Dscf2902

Juancho

  • joined Feb 19, 2009
  • last login Apr 04, 2014
  • posts 231
  • comments 6799

Royals fan in Barcelona. Facebook: John Chappell.

A Fan Of...

  • MLB Kansas City Royals
  • NFL Kansas City Chiefs
  • NCAAF Kansas Jayhawks
  • NCAAB Kansas Jayhawks
  • Soccer FC Barcelona
User Blog

Blood alcohol content world records

8

Former Royals pitcher Curtis Leskanic was recently busted for DUI with his five-year-old daughter in the front seat. He blew a .331, which is literally off the charts for a 200-pound man; he must have had fifteen or so drinks. A BAC of .300 can kill you, and a BAC of .500 will kill you, as a general rule. The all-time records for blood-alcohol content are: 1.48%: A man in Warsaw, Poland "beer-bonged grain alcohol" that he had stolen from his workplace. He then had a car accident, from which he died several days later. 1.23%: A man in Skierniewice, Poland was hit by a car. They tested his BAC several times because they thought the machine was broken. He survived. 1.02%: A homeless man, half-naked, was found sleeping in the snow in Cieszyn, Poland. He survived. Note a pattern here? Depending on the method of measurement used, the all-time record may belong to a man who blew 1.6g/100ml in Queenstown, South Africa. His wife and five children, along with fifteen sheep they had stolen, were in the vehicle. He survived. The American record belongs to a woman in Klamath, Oregon, who blew a .720. She survived, as well. Any of you all ever try for the record? You have to have survived, or it doesn't count. Extra points for every sheep stolen during the attempt.

The curse of the mediocre Royals pitcher

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Curt Leskanic, former Royals pitcher, was charged with DUI last night. He blew a .331--better than his career winning percentage. I don't think I could drink that much. The best part? His five-year-old daughter was in the car. In the wake of the Kyle Davies tragedy, MLB needs to investigate whether the stress and trauma of being a Kansas City Royals pitcher leads to alcoholism or other forms of substance abuse.

One reason to be optimistic for next year

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The Röyals have been remarkably unlucky. If everybody played according to their pythag, the standings would be DET 76-68 (-6 wins from their real record) CHW 70-73 (-2) CLE 67-75 (-4) KCR 67-79 (+7) MIN 56-88 (-3) With average luck, the Röyals wouldn't be 23 games behind the division leader. They wouldn't be contenders, of course, but their record would be closer to mediocre than sucky. This should be a reason for optimism: it's unlikely that the Röyals will be so unlucky next year. Another reason for optimism: the Röyals are 22-31 in one-run games. A little better luck in those would be nice. A third reason for optimism: the Royals went 5-13 against the NL. That really drags the won-lost record down. Gotta figure that's not going to happen again next year, since SOS, Hiram, and Boom Boom will be somewhere far from Kansas City.

OT: More sports and politics

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Turns out that the people who started the rioting and attacked the Israeli embassy in Cairo were crazed soccer fans, fired up by a fight with the cops a few days ago. Hooligan outfits Ultras Ahlawy, from the club Al-Ahly, and Ultras White Knights, from the club Zamalek, joined together to assault the embassy. The two groups are traditional enemies. Sounds like the Nika riots in Constantinople.

OT: Russian hockey team dies in plane crash

13

The plane carrying the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team, one of Russia's top teams with several ex-NHL players, crashed in Minsk with 43 dead out of 45 aboard. This is an awful tragedy, of course. Lesson: Never get in a Soviet-built airplane. The question that came to mind is: what do we do when this happens in America, which it eventually will? College teams, like Marshall, have been wiped out before, but never a pro team. I read somewhere that MLB policy is to conduct an emergency expansion draft, in order to restock the club involved, and continue the season. I don't know how true that is.

