OTC: Royals’ Win Streak Despite George Brett? / Lefebvre Shilltastic! / KUboobs All A Twitter

“It’s pretty clearly the easiest week of the season (home for 6 vs. MIN & HOU). If KC goes 5-1, it doesn’t mean everything’s magically fixed.”
Rany Jazayerli, @jazayerli, prior to the Royals’ homestand featuring the lowly Twins and Astros, Twitter
GH: The Royals did go 5-1 and with their win Monday night over the Tigers they are on a six-game win streak. Should we be excited? Probably not. Are we excited? Hell, yes!

“Look: the Royals were 21-29 overall and 4-19 over the previous 3 1/2 weeks before (George) Brett was hired. And look: they are now 28-32 overall and 7-3 since he was hired. Magic! Brett fixed the team! His aura and his awesomeness have fixed the Royals, turned them (back?) into something resembling a playoff team! Except not really. … Look: the Royals were hitting .261 with a .314 on-base and .375 slugging percentage while averaging 4.0 runs before Brett was hired. And look: the Royals are hitting .236 with a .303 on-base and .325 slugging percentage while averaging 3.5 runs in 10 games with Brett.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansascity.com
GH: The moribund offense of the Royals is reason enough to consider the past six wins an aberration in another lost season. This team just doesn’t score runs. But their pitching is on a ridiculous professional roll – and now leads the Al in ERA.

“We probably hit too many balls in the air, to be honest with you. We hit some balls good. We pitched good. We played pretty good. We got beat.”
Jim Leyland, Tigers manager, on Detroit’s 3-2 loss in Kansas City, freep.com
GH: How about that for a short and sweet postgame critique?

“Going up there and taking pitches is much misunderstood is my point. It’s misunderstood in that you have to be a good hitter first before you can have a high on-base percentage and walks. … You don’t draft Hunter Dozier because he can walk. You draft Hunter Dozier because he can hit.””
Ryan Lefebvre, 610 AM
GH: Lefebvre was interviewed by Danny Parkins Monday and he took the opportunity to defend the Royals’ indefensible history of ignoring the importance of working an at bat, taking pitches and scoring runs by extending a pitcher’s pitch count. Lefebvre sounded like a shill for Dayton Moore and Ned Yost. A really embarrassing shill. Read on.

“Is the answer just that simple – they haven’t had enough good hitters?”
Danny Parkins, responding to Lefebvre’s above statement, 610 AM
GH: Parkins homered with this direct-hit questions. It appeared to stun Lefebvre for a moment and he paused before he answered. It placed Lefebvre in the position of having to call the Royals’ hitters not good – just as he stated in his explanation of why the Royals don’t draw more walks.

“They’ve had a lot of young hitters.”
Ryan Lefebvre, answering Parkins, 610 AM
GH: I would have liked Parkins to fire back with something like – “So then how do you explain Jeff Francoeur?” Or “How long are the Royals going to use the excuse that Hosmer and Moustakas are young?” Parkins let Lefebvre get away with this one but not before he inflicted at least some damage to Lefebvre’s attempt to educate us on why the Royals don’t draw walks.

“Now, on base percentage is a very important statistic. I’m not going to deny that.”
Ryan Lefebvre, 610 AM
GH: Thanks for that bold statement, Ryan.

“Visiting with World Series hero, George Carter. We’ll be right back.”
Ryan Lefebvre, as he misspoke at the end of an inning where Joe Carter was in the Royals’ television booth, Fox Sports KC
GH: Maybe Ryan was thinking of George Washington Carver?

“Normally, at least for me, when I do something like that it’s because I’m thinking about somebody with that name or we’re talking about somebody with that name. We weren’t even talking about somebody with that name! That came out of the sky! Who is George Carter? Is there a George Carter?”
Ryan Lefebvre, after he called Joe Carter George Carter, Fox Sports KC

“(Cater) got a kick out of it. He was cracking up leaving our booth. He signed our wall. He said he signed it ‘George Carter.’ ”
Rex Hudler, Fox Sports KC

“(Yordano Ventura) is probably the most exciting guy to come through (the Royals organization) since Zack Greinke came through. And he has a better fastball than Zack had.”
Mike Jirschele, manager of the Omaha Stormchasers, on the 22-year-old righthander who was recently promoted to Triple A, Omaha World Herald
GH: So how long do the Royals wait to promote a 22-year-old phenom? I sure wish he was starting at The K today against Detroit rather than Wade Davis.

