Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The New Blue Tradition Royals Pitcher of the Year

Zack Greinke was named the New Blue Tradition Royals Pitcher of the Year for 2009.

Zack emerged as one of the majors best pitchers compiling a record of 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA in 33 games for a Kansas City team that went just 65-97 on the season. He led the majors in ERA and finished third with 242 strikeouts.

He pitched six complete games and his 3 shutouts were second in the majors behind Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

19 Years of Managing Experience Gets You This?

Does Trey Hillman look like a person who has managed for 19 years?

He has 12 years in the Yankees organization, 5 in Japan, and 2 in KC.

Some quotes from the Dick Kaegel article when Hillman was announced as manager of the Royals in Oct of 2007.

"Hillman said he'd bring some of the lessons learned in his Japan experience to the Royals, just as he took lessons learned in 12 years of managing in the New York Yankees' Minor League system to Japan. Some of it meshes, some of it doesn't." Looks like Trey has not figured out what meshes and what doesn't.

"He has a slogan that he likes to use: "A-A-O -- Adapt-Adjust-Overcome." We are still waiting for this one.

"It all depends on what you believe is Major League baseball. In my humble opinion, I've been a Major League manager for the last five years. We get after it in Japan," he said. "On many levels and on any given day the quality of play, I believe, is as good as it is here in the United States at the Major League level." Based on this quote he comes to the Royals with 5 years of "Major League" experience. After 2 years with the Royals, does he look like he has 5 years prior experience?

"I like to create movement on the bases, I think it creates pressure to the opposition. I like the home run and the double as much as much as anybody, but I think you have to be ready to diversify and create other opportunities." The only movement on the bases is the movement of the opposing team when our fielders make costly errors or the bullpen blows the game.

"I can give you my priorities," he said. "Pitch it, catch it. We'll figure out a way to score runs." We are still waiting for results on this statement. Of course, I am not sure if we can give him credit for Zack's performance this year. I think what we saw from Zack was inevitable regardless of who the manager is.

After 2 years with the Royals, has he really progressed as a major league manager and does he earn the chance to finish out his contract? I don't think so.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Being the Royals manager is a numbing grind - Kansas City Star

Being the Royalsmanager is a numbing grind - Kansas City Star

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David Glass Getting What He Has Paid For

There is no doubt about it the Royals have been disappointing this year. They have problems scoring runs, bullpen problems, and defense. General Manager Dayton Moore was given the highest payroll in team history of $70 million dollars this year to assemble this team.

$70 million might have produced a much better team if the minor leagues were not neglected for the years previous to his arrival. If the minors were producing good players each year then you could lock them up for that price until they become eligible for free agency after 7 years of major league service.

Without a stocked minor league system, Moore had to rely on what $70 million could get him on the free agent market and via trades. But what does $70 million buy you in major league baseball? $70 million does not get you much especially if you are trying to stock a major league while waiting for your young talent to emerge.

Much attention and blame has been focused on Moore for the performance of the Royals this year. Granted he did make the deals to bring in the players we have this year but he got what $70 million dollars buys. With this in mind, owner David Glass does not have much room to complain. This might be why he is mostly silent on the performance of the Royals and absent from attending games in Kansas City. Fans have noticed his presence sitting behind home plate at games at Houston and Boston rather than at Kauffman Stadium. Glass can’t be too critical of his team because he realizes that he himself is the chief reason behind the poor performance on the field.

As for the minor league talent, the best of the talent is still in the lower levels of the organization and will take 3-5 years to develop. One important thing to consider is that minor league talent does not always produce into top notch major league players. The Royals are banking their future on nearly 100% development from the minors. That is like putting all your money into one stock instead of spreading your risk around. Money for the development of the Royals needs to be spread more evenly between the minor leagues, free agents, and trades so all your beans are not in one basket.

The Royals are in a vicious cycle with Glass as the owner. Glass won’t put money into the team because the team is bad. The team won’t get any better quickly unless more money is pumped into the payroll. In order for Moore to attract top major league talent, he needs to be given the payroll to compete with teams in New York, Boston, and Los Angeles among others. Otherwise, Moore is putting on the field exactly what David Glass is paying for.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Victory from the Jaws of Defeat

The Royals won on Monday night against the Baltimore Orioles by a score of 5-3. They had no business winning the game and if you were watching or listening to the game in the early innings, you probably tuned out on the game.