The worst players in the American League

21

Thought I'd find out three things: Who are the worst players in the AL in 2011, where does Moose rank among them, and how do Baseball Reference and Fangraphs compare on the question? I set a minimum of 250 PA to cut out guys who aren't at least semi-regular players. The good news: Our division opponents have several players much more malodorous than even our worst player. The bad news is Moose isn't doing very well so far this year, though he's on a recent uptick. Oh, well, so what, he's a rookie and needs time to adjust, and the rest of these guys are either terrible players to begin with or clearly done. Baseball Reference, worst WAR by rank 1. Adam Dunn, CWS, 436 PA, -2.4 2. Alexis Ríos, CWS, 496, -1.7 3. Magglio Ordóñez, DET, 323, -1.7 4. Juan Rivera, TOR, 275, -1.2 5. Justin Morneau, MIN, 288, -1.1 6. Jorge Posada, NYY, 354, -1.0 7. Brandon Inge, DET, 271, -0.9 8. Rajai Davis, TOR, 338, -0.9 9. David Murphy, TEX, 356, -0.9 10. Ichiro Suzuki, SEA, 619, -0.7 11. Danny Valencia, MIN, 533, -0.7 12. Chone Figgins, SEA, 313, -0.6 13. Mike Moustakas, KCR, 291, -0.5 Fangraphs, worst WAR by rank 1. Dunn, -2.6 2. Figgins, -1.3 3. Ríos, -1.1 4. Matt LaPorta, CLE, 349, -1.0 5. Ordóñez, -0.9 6. Inge, -0.9 7. Aaron Hill, TOR, 429, -0.8 8. Orlando Cabrera, CLE, 344, -0.6 9. Posada, -0.4 10. Morneau, -0.3 11. Moustakas, -0.3 12. Daric Barton, OAK, 280, -0.3 13. Vlad Guerrero, BAL, 489, -0.3 All our division rivals have big holes that they're going to have to fill. The Röyals don't. Except the starting rotation. BR and Fangraphs are generally in agreement, but not as much as I'd have thought.

What our 2012 Röyals have to do

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Right now, our batters/fielders are at 18.5 WAR, eighth in the AL, but well ahead of number nine Cleveland. And, you know, Detroit's at 19.0, the Angels at 19.3, and Toronto at 20.9. It'd be great if the Röyals could add 3 WAR at this time next year, hopefully from increased performance by Moose, Sal, Johnny G, and Hos. And Lorenzocaine. Assume a moderate amount of regression from guys who had great 2010 seasons and a moderate amount of progression from the guys brought up from the minors. We could easily be #5 in the AL next year regarding field player contribution. Ah, but the pitching. 11th in the AL with a 10.6 WAR. Last place in the league is 6.4. Now, there are seven clubs hovering around 14.0 WAR, so that means we need to get into that mix if we want to compete. Gotta add at least 4 more WAR from the pitching. That means two real starting pitchers and a third washed-up 2 WAR bum to go with the washed-up bums and rookies we have. Do that and we'll be about average in the league. Either that or try stacked starters. I honestly think we could compete in the division next year if we add some smart pitching pickups. Or even bid on Wilson. Or use Cain or Melky or Myers as bait and see what you get offered.

Our pythag is a lot better than our real record

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Detroit's been one of the luckiest teams in the league, and KC the unluckiest. Actual standings: DET 73-61, CWS 67-65, CLE 66-65, MIN 56-78, KCR 56-79 Pythagorean standings: DET 67-67, CWS 66-66, CLE 64-67, KCR 62-73, MIN 52-82 That puts the Royals 5 1/2 games behind the Tigers, right? Still in the division hunt, right? So why are we playing so much worse than our pythag? Possible answers: 1) Ned is small-balling us out of big innings. The Röyals lead the league in sacrifice bunts with 49 and are second to the Rays in caught stealing, 53 to 51. One point: Most of the bunts are by Alcides and Getz. Alcides I understand. Why is Getz playing at all? 2) Our starting rotation has featured some historically bad pitchers, like Hiram, SOS, and Boom Boom. When these guys start you're going to lose games no matter how many runs you score. 3) Soria has blown several saves that we should have won. It's probably a combination of the three factors above, plus a few others I didn't think of. Good news: If Dayton gets us a couple of starters and our rookies turn out all right, we've got a chance at contending for the division next year.

