OTC: The Royals Season Could Turn Out To Be Woo-onderful / I’m In — How ‘Bout You? / Butler Wants To Be Royal

“On the morning of July 31st – ten days ago – the Royals were five games behind the Detroit Tigers. That morning the Tigers traded Drew Smyly and Austin Jackson for David Price, while the Royals did nothing.”
Rany Jazayerli, ranyontheroyals.com
GH: Ten days ago I was so despondent over this Royals season that I changed the banner photo of my website to a photo of the Chiefs training camp. All looked pretty much over at the trade deadline and then Eric Hosmer was diagnosed with a broken hand. Ball. Game. And then insanity happened. Sung Woo Insanity to be more specific. Read on.

“I think it’s time to change the banner photo to a certain South Korean man with a broom.” T
om Howell
, @thowell21, Twitter
GH: Done. And we are riding with the Crazy Korean up top right through August. What a great story this guy is and likely will be for maybe years to come. Imagine if the Royals do the unthinkable and win the World Series this October. The Year of The Woo will be talked about in Kansas City when our grandkids are grandfathers. More…

“It’s funny. For twenty years I’ve been trying to make the Royals play better by writing about them analytically, by bringing a scientific approach to baseball and using it to show what the Royals are doing wrong and how they could do things better. And for twenty years maybe I’ve been doing it wrong. Maybe science and intellect doesn’t work here. Maybe it works in Boston and Oakland and Tampa Bay, but not in Kansas City. Maybe what works here isn’t reason, but emotion. Maybe what the Royals needed wasn’t someone to explain to them that OBP matters, but someone who loved them so much that he’d fly 6,000 miles to see them play. Maybe what they’ve been missing isn’t talent, but a talisman. And that talisman is Sung Woo Lee.”
Rany Jazayerli, ranyontheroyals.com
GH: Rany can write really long, insider-baseball kind of columns that might not be for everybody. But this column is a keeper. Read it here. Just fantastic stuff, Rany. Loved it. 

“Screw it. I’ll deal with the heartbreak later if need be. I’m in.”
David Lesky, @DBLesky, writer for PineTarPress.com. Twitter

“As an aside, do you know hard it was to be a Royals fan in South Korea in 1995? This was years before an MLB Extra Innings package existed, let alone MLB.tv and watching games over the internet. Sung Woo was able to watch the Royals play only rarely – he told me he saw most of their highlights from the satellite TV equivalent of CNN Headline News, a snippet here, a ten-second clip there. I lived overseas from 1984 to 1991 and it was almost impossible to keep up with the Royals – but at least I was already a Royals fan, and we came home to Wichita every summer from early June to mid-August. The level of devotion it took for him to become a Royals fan warrants every good thing that’s happened to him this week.”Rany Jazayerli, ranyontheroyals.com
GH: Imagine following a really crappy Korean baseball team the past 20 years from here in KC. And loving them like they were the Yankees. 

“Screw it. Go get the AL Central.”
Ross Martin, @PCBearcat, former sports editor of the St. Joseph News Press, Twitter

“Pretty sure the @Royals need to find a way to keep @Koreanfan_KC around until the end of the season. Heck, bring the whole family over too!”
Brad Hallier, @bhallier, Twitter

“If @Koreanfan_KC needs a place to stay in October….I have a couch.”
Mike McCartney, @mikemccartneykc, Royals stadium PA announcer, Twitter
GH: McCartney is as much a Royals fan as us other degenerate social media wonks. I love that the old guy is willing to be one of us – great pipes and all. 

“I’m giddy, but I know I shouldn’t be. Oh hell, let’s roll with it.”
Brian Spano , @kcspano, Twitter

“I’m not quite on (the Royals bandwagon) yet. I’m getting close. You know me.”
Jack Harry, when asked by Frank Boal if he is now on the Royals bandwagon, KSHB TV 41
GH: Jack isn’t the only Royals fan holding back his emotions about the Royals latest surge. His and other’s skepticism makes a lot more sense than my and your unabashed fan-aticism. But it is mid-August. The Royals are a half game from the ALC lead. As Jack Buck would say, “Go crazy folks! Go crazy!”

“I knew they were going to do it. I knew it all along. There was no wavering there. I just knew it. I believe in them.”
Ned Yost, on his team’s second-half surge toward the playoffs, Fox Sports KC
GH: Ned is a freaking genius I guess. This week anyway. 

