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Royals fan in Barcelona. Facebook: John Chappell.

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User Blog

Guillén busted for HGH

This is serious enough that the feds are on his ass. It's also why he was left off the Giants' playoff roster. What a scumbag.

Royals fan fave Hurdle to manage Pirates

Bummer for Clint. Those guys are terrible. He's going to sit through a lot of long evenings down by five runs.

Sparky Anderson admitted to hospice

Looks like Ol' Sparky isn't going to make it to manage our All-Star over-90 team. He's in the terminal stage of Alzheimer's. Too bad. I always liked Sparky. Great manager with the Big Red Machine, and he managed that '84 Detroit team.


How do you think these guys would do vs. the Royals?

I came across this list of living MLB players over 90 years old at Wikipedia and I thought, obviously, that the first thing to do would be to come up with an all-star team. One caveat is that most...


Chuck Brodsky live on internet radio

On Monday at 12 noon Eastern time, WDVX.com from Knoxville, Tennessee will broadcast a live concert on Internet radio by Chuck Brodsky, a country/rock singer-songwriter who specializes in songs...

A modest proposal

It's not the most important thing in the world, I know, but I'd like to see MLB change the record books. Right now they keep a set of all-time records starting with 1876, when the National League was founded, and a set of "modern" records starting with 1901, when the two-league system started. I'd like to add a third category: "contemporary" records beginning at 1946. How is an AL record from, say, 1904, from a game played in a fenced-in cow pasture with a wooden grandstand, comparable to one from 2004? The game was completely different back then, so different that we still really don't know how they played it. The logic for establishing "contemporary" records is: 1. Segregation ended in 1946 when the Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson. Robinson spent a year at Triple-A, but by the time he stood in for Opening Day 1947, it was already a long-established fact that he would be there. Segregated ball must have been a much poorer game than contemporary baseball. There's also the ethical question of whether we should fully value records set during the segregated era. 2. 1942-1945 shouldn't really count as major-league seasons, anyway, because all the good players were in the service. The quality of play was minor-league. Most of the real players made it back for '46. 3. Living memory of baseball goes back to the '30s, and there are only a few people left (Bob Feller) who remember that far back. But there are still plenty of people alive who remember as far back as 1946 (let's say if they were 16 then, they would be 80 now), and can accurately compare what they saw back then to what they see today. 4. There's not that much film available of baseball before the Second World War, and virtually none at all from before 1920, but after television became widespread between '46 and '50, we've got film of a lot of games. We can accurately compare what they did back then to what they do today. We can see it. 5. '46 isn't too long before the next big changes in baseball, the moving of franchises in the '50s and expansion in '61 and '69. That way we could say, "Well, the all-time record for most cup adjustments between two pitches in an at-bat belongs to "Greasy Dick" O'Tipperary with 36 on August 24, 1914, and the contemporary record is held by Jose Canseco, with 23 on May 13, 1992," with the contemporary record taking precedence over the all-time record.

