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Old 12-11-2012, 08:59 AM  
duncan_idaho duncan_idaho is offline
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2013 Kansas City Royals Repository Thread

Proposed 2013 Slogan: Tigers: They're what's for dinner
Actual 2013 Slogan: Come to Play
A better, more accurate, or alternative slogan: All in, no panic, we promise.

Dayton Moore has pushed all his chips in and is riding on King/Jack suited, hoping it comes together, he gets some good luck, and he hits the nuts by the river card. There's potential, oh yes, there's potential. There's also risk.

At the midway point, Dayton is left counting on the river card. The flop and turn didn't help him, and he's looking at the Tigers holding a pair of Queens and the Indians holding a pair of 9s. His 2013 plan hasn't failed - yet - but the odds are not in his favor.

Burning questions updates below.

Burning Questions for 2013:

1) Will the improve rotation be improved enough? Does James Shields pitch like a fringe No. 1 away from Tampa Bay? Does Ervin Santana pitch to his highest upside in his walk year? Can Jeremy Guthrie build on his strong performance as a Royal in 2012? Can Wade Davis bring his new mentality- and velocity - back to the rotation?

Midseason check-in: Yes, the rotation is certainly improved enough. Shields has pitched like a fringe No. 1 and Santana is having his best season. Guthrie has horrible peripherals but has continued to perform well at his home park and eat innings on the road. Davis brought neither his kick-ass mentality or improved velocity back to the rotation and is in Luke Hochevar/Hiram Davies territory.

2) When will Luke Hochevar be shown the door?
Midseason check-in: It appears, never, at this point. Hochevar has been solid in non-leverage situations, though pretty much every time he has been used with men on base in an inning, it has been a disaster.

3) Does Hosmer bounce back?
Midseason check-in: It took some time, but Hosmer's performance from June 1 on is probably the most encouraging thing about the 2013 season so far.
4) Can Moustakas hit for a whole season like he did in the first half of 2012?
Midseason check-in: Nope. Moustakas was god-awful, then great for about 3 weeks, then god-awful again. He has been better since he started working with Brett and Grafol but still has a long way to go.
5) Who regresses?
Midseason check-in: Welp, Alicides Escobar is not a surprising name here (though Yost's stubborn insistence on hitting him second is ridiculous). Billy Butler is a surprise. He isn't having a terrible year - still contributing a lot to the offense - but he's not hitting for the average or power he has displayed over the past several years.
6) Who plays 2B?
Midseason check-in: A whole bunch of people, and not that great. Gio is at least getting a shot, though he once again is not doing much with it.
7) Can Jeff Francoeur be at least replacement level, rather than epic horrible level?
Midseason check-in: Hahahahahahahahahahaha
8) Will Dayton Moore survive to see 2014?
Midseason check-in: Outlook uncertain. Probably still around, unless the team completely tanks in the second half and he does something foolish. My guess - he sacrifices Ned Yost this offseason and gets one more shot with a new manager in 2014.
9) Will Danny Duffy come back healthy? And if he does, is he the same, better or worse?
Midseason check-in: Yes. Velocity looks the same, and it looks likely he is the same guy as before.
10) And the big one: Has KC added enough to run down the big-money Detroit Tigers?
Midseason check-in: Doesn't look like it, does it?

Last edited by duncan_idaho; 07-15-2013 at 10:01 AM..
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:08 PM   #3166
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I'm just saying there's all sorts of shit i could be doing! I could watch a movie, play a video game, rub one out, read a book, learn a foreign language, etc.. But i'm still watching the assholes because i love them, and I hate myself
- On watching the Royals.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:20 PM   #3167
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Kansas City Royals: Starting Pitching Key to First Place Standing in AL Central
By Jeremy Sickel on April 22, 2013


What a difference one aggressive offseason has made for the Kansas City Royals—as they have built a starting rotation that is now seen as one of the team’s strengths, as opposed to being its perennial Achilles heel.

We all know by now how the Royals went about piecing together the likes of James Shields, Wade Davis, Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie into the same rotation. The question, however, was whether or not Kansas City’s plan would actually work.

The Royals are currently 10-7 and sit atop the American League Central with a modest 1.5 games lead over the Detroit Tigers—the team widely considered the division’s best.

