Monday, May 02, 2005

Footnoted Gammons on the Royals

A Royal mess

The most disappointing team in April was likely the Royals. "I know a lot of our fans are disappointed and frustrated," K.C. general manager Allard Baird says. "But we have to build the right way. This is the way we have to go, and if anyone has to be fired, then fire me."

(DL: How can a Royals team that was widely regarded as the worst team in baseball heading into the season be characterized as "disappointing"? They've accomplished that goal, and worst will simply be a matter of degree - "seasonal" or "historical". Disappointing would imply there was a glimmer of hope, but alas, there was none.)

Baird is encouraged by his young pitching. Zack Greinke, Denny Bautista and Runelvys Hernandez (who still is getting his command back after undergoing Tommy John surgery) are the core of a future rotation, while Andy Sisco (20 strikeouts, two earned runs allowed in 18 innings pitched) was a great Rule V pickup from the Cubs, and Ambiorix Burgos shot out of Double-A hitting 98 mph on the radar gun.

(DL: Indeed.)

Come July, the Royals will be looking to make some deals for young players. Mike Sweeney would love to go to the Dodgers. Brian Anderson could be available, as could Jeremy Affeldt, who will be a fourth-year arbitration case at the end of the season.

(DL: Sweeney might love to go to the Dodgers, but I can't imagine the feeling is mutual, unless the Royals are buying. Right now, who would want to trade for Jeremy Affeldt?)

Baird's problem is that ownership doesn't breed relationships with young players. Affeldt had to go to arbitration over a $200,000 difference. Ken Harvey was shipped to Triple-A Omaha to open the season for arbitration reasons. That undermines what Baird and manager Tony Pena are trying to accomplish.

(DL: True, its important that the franchise breed good relationships with their young players. No players want their team run like Rachel Phelps, and making nice MIGHT help the team's chances of getting a hometown discount when their accomplished players lurch towards free agency (but retaining expensive free agents isn't the goal anyway). But wake me when Gammons focuses on players that have actually contributed something. Jeremy Affeldt has gotten progressively WORSE since his major league debut. He's a major disappointment. Why are the Royals obligated to simply pay what he's asking? Does Affeldt bear no responsibilty for not coming to a compromise, perhaps by acknowledging that he hasn't been good?

No need to even comment about the importance of building a strong relationship in order to retain Ken Harvey. But managing service time properly is ESSENTIAL for a small-market franchise. Does Gammons not recognize this?)

4 Comments:

At 9:07 PM, Blogger Throwing Meatballs said...

As much as I respect Peter Gammons, I really don't care what he or anyone in the national media has to say regarding the Royals. I think they look on CBS Sportsline to determine what is going on with the Royals. Harvey being demoted for arbitration reasons? Hey Gammons did you watch Harvey after the All Star break last year? Harvey was demoted because his plate disicipline is terrible. The verdict is still out on if it worked. Early indications say no.

As far as Affeldt goes...Screw him. From blisters to groins to obliques that guy has been a walking injury since he got to the Major Leagues. He has great stuff, but he hasn't put it together and I really don't know if he will ever put it together. Thank God Allard "Something for Nothing" Baird has acquired arms so that we don't have to keep hoping Affeldt will pull off the panties and man up.

 
At 12:30 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

The Harvey/arbitration thing still blows me away. I mean, what would he make in arbitration, really? Why do they care that much?

And they were willing to lose a year on Teahen, starting him at 3rd, but not willing to do so on Harvey, whom they've already seen mediocre-up the joint for 2 seasons?

Color me confused...

 
At 10:11 AM, Blogger cfos said...

I like how Gammons writes, but generally 90 percent of it is based on nothing but his own Red Sox/Yankees colored view of the league.

I saw where the Rangers had an interest in MacDougal. If someone wants Mac, then Affeldt is surely marketable.

 
At 7:26 PM, Anonymous Jeff Howe said...

Hi DS --

Great blog! I agree that the national media just assumes that the Royals will be a train wreck every game, but they took two of three from the Angels when they were out here -- which didn't exactly sit well with Halo fans, I gotta say.

BTW, I want to talk to you about helping me with a sports writing situation, and I apologize for contacting you in the format (I don't see an E-mail link). Could you please E-mail me at jeff_howe@mostvaluablenetwork.com?

Thanks!

 

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