Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sometimes I wish I would've been born in Minnesota

Now let me make one thing clear, this is in no way a knock on my hometown of Saint Joseph, Missouri. I love this city, I was born here and I'll die here and I have no desire whatsoever to live anywhere else in this country. There are enough things to do and places to eat that its not necessary (anymore) to drive an hour south for entertainment. Sports-wise there is division II Missouri Western State University and returning this summer are the St. Joseph Mustangs, a college summer league team. Some big league players that have passed through Joetown via summer ball include Chris Snopek, Brandon Duckworth, Shaun Marcum, and Dan Uggla. The Mustangs play in historic Phil Welch Stadium and when I say historic I mean it, the stadium is 70 years old and has played host to some truly legendary players - Dizzy Dean, Satchel Paige, Yogi Berra, Stan Musial, and Mickey Mantle to name just a few. More recently Luke Hochevar made a start against the St. Joseph Blacksnakes (an unpopular indie team) just prior to being drafted #1 overall in 2006.


So yeah I like my hometown.

I suspect you already know where I'm going with this, I sometimes wish I was born in Minnesota because it seems like it would be nice to follow a franchise that doesn't make me want to bang my head against a wall. Even from a distance I've always liked the Twins and I really enjoyed watching their teams in the 80's, Kent Hrbek and Tom Brunansky were two of my favorite non-Royals and that 1987 team with four players with 28+ home runs impressed me. A season like that was a rarity for the Royals because from 1969-1987 it had happened only six times in franchise history.

Whenever there have been lean years in Minnesota there is always a payoff down the road, in 1982 the Twins lost 102 games and were world champions five years later. They finished last in 1990 and won the World Series in 1991. The 90's weren't a particularly great decade but they have made it up to their fan base since then. They finished 4th or 5th the first seven years of the AL Central but since then they've finished 3rd twice, 2nd twice, and 1st FIVE times and of course are leading the division so far this season. For comparisons sake the Royals have finished in last place five of the last six seasons and are no closer to contention than they were the day Dayton Moore was hired. Yeah there are some nice players in the minors but as I recall their 2006 AA team had some nice players too.

And it's not like the Twins have vastly outspent the Royals, over the last decade the average yearly difference in payroll has been less than three million dollars while the average yearly difference in wins has been about 19. Spending money foolishly is often worse than not spending it at all and spending money foolishly is what the Royals do best.
YearMN RecordMN PayrollKC RecordKC Payroll
200069-9315.777-8523.1
200185-7724.165-9735.4
200294-6740.262-10047.2
200390-7255.583-7940.5
200492-7053.558-10447.6
200583-7956.156-10636.9
200696-6663.462-10047.3
200779-8371.469-9367.1
200888-7556.975-8758.2
200987-7665.365-9770.5
Totals863-758502.1672-948473.8
So you can see why my frustration level is at an all time high and why I look north with envy in my eyes. Dayton Moore has this organization going backwards but I don't believe he will get the axe though I think he should. Hillman, on the other hand, is probably in his last days and seems to be managing with an I'd rather be anywhere else attitude. He has definitely achieved lame duck status and now that Moore has publicly given him support his days are numbered. It seems to always happen that way.
A change in manager isn't going to right this ship though. Don't get me wrong now because it may help, you can't really defend a manager that plays Bloomquist in CF over Maier against a right handed pitcher and bats him second. You can't defend a manager that let's a pitcher with recent arm issues throw 128 pitches. You can't defend a manager that issues a small fine to a player for lackadaisical play instead of benching him for a game or two. I mean, you just can't.
Right now it's as bad as it's ever been in Kansas City and I really can't see it getting better anytime soon and unfortunately for me they will continue to be my summer obsession..........because I was born here instead of somewhere else, like Minnesota.

5 comments:

Jon Loomer said...

In all fairness to the Royals, the Twins are the exception to the rule when it comes to small market teams remaining consistently competitive without spending huge sums of money. The Royals' spending may seem "foolish" when compared to the Twins, but it makes more sense when compared to the other struggling small market teams. I'd guess there are fans of about 15 teams who wish they were born in Minnesota.

Jeff Parker said...

I don't doubt that but they especially stick out for me since they share a division with the Royals. When the A's were winning with similar payrolls I remained pretty much indifferent.

Fire Trey said...

trey needs to be fired, he's worse than bell and muser

p.s. minnesota is cold

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