"Winding Down" Thoughts...

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Terrance Shuman

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Sep 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/10/96
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As one of the more frustrating Royals seasons in history winds
down, a few lingering thoughts:

1) Lost amid the constant experimentation with batting orders,
positions, etc. this season is a single salient question: Is there
a group of players on the current roster who could play winning
baseball if given the opportunity *for an extended period of time?*
As I have written occasionally in this group, I am at a loss to
think of a single organization which had a successful rebuilding
effort done this way. Historically, managers have tried to balance
the experimentation with some degree of stability. For all of
Boone's mooing about how Sal Fasano has to get his "master's"
in how the game is played at this level, our manager seems
to think that the game is simple enough that players can turn
their offensive and defensive skills on and off upon his command.
Baseball is harder than that, much harder. Just a small example:
how is it reasonable to expect an outfielder to learn to hit the
cutoff man consistently when the cutoff man is never the same
from one day to the next?

2) With regard to the apparently widespread belief in the area that
the Royals should hang on to Tom Goodwin, I would suggest that
there will never be a better time to trade him. As an offensive
player, he simply doesn't do enough things well to be effective
*on this team.* He might very well figure prominently in an offense
where he could be placed lower in the batting order, as his low OBP
warrants. So long as we persist in playing him near the top, his
offensive liabilities will continue to hurt the team. There are several
teams who could use a player of his abilities; we should be talking
to them. It is madness to continue screwing with the careers of
Johnny Damon, Michael Tucker, and Jon Nunnally in deference to
Goodwin.

3) It is astonishing to me that in spite of the heat the organization has
taken (and continues to take) over the loss of Jeff Conine, they are
about to make an even worse personnel decision by letting Bob
Hamelin get away. We are even more desperate now than we were
then for power in the lineup, especially a power hitter who can *get
on base.* Hamelin has shown more ability at this level than Conine
had at the time we allowed Conine to slip away. Our other available
options (Vitiello, Paquette, Young) are worse offensively than Hammer.
It is my belief that the front office's job includes (among other things)
overruling a manager's whims when it comes to these sorts of things.
If Herk allows Boone to push Hamelin out of town, I do not expect the
Royals to recover for some time.

4) On a brighter note, the Royals' pitching staff for 1997 is infinitely more
impressive than the one around which we built our most recent contending
ballclub. I say a prayer every day that they don't wreck this staff in an
attempt to "fix" the offense (which might well be adequate if Boone would
ever stabilize it long enough).

Terry Shuman "A man lives by believing in something, not
Golden Eagle Forensics by debating and arguing about many things."
Team OS/2 --Thomas Carlyle

RAPA...@ulkyvm.louisville.edu

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Sep 11, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/11/96
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In article <514v0u$l...@nnrp1.news.primenet.com>

tsh...@primenet.com (Terrance Shuman) writes:

>1) Lost amid the constant experimentation with batting orders,
> positions, etc. this season is a single salient question: Is there
> a group of players on the current roster who could play winning
> baseball if given the opportunity *for an extended period of time?*

I think the answer to this question is yes, but we may disagree about
the composition. I would expect the following lineup to win 85 games
within 2 years (competitive for a wildcard):

OF Tucker
OF Damon
OF Nunnally/Stynes
1B Hamelin/Vitiello platoon
2B Hansen
SS Offerman
3B K. Young/Stynes
C Sweeney
Dh Sutton
Bench Lockhart, Fasano, Randa, Myers/Burton

SP Appier
SP Rosado
SP Pittsley
SP (Haney)
SP Bevil, Rusch, Torres, etc.
RP Huisman, Bluma, Kiefer, Granger, etc.

Obviously, I think KC should get what they can get for Roberts,
Goodwin, Belcher, Montgomery and perhaps Haney. Each has some
marketable skills--and there may never be a better time for
dealing Goodwin and Belcher. Monty will probably have to save
a few games next spring to demonstrate health. I'm hoping the
reinsertion of Roberts into the lineup is for that purpose too.


