That’s What Winning Do

Thank you, Kansas City Royals.
Just when this city became engrossed in what worthless Mel Kiper thinks of the Chiefs’ draft picks, the Royals stopped a 6-game skid and swept the Minnesota Twins.
That’s what winning do. (Thank you and get well, Jarrod Dyson)
Now, sports radio hosts in KC have to go back and watch the games, trying to speak from the “insiders” point of view.
“At least for another month,” they whisper to themselves. “They’ll surely collapse by then.”

***

Could you feel that sinking feeling? I could.
When the Royals embarked on a 6-game road trip on April 22nd, hopes were high. This team could be a contender, I thought. Who knows what will happen? Will they be alive in June? July?
Then, thud.
Every little thing the Royals had been doing poorly began to show. The Rangers and the (suddenly red-hot) Indians made them pay.
But, listen. We are a better team. We have a little pop in our lineup (in the middle of the major leagues in homers; Twins are last) and are leading the American League with a .274 batting average.
We have some speed (including Jarrod Dyson until he sprained his ankle today). The Royals lead the AL with 35 stolen bases.
Yeah, I’m talking about those guys with the interlocking “KC” on the cap.
There’s been some bad too, including a 4.48 team ERA and 101 walks allowed (2nd highest total in the AL), 35 home runs allowed (worst in the AL) and 21 errors (8th worst in the AL).
We got away with some of that in this Twins series. Sean O’Sullivan walked seven in game two and we got away with it. But, we’re not going to always get away with it.
Jarrod Dyson is fast. It was amazing when he tagged up on a fly ball to shallow left field in Friday’s game — and scored.
But, he’s no superman.
While we all love hustle, smart hustle is better. Hopefully, he recovers because he’s a weapon.
The bottom line is that the good teams will make us pay.

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Media Matters

So, I was trying to find some more Royals sources using RSS. I’m a geek and read everything in Google Reader. I have a Yahoo! feed of Royals stories, but it’s sparse sometimes. Bleacher Report stories are hit and miss (especially when the amateur writers show their lack of knowledge about the ballclub). Most of those folks and some bloggers don’t have the media access to actually do a lot of ‘reporting,” just usually opinions.

Going to WHB’s website didn’t yield much, a few articles, mostly stats and standings imported in from somewhere else.

What about 610 Sports, “The Home of the Royals?” I was disappointed to see that their Royals site labeled “Royals Insider” but also called http://leftofthefoulpole.com/ was really lacking. No audio from Saturday or Sunday’s games in Texas. The blog was empty and labeled “Robert Ford Spring Training Blog.” There were Royals articles scattered across the 610 site (which has some navigational issues), but no bundle of them for easy reading.

My last stop was Fox Sports Kansas City. They had some good timely articles and an RSS feed for them. Nicely laid and easy to navigate.

So my media rankings in covering the Royals go like this: 1) Kansas City Star 2) Fox Sports Kansas City 3) 610 Sports 4) 810 WHB 5) Bloggersphere.

The Mess of Meche’s Retirement

The Gil Meche story tells me something about people’s thoughts on athletes and how the media covers them.
First of all, I have actually seen disdain for Gil Meche for not taking $12.4 million in continuing to play. Some are saying, “He signed a contract, he should honor it.”
Really?
They are upset with Meche because he didn’t take the $12.4 million and pitch ineffectively from the bullpen deals and possibly get hurt. He’s been hurt for the past couple years and didn’t pitch that well.
He took a hard look at the facts in December and realized the chances weren’t good. Despite his intentions, it was unlikely that he would be able to earn that $12.4 million on the mound. Not because he didn’t want to, but because his body probably would let him.
And he’s somehow selfish. No matter the fact the Royals have $12.4 million to spend on a player or two to try and bolster their lineup.
Some are afraid that pressure will be brought to bear on other players in similar situations. Some goofball even mentioned the baseball player’s association should stop him.
Seriously?
Now, he made over $40 million over the previous four years with the Royals. And contrary to some of media hecklers, he shouldn’t have to give it back. Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore took a risk. And he knew it.
One a rising star with the Mariners, the injury bug kept Meche from being the pitcher most baseball folks thought he would be.
That’s called life.
I will look back on the Gil Meche era in Kansas City and remember a risk that didn’t pan out. But, I won’t blame Meche for bowing out early.
As for the media, this story broke (LINK) on Tuesday (Jan. 18). It was unusual, sure. But, it took nearly a week for the national media to really notice. Then, it became big news because of “pack journalism,” everyone following everyone else. They treated it as if it were new. And, most of the media (including the sports folks who should know better) completely left out his injuries. They scratched their heads and pontificated.
Do some research, people.