As Charles heads to hated rival, let’s remember his greatness in Kansas City

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Jamaal Charles is now a Denver Bronco. Let that sink in. The Chiefs all-time leading rusher (7,260) was released in February as a salary cap casualty – due $8 million after playing just 8 games over the last two seasons. His one-year deal is worth up to $3.5M in incentives, but a base salary of only $900,00 is a cheap risk/reward deal for Denver. There have been plenty mixed emotions from Chiefs fan – from wondering how anyone can play for their former rival, to wishing him luck because no ill will to a guy that wants a job, to ‘who cares, he’ll get hurt anyway.’  Any of them are understandable. For me, I held out hope that maybe he would return to Kansas City on an incentives-based deal similar to what he received in Denver, but it was clear any glimmer that would happen was gone when the Chiefs selected Toledo running back Kareem Hunt – trading up to get him – in the third round in draft. Running back is a young man’s position, and at Charles age (surprisingly only 30, but still [Read more...]

Kyle Zimmer can provide the boost the bullpen needs

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After the Royals fell to 2-5 with a dismal offensive performance in a 2-0 shutout on Monday – the Royals first Home Opener shutout since 1971, the Royals sent down a man who shouldn’t have even made the roster, Terrance Gore, to NW Arkansas after he made his only appearance of the season pinch-running for Salvador Perez in the ninth inning. Another roster move came down yesterday, with the struggling Matt Strahm sent to Triple-A Omaha. After his performance through the first week, his demotion should come as no surprise. He’s 0-2 with a 47.50 ERA and 7.50 WHIP so far in 2017 (1.1 IP in 3 appearances), after dominating hitters in 2016 to the tune of a 1.23 ERA, 1.09 WHIP in 22 innings last year. Command has been a major issue, as has twice as many walks this year. “I just need to stay on top of the ball,” Strahm said after Sunday’s loss, where he walked two in a row for a literal Astros walk-off in the 12th inning. “I see the problem, but I need to correct it.” Manager Ned Yost said [Read more...]

Projecting the 2017 Kansas City Royals

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Like every year during the Royals Golden Age other than 2015, Vegas and any other notable outlet, has projected the Royals to finish in third or fourth place in the AL Central and below .500. Despite that, let’s make no mistake about, the Royals are contenders in 2017. After the Royals traded Wade Davis, we wondered if the Window to Win was still open. Then, Yordano Ventura tragically died and something happened – its like the Royals decided it was time to go all in. They signed Brandon Moss and former Cubs pitchers Jason Hammel and Travis Wood. They’re going for it! All part of the original core, Eric Hosmer, Mike Mosutakas, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar could be gone after this year, but even if none of them return, the Royals are in much better shape in 2018 then we all anticipated at this time a year ago. But, for now, in their last year together, the Royals are primed to contend. How? Last year was a disaster for the Royals. Everything that could go wrong, did. But, despite [Read more...]

Mizzou moves on from the failed Kim Anderson experiment, turns to Cuonzo Martin; is top-recruit Michael Porter, Jr. coming, too?

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I wrote THIS when Kim Anderson was hired in April 2014. I so wanted to be wrong. Unfortunately, I wasn’t. And, it was much worse than I ever imagined. How bad was it? TWO 13-game losing streaks 0-30 in true road games 2-41 away from Mizzou Arena 8-46 SEC record Worst win percentage (.284) in Mizzou history First SEC program with three straight 20-loss seasons MOST losses EVER in a season by a SEC program (24) But that’s not all of it. Not surprisingly, attendance dropped. You have to win games, but you also have to put butts in seats. Kim Anderson did neither. He was also overwhelmed on the recruiting trail. As a former D2 head coach (he was no Bo Ryan), and a poor staff, its no wonder it turned out how it did in recruiting. He did land two 4-star’s – KJ Walton and Jordan Barnett. Barnett, however ended up at Missouri as a transfer, coming over from Texas as a semester transfer. He was Missouri’s best player the second he stepped on campus. During Anderson’s [Read more...]

Predicting the Royals 25-man roster

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It’s now March, but we're just four games into Spring Training and more than a month from Opening Day, but it’s not too early to start thinking about what the 25-man roster will look like. Like the year before it, and the year before that, most of the roster is already set. That’s what good teams do – they don’t have a lot of holes to fill. There’s always a chance that someone could Rey Fuentes themselves onto the roster. The last couple spots will be tough and good players will not make the team. Comes with the territory when you’re a contender. And make no mistake, the Royals are, despite Vegas handing them the second lowest win total in the AL Central (nothing new). After the Royals traded Wade Davis, we wondered if the Window to Win was still open. Then, Yordano Ventura tragically died and something happened – its like the Royals decided it was time to go all in. They signed Brandon Moss and former Cubs pitchers Jason Hammel and Travis Wood. They’re going for it! All part of the [Read more...]