>2) With regard to the apparently widespread belief in the area that
> the Royals should hang on to Tom Goodwin, I would suggest that
> there will never be a better time to trade him. As an offensive
> player, he simply doesn't do enough things well to be effective
> *on this team.* He might very well figure prominently in an offense
> where he could be placed lower in the batting order, as his low OBP
> warrants. So long as we persist in playing him near the top, his
> offensive liabilities will continue to hurt the team. There are several
> teams who could use a player of his abilities; we should be talking
> to them. It is madness to continue screwing with the careers of
> Johnny Damon, Michael Tucker, and Jon Nunnally in deference to
> Goodwin.
>
Obviously, I concur with most of this--though I'm not sure he has
any value other than marginal pinch runner potential. With his low
OPA and putrid slugging, he's a disaster.


>3) It is astonishing to me that in spite of the heat the organization has
> taken (and continues to take) over the loss of Jeff Conine, they are
> about to make an even worse personnel decision by letting Bob
> Hamelin get away. We are even more desperate now than we were

Conine was years younger when that decision was made (I think). Plus,
there the choice was vs. someone like David Howard, who was kept. Dumb.
Here, it may be that Hamelin is simply not going to shine as anything
more than a PH. KC needs to grab a good 1B: someone like Roberto
Petagine would be great for this team.


> then for power in the lineup, especially a power hitter who can *get
> on base.* Hamelin has shown more ability at this level than Conine
> had at the time we allowed Conine to slip away. Our other available
> options (Vitiello, Paquette, Young) are worse offensively than Hammer.
>
Hamelin's slugging just isn't that good. As an OBA guy, he's kind of
like Moose Milligan who obviously had value. Unfortunately, KC really
does need both OBA and slugging in their 1B/DH. My assessment could
change if Damon takes a big step forward next year. This season was
a bit of a disappointment.


>4) On a brighter note, the Royals' pitching staff for 1997 is infinitely more
> impressive than the one around which we built our most recent contending
> ballclub. I say a prayer every day that they don't wreck this staff in an
> attempt to "fix" the offense (which might well be adequate if Boone would
> ever stabilize it long enough).
>
Actually, we disagree mightily here. Much of KC's team ERA goes to
Belcher and Haney. Belcher is one of those #4 SPs that can be had
cheaply almost any time--why not see if we could get a 3B prospect
for him (Chris Snopek maybe?). Monty is probably overvalued (as I
believe most closers are) and I wonder if we could get a good 1B
prospect for him (Petagine?). Haney doesn't whiff enough guys for
my taste, but he's not awful or anything (as opposed to Jacome, who
I believe is awful). This staff could use Micelli and Lieber right now...


Rodger
rapa...@ulkyvm.louisville.edu


>Terry Shuman "A man lives by believing in something, not
>Golden Eagle Forensics by debating and arguing about many things."
>Team OS/2 --Thomas Carlyle

Hey, I was a KU debater from '79 to '83. Good to see the forensics
community arguing about genuinely worthwhile stuff!

Matt Tiemeyer

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Sep 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/13/96
to

Unknown writes:


> I would expect the following lineup to win 85 games
> within 2 years (competitive for a wildcard):
>
> OF Tucker
> OF Damon
> OF Nunnally/Stynes
> 1B Hamelin/Vitiello platoon
> 2B Hansen
> SS Offerman

Well, here's a mistake. Offerman could potentially
be valuable in the lineup, but there is not a
reason in the world why he should play shortstop
for a major league baseball team. This man is
an error waiting to happen. I'm rooting for him,
but he just positively has a scatter arm.

> 3B K. Young/Stynes

Has Young been working out at third without anyone
looking?

> C Sweeney
> Dh Sutton

> Bench Lockhart, Fasano, Randa, Myers/Burton

Despite Lockhart's age, I think he has a nice bat.
No, he doesn't hit for power. But he's pretty
solid defensively (say, 2B) and hits for a solid
average.

>
> SP Appier
> SP Rosado
> SP Pittsley
> SP (Haney)
> SP Bevil, Rusch, Torres, etc.
> RP Huisman, Bluma, Kiefer, Granger, etc.

