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tk13
02-06-2005, 01:24 AM
.... like clockwork. :)

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascitystar/sports/10828010.htm

Believe my annual pitch

It's true: Royals have the arms to win the division

JOE POSNANSKI


The time has come, once again, for me to tell you why the Royals are absolutely and positively going to win the American League Central division. Faithful readers will note that I've been writing this particular column every February for seven years now, and the Royals have not actually won the American League Central division in any of those years.

So, if you want to be technical, I actually never have been right on this prediction.

But, this is the year. I know it.

Before we begin, let's take a question from a reader: “Dear loser: You're not really going to write that stupid column about the Royals winning again, are you? Come on. Tell me something: Do you really believe the Royals are going to win? Or are you trapped by a bad decision you made several years ago to pick the Royals every year, no matter how dumb it makes you look?”

Answer: Sorry, that's actually three questions.

The thing about baseball is this: You gotta hope. Sure, there are, admittedly, a few barriers this year as I pick the Royals to win: logic, for instance. The Royals are coming off a 104-loss season. That's not too good. Their big offseason signing was a guy, Jose Lima, whom they dumped last year. They seem somewhat committed to having an opening-day lineup that will include Chris Truby, Terrence Long and Abraham Nuñez. Their best, most prominent and highest-paid player, Mike Sweeney, made it clear he doesn't expect this team to compete.

Yes, this column gets harder to write every year.

But the Royals do have something this year they have not had before, something that makes them exciting, something to build some hope around, something that will make the Royals the surprise team of baseball this year.

The Royals have pitching.

OK, stop laughing. No, really, stop. Yes, I know you've heard this before. Yes, I know the names that have been mentioned in this column before — Dan Reichert, Glendon Rusch, Chris Fussell, Orber Moreno, Brian Bevil, Jim Pittsley, Chad Durbin.

Yes, I know how bad Royals pitching has been. I know that since 1998, the Royals have given up 80 more homers than any team in the American League. They have had one pitcher with 15 or more wins, no pitchers strike out 150 batters and seven different pitching coaches. Of the last seven Royals pitchers of the year, four had losing records.

This time it's different.

Why? Because I think the Royals finally have figured out something: You can't win with lousy pitching. This lesson probably took a little longer than necessary to learn, but hey, everyone go at his own pace.

In the last few years, the Royals started to scout differently. They tried to make trades for pitchers with good stuff. They changed the way they develop young pitchers.

And this time around, the Royals will bring more good young pitchers to camp — I'm talking genuinely talented pitchers — than they have in a long, long time. You start with last year's pitcher of the year, Zack Greinke (21 years old), who throws 947 different pitches, all for strikes. He is for real.

Runelvys Hernandez (26) is, by all accounts, healthy again. He was a phenomenon for the first month in 2003 before he got hurt. He can be a star. Denny Bautista (24) has dominating stuff and learns pitching from his cousin Pedro Martinez. If he figures it out, he has a chance to be the best of the three.

Jimmy Gobble (23) was the only Royals pitcher with a winning record last year, and another lefty, J.P. Howell (22), might be better than Gobble right now. I like Dennis Tankersley (25), who can be a big strikeout guy. Some like Kyle Snyder, who is still 27 and showed talent before his shoulder surgery.

And then there are so many great arms in that bullpen. Jeremy Affeldt (25) is healthy, still has the great combination of mid-90s fastball and back-breaking curve, and for the first time in his career knows his role. He's the closer.

Mike MacDougal (28) looks to have his 98-mph fastball and nasty slider back, but he isn't the hardest thrower on the team anymore since Ambriorix Burgos (20) was clocked at 102 this offseason. Andy Sisco (22) is a 6-foot-9 lefty who throws in the mid-90s; I only of know one other guy on the planet like that, and the Yankees just spent something like a billion dollars to get him. Jaime Cerda (26) was the best of the bunch last year.

And the Royals will be able to keep all those guys together for several years.