Is Frenchy Jack the Ripper?

1

Carrie Brown was an aging prostitute who was murdered Jack the Ripper-style in New York in 1891. The case stirred up a media frenzy, and after many twists and turns, the main suspect was eventually acquitted. All we know about the killer is... Mary Healy, who had been drinking with Carrie Brown the night before, and Mary Minter were taken into custody for questioning and protection against the killer returning to silence the witnesses. They told police about seeing Carrie with a man called Frenchy and, with little else to go on, the police began rounding up suspects named Frenchy. But they never found the right one. He mysteriously disappeared. It's clearly obvious that Jeff Francoeur has the ability to travel through time and act upon his Dantesque visions and urges. London 1888, New York 1891, who knows what else, when else, where else--and what better front for a serial killer traveling around America today than a pro baseball player? When Francoeur fails to turn up for spring training in 2013, leaving no earthly trace behind him but a few random unsolved cases, don't say you weren't warned in advance.

If this is true, it's political correctness gone insane

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This draftee says the Nationals won't sign him because he made "racist and homophobic remarks" on Twitter. Reflections: 1) Maybe his story is bogus and they won't sign him because they're not interested in him. But in that case why did they draft him? 2) While making racist and homophobic remarks is not the kind of behavior we should promote, it's not exactly a federal crime. The kid says he's sorry, you move on, everybody forgets about it, and he watches his mouth from now on. Besides, Ozzie Guillén makes racist and homophobic remarks all the time and nobody ever does anything. 3) Watch what you say on line. It might come back to haunt you in a way you might never expect.

Frenchy playing as if his pubes were on fire

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Since the All-Star Break, in 82 PA, Jeff Francoeur has twelve doubles, three homers, and eight RBI. He's hitting .305/.389/.561. The Frenchman is also leading the league in extra-base hits since the ASB, with 15. Butler is second with 14. Gordon is tied with about four other guys with 13.

Bubba not on Nebraska's 105-man roster

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Good. I'd sign to play baseball too, since there are 90 openings per year for outfielders in MLB, while only 32 for quarterbacks in the NFL. Also, in baseball, your brain doesn't get turned into jelly by concussions and you don't have to use a wheelchair by the time you're fifty. Finally, you can cash in now on the bonus.

Making a four-man outfield work next season

29

Assume that we want Gordon to play 150 games in left and Cain to play 150 games in center, while Melky and Frenchy split rightfield and fourth outfielder duties. Frenchy always plays right against a lefty starter, which we'll assume is 30% of the time. Of course, if anybody gets hurt, Cabrera takes over his position full-time until he comes back, and we promote Dyson or Lough or something. That right there is major injury insurance, because without Melky we'd be playing Dyson or Lough full-time in the injured guy's spot. It's also Cain bust insurance in case he's slugging .263 at midseason. In LF: Gordon 150 games, Cabrera 12. In CF: Cain 150 games, Cabrera 12. In RF: Francoeur 54 games (against lefty starters) + 24 games (when Melky is playing left or center) = 78 games, Cabrera 84 (+ 12 + 12) for a total of 108 games. That adds up to a total of 486 outfield games, 162 x 3. I think that would work and it would be cheap, and we'd have four outfielders with an OPS+ and RC+ over 100.

Royals starters and AL team rankings

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Here's how the Royals starting pitchers rank in the AL according to some fun rate stats: K/9 5.56 14th BB/9 3.09 10th K/BB 1.80 14th HR/9 1.12 13th AVG against .287 14th WHIP 1.50 14th BABIP .314 14th LOB% 67.6% 14th ERA 5.14 14th FIP 4.55 13th xFIP 4.32 tied for 12th tERA 5.06 13th SIERA 4.37 13th This does not include the Boom Boom meltdown because he went into that game as a reliever. Everyone involved with this pathetic excuse for pitching needs to go except for Duffy and Paulino. This includes management. Next offseason it's tiime to break out the checkbook and make a trade or two, Dayton, if you're still here.