Royals starter Bruce Chen pitched 5 innings giving up 3 runs on 8 hits while throwing 99 pitches. It could have been a lot worse as he massed 50 pitches by the 2nd inning and escaping 2 bases loaded situations by only giving up one run each time. Chen gave way to Robinson Tejeda in the 6th and pitched brilliantly for the win in relief giving up only 1 hit. Both Chen and Tejeda benefitted from defensive plays from Ryan Freel and Bryan Pena respectively. Freel throwing out Nolan Reimold at the plate to end the 2nd and Pena throwing out Cesar Izturis trying to steal second base after he led off the 6th with a single and was the last Oriole hitter to reach base. Closer Joakim Soria took over in the 9th to get his 16th save.

One the offensive side, Billy Butler went 5 for 5 including 2 doubles with 3 runs batted in and scoring twice. Mark Teahan, Willie Bloomquist, and Alex Gordon had doubles also in the 14 hit attack.

The Royals could have easily collapsed early in the game, but they did not. The offense and pitching could have packed it in, but they didn't. They had no business winning the game, but the Royals did not listen. They did what other teams did to them during the past home stand; the Royals snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Royals Hall of Fame Opens

The Kansas City Royals have done it right with their new Hall of Fame which opened on Friday July 17, 2009. The exhibits are all top notch starting with the Wall at the entrance to the Hall of Fame. A tour guide dressed in a Jackie Robinson Kansas City Monarchs uniform described the headlines that are enshrined on the ash wood wall appropriately using a baseball bat as a pointer. This area also contains replica lockers for the 3 Royals retired numbers of #10 Dick Howser, #5 George Brett, and #20 Frank White along with informational displays about Kansas City baseball history including the Cowboys, Blues, Monarchs, and Athletics among others.

After the 20 or so minute presentation the group was whisked into the Dugout Theater sponsored by Sprint. The theater designed is to look like a dugout that seats 40 people (appropriate because of the 40 man roster). The perspective of the field on the screen is from the dugout and you feel as if you are in the dugout at Kauffman Stadium. The film documents the history of the Royals which includes interviews from players and fans. A life size statue of Buck O'Neil is at the end of the bench that you pass as you exit to go into the exhibit hall.

The exhibit hall contains multi media displays and artifacts about Royals history. Many of the stations contain several videos that you can watch. A neat feature is the Royals Radio Network replica booth that has a "You Call the Play" feature where you can watch and listen to 6 famous Royals calls.

From here you move to the Hall of Champions where you are first greeted by a giant #5 made of 3154 baseballs that represents all of George Brett's hits. There is also a display of the gold gloves of Frank White along with wall displays and artifacts from each of the Western Division championships, American League championship, and finally the 1985 World Series trophy that contains a video presentation of the 85 championship.

The museum concludes with a room that contains the plaques of the 23 members of the Royals Hall of Fame.

The Hall is open on game days and no extra ticket is required upon admission to the ballpark. Tours are conducted in groups of 40 every 15 minutes. You are given the option of skipping the wall and film presentations and go straight to the museum if you choose. But I highly suggest you watch these presentations your first time attending the Hall. It is also open during the day for a $10 admission charge which includes an unlimited pass good for one year. Details are at the Royals website at

Click here for photos of the new Royals Hall of Fame.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Glimmer of Hope

It is going to take a long time to rebuild the Kansas City Royals. The minors were in a shambles when GM Dayton Moore took over. Right now the talent that Moore has drafted is in the lower levels of the minors. It is going to take a good four years to build up our minors. Only then can we grade Dayton Moore.

In the mean time, all he can do is make some trades or free agent signings to keep the team going until we see the fruits of 4-5 years of draft picks. Would we all like to see a winner now? Yes. But we have to do what we have done before, wait. The Royals are not going to field a team of free agent superstars or make trades for superstars. That will deplete the minors as we have to give up compensatory drafts when we sign other teams free agents or trade away prospects to get superstar major league talent. Dayton began with a depleted minor league system. He is not going to sacrifice his draft picks to try to win now or next year.

