“(Brandon) Finnegan is shortish (5-11), has history of shoulder issues, lacks great 3rd pitch, projects as possible closer in the big leagues.”
Jeff Rosen, @jeff_rosen88, relaying some information from Peter Gammons comments about the Royals left-handed top draft pick out of TCU, Twitter
GH: Rosen’s tweet was not really what a Royals fan wants to hear about their organization’s top pick. In fact, it was pretty darn depressing. I read it and immediately asked myself, “So what did they see in this guy?” The TCU beat writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram also saw Rosen’s tweet and sprung to the young lefthander’s defense.
“He has no history of shoulder issues. Just the opposite. Missed one start this yr as a precaution.”
Stefan Stevenson, @StevensonFWST, TCU beat reporter for Fort Worth Star-Telegram, responding to Rosen’s tweet, Twitter
GH: Rosen’s tweet on Finnegan was written in such a way to make the lefty look like a questionable top-draft pick. As the sports editor of The Star, his choice of words carries some credibility. Rosen may have simply been repeating comments made about Finnegan by Peter Gammons or others but the tweet read like it came from Rosen’s evaluation of the pick – which it may have. I saw it as a very depressing way to introduce Royals fans to the organization’s number-one pick. Here in KC we have plenty of time to get depressed over our team’s draft picks. The day they get drafted is not the time.
“After leaving a game against Cal State-Northridge in late April, he was diagnosed with minor shoulder inflammation. He returned to pitching in May with no apparent problems.”
Dick Kaegel, Royals beat writer, MLB.com
GH: Kaegel takes a much more positive (and you could argue accurate) approach to reporting Finnegan’s shoulder issue.
“He’s got the make-up, the command and the bulldog in him that we were looking for.” Lonnie Goldberg, Royals scouting director, via @JoshVernier610 on Twitter
“It sure didn’t hurt that it was a college-advanced arm with pitchability and stuff. And a proven track record. A really tough kid.”
Lonnie Goldberg, said Royals scouting director, discussing why the Royals liked the junior pitcher from TCU, MLB.com
GH: The Royals mentioned that Finnegan’s toughness and competitiveness played a major role in their decision to draft him. This is no more than a guess, but I could see where the Royals are not all that happy with the country-club softies populating their current clubhouse who get their feelings hurt by a sports talk radio toughie like Danny Clinkscale.
“Royals draft TCU LHP Brandon Finnegan. We’ve decided he looks like a young Tom Hanks, not the kid in ‘Big’ Hanks, but a young Tom.”
Dave Stewart, @davestewart, of Metro Sports, Twitter
GH: I liked Hank’s young friend in the movie Big, silly-string Billy. The actor who played Billy, Jared Rushton, was also in one of my all-time sleeper Rom-Com movies, Overboard. So many great scenes in that Goldie Hawn / Kurt Russell flick.
“Real big power. We had him here at our pre-Draft workout and he hit the furthest drive we’ve seen hit here in our pre-Drafts — and we’ve had some big names here.”
Lonnie Goldberg, on the Royals third pick, 17-year-old Chase Vallot, a high school catcher in Louisiana, MLB.com
GH: Vallot supposedly landed a shot over the left field fence near The K’s Hall of Fame when he was in Kansas City for a look. Yep, it looks like the Royals drafted on day one to fill some holes they need filling – tough guys and power guys.
“How does MLB have their draft tonight? Just throwing in the towel on trying to ever make it an event?”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, Twitter
GH: MLB just seems to be run by the same outfit that is in charge of showing replays at The K. They have all the resources and technology to be fabulous but instead they come off looking like Gilligan and a pile of coconuts. How do you manage to schedule the draft the same night you have your league games being played and the start of the NBA finals? It’s like they don’t want their audience to pay attention.
“Since starting the year 27-12, the Tigers are 4-13. This season is nuts.”
Rany Jazayerli, @jazayerli, Twitter
GH: You know what? The Royals might not have to be good to get into the postseason this year. Not so bad might be good enough. They have work to do to get even there but that’s not a real high bar.
“Assuming he doesn’t pitch the 9th, that’s Wade Davis’ first outing without a strikeout since opening day. He has 16 games with multiple Ks.”
