be a bad idea.

Do you realize, though, that The Genius has signed the following in recent years: Mike Piazza, Frank Thomas, Nomar Garciaparra.

He also aquired Esteban Loiza, Jason Kendall, Mike Sweeney, and Orlando Cabrera.

UPDATE: And Willy Taveras. Really? (Update: update: Tavares was DFAd.)

Just sayin.

OK. So do you think we've become so jaded and lazy that we've all just defaulted into thinking the Royals are going to be awful, because they're always awful? A lot of people thought the Royals were going to be pretty good last year, for the first time in a long time, and those people got burned. Don't get fooled again, right? Besides, some of the off-season moves have been head-scratchers, and it's easy to dump on every move the Royals make, to just assume that Dayton is a complete idiot. Well, DM has defintely made some mistakes, but...

We're not so sure the Royals are going to stink in 2010.

We just looked at the rosters of the other teams in the division. Minnesota should be good again but not great (the Twins would love to have the Royals starting rotation). Cleveland should probably be picked last. The White Sox, Tigers, and, yes, the Royals seem pretty even on paper to us/me. Look for yourself.

Or maybe we're crazy (probably). But the bitching about Dayton Moore, and we've done A LOT of it, is becoming all encompassing. It's like work. Everybody's bitching because that's all they know how to do anymore.

After last season, we figured we'd be stuck with the same old losers who flail at baseballs, shit their pants on the bases (if they're lucky enough to put a ball in play), and catch like the old guy in the Keystone beer commercial. But Jacobs and Olivo are gone. So is Josh Anderson. Callaspo got moved off second. And Guillen got moved out of right.

Even though Dayton brought in a lot of the losers to begin with, the Royals have made progress from the end of last year to this year. Hopefully some lessons have been learned.

Look. Dayton is spending in the draft. By next year, the Royals are going to have one of the top farm systems in baseball. In the Majors, yeah, we've got Yuni and Farnsworth and some other major stinkers, but we've also got Greinke, Soria, Butler and Gordon -- all young. And stepping out of the Royal we for a second: I, for one, think Ankiel is going to be fun to root for.

So there.

P.S. The Royals also have some (quality?) depth at almost every position this year.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Time to get all fired up and delusional

So when do we get Thome? When do we get Bedard?

Check this out:

2010 Gordon > 2009 Gordon
2010 Yuni > 2009 Bad Aviles, 2009 TPJ, 2009 Yuni
2010 Pods > 2009 Gimpy Coco, 2009 Freel, 2009 Josh Anderson, 2009 Maier (some will question this)
2010 Ankiel > 2009 Guillen
2010 Meche > 2009 Meche?
2010 Cruz > 2009 Cruz
2010 Depth > 2009 Depth
2010 Defense > 2009 Defense
2010 Team speed > 2009 Team speed
2010 Offense ~ > 2009 Offense
2010 Pitching ~ > 2009 Pitching

Obviously it's not hard to improve on last year's crappy team. And we go through this every year: trying to find reasons to believe the Royals will be better as Spring Training approaches...but, whatever.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Welcome to KC, Rick

Here's what we/I put on a message board this morning:
I don't think DM really intended on signing Ankiel, especially after signing Pods, and I don't think he had the money to do it even if he wanted to. But Ankiel was still available -- and DM's boss, the money man, happens to be a big Cardinals fan, probably a big Ankiel fan. That's my math on this deal. I don't hate it.

That was the first thought, but maybe DM just wanted to get a guy with some speed, defense and power? Look, Ankiel has a big problem with OBP, etc., but DM is just doing what he said he was going to do. He's trying to make the team faster and improve the defense. He's done that. This doesn't mean that the Royals are going to be any better in 2010, and the OBP issues still haven't been addressed much, but...

Do you remember watching how SLOW that damn team was last year? That and the defense were just too hard to watch.

The other thing about this Ankiel deal is that it probably gives us three starting left-handed hitting outfielders. One thing we here at Big Donkeys worry about (probably too much) is right-left balance in the lineup. That's why we love a good switch-hitter! Anyway, the Royals are starting to look like they might be able to score some runs with this lineup IF they utilize the bench correctly. Unfortunately, we don't have any faith in Trey to manage the bench correctly.

Fields needs to play against all left-handed pitchers. Brian Anderson needs to be the fourth OF because he's right-handed. And, at some point, a healthy Aviles needs to play.

Prediction: Fields is going to have a better year than you think.

Prediction on Ankiel: He still won't have a great average or OBP, but he'll go through hot stretches and hit a lot of homers, plus he'll make some spectacular plays in the field. The regular fans will really start to like him, but mostly because of his mustache. Then he'll get hurt.

Back to the SLOW thing...The following players were on the 2009 team: Jacobs, Butler, Guillen, Callaspo and Dejesus. (Those last two are slower than you might think.) Jacobs and hopefully Guillen are done, and DM has added new speed guys in Getz, Podsednik, Ankiel and Anderson.