Today's 6-2 victory over the Blue Jays showed some hope. The 3 keys to winning (good pitching, good defense and timely hitting) were there. Hochaver pitched well along with Farnsworth. Soria "saved" the game even though it was not an official save opportunity. But for all intents and purposes, the Royals are happy with the unofficial save. We showed some timely hitting getting hits when people were on base to knock in runs.

This could be the win that turns the team around. One game after Greinke showed he is a human being may have made the players realize that baseball is a team sport and that they can't just sit back and depend on Zack all the time to be the spark.

We can only hope.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Object of the Game

The object of a baseball game is to score more runs than your opponent. Do you think that the Royals offense knows this? Perhaps someone needs to do an Al Pacino on our hitters. You know the one. The great speech that he gives toward the end of the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. Here is a pertinent part of it:

"What you are hired for is to help us...does that seem clear to you?...To help us, not to (bleep) us up."

The Royals bats have fallen silent. They finally broke their string of 24 consecutive scoreless innings on Sunday in the first inning. With the loss on Saturday, they lost 11 out of their last 14 which included a 6 game winning streak. The difference in nearly all of those losses during this stretch were due to a lack of runs scored. On May 7 after a six game winning streak they led the division by 3 games. They fell to four games out May 23.

Worse yet, they have nearly the same record as a year ago. The Royals are better, are they? The pitching is vastly improved over last year but you also need hitting to win. They have shown more patience at the plate. At times their hitting at times has been...well...timely. But they still have not turned that into more wins then last year.

This division right now is there for the taking unless Detroit starts to run away with it right now. Before the season started it seemed that a 3rd place finish with at least a .500 record would mean a successful year for the Royals. A little over a month into the season all of the sudden it looked the the Royals had a legitimate change to win the division. They still do. But the team needs to start to produce runs like right now.

The first place Tigers come into Kauffman Stadium for a 3 game series. The Royals are 3 games out. They really need to sweep all 3 games from the Tigers to make up for the slump in the standings the past couple weeks. In order for that to happen, they need to get on base and score runs. If they can sweep and start to win consistently again like earlier in the season then they will be that much better once Joakim Soria and Alex Gordon come off the DL. Gordon will need to show that he can be the catalyst for this team like he was in the minors and in college. All Soria needs to do is continue to close. But, in order to close you need a lead.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Voice of Royals Stadium

Over the past 40 years of Royals baseball, many memories stand out that have been well covered and documented in video, pictures, and print. This begins a series of posts throughout the Royals 40th anniversary season about the things that stand in the periphery of those memories. Things that we may not realize are there but without them our memories of our experiences at the ballpark would not be complete.

We begin with the voice of old Municipal Stadium and Royals Stadium.

“Good evening ladies and gentleman and welcome to Royals Stadium…”

Jack Layton was not as nationally recognized as Sherm Feller the gravelly voiced stadium announcer at Fenway Park or the smooth sophisticated style of Bob Sheppard at Yankee Stadium. His was a rich deep booming voice that radiated from the speakers situated on the standards behind the massive 12 story scoreboard and bounced around the concrete, plastic, metal and glass of our modern new stadium. Jack was the voice of Royals Stadium.

“The Kansas City Royals ask that you please do not interfere with baseballs in play. If you should interfere by reaching over the fence, it could seriously damage the chances of either team. The Royals also ask that you please observe the stadium regulation prohibiting the carrying of cans, bottles or liquid containers into the stadium. The Kansas City Royals thank you for your cooperation.”

His delivery echoed the professional appearance the Royals projected in those days. He announced the lineups, the stadium regulations, and pertinent information throughout the game.

“Ladies and gentlemen…please stand and honor America as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings, Our National Anthem.”

In those days the stadium announcer did not have to remind people to remove their hat and place their hat or hand over their heart. Everyone knew what to do out of respect for our country. A recording of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir often performed The Star Spangled Banner before Royals games along with a cartoon playing on the scoreboard complementing the music. But that is a story for another time.

Jack was there for every important event from the beginning of the Royals through the 1985 championship and even served as stadium announcer for the Kansas City A’s. He occasionally would take a game off (it seemed like it was Sundays) where Hugh Bowen the station announcer and substitute weatherman for then KCMO TV 5 would fill in as stadium announcer.

