2nd Interview with: MtRoyals
1. Overall how did the season do ?
What was the biggest up and the lowest down ?
Overall, I wasn't too far off on what the season brought for us...I did guess at 74 wins. I didn't expect peaks to be as high as they were, but I didn't guess the valleys would be as low as they were either. For me, I have to ask, is the lowest peak really the 12-game losing streak or was it Trey Hillman? Maybe I was expecting a different kind of manager and that was unfair out of a rookie manager. But I'm thinking that he was too impressed with big leaguers. Without the successful final month, it might be questionable to bring him back because he had basically lost the clubhouse. But for now, he's back to saying the right things--about the learning experience.
The biggest up cannot be September until we find out what kind of club we have going into next season. Can we expect certain players to be more like what they showed in September or will they be the basic player they were in 2008?
Gordon .311/.367/.556 or .260/.351/.432 (let's hope he can add the 2008 walk rate to the Sept stats
Teahen .313/.340/.490 or .255/.313/.402 --for yet another year of declined results.
Guillen .337/.380/.485 or .264/.300/.438
Buck .262/.360/.381 or .224/.304/.365
DDJ .388/.443/.565 or .307/.366/.452
Meche improved K/BB, ERA and HR/9
Greinke's last two months saw him with a 4.1:1 K:BB, which is amazing! His ERA was almost like Maddux of old, and most promising of all is that he gave up THREE HR in 62 innings, which has always been a weak spot of Greinke.
Definite bright spots, of course, would be Soria, Greinke and Meche not regressing as much as I thought he would. Finishing fourth and 75-87 aren't as bright as people want to make them out to be because the division isn't as tough as it was before, but it's still nice. Also, Butler. Before Butler was sent down, he was hitting .263/.330/.339. After his return, he hit .284/.320/.444. I do think he'll start walking enough to keep his OBP split about 70 points or more, but that might be a few more years off. But the difference in slugging is very big. I think he'll slug even better next season.
2. What is your take on the in game entertainment at the K ? i.e. You like the Garth Brooks, kiss cam or you'd prefer just plain baseball ?
It's a bit of a draw both ways. I usually take my sister's kids to the game with me (two boys and recently took her oldest daughter (seven) and they seem to like it. But I could nitpick quite a bit. One, why would you want to remind a stadium "full" of mostly casual fans about anything boring--like mowing? Do we really need to have all of the racing things going on there? And please, please, please, don't ever, ever, ever, for the Love of God, EVER play Cotton Eye Joe! But I like the kiss cam and the distorte view cam. I can't stand that "cool" guy, whatever the guy's name is...he's annoying, but even worse when it comes to singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame. As far as Garth, I like it, but it would be cool if they could mix up the songs. And I guess all in all, I'd like to see more baseball-related things in between the innings...more trivia. And heck, maybe a real life "skills" test. Two people in the outfield compete in one even--90 feet sprint or something
3. What Free Agents do you think the Royals will sign or make a run for ?
That's a tough one. Well done. I have to go with the reports I've read. I say they go after Ibanez, who'll sign and slightly disappoint, and Furcal, who won't sign here. They'll probably also sign a pitcher that'll either be average or they'll sign a Tomko type to go up against Bannister for the fifth spot--he'll transition to the pen easily enough when he loses to Banny, who'll be more 2008 than 2007, but won't be as bad as he was this past season.
The problem with this free agency season is that there's such a huge drop off after the top talents, none of which will sign here. I'm pretty sure of that. And the Royals, they need to aim for them anyways, and if/when they don't sign them, they shouldn't settle for second rate free agents that are aging. I'd rather them get a player that's not quite as good as Raul yet much cheaper. That player will do well enough and Raul won't have any value if we will need to trade him. And he's going to want at least a two year deal. I'm not willing to bet that he'd be productive at the K in 2010. And please, please, Royal fans, get off of the over paying kick. It only hurts in the end. Inflation in any aspect of life, isn't a good thing...and inflation is all we're going to create. All you have to do is overpay once. Every time you do, it sets a new precedence. The best idea is getting as many young players as possible and buy into their free agency years. That's how you get team-friendly deals, which is what the Royals need. And they should have bought more Soria years!