Kansas City’s bullpen has been shaky at times and the offense has yet to find its groove, but improved performance from its starting pitching has many supposing the team’s solid start to the season is no stroke of luck.

In 2012, the Royals pitching staff ranked 23rd in all of baseball with a 4.30 ERA and 27th with a 1.41 WHIP. They also tied for 18th in strikeouts with 1,177, but finished with the fifth-most walks allowed at 542.

So far in 2013, the numbers could not be more divergent—anchored by a starting rotation that is going much deeper into ball games, averaging close to 6.5 innings per start. Starters last year tallied an inning less per outing, something that caused the bullpen to tire out as the season progressed.

The Royals have baseball’s fifth-best ERA (3.31) and WHIP (1.17), while yielding the third-fewest walks (45) and recording the eighth-most strikeouts (147) in just 17 games. While it may not be expected that these trends continue, the hope is that the relievers start to settle into their roles and the bats start to come alive once the summer hits full stride.

It would be ideal for all three of these phases to eventually line up—and hopefully soon—but you will find no one in Kansas City grumbling about being in first place right now, in large part due to the efforts of the team's starting rotation.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:29 PM   #3168
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Struggles have helped shape Kansas City Royals' Jeff Francoeur and Alex Gordon

Former top prospects Alex Gordon (left) and Jeff Francoeur (right) are veterans in the Kansas City Royal outfield. (Associated Press Photo)

By Bill Evans/South Jersey Times



Jeff Francoeur was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2005 at the age of 21, dubbed "The Natural" by the magazine after a torrid first six weeks to his major-league career.

Through his first 37 games with his hometown Atlanta Braves, the free-swinging, rocket-armed right fielder hit .360. He finished his rookie season with a .300 average, 14 home runs, 44 RBIs and an incredible 13 assists in just 67 games.

Alex Gordon was drafted No. 2 overall in 2005, a month before Francoeur's spectacular debut. He came to the Kansas City Royals' organization with a litany of college Player of the Year awards and expectations of developing into a franchise player.

It took him less than two years to make it to the major leagues.

Francoeur, still not yet 30, is now in his ninth major-league season - though in his third year with the Royals, his fourth major-league team. While it has taken some time, Gordon - also 29 - is developing into the star many observers felt he would become as he starts his seventh year in the majors.

"I've definitely had my ups and downs, injuries, a position change (from third base to the outfield), maybe not living up to people's expectations," said Gordon. "I learned just work your tail off and whatever happens at the end of the day you can't be disappointed. It's just the experience and knowing what you're capable of doing and what you want to do.

"I just didn't handle (the pressure) right, especially rookie year. But last year, I started off 0-for-23 and knew I'd come through it and I had a good year."

Gordon hit .247 as a rookie in 2007 and never rose above .260 his first four years - falling off to .215 in 2010, a second straight injury-filled season. But he blossomed in 2011, hitting .303 and has been on an upward path ever since.

After following up 2011 with a .294 average and league-leading 51 doubles in 2012, Gordon is hitting .350 this year.

"I credit (former hitting coach) Kevin Seitzer a lot," said Gordon. "I made the position change and knew I had to step up, and he was instrumental in changing my approach, changing my swing and my overall perspective coming to the plate."

While Gordon is now blossoming into a star with the team that drafted him, Francoeur has taken a different path.

While Francoeur's good friend and fellow Atlanta-area native Brian McCann - who arrived in the majors around the same time with less fanfare - has developed into a six-time all-star catcher, Francoeur couldn't sustain his early success and fell out of favor.

In 2009, he was traded to the New York Mets and a year later was shipped off to Texas to be an extra outfielder on the Rangers' World Series team.

He signed with Kansas City in 2011 and is in his third year with the team.

"There were times for me early in my career, I put a lot of pressure on myself and it didn't help," said Francoeur, a .266 career hitter with 138 home runs. "When I first got to Atlanta it was nice, with Andruw (Jones) and Chipper (Jones) and Edgar Renteria and (Adam) LaRoche. But as I got a little older and some of those guys left or got hurt, I was expected to do more, and I tried so hard and couldn't get it.

"If it was up to me, I'd have loved to play my whole career (in Atlanta). But seeing where I've been, the cool places I've gone and the way it's played out, its been great. When I'm done playing, I'll take my kids to thousands of Braves game, but to go to different places has been a fun road."