Jack died in 1986 and who knows the stories he could tell from his witnessing so many games. I don’t know if his thoughts were ever written down but it probably would have made a good book. At least I would have found it interesting. As I remember, his sign off at the end of the game was something like this:

“The Kansas City Royals thank you for attending tonight’s game. Please drive home safely and come back again soon. It’s grrreat to have you with us! Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy the water spectacular”

Special thanks to inningsago and crowngold on the Royals website forum for info on Jack Layton.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Royal Rush Hour

Thursday afternoon while driving home from work on southbound 435 from the Northland, I saw traffic growing and slowing going Northbound. I was puzzled as I did not see a wreck or construction that would cause the back up.

As I drove further south passing over the Missouri River, the 24 highway exit, Truman Road exit and finally the 23rd street exit the northbound traffic grew heavier and heavier. I then realized the reason for the enormous traffic going northbound as I started to see school bus after school bus loaded with children in the northbound lanes.

Over 32,000 attended the Thursday afternoon Royals game. Many of those probably children for School Day at the K. The Royals have held this event for several years but I don't recall a crowd this big. The resurgence of the Royals and the New K probably peaked interest for area schools to attend. The weather was great and there might have been a fair amount of walk ups from those taking off work early to see a game. For whatever reason, it is rather impressive to draw a near sell out for a day game in early May.

I am sure there were regular commuters who got caught in the traffic and probably wondered what was going on making them late. I hope that they eventually realized what the reason was. In a way it was a good thing and something to take note of that this town is rediscovering the Royals.

It probably won't be long that game traffic for night games will start to interfere with the normal evening rush hour. Yet another good sign of progress for our Kansas City Royals.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

No Comparison Needed. This is Zack Greinke.

All kinds of comparisons are going around comparing Zack Greinke to this pitcher or that pitcher. There is no comparison. Zack Greinke is .... Zack Greinke.

He is confident. He smirks a little when he gets someone to strike out swinging on a 68 mph curve ball. His answers are a little off the wall when interviewed. This is Zack Greinke.

He thrives on the pressure. He does not seem to shake a bit when a rare hit is given up. He takes pride in serving up some chin music if a batter is crowding the plate. This is Zack Greinke.

He prefers to finish a game instead of handing it over to the bullpen. He leads the league in wins and has the best ERA. He is starting to collect hardware as he won the AL pitcher of the month for April. This is Zack Greinke.

So if anybody asks you this question. Who does Zack Greinke remind you of? The answer is simple. This is Zack Greinke.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The NBT Royals Pitcher and Player of the Month for April 2009

The New Blue Tradition Royals Pitcher of the Month is Zack Greinke. Zack Greinke amazed the league in April going 5-0 with an ERA of 0.50. In 36 innings Zack had 44 strike outs. He pitched 2 complete game shutouts and did not give up his first earned run until his last start on April 29. Zack also appeared on the cover of Sports Illusrated and had a feature article.

The New Blue Tradition Royals Player of the Month is John Buck. John Buck was not the opening day starting catcher and remains the backup catcher behind Miguel Olivio. However, Buck appeared in 12 games and hit .300 with 3 home runs, 12 hits 2 doubles, 2 triples and 15 RBI in the month of April.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Hit Parade and Greinke The Great

The Royals pounded out 15 hits in an 11-3 win over the Blue Jays Wednesday night at The K. Zack Greinke The Great, pitched 7 innings giving up his first 2 earned runs of the season while scattering 5 hits to go 5-0 for the season. His season ERA is at 0.50.

The bats came alive led by Billy Butler going 4-5 with 2 homers, scoring 4 runs and batting in 4. Mark Teahen also belted a 2 run home run. Mike Jacobs went 2 for 4 with 2 walks, a run scored and an rbi. Coco Crisp went 2 for 5 scoring 1 run. Willie Bloomquist went 2 for 4 and scored 2 runs.

The win puts the Royals in a 3 way tie for first place in the AL Central with Chicago and Detroit. A win today will clinch first place for the Royals in April with a 1/2 game lead.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hot Bats on a Cold Night

The Royals' bats came alive on a cold and damp night against the Toronto Blue Jays in a 7-1 win at The K. The offense was led by Jose Guillen going 3-4 and hitting 2 home runs driving in 3 runs. Miguel Olivio hit a 3 run home run. Alberto Callaspo extended his hitting streak to 10 games going 2-4 and raised his average to .386. Willie Bloomquist got 2 walks and a triple.

