The Annual ‘Royals Will Win’ Column

I have a friend who, when trying to relax or when stressed about things, will run over Los Angeles Rams scores in his mind. I tend to do the same thing with Kansas City Royals blunders. It comforts me. Whenever I think of Desi Relaford just falling off of first base, as if he had been tipped by drunk college kids, or Ken Harvey getting hit in the back by an outfield throw or the team batting out of order with the first batter of the game (yes, that happened) — I feel better about these Royals.

They have started the most pivotal baseball season in Kansas City in more than 20 years. I really do fear that they might not be up to it.

But, hey, you know, there was this one time the Royals started a non-prospect from Class AA in Yankee Stadium because, well, I still don’t know exactly why they did that.

And I am comforted — because at least they’re not going back to that.

There are so many things that worry me about this year’s Royals team. The Plexiglas effect worries me — this is the proposition that teams that take big steps forward one year tend to give back many of the gains the next. The Royals won 86 games last season, a 14-game improvement and the most they won in a season since 1989. It just feels like they’ll fall a bit closer to earth.

The bullpen worries me — not because I think the bullpen will be bad (I expect it to be good) but because I don’t believe it can be as good as last year. You almost cannot overstate how dominant the Royals bullpen was in 2014. The league hit just .217 against that bullpen last year. The bullpen had an insane 2.55 ERA and the pitchers struck out 9.5 batters per nine innings, they were dominant in every possible way. And bullpens tend to be variable, mercurial … it probably won’t be that good this year. And, right away, Game 1, the bullpen blows a lead

Manager Ned Yost worries me. Yost’s often curious managerial decisions don’t bother me as much as his labored explanations for them — his exposition on why he did not have closer supreme Greg Holland start the ninth inning of a tie game against Detroit Monday but did bring Holland inning once the Tigers threatened to score was typically baffling. People will always argue about how much a manager means to a team’s success, but it has been 30 years since the Royals had a manager (Dick Howser) with any winning success as a manager before taking the job. I was actually daydreaming the other day about the Royals hiring Dusty Baker to be their manager — that’s probably not a good sign.

Jason Vargas and Norichka Aoki and Omar Infante worry me. I know a lot of smart people liked the Royals acquiring these veteran players — or at least didn’t mind it too much — but I keep going back in my mind to the astonishing Royals’ history of signing 30-something “professional players” and then watching them unhappily plod and toil and lose lots of games.

Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain worry me. The Royals have had one of the game’s best minor-league system for years and they just have so much trouble with the seemingly simple process of having player come up and simply become a star without a lot of angst and failure and confusion. Other teams have players who just, blammo, are good players. I see it happen — Evan Longoria and Mike Trout and Ryan Braun and Troy Tulowitzki and Manny Machado and Jose Fernandez and Tim Lincecum and Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander. Heck, it even happened for ex-Royal Wil Myers. I mean it DOES happen.

But it rarely seems to happen for the Royals. Hosmer and Moustakas were the can’t-miss stars of their system (well, with Myers). Hosmer’s three-year career has already been a soap opera. Moustakas has 1,500 plate appearances in the big league and an 85 OPS+. Will they be good players? We still don’t know.

And so, I like to think back. I like to reminisce. I like to remember the time that a Royals outfielder climbed the center field wall to steal a home run only to watch the ball land on the warning track and bounce over his head.

I like to think about the time two Royals outfielders settled under a fly ball, looked at each other, and then started jogging happily toward the dugout … only to forget to actually catch the ball. It plopped down joyfully behind them.

I like to think of the time a Royals player lost a ball in the sun and explained afterward that he wasn’t wearing sunglasses because his prescription sunglasses had not arrived yet. Or another time a Royals player wasn’t wearing sunglasses, lost a ball in the sun and got hit in the face with it … on the plane ride home, it was noted, he WAS wearing sunglasses to cover up the shiner.