“They can’t say they are trying to win games if they send Lough down and play Francoeur every day.”
Nate Bukaty, anticipating the return of Jarrod Dyson, 810 AM
GH: We will all be watching to see how serious the Royals are about winning this season with how they handle their roster move to add Dyson. There are plenty of obvious moves to be made. Release Francoeur and just be done with the free-swinging out-making machine would be a very unRoyals-like move. It would signal so much to this team and their fans. But the Royals just don’t do what’s obvious when payroll is involved. They could send Moustakas down for a much-needed head adjustment. They could send Getz down. If they send Lough down, Glass should fire Moore and Yost before Lough gets to the bus station.

“Apathy finally claimed the (Detroit) Pistons with their latest coaching search. Joe Dumars spun the revolving door one more time, and it spit out Maurice Cheeks. The Pistons announced the hire Monday night. There’s nothing about Cheeks that excites. There’s nothing about Cheeks that irritates. There’s nothing about Cheeks that draws even a casual shrug. There’s just nothing. It’s not the man’s fault. The Pistons have fallen so far off the public radar that few care deeply right now about what direction they’re headed in or even who’s steering the ship.”
Drew Sharp, columnist, freep.com
GH: I included this from Sharp’s column in the Detroit Free Press because it fits so well with the Royals’ organization. How much longer can the Royals expect their fans to care despite their losses? The Royals’ fan base is one of the more resilient in all of sports. But how much longer before  we become like Pistons’ fans?

“I’m bouncing back better every start. It feels like I’ve got a new arm — and basically I do. I didn’t realize how it felt to be healthy, really since high school.”
Danny Duffy, Royals lefthander, on his rehab from Tommy John surgery, Omaha World Herald
GH: Duffy had a rough outing for Omaha recently but he’s a year away from really seeing how his surgery helped. He should be fine next spring.

“KU Boobs has been ordered to cease and desist by the University of Kansas by June 12, 2013.”
@KUboobs, Twitter
GH: This tweet started quite a bit of Twitter traffic and media speculation Monday night. Read on.

“For the uninitiated, the @KUboobs account has more than 50,000 followers on Twitter, and mostly specializes in collecting, and then disseminating, photos of KU fans in low-cut shirts. (We’ll pause for a moment to recognize how ridiculous this all is.) The account caught fire this past basketball season and inspired a so-called “boobment” of similarly-themed accounts. The Royals? Missouri? Yeah, they all have similar sites.”
Rustin Dodd, Kansas City Star
GH: So now you know what we are gawking about…

“You may have seen a tweet from @KUboobs saying “KU has ordered KUBoobs to cease and desist.” That tweet is not accurate. … We’ve asked them to stop selling that merchandise, not to shut down the Twitter account. Rock Chalk!”
Jim Marchiony, @jmarchiony, Associate KU athletic director, Twitter
GH: You have to love that Marchiony was compelled to address this issue with a crisis-mode like response. You just don’t mess with free boobs.

“San Antonio is a tremendous hang-around team.”
Jeff Van Gundy, ESPN Radio
GH: The winner of game three of the NBA finals wins the title 93% of the time. Game three is at 8 PM (CT) tonight on ABC.

“Bitches, man.”
Zombie Marcus, to his Zombie buddy R, in the movie Warm Bodies
GH: Watched Warm Bodies this weekend and loved it. This line from Marcus deserves an Oscar all by itself. Why doesn’t the academy have a “Best Line” category? Make this happen!

and Twitter / greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.