Brian Bannister pitched great holding the leagues best hitting team to 1 run on 1 hit in 7 innings of work giving way to Jamey Wright who pitched a scoreless 8th. Kyle Farnsworth finished the game giving up 1 hit in the ninth.

The Royals need to do well against the Jays this week so they can finish the month of April above .500 and try to finish out the month in 1st in the AL Central standings.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

CooKoo for Coco Crisp

The bats lit up for the Tigers as the bats for the Royals fell silent in a 9-1 loss Saturday night at The K. Royals pitcher Kyle Davies was roughed up early giving up 7 runs on 8 hits which included a pair of 2 run homers.

37,647 attended the game to mark capacity crowds for 2 successive nights. People lined up early at the gates to be one of the first 20,000 fans to get the number 40 jersey to tribute the Royals 40th anniversary season. It was orderly this year and there was not the chaos that happened last year when they had a similar powder blue jersey promotion.

We arrived at the gate D at 2pm and the line was back to the edge of the street as more arrived the line circled back towards the outfield gate and back around. The gates opened at 3pm and the fans filed in orderly and without incident as the jerseys were passed out.

The early gate opening allowed fans to get a good look at the stadium for those making their first visit to the newly renovated K. It is too bad that the Royals did not perform better in front of the big crowd.

New Royals centerfielder Coco Crisp has gained some fans in his new city as this banner was displayed before the game. Is a Coco Crisp growth poster promotion in the works touting the importance of a good breakfast which includes cereal and milk to start of the day right for youngsters? Stay tuned.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Big Zack Attack

Zack Greinke improved his record to 4-0 and keeps his ERA at 0.00 with a 6-1 complete game win vs. the Tigers at The K. Greinke's 36 inning scoreless streak came to an end on an unearned run when Greinke threw home to try to get Gerald Laird advancing from 3rd on a ball that got away from Mark Teahen. It was Greinke's 2nd straight complete game.

Mark Teahen hit a 2 run homer scoring CoCo Crisp and Albert Callaspo hit a solo shot for his first major league home run.

36,363 were in attendance to see the quick 2 hour and 6 minute game.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Big Blue Pitching Machine

A good machine keeps on going even if you replace parts once in a while.

Insert Brian Bannister into the starting rotation who was called up this week and now we have a solid 1-2-3-4 starting punch. Bannister pitched 6 innings and gave up just 4 hits in his return after a shaky spring training and disappointed second half of 2008. Jamey Wright pitched 2 hitless innings and Joakim Soria got his 5th save of the year.

The offense got nine hits and scored two runs to get the win. With the pitching as good as it has been, the Royals don't need to score a lot of runs. However, it would be nice to see the batting averages climb and the hitters knock in more runs to ease pressure off the pitching.

The Royals improve their record to 8-6 and remain tied with the White Sox for first place in the AL Central.

Thursday, Gil Meche goes against the Indians in the deciding game of the series.

This should be a great weekend at the K as capacity crowds are expected. Zach Greinke starts Friday and Kyle Davies on Saturday. If Bannister starts on Sunday and pitches as well as he did tonight, this weekend could give Royals fans a good look at the Big Blue Pitching Machine.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Note to Hillman and Why You Can't Count on Kyle (Farnsworth, that is)

Note to Hillman. Don't put Kyle Farnsworth in when the game is on the line. Use him for mop up duty until he can prove he can get batters out. With that being said:

It has often been discussed that every team wins 50 and loses 50. What you do with the other 62 games is what counts. Well, this was one of those 62 games. Kyle Farnsworth now has been a part of 3 of those other 62 games. While he may not be at fault entirely for this game. He was the pitcher who gave up the walk off home run that put this game in the loss column.

Farnsworth needed to pick up the rest of the team today. The relievers before him could not hold the lead. There was an error and a couple other botched plays in the field. He could have made up for those and got his teammates off the hook. All he had to do was just get the Rangers out in the bottom of the ninth and push the game into extra innings. He could have picked up Kyle Davies who after a rough start in the first inning pitched solid through 6 innings. Davies gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and struck out 8 Rangers. Not bad considering a 37 pitch first inning where he gave up 2 runs and gave 4 free passes to Ranger batters.

