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Royals Nightly
Friday, May 13, 2005
 
I've Moved (Inelegant Title I Know)
One chapter ends, another begins.

Awhile back Blez from Athletics Nation emailed me about joining a new network of baseball bloggers and being the Royals affiliate...

And now, in mid-May, its finally come to fruition, and I've started working over at Royals Review. Basically, the content and bitterness of Royals Nightly will just be moving to a new domain name. Moreover, the new site is formatted a little differently, and is more interactive. We'll see how it all turns out.

Its been amazing to watch this site spread its roots across the web, and I'm a little sad to start over with that process. Getting 11,2-- something hits in the past year or so has been, well, pretty neat, as has the chance to talk to my fellow Royals and baseball fans.

I must admit I'm a little sad to move on, but the vagaries of blogger make it a little easier. Royals Review is just starting up, and I'm still doing the grunt work of setting up the blogroll etc, but please do stop by, and post yourself.

Once again: www.royalsreview.com

Thanks to everyone for making this as fun as it was, and I hope to see you across the street...

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005
 
Pena Out?
Insane, pointless and meaningless. It will have no effect on the team's play. Look, I'm no believer in the major league manager as it is, beyond offering quotes to the media and ordering the obligatory (read mindless) sac bunt in the 7th inning, its a over-rated position. Unlike in football or basketball, theres really no concept of a "play", other than the aformentioned one-run strategies, which are 1) usually detrimental anyway and 2) so ingrained in baseball culture that it is hardly a real decision anyway.

A manager's main job is to handle the pitching satff, which on this team means not letting Zach Greinke get hurt. I guess Pena did OK in that regard.

Clearly, if he quits its probably because he wants a shot to manage somewhere else, keeping that winning percentage reasonably non-horrible. Which it isn't.

Believe.

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Monday, May 09, 2005
 
Game 31- Royals 10, Orioles 8 (8-23)
The Royals find ways to lose, ways to strand runners, surrender runs, blow leads and get blown out. Today they did all their normal bad stuff, but still had enough good things happen to win the game.

Matt Stairs is still alive?

Teahen had a good game?

Burgos didn't blow the lead?

Whaaaat?

Its been an insane few weeks for me, and its reflected in the lack of posts. I'm just praying for 35 more wins from this team, and for Calvin Pickering to get another chance.

Bad Harvey, bad.

But what a start Mike's having... looks like he might have one more power-spike in him after all.

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Sunday, May 08, 2005
 
Now 8-8 Game
Nice.

Real f---ing nice.

Kansas City, better start reading up on those 2003 Tigers, theres gonna be alot of comparison pieces here in the next few months.

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Thursday, May 05, 2005
 
Game 28- Sox 2, Royals 1 (7-21) [This is a curse from God]
Look, I said it two days ago, the White Sox just aren't going to lose any one-run games this year. This is all part of a curse from God which is set to punish the world with an affirmation of Kenny Williams-Ozzie, which might be the most arrogant GM-Manager combo in recent memory.

Childish squabbles with the press? Check.
Stabbing former players in the back, for no reason? Check.
Bizarre, unearned self-importance? Check.
Unjustified worship of "little ball" as false justification for salary dumps and winning close games due to great pitching against bad AL Central offenses? Check.

There was literally no way the Royals could win this game, especially with Greinke on the hill. I honest to God would have bet all the money I owned that Greinke would lose by one or two runs today, probably due to a late bully collapse, and lo and behold it happened.

It was petrifying, but with each additional scoreless inning, it became _more_ apparent that the Royals would lose. That is just what happens when cheerleader boy is on the hill.

So, the curse of White Sox success continues. Carlos Lee will be burned in effigy tomorrow night at the Cell, with proceeds donated to Scooter Podsednik's retirement fund and an evening at Scores.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005
 
Game 26- White Sox 5, Royals 4 (7-19)
It sure looked like the Royals were gonna win this one, but the White Sox are this year's unreasonably lucky team, which is a curse from God forcing us to endure an endless summer of worship for little ball (despite it having very little to do with their success), borderline unethical Magglio-backstabbing and mor eridiculous quotes from Ozzie. And, just at the exact moment that Sisco starts to get some national publicity, he goes and shows that he's human after all.

Ohh well, better luck tomorrow.

After last night's explosion Sweeney's now hitting .311/.363/.563, which has to be his highest line in about two and half years. Its good to see, especially given how weirdly maligned Mike's been the past few seasons, and honestly I hope he has a monster first-half and gets traded to the Dodgers at the deadline.

BA even threw in 6 innings of adequate baseball, lowering his season ERA to 6.91. He did well to only surrender 3 runs, and perhaps he'll start to turn it around as well.

The White Sox just aren't going to lose 1-run games this year, and even a Shingo appearance couldn't help the Royals.

Ohh, and congrats to Swingin' Ken for coming back down to Earth... don't let that cleanup-slot role go to your head.

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Tuesday, May 03, 2005
 
Some Early Stats
Strange win yesterday, to say the least. Congrats to Swingin' Ken on his grand slam, although I'm still bitter about how things went down with Pickering. Then there was the whole matter of Lima-Time's no-hitter, which quickly became a 5-5 game. And everything wrapped up with a save from Burgos.

Just a strange game.

Without further ado, an early look at some stats:

Baseball Prospectus runs a nifty little playoff-odds report. Its pure novelty this early in the season, but come August it'll be a daily necessity. The feature debuted in the fall of 2003, just as the Royals were blowing the biggest All-Star break lead in history.

Right now, through 100 simulations, the Royals are somehow managing 63 wins. How this is happening, I have no idea. Probably the cumulative effect of all the presumably weak AL Central teams.

According to BP's defensive efficiency stats the Royals have the third worst defense in the American league, behind the Red Sox and Yankees.

(Of course, those teams can score runs.)

Joe McEwing now has more ABs this year than Calvin Pickering.

Mike Sweeney's .290/.345/.490 line is above average for an AL first baseman, who on average is .272/.347/.432. (Thats it? Damn.)

As a team, the Royals are hitting .238/.296/.378, which places them 27th in BA, 29th in OBP, 24th in SLG.

After the run explosion in the last two games, the Royals have scored 93 runs, good for 27th best in baseball. (Although being ahead of Oakland by one run, and Cleveland by two runs, after scoring 17 in two games isn't exactly heartening.)

On the mound, the Royals are actually making some strides, which is somewhat masked by the terrible defense.

The teams's K/9 rate is up to 6.04 (19th), which relative to the league is much better than last season's D.A.R.Y.L., Gobble and BA fueled refusal-to-strikeout rotation. The Royals are a respectable 22nd in K/BB ratio, at 1.67, 27th in team ERA at 5.08. The ERA seems a little high for the team's BAA allowed and OPS allowed (both in the low 20s for rank), so its possible it might come down a little as the season progresses.

On the base-paths the Royals have been predictably terrible, posting a horrendous 52% success rate on stolen base attempts. (Remember, you need to be around 66% to break even on the risk/reward.)

Finally, the Royals are 27th in walk-rate, but amazingly 14th in pitches per plate appearance.

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