“Is Ned Yost the manager of the year if they make this postseason as a wild card?”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: Gulp. If the Royals turn this dumpster fire of a season into a postseason appearance, Ned gets the AL MOTY and three Walmarts of his choosing. (I would suggest a Walmart outside of Ferguson, MO.) 

“Dude, it’s so much fun. It’s so much fun to be in this clubhouse.”
Danny Duffy, Royals starter and a huge reason for the rotation’s toughness this season, 810 AM

“I still think the Tigers are the best team in the AL Central and I think over the course of 162 games they will prove themselves out. There’s just some inconsistencies with that team that hasn’t allowed them to pull well ahead in a race that they should be pretty much in control of now.”
Drew Sharp, sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press, in an interview with The Border Patrol, 810 AM
GH: Sharp might be right and I am sure most of baseball agrees with him, as they should. But his words rubbed me wrong. He sounded like he dismissed the Royals simply because they were, well, the Royals. Again, it makes sense – but it is maddening. Let’s kick these guys’ asses and change that thinking about our town. 

“I hope Eric Hosmer gets back in the lineup because I am TIRED of talking about this. OF COURSE they are going to put Hosmer and his gold glove back at first base when he is healthy.”
Josh Vernier, on speculation that the Royals need to keep Bill Butler at first to keep his bat hot, 610 AM
GH: Hosmer needs to play first base and catch fire like Butler, Gordon and Aoki have done. Billy just needs to hit no matter where he is during the rest of the game.

“It would definitely be painful. … I would definitely be more than happy to make that an option,” he says. “I’d do it because I love playing here. It’s all I have ever known. There’s been a lot of tough years, but there have been a lot of good memories, too. I don’t want to let that go. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
Billy Butler, in an article written by Jeffrey Flanagan, Foxsports.com
GH: Flanagan continues to get great quotes from the Royals organization and this stuff today from Butler is head-turning once again. Billy has looked at times this season like he had check out, didn’t care and was less than excited about being a Royal. If he’s in, a lot of Royals fans will be in on him resigning as well. The guy has seven more good years in his bat or more. We know he sure didn’t use up many hits the last two.

and @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.

23 Responses to OTC: The Royals Season Could Turn Out To Be Woo-onderful / I’m In — How ‘Bout You? / Butler Wants To Be Royal

  1. Jim says:

    Ned’s “I told you so” comments made me want to puke. In August? The 2nd half has another 6 weeks. When you make the playoffs for the first time in 30 years THEN you can beat your chest and say “I told you so” all you want. This is right in line with Moore’s comments of it “feeling like the World Series after being 5 games over .500 last year.

  2. JimmyD says:

    Baseball fever…catch it!!! Waking up in the morning and looking forward to watching baseball is fantastic. If you’re not all-in at this point, don’t bother…we don’t need you

    • LSmith says:

      I’m just waiting for KK to tell me who to root for. Can I stop rooting for Detroit to win now? I’m so confused. Please Kevin, I’m just a dumb sports fan. Tell me what to do!

  3. Mike says:

    Can the Royals turn Butler’s option from 1-yr, 12.5M into a 3-year, 22.5M extension? (7.5M/yr)
    If I’m the Royals, I entertain that. Because it would free up payroll flexibility immediately, and if Butler is ‘regressing’ to his mean, hitting/hitting with power, then it would be wise to hang on with him than to set him free and get nothing.
    Besides, Hosmer has yet to show his offensive potential. And he’s a Boras client. What’s to say that it wouldn’t be wise to continue building this franchise by positioning a GG 1B as a trade possibility? Same for Billy too. But Hosmer could be prohibitively expensive in a few years (even with an uneven bat), and letting Butler walk, with the possibility of Hosmer being too expensive, would be a major blow to the franchise, and a long term plan.

    • Kyle R says:

      I don’t mind that extension for Butler, depending on how he finishes the season. The DH isn’t going away from baseball and the Royals would have a hard time finding someone as good for $7.5 million in the FA market…if Butler plays close to his career norms.

      As far as Hosmer being prohibitively expensive, he’d have to suddenly wake up and hit .325 with 40 homers and 125 RBI for that to be the case. Based on his career to date, his realistic contract can’t be more than $6-8 million, I wouldn’t think. And if the Royals can’t afford that, it’s because they don’t want him on the team.

      • Tigerpiper says:

        There is no reason to pay that much for a declining one dimensional talent with negative WAR. Spend the money on a cuban youngster. Anything.

    • david says:

      Billy’s recent success at the plate and on the field has now put him into the list of available FA 1B. That makes him relevant to the NL and eliminates any chance of him staying in KC for next year.