4. All fans overvalue "there" players, do Royals fans overvalue Zack Greinke ?
To a degree. It's so hard to really say definitively. You can give him a pass because
1. his social anxiety disorder, but there's a chance it is now overstated. Not to say it's not a very real issue that's affecting him, but we don't know really how he's coping with it. Did we see signs of it before it became known? No. Is there a difference in Zack now compared to before he left camp? No. So, as far as we know, it's under complete control and he's dealing with it well--or he's not.
2. he was pulled from the rotation very quickly last year.
So right there are two "lost" seasons. So when someone like me says, "yeah, he's good now, but he's only had one really good season as a starter," there are special reasons for that, one of which was clearly out of his control and the other one had only a bit of his control to it.
Of course, a plus for him is that he just had a really good season in his Age 24 season. He was called up four years ago! And as well as he pitched that year, it's clear that our buddy Allard called him up too early.
I think he'll be great and it would be nice for that greatness to take place in a Royal uniform, but I'm a much bigger fan of the team than I am of Zack Greinke and if trading him means this team will become a contender and stay a contender for a long time, then I'm sorry, but Zack needs to go! You have to use your assets and sometimes creating more assets is the best way to go about that. It would be nice to know more about this supposed Ranger offer at the deadline to get an idea of how Dayton's mind is working on this issue.
5. Who will win the World Series ?
Hopes and prayers, Tampa.
Worst team, LA
Cosmically funny, Philly.
I want Tampa, but I think Boston
6. CC Sabathia signs where ? And for how much ?
For me, the belief is that the very best cannot be overpaid. CC is young enough to get/want a long term deal, but teams are also smarter than before, especially in light of what has happened in other deals like Brown, Hampton, Zito. I call the Mets big spenders this year, matching or nearly matching the years and amount given to Santana. The problem is that while CC is very good, it's hard to argue that he's anywhere near as good (262 ERA+ in 130.7 IP) as he's been in the NL so far--and you have to wonder about how hard (7.67 IP per start--and just over 3800 pitches thrown on the season) the Brewers were riding him.
7 Your Dayton Moore the phone rings it's the Rangers GM Daniels he wants to know if you are willing to trade, Brian Bannister for C Max Ramirez, you say what ?
MAKE THE TRADE, DAYTON! CALL ME LATER!!! And then to a friend, "What the heck is he calling me for? Daniels might wise up!"
8. Gibbons and Seitzer whats your take on the new coaches ?
Gibbons, I think I like. I'm not sure though. I'm not really sure what it is exactly that he brings to the position, but I'm curious enough to find out. As said on Royalboard.com, I think it's to ward off stuff like Guillen and I think Hillman's a bit of a push-over. I do wonder, though, if Gibbons is our next manager--and how two roosters in the henhouse or whatever other analogy will fit the situation is going to play out. Seitzer, though, I'm thinking that I'm against it. Looking at his career, you see a great BA/OBP split, so you know that he didn't go out of his way to get out on his own. He's likely to teach about OBP opposed to talking about teaching it. However, there's very little slugging out of his career, and looking at the short term numbers of the guys he was coaching in AZ, there was little of it out of them. And their young players didn't play well under him. That said, I'm a strong believer in the idea that coaches have little effect when compared to the talents. I do want the best teachers because I also believe that bad ones hurt more than good ones help. So is the young players failing under Seitz inevitable? Or could we point out that the failing young players all played better the full season after (2008) Seitzer was let go too early?
9. How did you first hear of Royalboard ?
I probably still have the e-mail. It was near Deadline '06 and I got a friend talking about how much he was going on and on about how important it was to trade for Ryan Shealy. And how he was outarguing some people over there. So I went to take a look--he'd posted twice and I don't think anyone had replied to him. People are prone to great exaggeration. haha
Final question, what are your final thoughts on the 2008 baseball season in general ?
As always, exciting season for the entire league. There were the typical ups and downs for all 30 teams, some higher than others, some lower than others...I think. Did any team have a lower low than the Royals' 12-game steak or their month of August? Did any team have a higher high than the Royals' September? More questions needed to be answered, of course...but hopefully, lessons have been learned. I'm really excited about continuing this pursuit of ours. We do have the ultimate example of how this needs to be ran. The example calls itself Tampa Bay Rays and they're about to off the Red Sox.
Thanks again to Mt. for taking his time to due this interview.