Forever Royal: Remembering Yordano Ventura

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At first we were in shock. Then when we mourned. Together. That’s what this city does, and that’s what the Chiefs and Royals do for this city – it brings us together. It’s what makes Kansas City so special. It’s not some transient population who only cares about their teams if they’re winning. The teams actually matter to this city. And, we care. As Danny Duffy, who recently signed a 5-year, $65 million contract extension, once said, “We win as a city and we lose as a city.” We lost as a city, when Yordano Ventura tragically died in a car wreck in his native Dominican Republic, Jan. 22. He was just 25 years old. “He was so young and so talented,” GM Dayton Moore said. “He always brought a smile to everyone he interacted with. We loved Yordano. We loved his heart.” As many of you know, the details are still sketchy, at best. We know it was foggy. It was the time of morning when nothing good happens. According the reports, he was out “celebrating.” You can figure out what that [Read more...]

Dyson for Karns is a win for Royals, but he’ll be missed

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 5:  PLAYER # of the Kansas City Royals ACTION during Game 3 against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, October 5, 2014 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Amy Stroth/MLB Photos via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** PLAYER1;PLAYER2

Friday, the Royals traded outfielder and soon-to-be free agent Jarrod Dyson to Seattle for pitcher under team control through 2020 in Nathan Karns. So, what there’ not to love about the trade? I guess him not being in a Royals uniform any longer is about the only thing not to like about the trade. Dyson was nothing special. But the former 50th Round Draft Pick who spent 10 years in the Royals organization and the guy who brought “that what speed do” to Kansas City, meant a lot to the Royals. A fan favorite and one of the strongest locker room leaders, he hit .260/.325/.353 in seven seasons in Kansas City. The speedy left-hander who led the Royals in WAR in 2016 and is the fourth-most successful base stealer in over the last 50 years with an 85% success rate (however that rate is slowly declining – 81% in 2016 after 87% from 2010-2015 – as his legs are not getting any younger). Despite just 1,901 plate appearances over the last four years, he has the sixth-highest total BsR score from [Read more...]

Royals Roundtable: Is the “window to win” still open?

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We’ve heard over the last year or two that the Royals “window to win” is open through 2017, then it will suddenly close as most of the current core leaves and Dayton Moore tears it down, to build it back up, again. Awe, the life of small market baseball. But, after an 81-81 2016 – a year in which the Royals were unable to cash in on their highest payroll in franchise history, riddled with injury after injury, the Royals are in a tough spot. Despite losing Kendrys Morales and his 30 HR and 93 RBI, and Edinson Volquez, the salary is again at its peak. The Royals are facing salary restrictions/limitations – no chance to add anything major in free agency AND arbitration raises due to go along with several members of the core (Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, Wade Davis, Danny Duffy, Jarrod Dyson and Eric Hosmer), in addition to Jason Vargas, with expiring contracts, one has to wonder if the window to win actually closed in 2016? The Winter Meetings have came and went, and so has Wade [Read more...]

Chiefs Keys to Beating the Saints

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The Chiefs (3-2) are coming off an outstanding win (26-10) against their division rival Oakland Raiders. The 26-10 victory wasn't just a resounding effort after their dismantling on Sunday Night three weeks ago, but it was a reminder that the Chiefs own Oakland (6-1 against them under Andy Reid), they aren't nearly as bad as some make them out to be, and that Alex Smith is still a good quarterback. (For the record, I still think we should start someone else next year, but, let's stay on topic...) While Amari Cooper did roast D.J White for 10 receptions and 129 catches, only one came in the second half. Furthermore, Marcus Peters recorded his fifth interception of the year on a horrible decision by Derek Carr (who would finish the day 22-34, 225 yards, TD, INT). He did miss some time in the second half, but he simply needed fluids. Offensively, the Chiefs finally got back to what yielded them 12 victories last season: running the football and letting Alex Smith make calculated shots [Read more...]

The lights went out on 2016 Royals, but the Party is NOT over

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Its been nine days since we saw the Kansas City Royals eliminated from playoff contention for the first time since September 26, 2013. What a ride it’s been. Eliminated from the playoffs right as Wade Davis closed out the Minnesota Twins, as the Orioles rallied to beat the Jays, went on to lose their final four games, and finish 81-81 – their second ever .500 season – and their first non-winning season since 2012. The Royals have only had one stretch in their entire history with four or more consecutive winning seasons, that being 1975-1980. “We didn’t reach our goals, but we never quit,” manager Ned Yost said. All-Star MVP first baseman Eric Hosmer echoed the sentiment. “This team never lost it’s fight. It just didn’t work out for us. We had a lot of ups and downs; a lot of injuries. We’ve been in the thick of things the last couple of years, so it’s going to be hard [watching the postseason]…We’d like to be playing a lot more baseball, but the reality of it is, we’re not. That’s [Read more...]