Francoeur - who is in the last year of his contract - feels he has found a home in Kansas City. He batted .285 in 2011 before dropping off to .235 last year and is hitting .260 this season.

"Last year (stunk), you can say it," admitted Francoeur. "For me, winning is contagious and hitting is contagious. Last year we were losing and I was lost mechanically and it was bad.

"I put it behind me and had a good spring. You know what, it would have been harder before, but now I've had good seasons, I've had bad seasons and come back and had good seasons. It's all about adjustments. ...Last year I couldn't make them. But I'm looking forward to winning, and it's fun playing like we have been.

"When I first signed here, my wife asked 'Where are we going?' but now she loves it. It's our favorite place we've been."

Kansas City is off to an 8-6 start after completely revamping its starting pitching in the offseason, bringing in veterans like James Shields and Ervin Santana. The lineup is still young - every regular is under 30 - but Gordon and Francoeur's early arrival to the majors qualifies them as veterans.

"They're tremendously talented players who had to go through ups and downs," said Kansas City manager Ned Yost. "It makes you a better player if you can go through adversity and battle through it. You learn the best lessons that way. They have a lot of experience to offer. It helps everybody on your team they went through that.

"I've only seen two players come up and never have major adversity and that was Ryan Braun and Chipper Jones. Every good young player who comes up struggles somewhere early, and these guys have figured it out and went on to be successful major-league players."

Even nine years into the league, Francoeur still feels he has a lot of room to grow.

"I feel I can still get better," said Francoeur. "Jayson Werth hit 29, 30 and figured some stuff out. If I'm patient and get my pitch, I'm a good hitter. Sometimes I get myself out and I'm trying to limit those at-bats where I'm not being patient. I want to try to grind out every at-bat, and if I do that I'll be good.

"Becoming more disciplined is something I've worked hard on, getting in good hitting position. That raw and free-swinging. ... I want to bring that down a little bit, wait for my pitch, hit it and drive it. When the ball's around the plate, I can hit it."

For Gordon and Francoeur, where they have been is important. But not as much as where they're going.

"Everything happens for a reason, I'm not looking back," said Gordon. "I'm happy with where I'm at right now."
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:46 PM   #3169
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After an emotional weekend series in Boston, the Royals have a big week ahead them with two divisional series against the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians.

Last week, the Royals won a three-game series against the Red Sox 2-1 after sweeping a doubleheader on Sunday. They also split a two-game series in Atlanta that snapped the Braves' 11-game winning streak.

Now, the current top dog in the American League Central division has an opportunity to put padding onto its lead.

Here are the biggest keys to the five games the Royals have on their docket this week.


Previewing Kansas City Royals' Upcoming Week, Keys to Each Game

Tuesday, April 23: at Detroit
First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET

Projected Starters: Wade Davis (Royals, 2-0), Max Scherzer (Tigers, 1-0)



The Royals are 1.5 games ahead of the Tigers in the AL Central standings, so getting off to a good start in Game 1 will be critical for the Royals.

This three-game stop in Detroit is the last of an eight-game road trip that included two days off in Boston after the city was locked down on Friday.

After having six days off through their first 17 games, the Royals start a 13-day stretch without resting.

That has messed up the timing of some of the Royals, including designated hitter Billy Butler. Butler was shut down during the two-game tilt in Atlanta (an NL series with no DH) and is only hitting .216.

In Monday's game, Butler and the rest of the Royals lineup will face Scherzer, who leads the Tigers in strikeouts with 30. He also is maintaining a 2.84 ERA with only six earned runs given up in three appearances in 2013.

The Royals will have to be hot at the plate early to knock Scherzer out of his rhythm.

Davis, the Royals' projected starter and a new addition to the rotation, has been lights out in his first three starts. Davis is 2-0 in the early going with a 2.25 ERA, over 1.6 points below his career average.

However, he has given up two home runs in 2013, just three shy of his 2012 total when he appeared in 54 games.

The Tigers are full of power hitters including Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera and Alex Avila. Those three have all gone yard multiple times this season and have combined for nine homers.