What did Farnsworth do when his team needed a pick me up? On his 2nd pitch upon entering the game, Michael Young hit an up and in 96 mph fastball for a home run deep to left center. Young walked off with a win. Farnsworth walked off with the loss. That is what Farnsworth did when his team needed him most. I wonder if he is sitting alone on the flight to Cleveland tonight.

Old-Fashioned Pitching

The Royals game on Saturday vs. the Rangers at Arlington was pure old-fashioned pitching. Both starters Zack Greinke and Kevin Millwood pitched gems. Both pitched complete games. Both pitched out of jams with Greinke surviving as the winner of a 2-0 match. Even Millwood survived catching a ground ball with his bare hand in a purely instinctive move. For a second, it looked like a Steve Busby vs. Noland Ryan type game where the pitchers purely dominated.

Greinke starts the year 3-0 pitching 20 scoreless innings. The consecutive scoreless streak dates back to last September at 34 innings. He went all the way pitching 111 pitches and still baffling the hitters up to the very last strike. All you had to do was look at the reaction of the Rangers hitters at the plate at the pitches that were thrown to them.

Greinke looked sharp. He was in control. He did not look pressured when runners were at 3rd with no outs. He pitched like he belonged in the majors. He pitched with confidence.

We are seeing something special unfold in April. Something we have not seen in a long time. The pitching is strong. The hitting is coming around. The defense is sharp. The Royals as a team are playing with confidence. They feel the have the chance to win every day they step on to the field. They finished September strong and are carrying that over into the new season.

Who knows how well they will finish. They are dealing with injury problems with Jose Guillen and Alex Gordon who both figured to be a big part of the offense this year. But right now we are seeing some of the best Royals baseball this early in the season that we have seen in years.

Now more than ever, KC fans should get out to The K, watch on TV, or listen on the radio and enjoy the game!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

And on the 12th day of the season; 12 Runs

The hitting attack came through against the Rangers on Friday night. A season high 12 runs and 19 hits led by Mark Teahen's performance going 5-6 with a home run and 3 runs scored and a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

The 5 through 9 spots of Teahen, Mike Jacobs, John Buck, Alberto Callaspo, and Willie Bloomquist, went a combined 10 for 23 scoring 10 runs, 3 walks, and 7 rbi. Leadoff hitter CoCo Crisp added 1 hit, 2 walks, and 3 rbi. Teahan, Crisp, and Jacobs all homered.

It is a good thing that the lower part of the order delivered as the 2 through 4 spots went a combined 4 for 16 with 2 rbi and 2 walks with the bright spot out of this part of the order was that they had only 1 strikeout.

Gil Meche got his first win of the season going 6 innings. Callaspo had a defensive gem at 2nd that can't easily be explained. You have to watch the replay.

The numbers:
Royals score 12 runs on the 12th day of their regular season schedule.
Gil Meche is The Beast as he throws a 666 to the Rangers (6 innings, 6 strikeouts, 6 hits).

Almost a Record:
Mark Teahan nearly ties an over 100 year old record (hitting for the cycle and getting 6 hits) if he would have got one more hit (triple).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Buck is It!

Is John Buck the spark that the Royals need to get their hitting attack going? After his home run on Sunday against the Yankees and his 2 home runs (one a grand slam)and 5 rbi last night against the Indians, Buck is the hot bat in the line up and leading the offensive charge for the Royals. If you want to know how bad the offense has been, Buck is the RBI leader and he has played in only 2 games.

The bullpen again proved great as a combined relief performance of Tejeda, Cruz and Waechter closed the door on the Indians. Starter Kyle Davies got the win improving his record to 2-0. The 1-2-3 combo of Meche, Greinke and Davies have given the Royals their 5 wins on the season as they sit on top of the AL Central.

The Royals at times are showing some patience at the plate so maybe we are seeing a turn around. They need to score runs to take pressure off the pitching, especially for Soria as he finally got a break last night with not having to come in to close the game with the big lead the offense provided. More runs will also help secure wins when the back end of the rotation pitches. All the losses with the exception of Opening Day have come against the 4 and 5 spot in the rotation.