There was the time a pitcher was released in the middle of the game so he wouldn’t have to answer media questions about how terrible he had been. There was the time a Royals manager met with reporters in a hotel lobby after a game and was told, much to his surprise, that he had been fired. There was the time a pitcher was so ticked off at himself that he angrily threw his the ball in to his glove again and again kind of like that pitcher at the end of ‘Bad News Bears” only to have a base runner steal third while moped.

There was the time a pitcher complained that he was not getting enough no-decisions.

There was the time a Royals general manager considered hiring an artist — an actual painter artist — to draw some of his players so that they could use the artwork as scouting tools. There was the time the Royals tried out a professional softball player and talked about signing him despite the somewhat obvious drawback that he was balking on every pitch.

I like to remember that the Royals once had a manager who guaranteed the Royals would win the division in May of a season where they lost 104 games. The Royals were once on the brink of being sold to a man who walked around town wearing a suit and Royals cap, who had a meeting with the radio guy and told him to start using one of those egg timers so he would know when to give the score, who then held a meeting with the manager to tell him to stop letting batters swing at the first pitch.

I like to remember that the Royals once announced that the players would not be wearing Negro League uniforms on Negro Leagues Day because, you know, uniforms are expensive.

The Royals once blew a huge ninth inning lead with a spectacular series of blunders capped by a dropped fly ball — this last boo boo led announcer Denny Matthews to make the classic call: “Annnnnnnnnnd he dropped it. Yes he did.”

The Royals once had the future best player in baseball — the 47th best player of all time according to one recent ranking — play high school AND junior college ball in town, and they did not draft him either time.

The Royals once looked at a draft board featuring Tim Lincecum, Evan Longroria, Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer (who went to school down the road at Missouri) and with the first overall pick took Luke Hochevar, an independent league player who had refused to sign with a team the year before.

The Royals once canceled their annual banquet to save a few bucks, once had a pitcher throw a baseball, no joke, 10 feet over a catcher’s head even though he was standing about 40 feet away at the time, once had an outfielder kick the ball back into the infield, once had a batter go so long without a walk that when he finally got one the fireworks went off — these are all true. The Royals once decided the best way to keep young players like Johnny Damon was to build them houses in Kansas City (apparently on the theory that they might never figure out that houses can be sold).

The Royals once put a talented and young left-hander into his first big league game on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium with runners on first and second and with Jorge Posada at the plate. The Royals either didn’t know or did not believe the numbers that showed Posada was a BETTER HITTER against lefties. After that three-run homer, the kid pitcher — a great guy named Tony Cogan who I still hear from now and again — was kind of ruined.

There are so many more … but, see, already I feel better. With all the worries, the Royals are not that team anymore. The problems they have are adult problems, real baseball problems, the sorts of things that other teams must deal with. The Royals have very good baseball players. Alex Gordon is a brilliant defensive outfielder and an above average hitter. Billy Butler is a professional hitter who will get on base and offer doubles and occasional home run power. Salvador Perez is one of my favorite players in baseball, an exception to the general rule about young Royals players — he’s a brilliant young defensive catcher along the lines of a young Yadi Molina and a developing offensive player along the lines of, well, a young Yadi Molina.

Hosmer, for all my concerns above, is someone I still believe will develop into one of the really good hitters in the game.

That bullpen is still loaded with amazing arms and stuff.

Young Yordano Ventura physically resembles Pedro Martinez and he has a 102-mph fastball. James Shields is a pro’s pro. Again, even with my concerns, the Royals have five starters with a chance to be league average, and that’s actually very valuable.

And, in the end, the Royals don’t need miracles to win. They just need some players to live up to their billing, they need a few breaks, they need some development and they could use some luck — aren’t the Royals due for some luck? They absolutely could make the postseason this year.

And so, what the heck, I’m picking them to do so, despite my concerns (and Michael Schur’s logical skepticism). I’m picking them to win the American League Central. But then, I always do — every year as columnist for the Kansas City Star, I would pick the Royals to win the division. It was part joke, part silliness, part insane optimism, part naive hope. I always thought that’s what Opening Day should be about. I’m picking the Royals to win the American League Central. Why? Because: It’s time.