Sam Mellinger, @mellinger, Twitter
GH: Man, was I wrong to disparage Wade Davis before the season started. He has been consistently fantastic as the Royals eighth-inning entre to the beast-amongst-boys closer, Greg Holland. These two have been so good they are starting to remind people of some of the best bullpen duos to ever play the game. Mike McFarlane cautiously compared the deuce to the Yankees’ Mariano Rivera and John Wetland.
“The Royals better hope Monte Harrison IS the new Bubba Starling, or passing on him three different times is not going to be forgotten soon.”
Rany Jazayerli, @jazayerli, when the Royals passed on the Lee’s Summit West, who was drafted by the Brewers with the 50th overall pick, Twitter
GH: Is Monte going to be Bubba or Albert? The story will be a fun one to watch unfold.
“I think Big Game James is pitching for a contract rather than pitching for a win.”
Rex Hudler, in an interview on a Lincoln radio station, replayed by Danny Parkins while he was interviewing Hudler on Thursday, 610 AM
GH: This was simply great radio. Parkins has Hudler on his show regularly and the two are obviously friendly even outside of work. But Parkins pushed that friendship aside and played professional radio host when he dropped this bomb on Hudler’s lap – live on the air in Kansas City – with James Shields and the Royals in town. Hudler scrambled to recover and it made for a shockingly good segment. Read on.
“That’s just my opinion, Danny! That was just my opinion on the show. Was that wrong?” Rex Hudler, responding to Parkins after hearing his words about the Royals ace, 610 AM GH: It would appear to those who watch Hudler on Royals broadcasts that he would rather eat the baseball he always carries with him rather than utter negative prose about a Royals player or the organization. But it appears Hud gets a bit more opinionated the father outside of Kansas City his voice travels.
“James Shields is a beast! He’s a passionate guy!”
Rex Hudler, talking to Parkins and attempting to clear up any thoughts that he might have a negative opinion about Shields, the Royals or life, 610 AM
“One of the genuinely nicest guys you’d ever want to meet. The face of a franchise. Winner. You run out of adjectives for him. You watch some guys and you just say, ‘I like the way that guy plays the game.’ He played the game hard and he played the game right.”
Mike McFarlane, on the Yankees Derek Jeter visiting Kauffman Stadium this weekend for his final appearance as a player, 810 AM
GH: I ran into Jeter years ago in the Yankees clubhouse here at Kauffman Stadium before a game and mistakenly called him, “Tony.” Tony Jeter was a former tight end at Nebraska back in the ‘60s. Jeter was shocked to be called the wrong name and sheepishly asked me who I thought he was. When I explained it was merely a slip of the tongue because of one of my boyhood heroes, he then asked me to tell him all about the big tight-end from Nebraska. I got kicked off the players’ couch by one of the Yankee suits before I could finish my Tony Jeter story with Derek, but he left me smiling.
“Cardinal fans – keep bringing it! I am so unafraid of you it’s not even funny!”
Kevin Kietzman, after commenting on the number of Cardinal fans that he’s heard from chastising him for his disparaging comments about the Cardinals superstar catcher, Molina, 810 AM
GH: I think KK might need to go in for a checkup from the neck up. He is starting to sound like he’s short a couple of quarts of fluid.
“Missing OTAs bothers me. This is a guy’s decision to not be around the team. The team camaraderie is made in the summer. They’re not hurting anybody but their teammates by not being there.”
Tim Grunhard, on the Chiefs LB Justin Houston missing the OTA practices due to a contract dispute, 810 AM
GH: I understand that money rules pro sports but I have to think that Houston will one day have misgivings about not being there with his teammates and sweating through these mini practice sessions. Youth should not be allowed to sit on the couch. Get to practice, young man.
“That rain forecast for Saturday morning – 99%.”
Gary Lezak, who has predicted heavy rain and possible severe weather during the Hospital Hill races Saturday morning, 810 AM
GH: Yikes! I am running the half marathon on Saturday morning and their will be about nine or ten thousand others at Crown Center Saturday morning to race right along with me. This is one of Kansas City’s signature races and it always kicks off the summer racing season for me. I am starting to get some age on my odometer and slowing down as I hit 60 later this year so if you happen to pass me on one of Hospital’s hills, give me a nod – and maybe a dry towel.
and Twitter @greghall24