Well, you're going to have to deal with Belcher for
a while, since K.C. just signed him to a two (?)
year deal. Let's face it; he's been the most
consistent starter on the club. That's not saying
much, but it's true. Even Appier has had more
rocky stretches, despite the fact that he's clearly
the better pitcher.

> Obviously, I think KC should get what they can get for Roberts,
> Goodwin, Belcher, Montgomery and perhaps Haney. Each has some
> marketable skills--and there may never be a better time for
> dealing Goodwin and Belcher. Monty will probably have to save
> a few games next spring to demonstrate health. I'm hoping the
> reinsertion of Roberts into the lineup is for that purpose too.

I'm beginning to agree on Montgomery. I think it
may be good that Bluma has come in and done a nice
job as a closer recently. Monty may just need
someone to push him.

> >2) With regard to the apparently widespread belief in the area that
> > the Royals should hang on to Tom Goodwin, I would suggest that
> > there will never be a better time to trade him. As an offensive
> > player, he simply doesn't do enough things well to be effective
> > *on this team.* He might very well figure prominently in an offense
> > where he could be placed lower in the batting order, as his low OBP
> > warrants. So long as we persist in playing him near the top, his
> > offensive liabilities will continue to hurt the team. There are several
> > teams who could use a player of his abilities; we should be talking
> > to them. It is madness to continue screwing with the careers of
> > Johnny Damon, Michael Tucker, and Jon Nunnally in deference to
> > Goodwin.
> >
> Obviously, I concur with most of this--though I'm not sure he has
> any value other than marginal pinch runner potential. With his low
> OPA and putrid slugging, he's a disaster.

Well...for a disaster, he's scored more runs than
anyone on the team, and leads the league in
stolen bases. Something that is overlooked is that
Goodwin, though not blessed with a strong arm,
*will* throw people out with sheer accuracy on
occasion. I think he's a pretty solid outfielder.

Granted, he has more ABs than anyone else on the
team, too. Let's forget the slugging percentage;
that will never be his game. If he drew twice as
many walks, he'd be a star. Is that not something
to take a bit of a chance on?

And by the way...if I have to pick a single
lefthanded hitter to face a tough lefthanded pitcher
right now, it's Goodwin -- and I wouldn't think
twice. He battles much harder than most of our
lefties, and has on numerous occasions fought for
base hits in these situations.

> >3) It is astonishing to me that in spite of the heat the organization has
> > taken (and continues to take) over the loss of Jeff Conine, they are
> > about to make an even worse personnel decision by letting Bob
> > Hamelin get away. We are even more desperate now than we were
>
> Conine was years younger when that decision was made (I think). Plus,
> there the choice was vs. someone like David Howard, who was kept. Dumb.
> Here, it may be that Hamelin is simply not going to shine as anything
> more than a PH. KC needs to grab a good 1B: someone like Roberto
> Petagine would be great for this team.

Hamelin needs at bats, pure and simple. And a
slightly shorter stroke. I believe his HR and RBI
ratios would improve substantially with daily
playing time. Of course, I think that about all
the Royals, none of whom have been given chances
this year, save Goodwin and Damon.

> >4) On a brighter note, the Royals' pitching staff for 1997 is infinitely more
> > impressive than the one around which we built our most recent contending
> > ballclub. I say a prayer every day that they don't wreck this staff in an
> > attempt to "fix" the offense (which might well be adequate if Boone would
> > ever stabilize it long enough).
> >
> Actually, we disagree mightily here. Much of KC's team ERA goes to
> Belcher and Haney. Belcher is one of those #4 SPs that can be had
> cheaply almost any time--why not see if we could get a 3B prospect
> for him (Chris Snopek maybe?).

Are you kidding?? Snopek? Another guy with
marginal, unproven offensive skills? We have lots
of those. I know he's done better this year, but
I don't think he's worth a guy who you can count on
for 200 innings in a pitching-poor league.

> Monty is probably overvalued (as I
> believe most closers are) and I wonder if we could get a good 1B
> prospect for him (Petagine?). Haney doesn't whiff enough guys for
> my taste, but he's not awful or anything (as opposed to Jacome, who
> I believe is awful). This staff could use Micelli and Lieber right now...