50 thoughts on “The Annual ‘Royals Will Win’ Column

  1. largebill

    Joe, Should have stuck with your hometown Tribe. Royals are going to finish in third.

    As to value of managers, I believe the difference in managers is that some are more likely to contribute to losses than to wins. Over managing more often hurts than helps.

    Reply
  2. Jake Bucsko

    As a Pirates fan, I say go Royals! Last year was pure magic and the KC fans deserve it. Perhaps I’ll make them my Official American League Team. No hard feelings when we beat them in the Series?

    Reply
  3. AaronB

    Joe, I’m a Cards fan first, Royals fan second, so keep that in mind with my thought. To me the biggest issue the Royals have is an inability to develop their talent. Some is drafting, such as taking Hoch over the players mentioned, and some is sticking with players too long, as if to prove a point – see Kyle Davies, but most of the issues in the last 10 years focuses on player development.

    They can find players, who seemingly have high ceilings, Hosemer, Moustakas, Myers, but the inconsistent methods of what they teach the kids is eye opening. They’ve constantly changed hitting philosophies, don’t seem to understand how to develop pitching, they’re just poor at development.

    Myers mentioned how much he improved when he went to the Rays, in part because they had a real plan and method for teaching the kids. The Cards are much the same in that they have a consistent plan in place and a way of teaching all the prospects. It doesn’t always work and both organizations have had their misses, but their hit rates seem to be much higher than the Royals. Plus, throw in that the Cards and Rays (last few years) typically draft lower than the Royals.

    Anyway, that’s the big issue to me and one that needs to be addressed ASAP, especially since the Royals are dependent on player development through the minors.

    Reply
    1. bellweather22

      This seems true and it’s shocking. Youth travel ball coaches seem to have better formulas for developing talent than the Royals. With all the resources available to a major league team, you’d think player development would be a given. Changing philosophies, if that’s going on, is a huge problem…. And you need to work with players strengths rather than trying wholesale changes.

      A couple of examples. Jason Heyward came up and took a lot of pitches. Coming up, he had been pitched around so often and for so long, he developed great patience. Well, hitting in the middle of the lineup, he was told to swing more and drive in runs. He got out of his comfort zone, walked less and became inconsistent. Out of desperation last year, they batted him lead off….where walks are now good. He returned to his patient style and became a catalyst for the team. They should have left him alone, but they had to mess with him. Luckily, that’s stopped.

      BJ Upton is coming off a historically bad season. So, obviously there was going to be a lot of off season focus on him and the $75M left on his oversized contract. Fortunately they are just trying to get him back to his original style that he had in his early Rays days. They aren’t trying to remake him into something new. With as screwed up as he was last year mechanically and mentally, it will be a tall order to get even average production out of him. But at least they seem to be going about it the right way.

      Bottom line is, sometimes less is more. Professional coaches can’t help but tinker with something in front of them. Yeah, there are things to learn, but once they get to the professional level, especially if they are top draft picks…. They’re much better leaving their style mostly alone.

      Reply
      1. Craig From Az

        I don’t know if this is an accurate assessment or not. Sure, compared to the Cards and the Rays (probably the two best – or at least luckiest – teams in young player development), the Royals stink at it. On the other hand, the Rays and the Cards don’t need their young stars to come up early and shine immediately. You notice when they are great, you don’t notice when they get sent down for more work in AAA. They can also leave them in the minors longer so they are (possibly) more mature when they break into the bigs.

        I am a DBacks fan, and it seems to me we have the same problem. We have had a slew of young “phenom” pitchers, none of which are pitching for the DBacks – Trevor Bauer, Jarod Parker, Max Scherzer. The ones that are pitching for us – Patrick Corbin (until he got hurt) and Wade Miley – were fringe candidates. Maybe that’s just the way player development goes – you never really know.

