Hail the Royals

Hail the Royals

Congratulations to the Kansas City Royals on their World Series win. And condolences to all the Mets fans (sorry, Bill). Here’s a few quick thoughts on the Series from someone who had no rooting interest in the outcome.

First, the Mets appear to be a very good team that has a chance to continue in contention if things go right for them (never a given). They have four strong arms that can keep the team in games. Of course that was true of the 1986 version, the last Mets team to win it all, and none of the big names (Darling, Gooden, Ojeda) became dominant starters over a long period of time. As long as the current Mets big four are healthy and signed it’s probably a good thing for New York. They have got to find someone who can catch the ball and who can throw in a straight line. Errors hurt the team and sometimes I wondered if they knew what to do with a baseball once it was hit to them. Hopefully the Series dampened the enthusiasm to give Murphy a ton of money. He had a great pre-Series playoffs and looked poised to make a boatload of cash. Frankly I was afraid some team (my Dodgers need a second baseman and have lots of money so they came to mind) would pay him a lot more than he was worth and be stuck with another awful contract. I did like seeing David Wright get a chance to play in a  World Series and hope he gets another. He’s been a stalwart for a long time (in baseball terms) and I’ve always kind of liked him.

And now Kansas City. I have no idea how to explain this team. They remind me of a Deadball team in so many ways. They string together hits, run rampant on the bases, steal a lot, don’t strike out a bunch, play good defense. All of those things describe John McGraw’s 1912 Giants (with proper deference to the defense of the era). But then the Royals hit for power (but not Ruthian power) and have a less than dominating staff, neither of which describe the 1912 Giants. In some ways they remind me most of the 1996-2003 Yankees. They do many of the same things well and have no genuine superstar (Jeter was a star and became a superstar as the Yanks kept winning–the same can happen to a Royals player if they keep winning). I don’t expect them to have the same staying power because they don’t have the same quality pitching, especially among the starters, but the two teams are much alike (but certainly not exact copies).

All in all I enjoyed the World Series. Kansas City is fun to watch. One of the announcers last night kept comparing their enthusiasm to a youth baseball team. I kinda like that. It’s nice to see a bench excited. Now on to next season and Go Dodgers.


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12 Responses to “Royal-ty”

  1. William Miller Says:

    Hey, V, of course I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed by how events turned out in this World Series, but I have to say that I was somehow more afraid of the Royals than I was of either the Dodgers or the Cubs (not taking anything away from those two fine teams.) It’s just that the Royals are such an oddly constructed team, there is almost no one way to combat them, except to play nearly-perfect, error free baseball.
    The Royals did a fantastic job exposing and exploiting every Mets weakness, specifically an inability to generate runs without hitting homers, a mediocre bullpen, and sub-par defense at crucial positions (as well as a manager who generally appeared to have his head up his ass for much of the series.)
    This is very much a Sandy Alderson team, like those of the A’s around 15 years ago, built on solid starting pitching and the long-ball, which also got the A’s to the playoffs a few times, but resulted in no championships (think of the days of Mulder, Zito and Hudson.)
    How Alderson and the Mets brass choose to proceed from here is anyone’s guess, but although I appreciate the efforts of Cespedes and Murphy this season, I won’t shed a tear if neither of them returns.
    As for the Royals, they seem to be an intricately balanced team, and you have to wonder if any one piece is removed, if the entire edifice will collapse, or, on the other hand, if this is a machine where any one part could be easily removed and an adequate replacement could easily be found.
    Still, as a Mets fan, this was a fun year, and any year where your favorite team is still playing meaningful baseball on November 1st has to be considered a successful year.
    How many days to Spring Training?

  2. Miller Says:

    I’m not a Mets guy, but Harvey, Syndergaard, deGrom, Matz, and Zack Wheeler make five strong arms (if everyone is healthy). Maybe one heads to the pen to help out a relatively weak group. Jon Niese is nothing special, but he’s a fine #5 starter in the bigs.

  3. sportsattitudes Says:

    The Mets very well may come back and win next year’s World Series like the Royals did this year. Kansas City was fun to watch. I loved their aggressiveness. They could have come out timid afraid to lose back to back Series but simply kept pushing forward and would not be denied. The Mets were up for the challenge…they just got outplayed this time around.

  4. Gary Trujillo Says:

    …..well, at least it wasn’t the frickin’ Giants again.

  5. glen715 Says:

    I thought it was a good series. And I think what you said was very perceptive—–

    “As for the Royals, they seem to be an intricately balanced team, and you have to wonder if any one piece is removed, if the entire edifice will collapse, or, on the other hand, if this is a machine where any one part could be easily removed and an adequate replacement could easily be found.”

    This is very well put. And that’s one of the things about the big leagues that got ruined before the Reserve Clause got taken away. There will never be another Big Red Machine as we had from 1970 to 1979, when Pete Rose played out his option and signed with Philadelphia. And there are many other examples where this is true.