24 Guys We Might Have Next Year

A quick glance down the RR stats chart gives us a pretty good idea of what we've got right now at the major-league level, not taking into account minor-leaguers or guys who have played very little this year. Right now we've got 24 guys on the roster, as far as I can tell, who have put up at least fairly significant stats with the Royals this season and will be available next season. Hitters: Butler 570 AB .321/.392/.474. A fine season. DeJesus 352 AB .318/.384/.443. A fine season until he got hurt. Now he's damaged goods and wouldn't be worth what we'd get for him. Betemit 263 AB .312/.394/.536. Maybe he's for real. Regression to the mean, I know, but if he hits forty points lower in each category he'll still be a good hitter. Should probably be moved to RF. Avilés 398 AB .307/.366/.412. A fine season. Why is he not the starting shortstop? Peña 143 AB .259/.312/.343. Not a large sample size, but not an especially good one either. Better than Jason Kendall. Maier 365 AB .258/.328/.373. If he can add about twenty points in each category he'd be a solid pro. Yuni 534 AB .257/.284/.403. Despite the SLG, he still sucks. Please trade him for anything. Blanco 164 AB .256/.339/.341. 10-2 SB/CS. If he can add about twenty points.... Can steal bases. Getz 224 AB .237/.302/.277. 15-2 SB/CS. Doesn't hit enough for the big leagues. Can steal bases, at least. Can he back up at shortstop? Gordon 225 AB .222/.318/.360. Why not move him back to 3B? Is likely to do better next year, one would think. Kila 161 AB .205/.287/.329. Small sample size but looks like a 4A player. Rotation, assuming that Meche has surgery: Greinke 213 IP, 4.23 ERA, 1.26 WHIP. Regression to the mean: likely to do better than this year but not as well as last year. Chen 131/4.45/1.44. Not too bad. Keep this guy around. Hochevar 97/4.92/1.41. This is probably the real Luke, a #4 starter. Davies 178/5.31/1.56. Not good enough for a starter. Try him in the bullpen. Banny 127/6.34/1.63. Not good enough for the American League. O'Sully 58/7.21/1.60. Send him to Omaha for a year, he's still young. Bullpen: Soria 63/1.55/1.02. An ace closer, a legit All-Star. Tejeda 58/3.72/1.34. Not too bad. Six blown saves. Hughes 53/4.09/1.53. A borderline guy. Huber 21/4.15/1.34. A borderline guy. Texiera 42/4.64/1.55. A borderline guy. Wood 46/5.40/1.63. Not good enough. Back to Omaha for more practice. Chávez 42/6.00/1.58. Not good enough. He's still young, right? Back to Omaha. Not a very exciting prospect, I know. Still, most of these guys are not going to simultaneously suck and be overpaid, and some of them will be around for the long-awaited 2012 Plaza parade. It would be cool if we had some rioting like in Detroit or Philly.

Putting the hex on Yuni, with apologies to Mojo Nixon

I parodied a Mojo Nixon song called "Don Henley Must Die" a week or so ago with Jason Kendall as the protagonist. Kendall proceeded to get hurt. Yuniesky Betancourt is the obvious next victim of the Mojo Nixon curse. Since Yuni is a Spanish- speaker, we'll change "must die" to its Spanish equivalent, "ha de morir." Yuni Betancourt ha de morir Stick an ice pick in his ear Yuni Betancourt ha de morir Shove a rabid gerbil up his rear Yuni Betancourt ha de morir Pretend you're hunting and he's a deer Yuni Betancourt ha de morir Impale him on a rusty old spear Yuni Betancourt ha de morir Don't leave nothin' but a bloody smear Yuni Betancourt ha de morir Take your best shot, have no fear Yuni Betancourt ha de morir Put some strychinine in his beer Yuni Betancourt ha de morir Do the job right now, right here Yuni Betancourt ha de morir He's so much worse than all his peers Yuni Betancourt ha de morir Lock him in a pasture with an angry steer Yoni Betancourt ha de morir Other teams' fans would shed copious tears Yuni Betancourt ha de morir Royals fans, stand up and cheer!

Trivia question

Which three Royals are tied at 62 for the team lead in RBIs this season? No fair looking it up.

I liked last night's lineup, plus ripoff of Mojo Nixon

Give the younger and unproven players a chance. Sure, they'll mostly be busts, or below-average, but they're going to play all-out and we'll see some decent baseball, with guys trying their hardest. Jason Kendall: In Memoriam Jason Kendall must die Throw him from an airplane, he can't fly Jason Kendall must die Poke a sharp stick in his eye Jason Kendall must die Don't let him get together with Jim Frey Jason Kendall must die Put him in the electric chair, watch him fry Jason Kendall must die Even if it takes seventeen tries Jason Kendall must die Not even his wife would utter a sigh Jason Kendall must die Hang him from the ceiling with his tie Jason Kendall must die Leave him in the desert till he's dry Jason Kendall must die Nobody I know would bother to cry Jason Kendall must die Sounds like a good excuse to get high Jason Kendall must die Shoot him from a rocket into the sky Jason Kendall must die I'll buy the next round of Rock and Rye Jason Kendall must die Poison him with my aunt's pecan pie Jason Kendall must die Smother him face-down in a pig sty Jason Kendall must die No Royals fan would question why.