        Reply
  4. bellweather22

    This is the roster of a .500 team, at best. I know you know that. It is fun to hear from fans of historically lousy teams. I have a friend that’s a Mets fan. You have to respect that. You cannot be a fair weather, non serious fan and root for the Mets. Yankee fans on the other hand….. America’s biggest bandwagoners. Along with the Red Sox more recently. The pink hat brigade.

    I’d be interested in your thoughts on the Braves. Their deep and very good rotation self destructed this spring. Dr. James Andrews is going to fund his kids Ivy League education off this staff. They have two guys in the starting lineup who are coming off two of the worst seasons ever by regular position players. Two rookies and a complete journeyman are in the starting rotation, And, because of injuries and free agent losses, the team gave two bullpen slots to guys who were slotted for AAA. Their spring training invites were thought to be courtesy invites.

    With all that, the fans still think they are going to win the division. Ahhhh, April. Everyone’s a winner for about a week.

    Reply
    1. Karyn

      Yeah, the pitching staff took a couple of huge blows. But we’re getting Minor back in a couple-three weeks, Ervin Santana and Gavin Floyd probably about the same, or sooner. Jonny Venters likely will be back sometime in May, to bolster the bullpen. BJ Upton and Dan Uggla cannot possibly be worse, and will contribute something this year. Heyward, Justin Upton, and Freeman are strong bats (and decent fielders). Simba is a Hoover at short, and will likely take a small step forward in hitting. Chris Johnson was a revelation last year; even if he regresses, he’s still valuable. To a lesser extent, so was Gattis.

      And as of right now, Aaron Harang has thrown six innings of no-hit ball to the Brewers.

      Reply
  5. Bob Waddell

    Excellent article as always Joe, but as for KC winning the Central, April Fools Day was yesterday. Go Tigers!

    Reply
  6. Mark Daniel

    Funny stuff. Someone should do this for the Detroit Lions. I can think of three doozies right off the top of my head – Marty Mornhinweg taking the wind in overtime, the assistant coach who was arrested for driving naked through a drive thru, and, of course, the new “Jim Schwartz” rule intended to keep coaches from losing games through their own stupidity.

    Reply
    1. Tom

      As a Lions fan I would love to read that. Add to the list Dan Orlovsky (just signed again to be the backup qb) running out of the back of the end zone during their 0-16 season.

      Reply
  7. LuisLozada

    The Royals also had one of the greatest baseball minds in their state and they let it go to Boston. If they had brought Bill James in they would probably have understood the concept of replacement level player about 10 years sooner.

    Reply
    1. Patrick Bohn

      He’s written 54 feature-length articles for it in four months. The last one clocked in at 3,300 words. This means he’s probably written 100,000-150,000 words on it during that time. Yeah, that’s some terrible output right there

      Reply
  8. KC Oracle (@KCOracle)

    The problem throught the first two games is that Moose, Escober and Aoki look just as bad as Moose, Escobar and Franceour looked last year. Aoki preumably will be okay, but he looked like a little leaguer against Verlander and Scherzer.

    Reply
  9. Brad

    I think baseball pundits are overvaluing the Royals pen. Holland is usually lights out. After him it gets shaky. Herrera blew several games last season and Crow has been wildly inconsistent. Collins seems to have lost his mojo last summer. I saw Justin Morneau, who’ s a shell of his former self, hit a HR off of Collins that would still be in orbit if it hadn’t hit something.
    Billy Butler should change his nickname from Country Breakfast to 6-4-3. If Moose, Cain, Infante and Aoki struggle, they’re cooked. Of course ex Royal Emilio Bonafacio has 11 hits in his first three games.
    Then you have the Yost factor. Clueless Ned’s game management is guaranteed to blow 6-7 games a year. Last year that was enough to decide who won the wildcard. That went to Terry Francona and a Cleveland team that by most comparison’s was inferior to the Royals.
    Before the 2014 season I predicted 75 wins and 20-25 games blown by the pen and Yost. So far they have two.
    I’ve been a Royals fan since 1969 and I’m tired. Tired of idiotic managers. Tired of horrible drafts, poor free agent signings and seeing ex Royals star somewhere else. But I never get tired of reading Joe.