P.S. Here's what we wrote right here on this blog (not that anyone cares) back on Dec. 11:
But does anyone think DM might try to sign Rick Ankiel? He just seems like the kind of guy who would fit in with the plan, good or bad.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hey doodz!

We wish Dayton would re-sign Horacio Ramirez (again) so that HoRambo guy would start posting about his secret pitchez on Royals Corner again.

And if you didn't see it on Royals Review or Royals Corner, Vanity Fair published an excellent piece of long form journalism by that guy who wrote Moneyball. The VF story is about baseball in Cuba. Your favorite shortstop figures into the story.

P.S. The Commie Ball story is from 2008. We missed it somehow until now, even though the ex-wife has a subscription to Vanity Fair. (And she still allowed us to be inside the house back in 2008. We can't remember exactly why we got banned. Seems like it had something to do with a bottle of premium vodka.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Into the crapper

This one signifies what usually happens to the Royals season shortly after Opening Day.

We all have a cross to bear

Royals Fan Jeremy has a new portfolio of cell phone photos. This one was taken at some bar (probably) in Kansas City. Jeremy has pledged to symbolically die for Royals fans' sins.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Everyone in the pen is fickle but Farnsworth

Last year, everyone nearly shit their pants with disgust when the Royals signed Kyle Farnsworth to a 2-year contract that made absolutely no sense to anybody except Dayton Moore. And, yes, Farnsworth sucked last year.

But we were VERY happy when the Royals signed Juan Cruz to a two-year contract. Cruz sucked and got hurt last year -- which brings us to the point of this post. It's easy to see that a guy like Farnsworth is going to suck, but it's harder to predict which relievers are going to be good from year-to-year. Bullpens are one of the most fickle things in a fickle sport. And that's why it's stupid to throw money at veteran relievers who have been decent to good (or in Farnsworth's case: atrocious to OK).

Anyway, having apparently realized this, Dayton has been picking arms off the scrap heap all offseason. Maybe a few of them will turn out to be good, right? Here's a list of the pitchers acquired so far since November:

Matt Herges
John Parrish (L)
Nelson Payano (who is this guy?)
Philip Humber
Francisco Rosario (any good?)
Bruce Chen (L)
Adam Bostock (L) (promising?)
Devon Lowery
Edgar Osuna (L)
Josh Rupe
Bryan Bullington
Juan Abreu (what about this guy?)
Jorge Campillo (maybe?)
Brad Thompson

How would you rank these guys in terms of helping the 2010 Royals? Who are the top 5? We'd start with the Rule 5 kid, Osuna. From there, we don't know.

P.S. Our prediction is that Cruz rebounds and has a fantastic year while Farnsworth is terrible again.

P.P.S. Hell, even Soria could go fickle on us. Very few relievers aside from the likes of Rivera and Nathan sustain a high level effectiveness year after year. (But that's probably because most are failed starters with limited ability; Soria is a Rule 5 guy who never got a chance to fail at starting; he's probably got less of a chance of flaming out.)

P.P.P.S. In addition to the Cruz move last year, we also were in support of the Coco Crisp trade and, at the time, we didn't think the Jacobs trade was the disaster it turned out to be. Geez, Dayton was only trading a couple of fickle relievers for those guys...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Why the 2010 Royals might not be horrible

You can tell a lot about the economy by watching commercials during football games. These football commercials used to feature beer, automobiles, Coke-Pepsi, McDonald's, pizza, airlines, financial services and blondes with big boobs. Apparently the only things selling these days are cell phones, penis pills and Red Bull. Plus some beer (still), thank God.

OK. It's a New Year, and we are going back to the Royal We. We are also going to try to give negativity and snarkiness a break (don't worry; this won't last long). Anyway, here is a serious attempt at listing some realistic reasons why the Royals might not be horrible in 2010.

Gordon is likely to be healthier and improve, maybe a lot.

Butler is likely to hit as well if not better than last year.

Greinke is still Greinke.

Soria is more than solid.

Hillman will probably be a better manager. He can't be much worse.

Yuni is only, what, 27 or 28? He actually has a little pop. Maybe he'll have a decent year.

Getz is fast and has to be better defensively than Callaspo.

Callaspo can flat out hit.

Tejeda looks like he can pitch.

Fields might have something resembling a break out year with power (especially against lefties).

Jacobs is no longer on the team.

Aviles might get healthy and return to form.

Disco might make his MLB debut!

Farnsworth probably won't be a late inning set-up guy.

The Rule 5 pick looks like he could be a useful lefty.

Cruz used to be very good; he should be healthy again.

At least Kendall can block a slider in the dirt.

P.S. To Mellinger: Why can't Callaspo DH? I don't understand why that's absolutely not going to happen. Platoon him with Guillen or Fields. DH him against right-handed pitchers and start him for Getz at second against left-handed pitchers. This is the best option available. Please tell me the brain trust that put this crappy roster together is capable of considering such a thing.

P.P.S. I guess the positive thing is already wearing off.