OT: Obamas in Spain

You've probably heard that Michelle Obama and one of her daughters are on vacation with forty of their closest friends at an expensive, nouveau riche hotel in Marbella, Spain. This is costing somebody a ton of money. The Obamas are paying the expenses of the guests, but I don't know about the security. Strangely enough, it might be worth it. This is great PR in Spain. It's the top news story every day. They consider Michelle to be very stylish, which is important in Europe. She's also going to visit the Spanish royal family in Mallorca, which will get even more PR coverage. Most importantly, Spain loves to be noticed by the world. They have a national inferiority complex, due to having been weak, poor, and generally ignored over most of the last three hundred years. I'd say the international goodwill gained by this visit is worth the five million bucks or whatever that it's going to cost the taxpayers.

Batting stats of some guys still here

Wilson Betemit's .360/.439/.580 line in 100 AB is going to regress big-time, but I wonder if he's not a useful reclamation project in case Kila doesn't work out. He's walked 14 times, and has 10 doubles and 4 HR. Small sample size, but he's worthy of some playing time to see if he can keep it up. Mike Avilés, in 258 AB, is at .291/.322/.368. He's only got 13 BBs. These numbers really aren't good enough for a starting player. Mitch Maier is at .271/.346/.396 in 240 AB. That's really pretty good. If he can increase those numbers just a little he'll be a decent starting center fielder. He has 28 BBs. The Big Yunit is hitting .257/.281/.393 in 381 AB. He's taken only twelve walks, but he does have 22 2B and 8 HR. He's got good power for a shortstop, but his awful OBP and his poor fielding make him a good candidate to DFA. Chris Getz is hitting .235/.304/.281 in 153 AB. That's not even good enough to be a major league backup. He has taken 14 BB, so if he can bring his BA up he might be an OK MLB player, but I wouldn't count on it. He has 11 stolen bases. Alex Gordon, in only 75 at bats, has increased his production drastically to .200/.294/.387. With more playing time those numbers should increase to something respectable.

From Sports Illustrated:

"It isn't quite what the Rangers did on a similar day three years ago, but the Royals' conversion of pieces they didn't need into potential for the 2012 team is a sign that maybe, just maybe, they're starting to get it." Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/joe_sheehan/07/31/winners.losers1/index.html?eref=sihp#ixzz0vXz16OaP

Red Sox "have explored Farnsworth"

Good Lord, if they've explored him thoroughly (ick) and they still want him, why didn't Dayton just ship him off? Could it mean that there's a better offer? Is there a bidding war for Farnsworth? Are there GMs dumber than Dayton?

OT: Iran attacks Paul the Octopus

You all remember Paul the Octopus, who "correctly predicted" the results of the German team and then the final of the World Cup. Well, he's now been denounced by the Iranian regime. The large, intelligent mollusk (octopi are capable of problem-solving and of interacting with humans) is "a symbol of all that is wrong with the Western world" and "spreads Western propaganda and superstition," says Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the figurehead president of Iran. (The country is really run by Ayatollah Ali Khameini and the council of imams.) Our friend Mahmoud is the one who announced that there were no homosexuals in Iran. He didn't mention that is because if they catch one, they hang him in public. (Photos available on Internet; not linked to here.) Poor Paul. Here he was, thinking, "I'm a cephalopod. I live in a tank and eat mussels," and now they're accusing him of being an agent of Western propaganda. I, for one, will not tolerate this insult, and I stand (or tread water) beside Paul in his struggle against this unjust attack.

OT: Americans ain't so dumb

This has nothing to do with anything but I had to get it off my chest. I've been to two social gatherings in the past week. The first was international, a mix of expats and Barcelonese, and I wound up talking to a nice couple from Pittsburgh who were here visiting friends. He's an architect and she's in finance. They have multiple degrees from UVA. And they were apologizing for how little they knew about Spain, though they really did know quite a bit. The second one was my wife's extended family and I was delegated to entertain Ismael, my wife's cousin's 25-ish boyfriend. He's no dummy because he's an ambulance driver, and they have to pass a megadifficult driving test, written and practical, and a first aid test. So I start with soccer, knowing we'd have that in common - I don't watch TV much and I know nothing about cars, so those two topics are out the window - and I get the idea he's not exactly sure what the United States is, since he didn't think it was fair for the US, a bunch of different countries, to have its own team. I explain that California and New York and Florida are all part of the same country. I move to the news, all these people getting killed in Mexico. He thinks Mexico is part of the United States. I explain that no, it's an independent country. He says he likes war movies, and I tell him I saw "Triumph of the Will" on YouTube, and explain that it's a Nazi-made movie. He thinks the Nazis were the German Ku Klux Klan. Right about here I give up and begin drinking heavily. So don't let those Europeans bluff you. They come in both intelligent (the ones you know, working on grad degrees in the States) and dumb (most of the rest of them, who you don't know because they couldn't find the US with a ten-foot pole), just like everybody else.