Let me clue everyone in on a little secret. The
biggest problem we have in the pen right now is
Hipolito Pichardo. I've wanted this guy to develop
for a long time. I'm not willing to wait as long
on him as I was on Tom Gordon. Simply put,
Pichardo just doesn't get anyone out when he needs
to. He walks too many guys, and gives up too many
loud hits. This is a problem when he's in the
game every night. I long (how I long) for Rusty
Meacham.

Agreed on Jacome.

I think Haney is going to get better, personally.
Plus, he's lefthanded, which is a bonus. Again,
though, I'm not going to wait four years for him
to take off and win 15 games.

Matt


Craig Meyer

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Sep 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/14/96
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Matt Tiemeyer (mtiemeye@helios) wrote:
: Granted, he has more ABs than anyone else on the

: team, too. Let's forget the slugging percentage;
: that will never be his game. If he drew twice as
: many walks, he'd be a star. Is that not something
: to take a bit of a chance on?

It is unlikely that Goodwin will significantly increase his OBP.
He is already past the age where most players reach their peak.
He is more likely to decline from here, and he is already barely
above replacement level offensively, if that. His stolen bases
are probably not above the break even point; hasn't he been caught
stealing over 20 times?

It is ridiculous that he gets more at bats than more productive
players who are under 25. These guys have reasonable chances to
be stars; Goodwin has almost no chance of ever being an average
outfielder.

Herk has made a lot of strides as a GM. If he can only start to
recognize the value of OBP (and quit overemphasizing defense and
speed), KC could be really good in 2-3 years. As long as he continues
to settle for clueless managers, though, it won't happen.

--Craig


RAPA...@ulkyvm.louisville.edu

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Sep 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/14/96
to

In article <51boip$k...@jupiter.ks.symbios.com>
Matt Tiemeyer <mtiemeye@helios> writes:

>Unknown writes:
>
I'm the "unknown"...so I'll reply:


>
>Well, here's a mistake. Offerman could potentially
>be valuable in the lineup, but there is not a
>reason in the world why he should play shortstop
>for a major league baseball team. This man is
>an error waiting to happen. I'm rooting for him,
>but he just positively has a scatter arm.

Errors are over-rated as a way to evaluate defense. By
the Defense Average stat developed by Sherry Nichols (and
publicized on r.s.bb), Offerman was better than Barry
Larkin last year (granted, they were among the worst in the
NL). He took a lot of heat in LA, but he's not had much
chance to play SS in KC. I'd like to see. He could play
2B for me, but we have Hansen, Stynes--and as you point
out, Lockhart.


>
>> 3B K. Young/Stynes
>
>Has Young been working out at third without anyone
>looking?

Young came up as a 3B. I'd prefer Snopek.


>Despite Lockhart's age, I think he has a nice bat.
>No, he doesn't hit for power. But he's pretty
>solid defensively (say, 2B) and hits for a solid
>average.
>
Because of his age and his bat, I don't mind seeing
him on the bench (instead of elsewhere). This is a
young team we're building.


>Well, you're going to have to deal with Belcher for
>a while, since K.C. just signed him to a two (?)
>year deal. Let's face it; he's been the most
>consistent starter on the club. That's not saying
>much, but it's true. Even Appier has had more
>rocky stretches, despite the fact that he's clearly
>the better pitcher.

And next year Belcher may return to near 5 ERA. My point is
that we should trade him now while the iron is hot. Ironically,
he might have higher trade value as a signed player. The key
question is whether other teams think KC overpaid.


>I'm beginning to agree on Montgomery. I think it
>may be good that Bluma has come in and done a nice
>job as a closer recently. Monty may just need
>someone to push him.
>
I consider virtually all closers over-rated--and then
overpaid. If he'd bring a real prospect or 2, trade him.


