Archive for the ‘Kansas City Royals’ Category

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Detroit Tigers

As I have noted in past installments of these ratings, this season has been one of the more static in terms of which players are on top and bottom of these ratings, at least the way I remember it. It may be that my memory is getting faulty, or maybe just selective. I dunno. But in this (likely) final rating of the season, there is still some interesting stuff to discuss beyond simply the ratings, leaders, and trailers.

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mclouth bunt

This may be hard to believe, but I am sometimes wrong. Not just occasionally, but pretty often. It comes with the territory of being, uh, whatever I am. Really, though, anyone who reads baseball blogs shouldn’t be surprised by this. One need not descend to the banality of “can’t predict ball” sloganeering to understand the situation. The name of this column was inspired by Bill James‘ phrase “measuring the fog,” which he coined in the context of discussing the task of sabermetrics. That is, the job of sabermetrics (“the search for objective knowledge about baseball”) is not just to figure out what we know about baseball, but to delineate what we do not know: “the fog.”

So I am accustomed to being wrong, even if admitting it is not necessarily fun. I pay a lot of attention to projections (and make no apologies for doing so) while keeping in mind that they are more reliable than personal intuition as a whole, on an individual level they will still miss a fair bit. Those who produce respected projections understand this, and those who use them should, too. If a player does much better or worse than he is projected to do, whether by a respected projection or by my own projection or analysis, it is not big deal. Win some, lose some. Sometimes, I go out of my way to praise or mock a player, and he does pretty much the opposite. Sometimes it is predictable, sometimes it is not. But some of them just sting.

If I wrote a post for everything I was wrong about prior to the season, I would never post anything else. For today, I will just take three cases in which things went very differently than I thought they would, three players that I (somewhat publicly, in two cases) singled out prior to the season as likely to be very good or bad, and have gone the other way, making me look, well, just like any other fallible human being. Or an idiot, depending on hour perspective.

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Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox

A timeline:

  • May 22nd: Eno Sarris interviews the Royals about ideal ground ball and fly ball rates for hitters.
  • May 30th: George Brett takes over as the Royals hitting coach amid rumors that the team was too ground-ball heavy.
  • Since June 1: Extreme ground-baller Eric Hosmer has hit .311/.348/.517 with 10 homers while extreme fly-baller Mike Moustakas has hit .265/.317/.413 with 5 homers. Both have seen their ground- and fly-ball mixes even out.

So you’re welcome. (Gonna gloss over the fact that George Brett stepped down just the other day.)

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Toronto Blue Jays v Kansas City Royals

It was a bizarre Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium. First, the Kansas City-Cleveland game was delayed for more than two-and-a-half hours by rain. Then, near midnight, during the sixth inning, the lights went out due to a preset computer program.

At some point in there, the Royals were up by a run when Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis hit a long fly ball to left. Alex Gordon went back trying to make the catch at the wall, but then awkwardly fell back, seemingly hitting the back of his head on the wall as the ball rolled forward. Kipnis came around for a three-run, inside-the-park home run to put his team up 3-1. The Royals actually battled back and ended up winning 6-5 on Eric Hosmer‘s solo home run, which was fun for Royals fans.

Gordon’s injury, however, was not. He did not get carted off, but from the looks of things, he hit his head pretty hard. The initial diagnosis was that Gordon suffered a mild concussion (to the extent that any concussion can be called “mild”) and a bruised hip. It is not clear how long Gordon will be out at this point, but it was definitely scary at the time. 3

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Well, not just ended. But the latest finish in Busch Stadium history is the delightful by-prouduct of the weird and wonderful interleague schedule, a game won the Kansas City Royals 4-2 after more than five hours of rain delays. Turns out the weather in St. Louis was less than cooperative last night. The game began with an hour-plus delay. Then Michael Wacha bamboozled the Royals for a while, then the Cardinals bullpen aired the Cards dirty laundry for all to see (their bullpen is kind of bad) and then the rains came again.

And, because this is the final matchup between these two teams this season, they waited. And waited. And then they finally were able to play but they had to wait for the field to be rendered playable. So they waited some more.

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Kansas City Royals v Baltimore Orioles

To his eternal credit, Jeremy Guthrie is having a very unusual season. Unusual for Jeremy Guthrie in that he’s pitched very well and Jeremy Guthrie is the human embodiment of serviceable. He has a very low ERA and a sparkling 5-1 won/loss record. Before last night, it was a 5-0 record.

Last night, Jeremy Guthrie posted one of the weirdest pitching lines you’ll ever see. It was the anti-FIP start for the ages. And that was just the tip of Guthrie’s weirdness iceberg.

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Tabler Buck

As much fun as it is to laugh at the expense of those who call baseball games for television and radio broadcasts, most of us likely would agree that filling up air, even to a minimal extent, is difficult. I have no experience in any form of “real” journalism*, so it may be in bad taste for me to go after people whose nominal job, for better or worse, is to keep the viewer engaged in a sport that is not exactly fast-paced. Anecdotes and bits of data are needed (?) to fill up the airwaves.

* – my rare appearances on podcasts and whatnot, while somewhat fulfilling for my ego, are, well, probably pretty horrible for listeners. Not that I ever turn down an opportunity to enter the charmed circle of internet media mavens!

The Blue Jays’ usual broadcast team of Buck Martinez and Company probably aren’t any worse than most broadcast booths around the league. But who am I kidding? I am still a pretty big jerk. Even if Fire Joe Morgan is so 2005, several comments during last Friday’s game with the Blue Jays in Kansas City to face the Royals really stood out to me.

The game itself was “I watched this on purpose“-tastic (and my fantasy season awkwardly slid down the tubes with Jose Reyes‘ injury), and as I let the frustration of that combine with my incredulity of some of the comments made by the announce team, it crept into the absurd. Here are some of my favorites, with commentary.

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