Yes, the Royals have finally figured this thing out. See, it's not about money — the Royals have spent more money the last five years than the Minnesota Twins, who have three division titles. It's not about home runs. It's not about Carlos Beltran.

No, it's about pitching. If the Royals can get starting pitching, if they can build an overpowering bullpen, they can win. They will win. They seem to understand this finally. The Royals have moved back the fences (which instantly turned Kauffman Stadium from a launching pad into the toughest home-run park in the American League). They hired pitching guru Guy Hansen. They have loaded up with power arms. The Royals have their direction now. They have their focus.

Those great arms will come around this year, and the Royals will win this thing.

You read it here first. And last. Now, if you want reality, you can go to the newsstands, to the Internet, to talk radio. It won't be hard to find people predicting Royals doom.

But who wants reality in February anyway?

shakesthecat
02-06-2005, 05:00 AM
Start printin' playoff tickets!

siberian khatru
02-06-2005, 06:58 AM
Is Chris Berman still picking the 49ers and Bills for the Super Bowl every year?

whoman69
02-06-2005, 07:31 AM
:homer:

Deberg_1990
02-06-2005, 07:33 AM
I understand that its Posanski's job to be opimistic and all, but sometimes he goes waaay overboard. Id love nothing more for the Royals to finally make the playoffs after 20 years, but ill believe it when i see it. If they are still in it in August and Septemeber, then i will get excited.

Infidel Goat
02-06-2005, 07:58 AM
:bong:

OmahaChief
02-06-2005, 08:22 AM
I for one am glad he does this column. If for no other reason it get Royals fans likes myself a reminder that we do have some hope. Sure it is a feel good article but we need that since the national media wants to beat us down year in and year out. I know it probably won't happen but damn it, it is good to dream. I would think that most Chiefs fans would not mind either, we hear the same shit out of Vermeils mouth 24-7 and a lot of you believed that.

Go Royals.... It's Lima Time baby...Believe It!

KevB
02-06-2005, 08:32 AM
I for one am glad he does this column. If for no other reason it get Royals fans likes myself a reminder that we do have some hope. Sure it is a feel good article but we need that since the national media wants to beat us down year in and year out. I know it probably won't happen but damn it, it is good to dream. I would think that most Chiefs fans would not mind either, we hear the same shit out of Vermeils mouth 24-7 and a lot of you believed that.

Go Royals.... It's Lima Time baby...Believe It!

We were the darlings of the national media last year, with many experts predicting us to win the division. The R's gave them a 104 loss season for their trouble. Until we actually develop some pitching (which we've yet to do, despite drafting 1,304 pitchers the last 6 years), we will continue to lose at an astounding rate. I do like the arms we have now....we've tried to get power arms instead of looking for "pitchability". Now, what will we do with them?

Dr. Facebook Fever
02-06-2005, 08:50 AM
So now that we have pitching....do we have anybody.............anybody who can hit....????

alanm
02-06-2005, 08:58 AM
So now that we have pitching....do we have anybody.............anybody who can hit....????
First off Joe's been hitting the crack pipe again.
2nd We'll never win anything as long as David Glass owns the team. You just can't compete year in and year out with a team paid by Walmarts pay scale.
3rd Weren't we supposed to have pitching last year?
4th. They still can't hit
Sorry... I've been beat down by the Royals same as I have by the Chiefs. :deevee:

Cochise
02-06-2005, 09:02 AM
2nd We'll never win anything as long as David Glass owns the team. You just can't compete year in and year out with a team paid by Walmarts pay scale.


:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :stupid:

1adam1238
02-06-2005, 09:19 AM
First off Joe's been hitting the crack pipe again.
2nd We'll never win anything as long as David Glass owns the team. You just can't compete year in and year out with a team paid by Walmarts pay scale.
3rd Weren't we supposed to have pitching last year?
4th. They still can't hit
Sorry... I've been beat down by the Royals same as I have by the Chiefs. :deevee:

Talk about a beat down, last years baseball and this years NFL......I couldn't agree more with you on this.

beavis
02-06-2005, 10:14 AM
Yet another reason why JoPo is a joke of a columnist.