  4. nick says:

    Ned’s quote of “This is a good second half team. I just knew it. I don’t how I knew it.” ALMOST makes me wish the Royals tank the rest of the season. He’s a really hard manager to root for. But it’s my life-long favorite team, so this is really exciting.

    I’m all in, but I got no problem with the doubters. A part of me thinks the Royals will blow it. The last 30 years have me conditioned that way.

    I think Hosmer should DH for a few games when ready. If KC keeps rolling, and Butler keeps pounding the ball, why risk messing that up?!

    • John says:

      A small part of me believes the Royals will put this off. A bigger part of me knows the Royals will blow it and keeps me from buying in to this.

  5. red says:

    Hosmer was pretty much mashing the ball in July. He played most of the month and hit .366 with a .960 OPS even with the hand injury late. Those are great numbers even without the home runs.

    Rany is a tool. If the royals don’t make it, he will come up with some tedious explanation why sung woo was a poor choice as a talisman and that he knew it all along.

    • sporty says:

      Rany is not a tool, he is a realist. I love his segments on 810. If Rany is excited, I know there is reason to be excited.

  6. Phaedrus says:

    Rany has got to be the most arrogant blogger on the internet. He’s been “showing the Royals what they’ve been doing wrong and how they could do it better” for 20 years? Give me an f’ing break. I wish he’d find a new team to root for.

    • Jim says:

      I have no idea if what Rany ever advocated would have worked for the Royals or not. But, I do know that ownership and management had no idea what they were doing for the last 30 years.

    • sporty says:

      Name 1 blogger that is not arrogant. Rany doesn’t have to write a blog for a living. He is a passionate Royals fan. If you don’t like him, don’t read his blog.

  7. Stringer Pete says:

    I don’t understand the hostility toward Rany. I really enjoy his radio appearances and blog posts. I would trust his research more than a “gut feeling” to sacrifice bunt in the fourth inning.

    • Phaedrus says:

      I think Yost & Moore are a couple of boobs, so I’m not defending them. Rany’s arrogance is what turns me off. He’s never worked in a baseball front office, so he has no idea of what really goes on in the business. It’d be like me telling him how to run his dermatology office because I’ve had multiple MOHS surgeries.

      Another pet peeve is all the statheads that read Moneyball and think they are now geniuses. For example, seemingly every stathead (Rany included) talks about how your pitchers need to have “swing & miss stuff”. Well, if everyone thinks that, then strikeout pitchers will be awfully expensive. Perhaps there’s a market inefficiency for good defensive players and pitchers who pitch to contact. That’s what the Royals have actually done (Vargas, Guthrie, Cain, Dyson, etc).

      Now Moore may have overpaid for Guthrie/Vargas, but maybe he had to in order to get them to come to KC. I don’t work in baseball, so I have no idea. It’s not out of the realm of possibility though.

      Rany doesn’t consider shit like that. He just blogs that Moore’s an idiot and that he overpaid for players X, Y, and Z and should have signed Mike Trout for a 2 year / $20 million contract instead.

    • Steve says:

      I’m with you Stringer Pete. The guy knows more about baseball than any of us – you don’t help start a site like Baseball Prospectus without knowing a thing or two – and he’s a fan, too. He’s level-headed for the most part. Is every move he suggested the Royals make a good one? No, but nobody is always right.

      The only thing that bugs me about him is how he continually harps on the Shields trade. We get it, you didn’t like the trade. But he’s much more enjoyable to read and listen to then guys like Craig Brown and the Royals Review guys, from whom there is a flowing stream of negativity. My God.

  8. RickM says:

    When Jack Buck said things like “Go Crazy” I got pumped. When Rex H says something similar it’s wretch-inducing. Chasm of a difference.

    Thoughts and prayers for Ferguson.

    • Paul says:

      Have to disagree with you to a point, Rick. I’m at the ballpark for most games and I see younger fans gravitating toward Hud. This past weekend there were even “I Love Hud” shirts in the crowd. Hud threw signed baseballs to some of them. Perhaps appealing to a younger demographic was what the Royals had in mind when he was brought in.

  9. Bill says:

    For sure you put Hosmer back at first base when he returns, but I think you could throw Billy a bone and let him play in the field once a week or so.

  10. skip says:

    Young royals starting to show confidence can be dangerous second half of season…..Pressure is on Detroit to win division

  11. Smith says:

    Listen to these Royals know-it-alls on Twitter informing us they’re “all in” – like people need their f’n approval to root for this team. Self-absorbed Royals twitter.

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