>Well...for a disaster, he's scored more runs than
>anyone on the team, and leads the league in
>stolen bases. Something that is overlooked is that
>Goodwin, though not blessed with a strong arm,
>*will* throw people out with sheer accuracy on
>occasion. I think he's a pretty solid outfielder.
>
The SBs are highly overrated. His percentage is just over
75%, so there's a tiny bit of value. But not that much. His
.660 OPS in a year of explosive offense (as an OFer), is a
disaster--unmitigated. 76 runs isn't particularly good for
a guy who always hits at the top of the order and has 500+ ABs.
Jeff Frye has over 60 runs in 335 ABs. His OBA is 50 points
better. That's the kind of guy we need in the OF (not a low
power MI, but a good OBA guy).


>Granted, he has more ABs than anyone else on the
>team, too. Let's forget the slugging percentage;
>that will never be his game. If he drew twice as
>many walks, he'd be a star. Is that not something
>to take a bit of a chance on?

Goodwin is not young in baseball terms. He's going to
be 28 next season...starting the decline stage of his
career (though some leg guys can run forever--but that
doesn't make them valuable). His slugging is a problem
because he's an OFer. No slugging, no OBA = disaster.

>
>Hamelin needs at bats, pure and simple. And a
>slightly shorter stroke. I believe his HR and RBI
>ratios would improve substantially with daily
>playing time. Of course, I think that about all
>the Royals, none of whom have been given chances
>this year, save Goodwin and Damon.
>
The PT issue is mysterious. I'd have given many more ABs
to Vitiello *and* Hamelin--at 1B and DH. Howard would have
been the big loser. I'd also have played Stynes, Nunnally
and Young over Goodwin.


>Are you kidding?? Snopek? Another guy with
>marginal, unproven offensive skills? We have lots
>of those. I know he's done better this year, but

Snopek had a fine year at AAA in 1995. He's barely played
this year in Chicago, though I don't have his AAA numbers
handy. He's a hell of a lot better than Howard. His MLE
last year was 313 BA, 387 OBA and 468 SLG. He can hit.
He'll be 26 next year though, which is a concern. We need
potential stars of Damon/Sweeney's age. They're the future.


>I don't think he's worth a guy who you can count on
>for 200 innings in a pitching-poor league.
>
Offense is WAY UP, that's why the league looks pitching
poor. KC has pitching prospects--but the offense is
just awful. Look at our team OBA and runs scored. Pathetic.

>Matt
>
I deleted some stuff on Pichardo and Haney becuase it's really
not all that big a deal. We need hitters and the pitching will
probably work out given all the fine arms in the organization.
Look for Pittsley next year to be *very* impressive.

Rodger
rapa...@ulkyvm.louisville.edu

Matt Tiemeyer

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Sep 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/16/96
to

Unknown writes:

> In article <51boip$k...@jupiter.ks.symbios.com>
> Matt Tiemeyer <mtiemeye@helios> writes:

> Errors are over-rated as a way to evaluate defense. By
> the Defense Average stat developed by Sherry Nichols (and
> publicized on r.s.bb), Offerman was better than Barry
> Larkin last year (granted, they were among the worst in the
> NL). He took a lot of heat in LA, but he's not had much
> chance to play SS in KC. I'd like to see.

Well, there's a reason we don't see him at SS
anymore. It's because the organization has decided
that it's a huge risk to trot him out there.

I remember the day ESPN said that K.C. had signed
Offerman, "filling the hole left by Greg Gagne,"
they said. My mouth dropped and I began to gasp
for air.

Besides that, even if you go on the statistic
you're mentioning, the intangibles aren't in effect.
If you're Chris Haney, for example, and you like
to get ground balls (or even Mark Gubicza -- I think
he's still alive), with whom are you going to be
more confident? Someone like Gagne, or someone like
Offerman?

Offerman's a good athlete. I just don't think
SS is his position.

Amazingly, he was signed to a 2-year contract
recently.

Re: Goodwin...

> The SBs are highly overrated. His percentage is just over
> 75%, so there's a tiny bit of value. But not that much. His

> ..660 OPS in a year of explosive offense (as an OFer), is a


> disaster--unmitigated. 76 runs isn't particularly good for
> a guy who always hits at the top of the order and has 500+ ABs.

