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Old 06-03-2014, 04:23 PM  
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Saberhagen and Whitey Herzog dump on current state of Royals

Ouch


ST. LOUIS -- Bret Saberhagen, waiting for his flight Monday morning from Kansas City, Mo., reminisced about being that 21-year-old kid with long, flowing blonde hair who won Game 7 of the 1985 World Series.

Today, he is 50, balding and in disbelief.

K.C.: The latest on the Royals

While Saberhagen went onto win 167 games, earn two Cy Young Awards, pitch a no-hitter and raise a family during these past 29 years, the Royals have done, well, nothing.

They sit in last place in the American League Central today, four months shy of their 30th consecutive year without a playoff berth the longest drought of any team in the four major professional sports leagues and a far cry from the seven berths in 10 seasons that included Saberhagen's heyday.

"It's crazy, just crazy," Saberhagen told USA TODAY Sports. "I mean, 30 years have blown by just like that. This team used to be in the playoffs almost every year.

"And now, with the wild cards, you'd expect them to get there periodically. I mean, sometime, right? It just hasn't worked out lately."

Saberhagen abruptly stopped himself and started laughing.

"Lately?" he says. "How's that for an understatement?"

This was the year it was going to change. The Royals, who had their best season last year since 2003, winning 86 games with a sizzling second half, were convinced their misery finally was going to end.

It's the reason they signed veteran starter Jason Vargas and infielder Omar Infante. They brought back starter Bruce Chen. They traded for outfielder Norichika Aoki.

And they kept ace James Shields, a coveted free agent after this season.

Now, just two months into a season, they're trying to figure out where it all has gone wrong, trying desperately to save it.

"It's been a frustrating year," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "But the frustration I feel is no greater than the players, or (manager) Ned (Yost) or the coaching staff. We're all in it together.

"Yeah, we expected more out of our players, but they expect even more out of themselves. We're making some very honest evaluations."

Certainly, you don't have to look further than the offense for much of their despair, leaving fans clamoring for the likes of Buddy Biancalana again.

The Royals, debating now whether to pursue free-agent DH Kendrys Morales, have scored the fewest runs and have the lowest slugging percentage of any team in the AL.

You ready for this? They have hit just 25 home runs.

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Edwin Encarnacion hit just eight fewer homers himself the last month. His Blue Jays have hit 82.

Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and Mike Moustakas manning the power-centric first base, third base and DH spots have combined for six home runs, and Moustakas earned a minor league demotion thanks to a .148 batting average.

"You wonder how we can underachieve offensively the second year in a row," Yost says, "with the talent we have. The pitchers are giving us chances to win, but we have to score runs."

Please, whatever you do, don't blame the hitting coaches. The Royals have gone through six in the last 19 months, with Dale Sveum now one week into his term.

"I've gone through so many coaches since I've been here," Hosmer says, "and it makes you feel bad, because it boils down to you. It's not the hitting coach's fault we're not hitting. The front office did everything they could.

"It's on us."

Certainly, there's enough blame to be shared throughout an organization that has run through several failed regimes.

If anyone deserves the most blame, Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog said, it's owner David Glass.

He was the one who was offered by Commissioner Bud Selig to move the franchise to the National League in 1998. Glass declined. The Milwaukee Brewers accepted. The rest is history.

"That's one of the most major mistakes in the history of ownership," said Herzog, who managed the St.Louis Cardinals and the Royals. "It was natural to go to the National League. They would have had a natural rivalry with the Cardinals. The Cubs would be sellouts. People would come from Denver. And they wouldn't have to worry about their offense.

"When I talked to David about it, he said, 'Everybody wanted to see the Yankees.' I said, 'Was there anyone complaining if you went to the NL?' He said, 'We got about a hundred letters.'

"I said, 'Jesus, you're running Wal-Mart and you let 100 letters change your mind? What a screw-up.'

The Royals' regime realizes they are facing difficult decisions. Shields might love it in Kansas City, but he badly wants to win and can leave as a free agent in four months. Is it time to sign Morales and bench Butler? Will Hosmer and Moustakas ever become the stars the franchise envisioned?

"We're not ready to pull the rip cord on the season, I know that," Moore says. "We felt it was a quality team entering spring training, and there's no reason to think at this time we should feel any differently."

The Royals, to their credit, no longer are asking for patience. They have no complaints with their $92 million payroll.

What they could use is a veteran presence. They saw what Jason Giambi meant to the Cleveland Indians last year. The Los Angeles Angels are raving about Raul Ibanez's impact. Marlon Byrd boosted the Pittsburgh Pirates' playoff run.

"It's so valuable to have a guy like that," Hosmer says. "I remember just having Miguel Tejada around last year. He was 40 years old, but we learned so much from him. We never had a guy like that before."

Or maybe it's just time for the kids to grow up, Moore says, knowing they have six players at the same positions from 2012.

"Our market doesn't allow you to have a lot of experience," says Moore, the Royals' GM the last eight years. "It demands you have young players.

"You can't make excuses for young players. You just can't. You've got to go play. And you've got to win."

Hopefully, before George Brett starts collecting his social security checks. He turns 65 in four years.​



http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...-2014/9894861/
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:56 PM   #2
thurman merman thurman merman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deberg_1990 View Post

"I've gone through so many coaches since I've been here," Hosmer says, "and it makes you feel bad, because it boils down to you. It's not the hitting coach's fault we're not hitting. The front office did everything they could.

"It's on us."
Yep. So start hitting.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:57 PM   #3
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Whitey is dead on about moving to the weaker league. I ran the numbers and in the course of interleague play over 15 years or so, tha AL has put up a run differential on the little sisters equal to about an 89-73 implied record
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by thurman merman View Post
Yep. So start hitting.
Exactly.

Also like how he then tried to blame it on no veteran leadership. Speaks volumes about Billy Butthole.

Time to grow up kids!
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:49 PM   #5
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Our draft has sucked for the last 30-40 years. Other teams find a Trout or Pujols and we draft the Moose's that can't hit a curveball.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:00 PM   #6
MahiMike MahiMike is offline
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Baseball is a joke. NFL has proven that socialism is best in sports.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MahiMike View Post
Baseball is a joke. NFL has proven that socialism is best in sports.
26 of the 30 MLB teams have made the playoffs since Dayton took over in 2006 (and only 8 teams make it vs 12 in the NFL). 9 different teams have won it all since 2001. And 14 have made the World Series since then.

I'd bet anything that's as competitive if not moreso than the NFL.
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