Saulbadguy
02-06-2005, 10:15 AM
Start printin' playoff tickets!
:D

beavis
02-06-2005, 10:17 AM
2nd We'll never win anything as long as David Glass owns the team. You just can't compete year in and year out with a team paid by Walmarts pay scale.

For this team to have the payroll of the Yankmes, they'd have to sell out every game, and tickets would cost approximately $237 each. That or Glass would have to lose $150 million dollars a year, which would reduce him to nothing in about 3 years. So go ahead and keep smacking the payroll, it's a great reason for bitching.

Saulbadguy
02-06-2005, 10:19 AM
I'm pumped for this Royals season, actually. Last year I had high expectations. This year, I have none. It'll be fun to watch em win or lose.

Sure-Oz
02-06-2005, 11:34 AM
I am excited to watch this team, maybe we'll see some good young players out there. I am interested to see how well our pitching will do.

KevB
02-06-2005, 11:38 AM
I'm pumped for this Royals season, actually. Last year I had high expectations. This year, I have none. It'll be fun to watch em win or lose.

You know, I think I'll enjoy the season more for this very reason. I look forward to seeing some of the young guys develop, hopefully into players that give us a chance to win every game. Guys like Greinke, Buck, Teahen, DeJesus, Runy, Bautista and Gobble.

alanm
02-06-2005, 12:00 PM
For this team to have the payroll of the Yankmes, they'd have to sell out every game, and tickets would cost approximately $237 each. That or Glass would have to lose $150 million dollars a year, which would reduce him to nothing in about 3 years. So go ahead and keep smacking the payroll, it's a great reason for bitching.
We don't need to have the payroll of the Yankmee's. Shit we never will as long as there isn't revenue sharing. The luxury tax is a joke. I'd like to see them attempt to at least sign a middle of the road FA once in awhile instead of scraping the bottom of the barrel every year. The best we could do this offseason is Jose Lima?. :shake: The only chance the Royals have of making the postseason is to move their draft choices quickly to the show and not have them spend untold years in the minors anymore. Because we sure as hell can't afford them after their initial contract is up. Baseball salaries are out of whack and I wouldn't be suprised to see the owners pull a lockout like the NHL in the near future.

Jenson71
02-06-2005, 12:03 PM
Every year my excitement grows for baseball. The older I've gotten, the more I appreciate it. And every year I enjoy JoePo's optimistic column.

Now who can tell me about Guy Hansen? He worked for the Braves, right? How important was the guy?

Jenson71
02-06-2005, 12:06 PM
First off Joe's been hitting the crack pipe again.
2nd We'll never win anything as long as David Glass owns the team. You just can't compete year in and year out with a team paid by Walmarts pay scale.


In the top 10 richest people in America, the Wal-Mart guys hold like 4 of those spots.

I think Glass obviously doesn't want to lose like a $100 million + in a year because the market is so small. But isn't the first rule in business you gotta spend to earn?

I don't know. Something has to happen to MLB.

ENDelt260
02-06-2005, 12:14 PM
Of the last seven Royals pitchers of the year, four had losing records.

Sheezus.

Deberg_1990
02-06-2005, 12:30 PM
You know, I think I'll enjoy the season more for this very reason. I look forward to seeing some of the young guys develop, hopefully into players that give us a chance to win every game. Guys like Greinke, Buck, Teahen, DeJesus, Runy, Bautista and Gobble.

Yea sure, and then in a few years they will all become Yankee's....what a joke of a sport that baseball has become.

Dayze
02-06-2005, 03:28 PM
the Royals blow pipe; and so does MLB.
A stunningly boring game the only generates a tad of excitement in October.
Each year the Royals blow; but it doesn't take me 160+ to realize they haven't a snowballs chance.

I guess I'm just bitter, b/c after today.... :deevee: ....I must wait until August for my football fix.