Today the Royals go for a sweep against the Indians to try to close out a successful opening homestand in the new renovated K.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday April 13

Baseball and its fans suffered two losses today with the passing of longtime Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas and former Tigers pitcher Mark Fidrych.

I made it clear in my last post that the Royals need to start hitting. Well they started to hit a little more and it added up to wins on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees and Monday night against the Indians.

Zack Greinke pitched five innings and got 9 strike outs giving up no runs. The Royals scored 4 runs on an economy of 5 hits. Soria gave up 2 runs in the ninth to make it interesting but hung on to get his 4th save.

Just over 10,000 braved the cold and windy weather but the fans that were there were rewarded with the Royals 4th win of the season.

Statistic of note: Greinke now has 25 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to 2008.

The Royals should consider to start hitting a little more. It might help Kyle Davies get his 2nd win of the season on Tuesday.

We wanted to check out Rivals Sports Bar tonight but the wait was too long so we were given the option to sit upstairs on the Bud Light Party Deck for dinner since the party deck was not rented out for the night. It was cold and windy on the party deck but the view was great. The menu was limited with Buffalo Wings, Nachos, and 2 kinds of burgers. I had the Flamer Burger which is a hamburger with wing sauce and pepper jack cheese. It was a good size burger with fresh lettuce and tomato. It would have been worth the $9 price if it had a bit more fries to go with it. The party at the next table ordered the nachos and that looked great. I will have to try that the next time I go to Rivals/Bud Light Party Deck. After the first inning we went to our seats to escape the wind.

The look of the New K is dramatically different at night then it was on opening day. The night time glow of the high definition scoreboard and all the ribbon boards made for a different look.

Our next tickets are for Saturday April 25 which happens to be the 40th anniversary jersey night promotion. I doubt if they will have any in my size but it will make a nice collector item unless I can lose enough weight to fit into it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Game #4 and 5.

Opening day was exciting. The New K looks great with all the new renovations. The Outfield experience was out of this world. You can stand almost next to the scoreboard. You can walk right up to the light standards. You can stand right in front of or behind the water fountains. You can stand where a street once stood. It was money well spent and kudos to us Jackson Countians for passing the sales tax to fund the renovations of both The K and Arrowhead.

Now about the games. The Royals need to start hitting. You can't ask for much better than your #4 starter on Friday. Contrary to popular belief, Sir Sidney did not pitch that bad. The boo birds were in force in the first inning when the Yankees scored 2 runs. The defense did not help Ponson out at all in what turned out to be a decent pitching performance from him. The offense did not help much either. The Royals need to start hitting.

Much of the same happened on Saturday vs CC Sabathia and the Yankees. By the way, the Royals need to start hitting. Although Royals starter Horacio Ramirez gave up 6 runs on 8 hits in 4 1/3 innings, the Royals really need to start hitting. Keep in mind Ramirez is our #5 starter. He is no Gil Meche, Zack Greinke or Kyle Davies. One thing would have helped though, the Royals need to start hitting.

The Royals got 1 run on 7 hits. You can't win many games with this kind of hitting attack. Meche and Greinke would have to through a lot of shut outs to win on this offense. By the way, the Royals need to start hitting.

One thing you can say is that these games are against the Yankees and we will see Greinke and Davies pitching against the Indians on Monday and Tuesday. Winning the central division games is the goal here and we have a good chance to win the series this week against the Indians. We know the Yankees are going to win against everyone in our division but you know, the Royals need to start hitting.

The Royals have an excellent chance in winning whenever Meche, Greinke and Davies pitch. They even have a decent shot at winning when the #4 and 5 guys pitch. But in order for this to happen, (you guessed it) the Royals need to start hitting.

I will be checking out the new Rivals Sports Bar and Grill in right field on Monday night. Greinke is scheduled to pitch. Should be a good game. Even better if...... the Royals start hitting.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Win #2 at Chicago

The Royals again had yet another strong starting pitching performance on Thursday at Chicago as they defeated the White Sox 2-0. This time the solid pitching came from Kyle Davies. Royals starters in 3 games have given up only 1 run. We knew we were going to get great pitching from Meche and Greinke but Davies showed he can pitch just as good. If this keeps up, the Royals may have the best 1,2,3 combo in their history.