20 Responses to OTC: Royals’ Win Streak Despite George Brett? / Lefebvre Shilltastic! / KUboobs All A Twitter

  1. Joe Blow says:

    But Lefebvre is exactly right about the concept — people are always screaming, “The Royals would be better hitters if they drew more walks! They’d be better hitters if they saw more pitches!” But, the thing is, you don’t become a good hitter by drawing more walks and seeing more pitches. You draw more walks and see more pitches by becoming a good hitter. It may sound like it’s almost the same thing, but the difference is huge, and it’s a concept a lot of reasonably intelligent fans don’t seem to grasp very well..

    • chuckart says:

      That is completely false and an archaic (aka Royals) way of thinking. Plate discipline is a skill. The ability to recognize pitch and location is a skill that many of the Royals do not have. The Royals organization does not place any importance on this either.

      • Joe Blow says:

        You can have all the plate discipline you want, but if you’re a poor hitter, you won’t be able to hit enough when you do recognize a mistake. You have to find good hitters first, and hope they have or develop good plate discipline along with it. They are not going to magically become good hitters because you tell them to start recognizing pitch and location — they’re already trying to do that.

        I also think it’s less that the Royals don’t put any importance on plate discipline, and more that they haven’t been able to find and/or develop many guys who are able to utilize it well enough at the Major League level. Of course, the guys that can do it generally cost a lot of money precisely because of it..

        • Twy's Gibman says:

          Do you remember Beltran? He developed his own plate discipline by taking about 600 beautiful called 3rd strikes. I remember many of them costing the team dearly, but they helped Beltran channel his all-world hitting.

    • Ted says:

      And Danny is right too, the Royals haven’t had good discipline because they simply haven’t had good hitters.

  2. Kyle Rohde says:

    Not that I should expect professional decorum from guys profiting off of KU fan cleavage, but it was really low-brow of them to get all their followers fired up about KU shutting them down without explaining that KU was only stopping their merchandise sales, not the Twitter account.

    The situation sounds identical to the Joe College one, which KU was also right to prosecute even if it made them look bad. They’ve got an incredibly valuable brand to protect and if you don’t enforce it, it gets harder and harder to defend legally. Can’t blame them a bit for their actions and Marchiony was smart to address it late last night instead of by a press release or something today.

    • Gavin says:

      That’s not really true, Kyle. KU can say that it was protecting itself from illicit merchandising, but their cease-and-desist letter also demanded that they relinquish the URL http://www.kuboobs.com.

      I won’t argue that they have to protect their marks because if they don’t, they lose the rights to them. And certainly the selling of merchandise is an infringement on those marks. But if they weren’t trying to be heavy-handed, why demand the URL? Why not just demand the merchandise and order them to stop selling? Surely the school would have no objection to the use of a website that, truly, did nothing other than display pictures of women showing off their racks while clothed in KU gear, right?

      That being said, the people at KUBoobs didn’t exactly portray everything honestly either. They weren’t ordered to shut down the Twitter account. In fact, I see no reason someone else couldn’t take it over (I’ve even heard a rumor that the current holder of the account snatched it in a “hostile takeover” by blackmailing the people who initially started it by threatening to out them to their employers or some such bullshit and that they gave it up rather than go through the hassle of keeping it). So I won’t be surprised if a new one takes over and, if they can’t get the Twitter handle, it’ll be KansasBoobs or JayhawkBoobs or something else.

    • Gavin says:

      Also, I’m not sure they’re actually profiting. If they’re to be believed (and I’m not certain they are, but this is the story they’re telling) the only thing they sell is rubber KU Boobs bracelets. I’ve never been to the site before and it is now taken down so I can’t verify any of this. But they say that all they ever sold was rubber bracelets at five bucks a pop and that what didn’t get eaten up in production and shipping expenses was donated to breast cancer research. Frankly, I have a hard time believing that they weren’t making a ton of money. The bracelets were selling at five bucks a pop and no way they cost more than cents to make. They had to be cheap to mail as well. But they maintain there was no profit.

      I guess we’ll see but if they get caught in a lie, any complaints they have about KU being heavy-handed with them will not get much sympathy. But if it’s true that there was no profiting, then they need to work out a cheap licensing arrangement and quick before KU comes off looking like Montgomery Burns or Bob Dole evicting a widow.

  3. Scott Simon says:

    And we thought Mike Shannon was bad with malaprops. What’s Lefebvre’s excuse?