    Reply
  10. Hack A Joe

    Court won’t hear Sandusky appeal
    Updated: April 2, 2014, 8:59 PM ET
    Associated Press
    RECOMMEND0TWEET0COMMENTS0EMAILPRINT
    HARRISBURG, Pa. — The state’s highest court on Wednesday said it would not review Jerry Sandusky’s child molestation conviction. But other legal avenues remain open to the former Penn State assistant football coach.
    Sandusky had asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to take up his 45-count conviction, arguing that his lawyers were rushed to trial in 2012 and that prosecutors improperly made reference to his decision not to testify.
    #####
    JoePoz,
    As the Joey Goebbels of the Paterno Klan, LLC (home offices in the British Channel Islands and, obviously, the Dominican Republic, what’s your Official Paterno Spin on this story?

    Reply
  11. bellweather22

    Look, the reason some of us were killing Poz on the Penn State thing was his support for Joe Paterno & not holding him accountable for his inaction when he became aware of some of Sandusky’s actions… i.e. the witnessed shower incident. I don’t recall Poz ever offering any support to Sandusky and the things Sandusky did.

    Reply
    1. Hack A Joe

      http://www.jeffpearlman.com/posnanski-and-paterno/
      Courtesy of Jeff Pearlman, JoePoz Goebbels’s former buddy at Sports Illustrated:
      “One of the things that really irks me, RE: Posnanski and Paterno, is that, late last year, after the initial Sandusky news hit, the author addressed a class at Penn State titled, ‘Joe Paterno: Communications and the Media.’ As an employee of Sports Illustrated at the time, defending Paterno before a room of students was, to be polite, unprofessional (When I was coming up at SI, the editors would have considered firing a writer for such an action). According to a kid who Tweeted during the session, Posnanski uttered the following:
      “If this happened at the University of Miami, no matter how bad it was, it wouldn’t have elevated to this level.”
      “I think [Paterno] is a scapegoat. I definitely think that…I think he tried to do the right thing, and the right thing didn’t happen.”
      “The only thing people remember about Woody Hayes is that he hit a player. I don’t want that to happen to Joe. He didn’t hit a player.”
      “It’s already shameful. It’ll be ten times more shameful to think that they fired him with a personal messenger sent to his home.”
      (On reporters who have covered the story well) “There are not many.”
      “I’ve never seen anything handled worse. Maybe how New Orleans, post-Katrina….Paterno was always dangled by this university.”
      “A lot of people came here to bury Joe. As a writer, I’m mad with that, as someone who’s come to know the Paternos, I’m heartbroken.”
      “The rush to judgment here has been extraordinarily. The lesson to learn might be that we screwed this thing up.”
      #####
      Funny that you forgot how JoePoz Goebbels offered this support to his paycheck, Paterno, and Penn State before a classroom full of students.
      (That ringing that you now have in your ears come courtesy of the written and well-documented smackdown you’ve just read above.)

      Reply
      1. Karyn

        Yeah, JoePos screwed up by saying those things. He probably shouldn’t even have gone to the seminar. But he’d been working closely with the Paterno family for months. He felt connected to the man, and he let his emotions run away with him.

        What is it you’re trying to accomplish, here?

        Reply
  12. Fuzzy Dunlop

    Where is the evidence of Joe’s support for Sandusky in that “smackdown”? Not wanting Paterno to take (all) the blame for Sandusky’s actions is far different from supporting Sandusky. This isn’t a subtle distinction, but somehow I doubt that someone who rushes to label journalists Nazis is familiar with any kind of nuance.

