Saturday, October 24, 2009

Has Dayton Moore jumped the shark?

Jumping the shark is a colloquialism coined by Jon Hein and used by TV critics and fans to denote the point in a television program's history where the plot veers off into absurd story lines or out-of-the-ordinary characterizations. This usually corresponds to the point where a show with falling ratings apparently becomes more desperate to draw in viewers. In the process of undergoing these changes, the TV or movie series loses its original appeal. Shows that have "jumped the shark" are typically deemed to have passed their peak. -  Wikipedia

Of course it gets its name from the Happy Days episode in which Fonzie, on water skies and wearing a leather jacket, jumped a shark. (In my opinion though Happy Days jumped the shark when Fonzie became a teacher but I suspect that became a teacher doesn't quite grab people's attention like jumping the shark, also teachers probably wouldn't like it whereas sharks couldn't care less.) All of this leads us to the current Royals general manager.

Dayton Moore has jumped the shark.

The exact moment of his jump may be up for debate due to the high number of bad roster moves. You could argue that he jumped last offseason when he preached OBP and then traded for Jacobs and Crisp. Or you could argue that he jumped when he replaced the two pitchers he traded with Kyle Farnsworth. Or I suppose one could even believe that the jump occurred when he signed Jose Guillen to a meganormous contract.

In my opinion this is when Royal GM's made the jump.
John Schuehrolz - December 1989, signed Mark and Storm Davis. Applauded at the time but it was doomed to fail and fail it did.

Herk Robinson - July 1999, traded Kevin Appier for Blake Stein and two guys nobody remembers. Robinson had made some good trades (Chili Davis, Jeff King & Jay Bell, Dean Palmer, Jermaine Dye) but none after this disaster.

Allard Baird - Baird actually stuck around long enough to jump twice. First time was July 2001 when he traded Dye for Neifi Perez. I know the Glass family made his job all but impossible and supposedly they vetoed a trade that would have landed KC Vernon Wells for Dye but this deal was just horrible. Second time was June 2004 when he dealt Carlos Beltran for Teahen and Buck. If he had looked for the best available players instead of trying to specifically land a third baseman and catcher he might have made a better deal.

And now we come to Dayton Moore and this is when I think he jumped the shark:
July 10, 2009 - traded for Yuniesky Betancourt
Tell me that is not Arthur Fonzarelli on skis! When he made the trade KC was just 19-37 since their 18-11 start and maybe he was desperate and thought adding a player struggling offensively and defensively (!) would give the team a jolt. It did but in the wrong direction, the team responded to the trade by losing their next ten games. Now that wasn't all Betancourts fault since he didn't make his debut until July 17th but when he finally did join the team he was beyond awful. Everybody but Moore knew this trade was an epic fail but as they so often do Royals management circled the wagons and refused to listen to any objective analysis.

This team is going in the wrong direction and Moore now has that shiny new extension in his back pocket so he isn't going anywhere. So I guess only one question remains - how long until he hires Ted McGinley?

Trade Soria? Whaaaat?

Soria is among the Royals' very best trading chips, and they should look long and hard about using it.

I know Sam Mellinger wasn't suggesting that KC trade Soria but was merely saying they should at least consider it. There is a difference, a subtle one sure but a difference nonetheless. But as the White House might say that is wrong thinking. I hate the argument that a losing team doesn't need a good closer because I got news for you, a losing team needs good players period - closers, starters, outfielders, infielders, etc.  I mean you could also make the argument that they don't need Greinke because he only pitches every fifth day. (Prediction, the bogus Greinke rumors will continue until he is actually traded.)

It drives me crazy because I've watched KC for years trade off their best players for prospects. When has it ever turned out? What's the sum total KC has received for Appier, Damon, Beltran, and Dye? Yeah I know those trades happened years ago and we have a different GM (more on him later today) but his record isn't so hot either. I mean we already know what Moore likes in a player (low OBP, terrible defense) so trading Soria cripples an already suspect bullpen and probably weakens the offense and defense.

Now should they listen to offers? Well yeah, they have to but they shouldn't consider any offer unless it offers multiple ML ready players with tremendous upside. And not Yuniesky Betancourt upside, which is what scares me about Moore making the trade and is the main reason why I think trading Soria would be a mistake (that and you know because he is so freaking dominant).

His definition of upside differs with reality.

MVP

I have a new laptop and a lot to get to so this figures to be busy day at Royally Speaking but first I have to take care of a little BBA business and casy my vote for MVP. I'm gonna keep it short and sweet.

1. Joe Mauer
I mean this was a no brainer, right? He led the league in batting average, on base percentage, slugging, OPS, OPS+, & runs created while hitting a career high 28 home runs. He was Zack Greinke with a bat. The Twins don't even sniff the playoffs without him (for those who put the empasis on valuable).

2. Mark Teixeira
Led league in home runs, and RBI's while finishing second in OPS+. The campaign to push him ahead of Mauer was silenced by the Tigers collapse.
3.Zack Greinke
4. Derek Jeter
5. Kevin Youkilis
6. Kendry Morales
7. Alex Rodriguez
8. Miguel Cabrera
9. Jason Bay
10. Ben Zobrist

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cy Young

I had no problem in determining who should win the Cy Young award or who should come in second. The problem I had in filling out my BBA ballot was who to place third. It was between Halladay, Sabathia, and Verlander and I was leaning towards Verlander due to his league leading 269 strikeouts. But any argument I could make to place him third over Halladay I could also use to place Hernandez first over Greinke so I went with Doc. Halladay had a better overall season.