The Greatest Living ... ?

Couldn't help noticing that several people have called Yogi Berra "the greatest living Yankee," which seems right to me. It's obvious that Brett is the greatest living (or dead) Royal, and other teams have some pretty obvious choices - Aaron as the greatest living Brave, Musial as the greatest living Cardinal. The Giants might be a bit controversial - is it Willie Mays or Barry Bonds? For the Phillies it has to be Mike Schmidt. For the Mets, Tom Seaver. The Reds would be difficult - Frank Robinson, Joe Morgan, or Johnny Bench? Stephen Strasburg, right now, is the greatest living National. Any ideas for other teams?

Spalding Base Ball Guides at Library of Congress

While browsing through the Library of Congress collections, I came across a set of Spalding Base Ball yearbooks from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Absolutely fascinating stuff. Unfortunately, actually reading them is a bit of a pain. First click on the guide that you want, then click "View text," then click the first link under "Table of Contents," and then click on "Page image." You'd think a library could figure out an easier interface, especially the big one in Washington. I looked at the ones from 1929 and 1917. The '29 volume has an essay on the history of the curve. It says that curveballs were developed and thrown during the "formative" underhand period, under the pre-1858 rules. Cummings was the first pitcher known to commonly use one in top-level play, c. 1867-1870. Interestingly, I didn't know that overhand pitching wasn't legalized until as late as 1884, and that the modern foul-strike rule didn't come in until 1901. The '17 volume includes a long tirade against the recently dead Players' League and the Fraternity, the players' union of the time. Without coming right out and referring to gambling and corruption, the guide is very harsh on players doing less than their best. Allegedly, they do so because with unionization, they don't care who wins the games. The guide twice explicitly accuses NL champion Brooklyn of dumping a late-season series to Philadelphia, and then of throwing the 1916 World Series to Boston. Casey Stengel seems to have been one of the few honest players on the team, the only one who hit over .300 for the Series. Flip through the book, and the tone shows that the owners and executives are running scared, that they feel they've lost control of the players, who can't even be trusted to play honestly. Catastrophe seems to loom.

OT: Spain goes nuts

Dull game, most of it, with the Dutch playing dirty and the Spaniards taking the occasional dive. However, DeJong's karate kick at Alonso's chest in the first half was a clear red card and everybody knows it. That was no dive. Spain was clearly superior, as they generally maintained possession of the ball and kept attacking the Dutch back four. The only Dutch chances at goal were fast breaks. Terrific goal by Iniesta. I was disappointed by the Dutch, with great attacking players like Robben and Sneijder, playing hacktastic, violent soccer and whining constantly. Van Bommel is a thug. Bold statement: FC Barcelona is the world champion, as seven of the eleven starters last night (Puyol, Piqué, Iniesta, Xavi, Busquets, Villa, and Pedro) start for Barcelona as well, and one of the substitutes, Fàbregas, plays for Arsenal but comes from the Barça youth squad. The two backup goalies are also from the Barça system. Right now Barça is Spain without Casillas but with Messi, Alves, and Ibrahimovic. This World Cup cleared up one thing about Messi: If your midfielders suck and cannot pass him the ball, he is impotent. He'll try a few runs and get knocked down by the other team's designated thug, who will be marking him. But he needs Xavi and Iniesta feeding him in order to be successful.

OT: Extremely weird soccer/sex/murder story

Flamengo, of Rio de Janeiro, is one of the biggest soccer teams in Brazil, with a nationwide following. Their goalie is a fellow called Bruno Fernandes, who is known for his explosive character. Fernandes has played on the Brazilian national team, and is considered a star player. Seems that Mr. Fernandes enjoys kinky sex, so much that he would organize orgies with other players, "models," and hookers. At one of these orgies, he impregnated a "model" named Eliza Samudio. He allegedly made threatening phone calls and tried to force Eliza to get an abortion. The baby was born four months ago. Eliza slapped him with a paternity suit, and pressed criminal charges for assault and battery, attempted kidnapping, and terroristic threats. In June, mom and baby disappeared. Fortunately, the baby is OK, and with his maternal grandparents. However, the cops are dragging a lake in Minas Gerais state for Eliza's body. Bloodstains have been found in Mr. Fernandes's car, and he is the number one suspect, of course. It's O.J. all over again. This should give the sensationalist Brazilian press at least three years of material.

