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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Interview with Josh of Royalscentricity

Below is an interview done with Josh of the new Royals blog Royalscentricity.
Of course he used to write about the Royals on his other blog Inconsiderate Prick but now you'll find all the Royals content at RC.
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1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you became a Royals fan?

My dad grew up in Kansas City, so I've pretty much always been a Royals and Chiefs fan. The first year that I was old enough to stay up and watch all the World Series games was 1987, which is obviously a bad break for me as a sports fan in terms of, you know, seeing your team win championships. I was lucky enough to get to see Bo quite a bit, which as a kid was pretty amazing.
About a month ago, my dad and I were marveling at having seen Bo throw the ball up towards the roof of the Metrodome while warming up between innings and actually hitting the dome numerous times, so I've seen his feats of superhuman strength in person and they're ingrained in my sports fan psyche. Much like every Royals fan, I had Bo Jackson cards, posters, and T-shirts. I still have a Bo shirt. Unfortunately--with the exception of one-and-a-half seasons (the last half of the 1990 season and the 1991 season)--I grew up out of market and largely had to follow along in the box scores and single paragraph game recaps printed up in a small market daily paper. In the interest of full disclosure, I did adopt a second team to follow in addition to my Royals fandom--the Braves--but as the core of that team has almost fully disintegrated my fandom has waned.
One more guilty admission is that from about 1995 until 1999 I had pretensiously sworn off following sports for reasons that are not entirely clear to me anymore but probably had to do with some ridiculous self-serious notion I had as a teenager after the strike. Luckily for me (and quite the opposite for my girlfriend of nearly ten years), fantasy baseball came along and sucked me back in. Now I'm an MLB Extra Innings and MLB.tv subscriber who watches (conservative estimate to follow) at least 60 Royals games a year.

2. Why should people go to your blog Royalscentricity?

Well, they probably shouldn't. It's not very good.
Or maybe it's all right...
If they do decide to go there (despite my half-warning), they'll get a pretty level-headed and occasionally funny take from a sincere but cautious fan. I try to temper my enthusiasm and optimism while not erring quite so far into the column of eternal pessimism. Admittedly that can be a daunting task, since we Royals fans have put up with a lot of (using restraint here) crappy teams since the strike. Hell, there are a fair amount of Royals fans out there that don't even remember the strike. For those of us who do, this has been a trying decade and a half. For those of us who don't, there's not even the distant memory of a successful team.
I should mention that despite the relative lack of content at Royalscentricity, I had been blogging for the past year or so at Inconsiderate Prick (an apt description of me in my regular life but oddly not my existence as a Royals fan) and many of those entries were Royals related, but I didn't really think that I had the energy to maintain two separate blogs. I changed my mind part way through last season but decided I should wait until the offseason to launch Royalscentricity--I really wanted to call the blog The Royal We, but the domain name was taken in every way imaginable. Now, I've split my interests into two separate blogs and my readership is up astronomically--astronomically being appropriate only when taking into consideration the nominal interest I was drawing at my foolishly all-encompassing run at Inconsiderate Prick.

3. Most you've paid for a Royals hat?

It depends.
Straight up? $25 or so.
I did embark on a whirlwind road trip from Minneapolis to Denver (to see Ween and Tenacious D at Red Rocks) to Kansas City, where we went to see the Royals at The K. At The K, we got KC visors with admittance. The Royals lost, of course, and the next day, we found out that our friend had been driving much of the previous day with the oil light begging us for attention only to be rudely ignored. By the time we acted to try to remedy the situation, it was too late, and we were stranded at the Hy-Vee in Liberty carless. Luckily, I ran into one of my uncles there (seriously), and he was able to help us out as much as we needed, and we were driven out to KCI to get a one-way rental car back to Minneapolis. This was the summer after our third year in college, so we were all under 25 and paid dearly for the rental. So if you add up the fact that I had to cope with the shame of having a friend who did not know that an oil light coming on is an issue that is meant to be addressed immediately and then heaped all the money I spent on that road trip on motels, alcohol, gas, food, alcohol, and rental cars on top of the shame and took into account the fact that going into the road trip I had $250 to my name, you could say I spent all of my lifesavings and every last ounce of masculine pride on a Royals visor.
I still have the visor.

4. Do you want fries with that ?
Usually.

Finish the sentence and then go ahead and say some more if you like,
5. To start the MLB season in Japan ...........
is personally irritating to me because it means I have to stay up even later than I normally do because there is no way in hell I'm waking up that early.

6. David Glass is .............
the owner of the Royals.
Just kidding. Real answer? Hopefully done meddling with the decisions of the General Manager and suddenly forgot what frugality was which would then lead to the signing of Orlando Hudson, CC Sabathia, and Adam Dunn and a trade for Jake Peavy.

Rank them in terms of how many games you think each will play for the Royals in '09.
Gload, Butler, Jacobs, Shealy, Ka'aihue

This scares me. Honestly? Butler, Jacobs, Shealy, Gload, Ka'aihue. Butler will be in the lineup almost every day, but sadly most of that will be at DH. The one who should be DHing is Jacobs, but I worry--nay, know--that the Royals can't see that. I'd personally take Butler's defense to Jacobs' because I didn't see horrific defense at first when Butler was out there. Obviously the range isn't there, but I'm hard-pressed to think of him just blowing routine grounders.
As for Shealy, I'm not entirely sure the Royals won't try to move him (or Butler, which I am actually afraid of) but the market for him will not make the move easy. Shealy can hopefully right his inexplicably reversed LHP/RHP splits and prove to be an ideal platoon for Jacobs. Gload will play quite a bit, but mostly because of his positional flexibility and the fact that he plays respectable defense at first and is therefore an ideal late innings replacement in the event that the Royals someday find themselves with a lead to protect.
I could write for eons about Kila but will refrain. Needless to say, I don't think the Royals can see that the best way to see if Kila is ready to be a Major Leaguer is to actually make him a Major Leaguer. In the scenario we find ourselves in, Kila is a year away at best.I was holding out hope that Dayton Moore had something cooked up that made the Jacobs acquisition more palatable, but the more time goes by without much action on the trade front, the more I worry that there isn't anything. I'm wary of fully evaluating a trade like this by itself, as I want to believe that there is a master plan here, but I do not like that it further complicates the first base situation. That being said, Jacobs was unlucky last year with an absurdly low BABIP of .264 and a more realistic average in the .260s is what we should probably be expecting if they don't platoon split him.

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Thanks again to Josh for taking the time to do this interview and be sure to check him out at his blog Royalscentricity.

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