Next year's rotation

9

Just looking at the Fangraphs Royals' starters page. Francis has 2 WAR, with a 4.65 ERA and a 3.84 FIP. It might be a good idea to see if he'll sign for next year. If not, trade him now. Chen has 0.6 WAR, with a 3.30 ERA and a 4.48 FIP. Of course, he missed some time. Sign him up for next year, too. If he's unwilling, trade him now. Luke has 0.5 WAR with a 5.29 ERA and a 4.91 FIP. He's had enough chances. Send him to the pen, and if that doesn't work either, DFA him. DFA Davies tomorrow. That leaves us with a rotation next year, assuming we don't keep any of these guys, of Paulino and Duffy. We're going to have to find three starting pitchers somewhere. Aaron Crow might be one of them. Mike Montgomery doesn't look like he's ready yet. Jake Odorizzi and Noel Arguelles need more experience. MLB Trade Rumors says that Doug Fister and Kevin Slowey are available. What do you think it would cost to get them? Would it be worth it? How much would Edwin Jackson cost as a free agent?

Relievers' pitch types

2

We've got four young right-handed relievers who are performing well this season, Crow, Holland, Coleman, and Wood. I was looking at Fangraphs' pitch type chart, and I noticed they are all highly slider-dependent. Wood throws only fastballs and sliders. Crow throws fastballs (60%), sliders (33%), and curves (7%), which means he could be a starter, you'd think. Holland has four pitches, a fastball (53%), slider (35%), curve (7%), and split-finger (6%). And Coleman has three, a fastball (53%), slider (41%), and an XX-ball (11%). Wonder what that is. Obviously, it's a none-of-the-above. None of these guys throws a change-up. Is this common? Do all young right-handed relievers throw lots of sliders? Is that why they're relievers and not starters? Collins, the young left-hander, throws a very different mix: fastballs (65%), curves (19%), and changes (17%).

What sacrifice would you make for the Röyals?

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Today I had four errands to run around Barcelona--pick up something here, drop off something there, do a private class, etc. I wore my Röyals cap on the streets, the bus, the subway, only taking it off when indoors (as you guys ought to know, it's poor manners to wear a hat or cap indoors). This is a sacrifice for me as I am somewhat class-conscious. My close family worked hard to become respectable middle-class folks, because most of the rest of us is rednecks. Wearing an American baseball cap (or imitation thereof) in public is considered distinctly "Jersey Shore" in Barcelona. Lots of people do it, but none of them have been to college and a good few of them flunked out of high school. So I committed self-humiliation for our team, just in the hope it might prove to be a lucky charm. What are you willing to do?

Washed-up 4-A bums who we could probably get cheap and might be better than Kyle Davies

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The following are Triple-A starting pitchers this season who are not prospects; they're all 27 and over and have been in at least two organizations. Most of them have sucked during short callups at one time or another to the major leagues. A couple of them have already done time with the Royals. They are the definition of replacement level. Let's use one of them to replace Kyle Davies. Well, we're not going to get out of this starting rotation mess unless we do something, so let's fling a bucket of crap at the wall and see if any of it sticks. Who knows, one of them might pull a Felipe Paulino. Pick up a couple of these guys cheap and see what happens. It can't be worse than what we have now. Pacific Coast League: Dana Eveland, b. 1983, Dodgers, 105 IP, 3.77 ERA, 4.09 FIP Andrew Kown, b. 1982, Giants, 102 IP, 4.15 ERA, 3.95 FIP Sam Narron, b. 1981, Brewers, 101 IP, 3.83 ERA, 4.36 FIP Matt Yourkin, b. 1981, Giants, 99.2 IP, 4.70 ERA, 4.14 FIP Eulogio de la Cruz, b. 1984, Brewers, 97.2 IP, 4.42 ERA, 4.23 FIP Shane Loux, b. 1979, Giants, 121 IP, 4.32 ERA, 4.32 FIP International League: Dontrelle Willis, b. 1982, Reds, 75.1 IP, 2.63 ERA, 3.12 FIP Chad Reineke, b. 1982, Reds, 85.1 IP, 3.16 ERA, 4.41 FIP Brian Bass, b. 1982, Phillies, 103.1 IP, 4.09 ERA, 4.47 FIP Brian Burres, b. 1981, Pirates, 96.2 IP, 4.09 ERA, 4.91 FIP J.D, Martin, b. 1983, Nationals, 73.2 IP, 4.28 ERA, 4.91 FIP Brandon Duckworth and Chris George are also available, but they're pitching lousy even in Triple-A.