Soria gets $50,000 bonus

for making the All-Star team. Nice little piece of change. What would you do if $50,000 dropped into your lap? I think that'd pretty much cover my beer budget for the rest of my life.

OT: World Cup trivia question

Only seven countries have ever won the World Cup (so far). Can you name them? No fair looking it up.

Renyel Pinto?

To be honest, I had never heard of this guy before I saw the story on MLB Trade Rumors. I am not conversant with the Marlins' bullpen. But I have no idea why they released him, because 1) he's a lefty 2) he's 28 3) in four of his five seasons, including this one, he's had an ERA+ above 100. His strikeout-walk ratio isn't great, but he looks like a pretty decent relief pitcher. Unless he's got a history of raping young girls in railway carriages, this guy looks like a good possible signing.

Amazingly, the bullpen is stable

In the wake of the Mendozas and Bullingtons and Rupes who have all washed out of the Royals bullpen, Dayton (or whoever) has managed to put together a very reasonable bullpen. Check out their stats. Texeira 9.1 IP 1.93 ERA 1.18 WHIP Farnsworth 28.2 IP 2.51 ERA 1.19 WHIP Soria 25.2 IP 2.81 ERA 1.17 WHIP Marte 17.1 IP 3.12 ERA 1.04 WHIP Hughes 24.1 IP 3.33 ERA 1.44 WHIP Tejeda 34.1 IP 3.93 ERA 1.43 WHIP Wood 19.1 IP 4.19 ERA 1.19 WHIP Small sample sizes, I know. Most of these guys are not going to be this good all year, but they don't seem like they're going to suck, either. Still, his numbers this year make me think that Farnsy is tradeable. Some contender is going to need a relief pitcher. Free Alex Gordon.

Trivia question

Which two current Royals have the highest OPS this season? No fair looking it up. Note to Will and Jeff: I dig the FanPost/FanShot distinction. This is just a silly little thing I threw out for fun, and it's clearly not a FanPost. The problem with FanShots, where this belongs, is that you have to link to something to post. No problem, I linked to the RR stats page and posted, but it would still be nice if you could FanShot without linking. Either that or I'm missing something.

Please please please trade JoGui now

José Guillén is currently on a hot streak, with his OPS back up to 823, 29th in the American League among qualifiers for the batting title. Right fielders and DHs currently below him in the AL are: Drew, Suzuki, Markakis, Cuddyer, Matsui, Hafner, Abreu, Ryan Sweeney, and Kubel, out of batting title qualifiers. Is JoGui better than these players? Most of them, no (Hafner's toast), and some of them, hell no. But let the traditional stats roll. JoGui has 13 home runs, in the AL top ten (he's tied with a bunch of other guys), and third among right fielders / DHs. He's got 41 RBI, 13th in the AL and third among RFs / DHs. This is about as good as he's ever going to be again. He's very likely to fall into another slump or get hurt or both. So trade him right now for what we can get. And who's the perfect team to trade him to? Toronto's DH, Lind, has a 634 OPS, but Toronto's front office is probably smart enough not to want JoGui. Chicago's right fielder, Quentin, has a 680 OPS, and Chicago might be just dumb enough to give us something. But the only GM in the world dumber than Dayton Moore is Omar Minaya, and Jeff Francoeur's OPS is 749. The Royals should hire the area's most successful used-car salesman and get him to talk trade with Minaya, Herb Tarlek-style. That ought to get us a whole raft of prospects. Or at least a gasoline-armed reliever to go with Farnsworth, whom we should also trade while his ERA is still under three.

MLB Trade Rumors speculates on a Guillén trade

They mention a couple of teams that need a power hitter, and then go through a list of potentially available power bats. And Hosay's on it! They don't say anything very nice about him, and don't think he's worth a damn, but he is available.

Grudz DFAed by Indians

Also, Brad Thompson has become a free agent, and Adam Everett has been DFAed by the Tigers. No, we don't want to sign him.

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