    • Twy's Gibman says:

      I guess he doesn’t have Scott Simon in his corner protecting him. Get the message ‘haters!’ Leave Vahe alone – it’s Lefebvre season!

  4. The Smartman says:

    Bingo Joe Blow! The Ol Royals bats invoke no fear. Even at the major league level you should be able to scratch out bloop singles and grounders that sneek through. The Ol Royals seem to be thrilled just by making contact, no matter the result. The offensive strategy seems to be maybe we’ll get lucky.

    Since KC and Detroit have so many similarities maybe we can do the KC-Omaha Kings thing with them. In Detroit they can be the Pistons. In KC, the Pissed Ons.

    Ventura, Duffy, Meh! Maybe they’ll win a Cy Old award someday.

    With 3D/HD porn available for free on your phone, tablet or laptop I fail to grasp the import or necessity of KUBoobs other than as a recruiting tool for 10 year olds from Overland Park.

  5. sirr parker says:

    I agree with the overall point of your post. You can’t just magically see more pitches. But you can develop plate discipline (not just waiting for a strike to swing at, but also swinging at the right strikes early in the count). And I also think you can develop what I call the “spoil” skill. With two strikes, foul off that pitcher’s pitch, don’t roll over on it. Not saying you can necessarily develop those skills at the MLB level, but for 30 years, the Royals organization has been shitty at identifying and/or developing plate discipline. It’s a legitimate criticism.

    • The Smartman says:

      Well said. At a minimum, you should have those plate “survival skills”, when you come up to the bigs. It’s the baseball version of the rope-a-dope.

  6. Flea says:

    Sirr Parker and chuckart are exactly right. Seeing a lot of pitches is a skill, and it does make you a better hitter. I got into a discussion about this the other night regarding a youth baseball team. The head coach of a team is a buddy of mine, and he said that all the teams have trouble throwing strikes (these are 9 year olds that are just starting in “kid pitch”). So he tells his kids to swing the bats more, and not just take walks. And they are getting killed most of the time. I told him that he needs to let them walk if they aren’t getting hittable pitches. No one is going to be able to hit balls in the dirt or balls over their head, and swinging at them is just getting yourself out.

    The Royals swing at everything, and therefore make weak contact. Let the 1-0 pitch that is low and on the outside corner go, even though it’s a strike. All strikes are not hittable pitches. So now instead of a weak grounder, it’s 1-1 and you have at least two more strikes with which to find a good pitch.

  7. Steve Dean says:

    “Bitches, man.” Greg, that is theft, upright and present. That line was stolen from the classic 1980′s flick, Say Anything.

    Here you go….

  8. Kyle Rohde says:

    I didn’t actually see the C&D letter, so didn’t know about the URL. Thanks for all that Gavin.

  9. Phaedrus says:

    To borrow from Donkey Punch…

    The Beaver said, “you need to be a good hitter first to have a high OBP and walks”

    Phaedrus says, “explain George Kotteras”

  10. newbaum turk says:

    A few things. I, for one have zero excitement about the Royals winning streak. It means nothing to me. It was against bad teams and they could just as easily go out and have another May-like streak. As for the walks, the Royals as an organization simply have to become like the A’s. They won’t go out and buy a free agent home run hitter so they have to develop into good hitters and that includes being able to take walks. The Royals hit like shit and compound it by swinging at everything. And finally is Lough. If they send him down I vow to not watch another game this year. I’m not saying he’s the best player in the world but somebody has to be on the field who actually earned it. He is all-out hustle every single play. If they send him down than it’s even worse than I thought around there and I already think the worst. He played every outfield position well over the weekend. If he gets sent down then it really is the buddy-buddy system with Dayton and Yost and they should both be fired. It would be demoralizing to see a guy get sent down who has played his way onto the field. Several other players on the roster have no business being in the majors but are anyways. Lough must stay.

  11. JP says:

    +1 Amen Brother!! Lough deserves to continue up here at the Majors. If they send him down to play Francouer, that is a big sign of what is important to the Royals. Hint: Winning isn’t that important.

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