Comparative wOBA by batting order slot

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The rankings of the AL Central teams according to batting order slot, according to wOBA, so far in 2011: 1. MIN .336 CLE .320 KCR .317 DET .303 CHI .298 2. CLE .351 KCR .345 CHI .317 DET .311 MIN .274 3. KCR .359 CHI .339 DET .339 MIN .324 CLE .317 4. DET .404 CHI .381 MIN .330 CLE .329 KCR .318 5. KCR .360 CLE .335 DET .330 MIN .321 CHI .279 6. DET .372 MIN .333 KCR .313 CHI .283 CLE .275 7. DET .313 CHI .308 CLE .306 MIN .274 KCR .267 8. CHI .354 KCR .320 DET .311 CLE .292 MIN .219 9. CLE .297 KCR .295 MIN .289 CHI .273 DET .257 1) The Royals have the best 3 and 5 hitters in the division. 2) But they don't have any huge hitters, and especially not in the division-worst 4 spot. (There must be some Kila PAs there.) 3) No Royal is really terrible, though the guys who hit 7th are not real good so far. 4) Except for the 4 and 7 spots, the Royals are at least 3rd best at every other slot. 2nd best in the critical 2 hole, and with above-average bad hitters in the 8 and 9 slots. 5) The 4 spot is Hosmer's for the taking. Let's hope he takes it. The poor 7 spot is likely a combination of Moose and Aviles. We hope that Moose will get a lot better than this.

Batting, fielding, and baserunning Fangraphs WAR 2011

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American League Boston 25.1 New York 21.6 Texas 20.4 Tampa 15.7 Detroit 14.5 Toronto 14.2 Kansas City 13.7 Los Angeles 13.4 Cleveland 12.4 Chicago 8.1 Baltimore 8.1 Minnesota 6.2 Oakland 3.2 Seattle 2.1 0.8 WAR behind Detroit in the AL Central, with the players we have now. That's without Cain and Giavotella, with Moustakas playing poorly so far, with Hosmer still breaking in, without platooning Cabrera and Francoeur, with Treanor eating into Peña's plate appearances, with Ka'aihue's and Aviles's poor stats, with Chris Getz playing second, and with Ned's hyper-small-ball strategy.

This lineup just might work

25

Right now the Royals' hitters and fielders are not too bad, and some of them are going to improve. We'll have to see how it all turns out, of course, but we could send quite an adequate lineup out there that would be nearly contender-quality in terms of wOBA, wRC+, and the triple-slash, very young, and cheap. All we have to do is trade Treanor, O'Sullivan, Mazzaro, and Getz for a slightly-above-replacement-level RH-hitting catcher. Throw in Davies if they insist. Then, for the rest of the season we should try: Vs. RHP Cain CF R Gordon LF L Butler DH R Hosmer 1B L Moustakas 3B L Giavotella 2B R Cabrera RF L Escobar SS R Peña C L Vs. LHP Cain CF R Gordon LF L Butler DH R Hosmer 1B L Francoeur RF R Moustakas 3B L Giavotella 2B R RH Catcher C R Escobar SS R If they change their pitcher's handedness, we swap right fielders and catchers. (Neither Treanor nor Getz fits well into this scheme because they have backward platoon splits. Besides, neither of them has any upside.)