    The major leagues don’t have the stability that they used to. As a former fan of a particular baseball team (it was the Mets, as you know; I really stopped being a big fan of them after, say, in the early to mid-80s;around 1985 when they traded one of my favorite players, Hubie Brooks, to the Expos for Gary Carter. As nice a guy and as fine a player as Carter was, I still think they could have done just fine with Brooks at third and had gone for their minor league system for catching help rather than taking the “George Steinbrenner impulsive method. Look at the trade that the Mets made before the 1982, just a couple of years after Cashen became general manager—- Lee Mazzilli for Ron Darling and Walt Terrell. I feel they were on the right track with Hubie at third, Flynn, a great fielder, at second, Staub or Kranepool at first, Mookie, Joel in right field, who they shouldn’t have traded, either, Mex at first. The Ojeda trade with Boston was an outstanding one. I HATED Foster; I think that they shouldn’t have gotten rid of Steve Henderson for Dave Kingman, as much as I liked Kingman his first time around with the Mets. Wally Backman or Kelvin Chapman or Jose Oquendo would have been just fine at short; they won the world series with a mediocre player named Rafael Santana at shortstop, didn’t they?) And, of course, Strawberry, too, as much as I DESPISE him for being a bad influence on Dwight Gooden.

    Also, the way that they played around with Terry Leach, who was a fine pitcher, was ridiculous. When the Mets got him back in 1987, he sure proved them wrong, didn’t they? And even AFTER his great season in ’87, they screwed around with him. What was WRONG with Frank Cashen???? They would have had a great pitching staff with Doc, Darling, Leach, and others. And, yes, they probably should have gotten rid of Strawberry right away because he was a bad influence on Doc, just like they did with Kevin Mitchell. In the long run, the Mets would have been better off. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    Call me a “Baseball Reactionary”, but that’s just how I feel.

    One more thing. We will NEVER see trades like the classic one that took place after the ’71 season, with the Big Red Machine trading Lee May, Tommy Helms, and Jimmy Stewart (not the one who was in “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington”) in exchange for Joe Morgan, Jack Billingham, Denis Menke, Cesar Geronimo, and Ed Armbrister again. The Hot Stove League is not what it once was.

    Baseball was purer back then and better for the fan. Yes, I agree with Curt Flood, that a well-paid slave is still a slave, but I feel that the Reserve Clause should have been MODIFIED and not totally disassembled; that is what Flood was really aiming for. Instead, they threw the baby out with the bath water, and fans will never again know who will be on their team from year to year.


  6. The Baseball Bloggess Says:

    I enjoyed this Series … I loved watching the pitching. (Mets’ fielding, not so much.) I like the way Bill describes the Royals as exploiting every Mets’ weakness … it’s one of those intangibles that sets a team above others.

    And, I really thought that A-Rod (oh, lord, I can’t believe I’m writing this) was a really great addition to the broadcasts. I thought he had more useful, succinct insights than most of the others.

    (I also liked that he almost always directed his comments to another player, “Harold, Harold!” or Kevin or Frank. I thought that was interesting … he really was talking “inside baseball” with other players, and we just got to eavesdrop.)

    It’s a shame that the Mets and Royals won’t get a rematch next October. Afterall, I believe my O’s and your Dodgers will get the 2016 date at the dance, right? (Hey, I can dream …)

    • glen715 Says:

      Baseball Bloggess, are you aware that the Orioles played the Dodgers in the 1966 World Series, and they WON? It’s TRUE!!!!! In FACT, they beat the Dodgers in four games!!!!!! The manager for the Orioles was HANK BAUER!!!!!!!!!!!

      • The Baseball Bloggess Says:

        Oh yes! Orioles fans hang on tight to our 3 sweet, rare, and increasingly dusty World Series trophies. V. requested a best 2-outta-3 with the Dodgers, so I say, ok.

        I bet if you ask a young Orioles fan they will swear that it was Earl Weaver who managed that ’66 team. Earl has so taken over they mythology of the Orioles that most fans (under age 40) think that it’s just been Earl and Buck for the past 60 years. (Jim Palmer, who does color for O’s games, is to blame for much of that … because his Earl stories are just too good not to share.)

  7. glen715 Says:

    It’s hard to believe, BB, that the Orioles have only three World Series victories. I’ve always liked the Orioles. I rooted for them against the Pirates in 1979. (Ironically, though, I rooted for the Pirates against the Orioles in 1971.)

    It’s really hard to believe that the Orioles won only one World Championship in the early 70s….. really hard to believe. And it’s hard to believe that one of their three World Championships came in 1983… when the O’s really weren’t NEARLY as good as they were in the early 70s. In my opinion, the Orioles were the team to beat in the American League from the late 60s to the mid-70s.

    Then again, the Big Red Machine won only two world championships. This is hard to believe, also.


  8. glen715 Says:

    Pardon. What was I THINKING? The Big Red Machine won one THREE in the 70s. Good ol’ Sparky and Good ol Earl. It’s hard to believe that Earl wasn’t at the helm of more Oriole world championships. Well, he got them to the party, anyway, and, to me, that’s what really counts. ANYONE can win any given series, whether it be a three game series during the season, or a WORLD series. So I won’t take anything against the O’s, or against Joe Altabelli, for that matter.


  9. Steve Myers Says:

    If that’s what a dead ball team was like, that musta been one lively time to watch baseball. Beyond all the non-baseball irritants the Royals have apparently aroused, they are on exciting team to watch and I’m proud to say two of their key players were drafted and developed by the Brewers – Escobar and Cain, not to mention their manager serving a lot of time in Milwaukee. I guess since my favorite team almost lost 100 games, I’m reaching a bit.

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