    Reply
    1. Hack A Joe

      More from JoePoz Goebbels’s former employer at Sports Illustrated. Information you won’t get from the JoePoz Goebbels’s Paterno Klane, LLC spin machine:

      POSTED MARCH 12, 2014
      Video: Dottie Sandusky continues to defend husband in interview on NBC’s Today
      BY ZAC ELLIS
      Campus Union
      si.com

      Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted in 2012 on 45 of 48 counts for sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years. He was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison. This week, Sandusky’s wife, Dottie, spoke out in her husband’s defense.

      Dottie Sandusky gave an exclusive interview to NBC’s Today on Monday in which she maintained her husband’s innocence. During the interview, which ran on Wednesday, she told Matt Lauer that the victims had been manipulated by attorneys.

      “I think they were manipulated,” Sandusky said. “Once lawyers came into the case, they said there was money.”

      Watch a condensed version of the interview above. The entire video is available on the Today show’s website.

      http://www.today.com/news/jerry-sanduskys-wife-victims-were-manipulated-they-saw-money-2D79356845

      Reply
      1. Hack A Joe

        Why did JoePoz Goebbels hide Mama Sandusky’s latest broadside from his readers?
        And in what offshore domicile is the Paterno Klan, LLC home offices in the British Channel Islands and, obviously, the Dominican Republic) depositing JoePoz Goebbels’s spin checks?

        Reply
        1. Guest

          Look, I’ve given Joe as much shit for this as any other commenter. He lost massive amounts of credibility with me after that. In fact, he actually stopped allowing comments after a particularly nasty comment of mine (Stratomatic football, PSU edition – I can email you the comment). With that said: You’re being a fucking weirdo and need to stop.

          Reply
          1. LuisLozada

            I don’t know, I guess I don’t see what’s the deal here. I read the book and all I took from that was (other than that Patterno should’ve done more) was that Patterno and Sandusky didn’t get along at all, and that this may or may not have affected the way Patterno dealt with Sandusky for 20+ years after he quit the team.

            But that being said, I still fail to see where can anybody see that JoePo was defending Patterno. I guess that for some people if you didn’t ask for Pattterno’s execution it makes you his “defender”. I think that Joe did a good job stating both sides, but the public opinion is to kill Patterno and if you don’t do it then you are defending him.

        1. Hack A Joe

          Write propaganda for and bank offshore with serial child-molesting dogs and their bury the facts handlers and you’re haunted by fleas for life.
          JoePoz Goebbels sided with Sandusky and Paterno; JoePoz Goebbels got and continues to get his offshore checks. No mercy. None.

          Reply
          1. Luis

            Are you for real? How did Joe side with Sandusky? That’s pretty interesting behavior you are showing us.

            I have no hopes you’ll change your mind, but you are not going to change any either.

  13. :-)

    Just saw a headline on CNN “Tyson Recalls Chicken Nuggets”. Now I can’t get the thought out of my head of a retired boxer with a high voice and a tattoo on his face saying “I remember eating them with barbeque sauce and with sweet and sour and with hot mustard and with honey….”

    Sorry, the article didn’t have a comments section and I didn’t know where else I could post this!

    Reply
  14. KC Oracle (@KCOracle)

    Don’t know how this got hijacked on Paterno stuff. Especially with the Royals winning two in a row and Moose on the bench today. However, Joe’s sin on Paterno is that he apparently did not say anything very interesting about it in his book (I have not read it). Paterno surely was scapegoated. The investigative report finding fault with Paterno was patheteic in terms of a lack of evidence.

    Reply
  15. bellweather22

    KC: while I don’t want to prolong this ancient discussion, the evidence against Paterno was that he was told, by an assistant coach, that he witnessed Sandusky raping a child in the locker room. Paterno started off OK by reporting this to the President and the head of the PSU police. Those two, obviously, are in the most hot water over all of this becuase they did essentially nothing about it. But, Joe Paterno, arguably the leader of the school & the moral conscience of the entire state, never followed up to find out what happened. Hey guys, what’s going on with the Sandusky investigation? That’s a pretty big lapse. Maybe it’s not one that rises to a criminal offense, but it’s a serious moral lapse of judgement. When it comes to child rape, you don’t get a pass for exercising poor judgement. This was not an unpaid parking ticket. Paterno was NOT scapegoated. He was held accountable for his inaction and all involved will also be held accountable. It was not Paterno’s alone to bear. And, I don’t think it’s unfair if you hold yourself up as a moral beacon to be called out when you fall significantly short of that.