Founding Fathers HOF and Power Rankings

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It's the Fourth of July, and that means we look back with reverence at the people who started our country. This is our day to commemorate them. Says the British historian Paul Johnson, "Unfortunately for Britain--and fortunately for America--the generation that emerged to lead the colonies into independence was one of the most remarkable men in history--sensible, broad-minded, courageous, usually well-educated, gifted in a variety of ways, mature, and long-sighted, sometimes lit by flashes of genius. "It is rare indeed for a nation to have at its summit a group so variously gifted as Washington and Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Adams. And what was particularly providential was the way in which their strengths and weaknesses compensated each other, so that the group as a whole was infinitely more formidable than the sum of its parts ... Moreover, behind this front rank was a second, and indeed a third, of solid, sensible, able men capable of rising to a great occasion." If there were a Founding Fathers Hall of Fame, Johnson's six nominees would be the unquestioned introductory class. Four of them were Presidents and the other two were so important that they appear on our money today. Several others have strong cases, and would certainly join the HOF in the second and third classes. There would be more than a few, like say James Monroe, Ethan Allen, and John Hancock, whose cases would be doubtful and who would be the source of countless arguments. I personally would set the size of the HOF at about fifty, and would award Honorable Mentions to key contributors who weren't at high levels of power, such as Paul Revere and Joseph Warren. But how do we rank the top six? Both peak value and career value must be considered. My personal vote might be controversial. Career value: 1. Washington. They made him the leader not once but twice. 2. Franklin. Would still be famous even if the Revolution hadn't happened. 3. Jefferson. Key thinker, ups and downs as President. 4. Hamilton. Washington's ADC and then prime minister. The other key thinker. Career cut short. 5. Adams. Went everywhere, did everything, underrated President, lived forever. 6. Madison. Not important during war. Very important Constitutionally. Mediocre President. Peak value: 1. Hamilton. Established US government as we know it during Washington's administration. 2. Jefferson. Wrote Declaration of Independence. Downhill from there. Nowhere else to go. 3. Washington. Was always there in the clutch. 4. Madison. His work before and during the Convention was superb. 5. Adams. Diplomatic work during the war was invaluable. 6. Franklin. Was the elder statesman. PR man in Paris for Adams. Nominees for further balloting: John Marshall, Robert Morris, John Jay, George Mason, Gouverneur Morris, Roger Sherman, Samuel Adams, Nathaniel Greene, Henry Knox, Thomas Paine, the Marquis de Lafayette, Baron von Steuben, Elbridge Gerry, Patrick Henry, John Dickinson, Charles Pinckney, Abigail Adams, Andrew Jackson, Edmund Burke. Black Sox: Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr, James Wilkinson.

FanPost
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Founding Fathers HOF and Power Rankings

It's the Fourth of July, and that means we look back at the people who started our country with reverence. This is our day to commemorate them. Says the British historian Paul Johnson,...

So who do we blame for this?

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I'm always surprised by what I learn looking at the most mundane stats. Take Fox Sports' sortable team counting statistics here at midseason. It's not the hitters' fault, though we could really use a little more home run power. That will develop, we hope. In MLB, the Royals are 12th in runs, 4th in hits, 6th in 2Bs, 2nd in 3Bs, 21st in HR, 10th in BB, 27th in SO, 3rd in SB, 7th in CS, 7th in SH, 4th in BA, 7th in OBP, and 14th in SLG. That's the statistical portrait of a fast young contact-hitting team that plays too much small ball. The difference in ranking between OBP (quite good) and runs scored (slightly above the median) is probably due to Ned's running and bunting us out of bigger innings. It's not the fielders' fault. The Royals are 3rd in chances, so it's not surprising they're 19th worst in errors committed. They're 1st in assists, 2nd in DPs, and 5th in GIDPs. That's a team that gets to a lot of balls in play and knows what to do with the ball when it comes to them. However. The Royals are 29th worst in ERA, 19th worst in runs allowed, 30th worst in OBP against, 26th worst in HR allowed, 28th worst in BB allowed, and 28th worst in SO. It just might be the pitchers' fault. Blame should be duly apportioned among them and those who brought them here.