Davis and the Royals' bullpen, which will certainly benefit from a day off after playing three games in two days at Boston, will have to limit the big-time plays that the Tigers batters are capable of making.



Wednesday, April 24: At Detroit
First Pitch: 7:08 p.m. ET

Projected Starters: Luis Mendoza (Royals, 0-1), Justin Verlander (Tigers, 2-2)



The Royals face an uphill battle on Wednesday with 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander taking the mound for the Tigers.

And with the backside of the Royals' rotation in Luis Mendoza taking the hill, the Royals' bats will undoubtedly make or break the team's chances in the second game of the series.

Mendoza has struggled on the hill this season. He has a 6.17 ERA and has no wins in just two appearances.

The Royals even elected to skip Mendoza's scheduled start in the first game of the Boston series after having two straight days off. They instead went with their ace James Shields, who got a no-decision in a 4-3 loss to the Red Sox.

Mendoza has not taken the hill since April 12. Now he'll have to try and shut down some of the biggest bats in the American League in a crucial divisional series.

As for Verlander, despite losing two games, he has a 2.13 ERA and 29 strikeouts in his four starts.

Billy Butler has been pretty successful against Verlander over the course of his career. He has a .396 average against the Tigers ace and nine RBIs in 53 at-bats.

For a guy who is looking to get back into his usual groove, Butler has a big chance to do so against one of his favorite pitchers.

Center fielder Lorenzo Cain can also play a huge part against Verlander. He is having a terrific April with a .368 average in the month along with nine RBIs.

Butler, Cain and the rest of the lineup need a stellar showing on Wednesday to give Mendoza a chance.




Thursday, April 25: At Detroit
First Pitch: 1:05 p.m. ET

Projected Starters: James Shields (Royals, 1-2), Anibal Sanchez (Tigers, 2-1)



In what will likely become a hotly-contest pitching duel, James Shields and Anibal Sanchez will face off against one another in Thursday's conclusion of the series.

While Shields has only earned one win this year, his losses have come on days where the Royals offense failed to show up.

Against the Toronto Blue Jays, Shields threw a complete game and only gave up two hits. However, one of those was a two-run blast by Jose Bautista, and Shields lost the game 3-2.

His other loss came on Opening Day against the Chicago White Sox, when he only allowed one earned run over six innings. However, the Royals failed to score in the game, and Shields was credited with a 1-0 loss.

Nonetheless, Shields has a 3.00 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 2013, certainly great numbers.

Sanchez has also looked tremendous in the early part of the season for the Tigers. He's 2-1 in four starts with a terrific 1.75 ERA.

The second man in the Tigers rotation also has a history of shutting down the best bats the Royals have to offer.

Billy Butler, Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer have all only combined for three hits in a combined 19 at-bats against Sanchez.

Jeff Francoeur has faced Sanchez the most out of anybody on the roster. He has a modest .276 average in 29 plate appearances against Sanchez.

So far in 2013, the Royals have failed to give Shields the proper run support he deserves. A potential rubber game in a big early divisional series against Detroit is the perfect time to fix that problem.




Friday, April 26: Vs. Cleveland
First Pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET

Projected Starters: Ervin Santana (Royals, 2-1), Scott Kazmir (Indians, 0-0)



After an emotionally-taxing, eight-game road trip, the Royals return home on Friday to kick off a four-game series against the Cleveland Indians. The four-game tilt is the beginning of a 10-game homestand for the Royals.

Taking the hill for the Royals in this game will likely be Ervin Santana, who has been remarkable in 2013. Santana leads the Royals with a 2.48 ERA and is 2-1 in four appearances.

The Royals also won a game against the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2, when Santana was given a no-decision despite only giving up one earned run over eight innings.

On the flip side for the Indians, Kazmir has had a rough go of it so far.

In his first and only start in 2013, Kazmir gave up six earned runs and seven hits over just 3.1 innings pitched on April 20 against the Houston Astros.

Now Kazmir will be tasked with shutting down the Royals, who have been effective at the plate as of late.

This game certainly seems to favor the Royals on paper. The Royals will have one of their best pitchers on the mound while the Indians will be sending a guy out there who is looking to recover from a disastrous first start.

Winning this first game will be big in a four-game series against a division rival.