The poll on the sideboard shows that Royals fans truly believe that the baseball writers are going to select Greinke but I'm not so sure. I did think after he shut down the Red Sox that he clinched the award but getting tagged for four runs on national tv in his last start coupled with Hernandez winning his 19th game on the seasons final day may have swayed those on the fence.

Zack Greinke was the best pitcher in baseball all season long and if he doesn't win then the system is broken and writers opinions are irrelevant. The BBA has a lot of fine bloggers and I assume Greinke will be a unanimous choice in our balloting but if he's not then I may have a few comments for the dissenting blogs. There is absolutely no way anybody can say Hernandez or Halladay were better without using wins. None. Not possible. I won't hear it but I will respond to it.

So as you've gathered my ballot goes:
1. Greinke
2. Hernandez
3. Halladay

The numbers tell the story and the story was awesome.

Stat
Greinke
Hernandez
Halladay
GS
33
      34
32
IP
229.1
   238.2
239
W/L
16-8
   19-5
17-10
ERA
2.16
   2.49
2.79
ERA+
203
   174
157
K's
242
   217
208
BB's
51
    71
35
H/9
7.7
   7.5
8.8
WHIP
1.07
  1.13
1.12

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Callaspo would make sense at DH

I sort of touched on moving Callaspo to DH here and Clark Fosler brings it up here, along with Callaspo's defensive shortcomings. There are bigger problems with this team than Callaspo playing second base and actually a Kila/Guillen platoon at DH would be ideal. But I think DM/Trey still view Guillen as an everyday right fielder and Kila as a career minor leaguer - despite evidence to the contrary.

Normally you wouldn't think moving a middle infielder to DH would upgrade what's supposed to be a power bat but KC designated hitters hit .209/.281/.374 in 2009 and .268/.309/.446 in 2008. The last two years Callaspo has hit a combined .302/.358/.433 for a 111 OPS+. He would clearly be an updrade.

Now if Aviles comes back 100% then it makes the defense better and though he probably isn't the hitter he was in 2008 I think he probably is just a notch below. If he can't come back then Bloomquist would play second and though he has a weak bat we all know he is going to continue to get a lot of playing time so KC may as well take advantage of his defense.

The more I think about it the more I like it. And if it's not Callaspo then I sincerely hope it is not Jacobs.

Monday, October 12, 2009

BBA Rookie of the Year

Since 1980 only four AL rookies have had a season with 14+ wins, 170+ innings pitched, and an ERA+ of 115 or better. Now I'm obviously cherry picking stats but a season like this by a 20 year old is impressive and that's why I decided to cast my BBA vote for.....

Rick Porcello - Tigers

It's hard to believe he was drafted just two years ago. A lot of the players drafted before him are still in A ball Moustakas and a few years away. But Porcello was in the Tigers rotation all season and despite a rough start had a very solid year.

2. Andrew Bailey - A's
3. Nolan Reimold - Orioles

Dilberts boss and Dayton Moore

I don't know if Scott Adams even knows about DM and his absurd process but yesterdays Dilbert strip seemed like it was mocking the Royals general manager. Seriously, check it out.

My posting infrequency is due to lack of a cooperating laptop than the seasons end or a dreadful season. I hope to have a new one soon as the computer tech pronouncede my old one DOA. My postings will pick up even though I'm sure I've lost most of my readers with my absence.

Now on to an actual Royals topic - Mike Jacobs. Common sense would dictate that his career with KC consists of a one and done but common sense has no place in the Royals front office as we've so often found out. I was kind of glad he failed to hit 20 home runs because I was sure that Moore would use that one stat to justify bringing him back despite a .698 OPS. (Hey he hit 20 homers, thats what we brought him here to do!) It'll be a tougher sell with only 19. And I know I was a big Jacobs supporter early in the year but I would like to point out that I didn't like that trade before I liked it (that worked for John Kerry, well no I guess it really didn't).

If KC still refuses to give Kila a shot I'd like to see them stick Callaspo or Guillen in the DH spot. Of course that probably means 650 plate appearances for Bloomquist next year but at least that would be a defensive upgrade.

Friday, October 9, 2009

BBA Manager of the Year voting

One of the perks of being in the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (I can't ever type that without thinking of Gob Bluth) is that I get to participate in the year end voting for baseball's annual awards. I'm curious to see how our votes differ or resemble the baseball writers - I imagine their will be some differences. I like how we are doing it as each blogger posts his/hers votes on their respective blogs for readers to agree or disagree with. Royally Speaking follows an AL team so I won't be voting for any NL awards. Up first for BBA voting is the Manager of the Year.

1. Ron Gardenhire
I'll be honest with you I have never given much thought to this award in the past. I mean Tony Pena won it in 2003 despite the Royals going 67-76 over the last 143 games so I may approach this differently than other bloggers. In fact I know I will because I'm employing a sure fire technique to determine the winner - how would other teams have done with Trey Hillman as manager. That to me means that Gardenhire is the winner because the Twins are the only team that wouldn't have made the playoffs with Hillman at the helm. You know I'm right, come on.

2. Mike Scioscia
3. Joe Girardi