We don't suck on defense, at least

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I was nosing around the Fangraphs stats, per recommendation, and found some stuff that confirmed my impression that this year's team is not a bunch of clowns, except for certain members of the starting rotation. My understanding is that defensive stats are to be taken with a grain of salt, and are vulnerable to the dreaded small sample size. I have read that UZR/150, for example, is not very reliable with less than two years of data. But still... In UZR/150 in 2011, the Röyals are second in MLB with 6.7, behind the Rays at 7.5 and above the Yanks at 6.2. As individuals, at their primary positions, Esky's at 14.2, Alex at 11.4, Frenchy at 8.0, and Getz at 4.5. Melky's about average and the corner infielders are pretty poor. Let's hope Moose and Hos get on the ball about that. The Röyals dominate MLB in ARM, at a ridiculous 15.9, way ahead of the number two Jays at 6.9. The catchers are pretty good as well: they're fifth in MLB in runners caught stealing, with 27 (#1--A's, 29), and fourteenth in stolen bases allowed, with 53. They've let only five pitches go by them, four passed balls (tied for third) and one wild pitch (tied for second). Alex has a pretty good All-Star case, what with his all-around good-to-excellent play.

OT: Nice slideshow on Luis Salazar

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The Washington Post ran a slideshow on Luis Salazar's comeback as a minor league manager three months after being hit with a foul ball and losing his eye. Pretty gutsy. Check it out.

OT: Sports and politics

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I thought this opinion column from the Barcelona daily La Vanguardia by Pilar Rahola might be of general interest. Rahola is kind of a Hillary Clinton feminist liberal; she served a couple of terms in the Catalan regional legislature for the Republican Left party, which isn't too far left. She's anti-Islamist because of her feminism, which leads her to be one of the few pro-American, pro-Israeli lefties around here. The topic is the Qatar Foundation's purchasing sponsorship rights to the FC Barcelona first team's jersey. This has kicked up a stink around here. Sandro Rosell is the elected president of the Barça club; the club members vote for who's going to be the equivalent of the owner. Barça, by the way, is technically a nonprofit, a sports club owned by its members. "Dear Mr. Sandro Rosell, at which moment did you change from negotiating your club's commercial agreement with a foundation to becoming the lead propagandist for a theocracy? I ask because there are many ways to justify the pollution of a sports jersey with the logo of a dictatorship, but the very last should be saying that in that dictatorship people live fantastically. "The sentence you let loose, "I don't know whether Qatar is a dictatorship, but I know that its citizens are very happy," can only be justified by a lapse of unconsciousness, because not even ignorance justifies it. Or is it normal for the president of the Barça to swear that he doesn't know if the commercial deal he signs is with a dictatorship or with Bambi? "And besides, ignorance or unconsciousness, what he shows above all is a great lack of memory. Or hasn't he heard the statement, "I don't know if Franco was a dictator but I do know that during the Franco period we lived very well?" It's true. There are some people in dictatorships who live very well, thrilled with dominating their shadowy mudpits where they can do whatever they want, protected by impunity. "Abuses in democracies are possible, but they are illegal. Abuses in dictatorships are part of the DNA of the system. And I would like to remind you of a sensitive subject, Mr. Rosell: the club you represent had a president murdered by the Francoists, and became important as a center of resistance against the dictatorship. Or didn't you know that, either? "Therefore, Mr. Rosell, if you don't know whether Qatar is a dictatorship or not, you are irresponsible. If you know it and you deny it, you are a propagandist. And if you don't know and you don't want to find out, you are insensitive. But in any case, I think it's terrible that you don't care and you say they live very happily there. "In the superluxury hotels for Westerners who come looking for money, happiness undoubtedly reigns. But are the thousands of foreign workers who have no rights happy? The homosexuals who have to hide like rats in order not to be persecuted? The women who want to live under a system that does not segregate or degrade them? "I won't even talk about the barbarism of the speeches of Yusuf al Qaradaui, the emirate's source of inspiration. I am talking about devastating truths. They're important, damn it! I feel sad about the agreement that links the Barça to a dictatorship. But now I'm terrified, because you're not resigned to the necessity of a deal, you're thrilled about it! "To end up, a question: Is it true that the Qatar Foundation has demanded an apology because (Barça defender Gerard) Piqué visited the Wailing Wall on a tourist vacation? Because if it is, all the alarms ought to go off. We're not just dealing with selling the Barça's jersey. You've sold freedom! Of course that's how it starts: first you sell the jersey, and then you sell your soul. Pure Goethe."