Today Sir Sidney Ponson opens the New K against the Yankees. It is kind of fitting that a member of Royalty is the starting pitcher for the Royals new castle. If Sir Sidney can match the performance of Monarch Meche, Greinke the Great and King Kyle, then the Royals might have the best hand in the division for a starting pitching staff. Ponson might be in the rotation short term until Hochaver and Bannister are recalled in May. But, if he can contribute some quality starts he can help this team win some meaningful early season games and provide veteran leadership.

Center fielder CoCo Crisp hit a 2 run homer in the 9th that proved to be the margin of victory. We would like to see some more hitting from the Royals but they did face strong starting pitching against the White Sox. It is nice to see them hang on to win 2 of 3 in what could be a wide open AL Central race.

Today the Yankees come to the New Kauffman Stadium. With a sell out crowd excited about a new stadium and high expectations for the team, Opening Day this year should be very festive.

See you at The K.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Game 2 Win #1 of the Season

Greinke the Great pitched 3 hit shut out ball and the bullpen made it stick to give the Royals their first win of the season on Wednesday at Chicago. Pitching was the bright spot for both teams. The Royals took advantage of what was offered to them to manufacture enough runs to win the game. It still would have been nice to see a more potent offense but White Sox starter Gavin Floyd pitched just as impressively. Juan Cruz made his Royals debut shutting down the Sox while making way for Joakim Soria to earn his first save of the season.

If we see this type of effort from Meche and Greinke all year along with the results that the bullpen provided on Wednesday, it will certainly be hard on opposing teams to score off the Royals.

Leadership was present on the field as first baseman Mike Jacobs gave congratulatory fist pumps to his teammates on their good defense and made sure everyone knew how many outs there were.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Game #1 New Blue Tradition or Same Old ????

If you looked at the box score for the 2009 Royals season opener you might think that you were looking at a box score for any game of the past few years. They wasted a great pitching performance by Gil Meche as he pitched 7 innings giving up 1 run and 7 hits with no walks. The hitting attack was weak as the Royals collected 7 hits and scored 2 runs while leaving 11 on base. The offensive highlight was Alex Gordon and his 1 run blast to deep center in the 2nd. Many are already second guessing Trey Hillman and his decision to pitch against Jim Thome who has a lifetime .310 average, 42 home runs and 119 rbi against Royals pitching. When Thome came to the plate in the bottom of the 8th with 2 on, you can just imagine what the result would be. You did not have to imagine very long.

The Royals went out and got Mike Jacobs to help with run production. He was hitless leaving 4 on base. Jacobs and the rest of the line up need to connect and manufacture runs. In the top of the 1st, Coco Crisp singled and Mark Teahen walked. Jacobs then promptly struck out. In the 3rd Jose Guillen walked and Teahen was hit by a pitch. Jacobs popped out to 2nd and Billy Butler lined out to the shortstop. White Sox starter Mark Buehrle who is 19-8 in his career against the Royals continued to take advantage of a team that can't bunch up hits and score runs.

The Royals should be winning this type of a game on a regular basis if we are to believe the team is starting to improve. Granted, it is only one game in a 162 game schedule. No promises of a championship were made for this season but Dayton Moore has set an expectation of winning and the fans are expecting the team to come through on that expectation. How the team bounces back on Wednesday will be a key indicator as to the development of the team and what fans are to expect in 2009. If Zach Grienke has another strong outing and the result is the same as in the opener, it may be another long summer. If the Royals should win on Wednesday then we have reason to believe that this could be the year we finally see a New Blue Tradition at the New K.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Greinke Signed Through 2012

The Royals website is reporting that pitcher Zack Greinke as been signed through 2012. Terms were not disclosed but The Star is reporting that a news conference is scheduled later today.

New Blue Tradition thinks that this is a significant signing as Dayton Moore again avoids arbitration and locks up Greinke long term including 2 years into his free agent eligibility. Greinke along with Gil Meche will make up the top of the rotation while closer Joachim Soria will nail down the close ones in the 9th.

This receipe of strong pitching will again prove successful as Moore witnessed while working for GM John Schuerholz at Atlanta. Schuerholz was with the Royals though 1990 building teams much in the same fashion while working in the minor league scouting department and GM before he left for Atlanta in 1990.