    I feel bad for him though. I think he felt he had reported it to the right people & that they would deal with it. But, like I said, when it comes to child rape, you have to follow up and make sure it’s being addressed. You can’t be a leader and just hand something like that off, wash your hands of it and walk away feeling like you did your duty.

    Reply
    1. invitro

      “he was told, by an assistant coach, that he witnessed Sandusky raping a child in the locker room.”

      Is this what the assistant coach said? My recollection is that he said that he saw Sandusky doing something questionable… I do not remember the exact words, but I don’t think “rape” was used. That makes a difference to me on how strong the duty of Paterno to follow up was. I think I can understand him feeling that the ball was in their hands after reporting what the grad assistant said. In any case, I don’t think it’s at all clear that Paterno knew that the assistant had witnessed child rape. And I think it’s very understandable that Paterno believed that the president and police chief would handle the case appropriately. And even if Paterno would’ve followed up, almost certainly they would’ve told him that the situation was under control.

      Reply
      1. Karyn

        In Paterno’s grand jury testimony, he stated that McQueary told him that what he saw between Sandusky and a child was sexual in nature, and that it was inappropriate.

        Paterno was extremely powerful. If he’d followed through, who knows how many boys would have avoided being molested and raped? He did the absolute minimum; what would he have told a player who did the absolute minimum?

        Reply
        1. Hack A Joe

          And JoePoz Goebbels hid these facts in his fanny-kissing, criminal defense polemic of Papa Joe.
          Of course, JoePoz Goebbels got paid offshore and protected Paterno. In State College, that’s all that matters. Not the little boys.

          Reply
          1. Spencer

            @Hack a Joe

            Posnanski basically said that we shouldn’t rush to judgement with Paterno. That we needed more information.

            I don’t see how that makes him a Nazi. You sound insane. Especially trolling a blog YEARS later, and for what?

  16. Michael Grimaldi

    On the would-be owner’s ball cap and managerial advice: He wanted the city to know somebody with a chance to own the team was also a baseball fan with passion for the game; an opinion about how it should be played; and a sincere, if sometimes ham-handedly expressed, concern about the team’s performance. Kansas City fans haven’t had that in an owner since Aug. 1, 1993. As for the egg-timer comment: With the exception of Ryan Lefebvre, who only occasionally is on the radio, the Royals radio broadcasters to this day work as if everyone listens intently to every word from sign-on to sign-off. Radio fans today tune in and tune out throughout the game. Royals broadcast listeners can go a full half inning without hearing the score; if they’re lucky, they’ll get the score at the end or beginning of half innings. Most of the time, but not always, you’ll get the game score when, well, a run is scored.

    Reply
  17. Rich Horton

    Always thought Kaat the better pitcher, the one who had a legit — but by no means ironclad — HOF case while Hunter was a solid Hall of Very Good member. I admit it’s distorted because I followed the Sox when Kaat was with them, and the Cards when Kaat was with them, and I was never a fan of a Hunter team. But there you are.

    Reply
  18. kb

    I always think of the 70′s and 80′s version of the Royals. The team that played some of the most beautiful brand of baseball ever seen. A team of line drive hitters, aggressive baserunners, pitchers who hardly ever walked anybody and some of the best defensive baseball ever witnessed. Frank White at second, Amos Otis in center, Al Cowens in right, a really, really fast Willie Wilson, a near fundamentally perfect 3B named Brett, a manager named Whitey who was responsible for some of the most dynamic, aggressive brand of baseball anyone ever cared to see. Of course this was the same team that fired Whitey, only to see him go across the state and win the whole thing in 1982. Still, that team was once considered the model of how to build a baseball franchise.

    Reply

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