Looking through the stats is fun

6

Royals batters with at least 100 PA by BR WAR this season: Alex 2.0, Billy 1.5, Alcides 1.3, Frenchy 1.3, Melky 1.2, Wilson 0.9, Hosmer 0.7, Treanor 0.7, Peña 0.6, Getz 0.5, Aviles -0.3. Looks like they sent down the right guy when Moose came up. The three hitters sent down so far (Aviles, Dyson, and Kila) were the three with the lowest BA and the only three with OBPs under .300 except Alcides. Esky has a 60 OPS+ and Getz's is 71. Everyone else but the catchers (in the 90s) has an OPS* over 100. Billy's is 140 and Alex's is 125. It's really a pretty good lineup, all around. Now for a header into the cesspool. Our top seven pitchers in WAR this season are six relievers and Felipe Paulino, whose ERA+ is 308, which is going to last like about one more start. We've got Crow 1.7, Wood 0.7, Coillins 0.6, Holland 0.6, Paulino 0.6, Coleman 0.5, and Teaford 0.3. Francis and Luke are just about replacement level at 0.2. Davies is at -0.9, Boom Boom at -1.0, and SOS at a shocking -1.4. ERA+: Chen 109, Francis 81, Luke 80, Duffer 78, SOS 57, Davies 53, Boom Boom 37. Holland's is 636.

All you need to know about the Royals' pitching

+

is in three basic stats. First, the bright side: Our top five rookie relievers, who have been worked hard already. Here's hoping they don't break down. Crow 27.0 IP, 1.33 ERA, 1.04 WHIP Collins 31.0, 2.61, 1.35 Wood 22.2, 2.78, 1.24 Coleman 17.1, 3.12, 1.27 Adcock 28.2, 3.77, 1.43 Those five guys have put up 125 damn good innings pitched this year. Now for the dark side: Our bottom six pitchers in ERA this year. Hochevar 78.0 IP, 4.96 ERA, 1.26 WHIP Soria 24.0, 6.00, 1.54 Tejeda 7.1, 6.14, 2.05 O'Sullivan 53.1, 6.92, 1.78 Davies 41.0, 7.46, 1.80 Mazzaro 6.1, 22.74, 3.79 Luke's not having a great year because of all the home runs. Tejeda's already gone. Mazzaro is pitching decently in AAA and may deserve another shot later in the year. Davies needs to be DFAed now. He and SOS have already put up 90 very unfortunate innings. SOS needs to go down to Double-A and start over again, since what he's doing ain't working. Y Soria. Soria fría, Soria pura, cabeza de Extremadura. Let's just hope he makes a comeback. Stranger things have happened.

Royals' BR WAR after one-third of the season

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Well, almost one-third. Batters: Alex 1.8, Wilson 1.5, Frenchy 1.5 (he's back down to +0.2 defensively), Billy 1.1, Getz 0.9 (+0.4 defensively), Hosmer 0.6 already, Treanor 0.5, Aviles 0.4, Peña 0.4, Escobar 0.2 (-.0.6 offensively, +0.8 defensively; the guy is a legit Gold Glove candidate), Melky 0.1 (+1.2 offensively, -1.1 defensively; not even Melky is that bad.) Pitchers: Crow 1.4, Collins 0.8, Wood 0.7, Francis 0.4, Holland 0.4 already, Coleman 0.3, Duffy 0.3 already, Adcock 0.2, Paulino 0.2, Teaford 0.0, Luke 0.0 (pretty weak), SOS -0.8, Jack -0.9. I like SOS's beard but he can't pitch and needs to be sent down and replaced by some bum off the waiver wire. Soria needs a trip to the DL, a thorough medical examination, and some rehab in Omaha.

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