Saturday, April 27: Vs. Cleveland
First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET

Projected Starters: Jeremy Guthrie (Royals, 2-0), Ubaldo Jimenez (Indians, 0-2)



In the final game of the week for the Royals, they'll face off for the second of a four-game series against the Cleveland Indians.

Jeremy Guthrie is set to take the mound for the Royals, and he has been consistent during the early parts of the season.

He is 2-0 in four starts with a respectable 3.86 ERA.

As for Ubaldo Jimenez, he has struggled out of the gate in 2013.

At 0-2 in three appearances, with an atrocious 11.25 ERA, the Royals will look to jump all over the one-time All-Star.

First baseman Eric Hosmer will be the player to watch at the plate against Jimenez. In just eight at-bats against the Indians' pitcher, Hosmer has five hits with two home runs.

Billy Butler and Jeff Francoeur have also homered against Jimenez in their careers.

Guthrie has been good, but not necessarily great in 2013. He's been the receiver of timely run support and a solid bullpen for the most part.

The Indians have been consistent at the plate this year with 21 home runs, tied for fourth-most in the American League.

This game will come down to hitting. If the Royals can force the Indians to go to their bullpen early, it will be a surefire sign that they'll win Saturday's game.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:04 AM   #3170
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Tonight's Forecast for Detroit:
Scattered showers and thunderstorms, then occasional showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 7pm. Low around 38. South southeast wind 7 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:17 AM   #3171
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Originally Posted by Archie F. Swin View Post
Tonight's Forecast for Detroit:
Scattered showers and thunderstorms, then occasional showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 7pm. Low around 38. South southeast wind 7 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
I haven't watched enough baseball to know this. How easily to MLB games get postponed due to weather?
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:40 AM   #3172
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Originally Posted by AussieChiefsFan View Post
I haven't watched enough baseball to know this. How easily to MLB games get postponed due to weather?
Fairly easily if the field becomes saturated to where game play is effected or safety is an issue. Heavy snow can also be an issue.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:41 AM   #3173
Archie F. Swin Archie F. Swin is offline
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Thursday Forecast for Detroit:
Rain likely, possibly mixed with snow showers, mainly before 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 46. Breezy, with a south wind 10 to 18 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 29 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
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Archie F. Swin Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Archie F. Swin Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Archie F. Swin Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Archie F. Swin Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Archie F. Swin Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Archie F. Swin Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Archie F. Swin Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Archie F. Swin Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Archie F. Swin Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Archie F. Swin Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Archie F. Swin Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.
 
Old 04-23-2013, 06:27 AM   #3174
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Originally Posted by Cassel's Reckoning:

Matt once made a very nice play in Seattle where he spun away from a pass rusher and hit Bowe off his back foot for a first down.

One of the best plays Matt has ever made.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:43 AM   #3175
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Why can't more people be like sedated?
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:24 AM   #3176
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Posted this in the game thread. It belongs here, too...

Peter Gammons ‏@pgammo 4h
Red Sox players' description of Salvador Perez:"The Beast." Majority opinion:no AL catcher with better hands or arm. Star.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:32 AM   #3177
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I haven't watched enough baseball to know this. How easily to MLB games get postponed due to weather?
If there's a chance to go 5 innings, they will push it, but if there's cloud to ground lightning, they are going to shut it down. Also if its a torrential downpour.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:34 AM   #3178
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Quote:
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If there's a chance to go 5 innings, they will push it, but if there's cloud to ground lightning, they are going to shut it down. Also if its a torrential downpour.
When night games like this one get postponed, do they usually try and play them later that night, or just play them as a double header on the following days?
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:39 AM   #3179
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Quote:
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When night games like this one get postponed, do they usually try and play them later that night, or just play them as a double header on the following days?
Since this is the first game in the series and we'll be back to Detroit several times, I don't think they'll go crazy with sticking around past 1am and trying to get it in. Once they have the rain delay, unless the radar shows it'll be very quick, I bet they'll postpone to a later date.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:40 AM   #3180
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Quote:
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Since this is the first game in the series and we'll be back to Detroit several times, I don't think they'll go crazy with sticking around past 1am and trying to get it in. Once they have the rain delay, unless the radar shows it'll be very quick, I bet they'll postpone to a later date.
Thanks for the replies to my n00b questions. Hopefully it doesn't get rained out.
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