No, not if he played for, say, Cleveland. Put that
bunch behind him in the order and he scores 100
runs.

> Jeff Frye has over 60 runs in 335 ABs. His OBA is 50 points
> better. That's the kind of guy we need in the OF (not a low
> power MI, but a good OBA guy).

Guys like Jeff Frye come to Kansas City and die,
because they can't find a home in a lineup that has
no protection most days. Witness the entire trio
of Mets we picked up in the Saberhagen deal. All
respectable offensive players before. Positively
disastrous with the Royals.

We need someone who will be oblivious to the
mediocrity around him and drive in runs just by
getting up in the morning (a la Joe Carter, or
Greg Vaughn -- now *there's* a young player we
could have picked up who would have solidified
some things).

> >Hamelin needs at bats, pure and simple. And a
> >slightly shorter stroke. I believe his HR and RBI
> >ratios would improve substantially with daily
> >playing time. Of course, I think that about all
> >the Royals, none of whom have been given chances
> >this year, save Goodwin and Damon.
> >
> The PT issue is mysterious. I'd have given many more ABs
> to Vitiello *and* Hamelin--at 1B and DH. Howard would have
> been the big loser. I'd also have played Stynes, Nunnally
> and Young over Goodwin.

I'd still say all of these players will not be
able to function effectively with the players
around them. Basically, K.C. is trying to
take the Omaha Royals and make them a major
league club without the benefit of veterans to
provide any glue, direction, or for that matter,
RBIs. September 16, with homer records falling
all across the country, and Craig Paquette leads
our team with 19. I rest my case.

> >Are you kidding?? Snopek? Another guy with
> >marginal, unproven offensive skills? We have lots
> >of those. I know he's done better this year, but
>
> Snopek had a fine year at AAA in 1995. He's barely played
> this year in Chicago, though I don't have his AAA numbers
> handy. He's a hell of a lot better than Howard. His MLE
> last year was 313 BA, 387 OBA and 468 SLG. He can hit.

We have lots of guys who have played well at AAA.


> He'll be 26 next year though, which is a concern. We need
> potential stars of Damon/Sweeney's age. They're the future.

Yeah...but there has to be veteran leadership
in the offense.

> >I don't think he's worth a guy who you can count on
> >for 200 innings in a pitching-poor league.
> >
> Offense is WAY UP, that's why the league looks pitching
> poor. KC has pitching prospects--but the offense is
> just awful. Look at our team OBA and runs scored. Pathetic.

Perhaps it's a chicken-and-egg question, but I
maintain that the offense is way up because the
pitching deteriorated first. And just wait until
the league expands again...pitchers like Belcher
will be staff aces.

> I deleted some stuff on Pichardo and Haney becuase it's really
> not all that big a deal. We need hitters and the pitching will
> probably work out given all the fine arms in the organization.
> Look for Pittsley next year to be *very* impressive.

I still wouldn't mind teaching our AAA players how
to actually *win*. If I'm standing in left field
and see Pichardo enter the game with a runner on
and a three-run lead, I'm thinking to myself why
we're willing to give the game away. To me,
this isn't healthy.

We are indoctrinating these guys with a losing
history. Perhaps that could make them appreciate
a pennant race more down the road. But at least
we need to demonstrate a willingness to make an
attempt to win a ball game.

Matt


Rick Diamant

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Sep 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/16/96
to

In article <514v0u$l...@nnrp1.news.primenet.com>
tsh...@primenet.com (Terrance Shuman) writes:

(excellent analysis of Royal's rebuilding deleted)

What I don't understand is where Offerman fits in. I read that the Royals
signed him for a 2 year contract! Is this so he can be the 1st baseman for
the next couple of years instead of Hamelin? I certainly hope not!


Rick

Terrance Shuman

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
to

The plan apparently is to play him at 2B. I am not opposed to this,
inasmuch as we need the offense and his scatter-arm tendencies
have been less apparent when he's played 2B this year (someone
on the radio broadcast suggested it might be due to the different arm
motion--throws from 2B are more often made across one's body;
Offerman's errant throws typically come on plays where he has to
square up and throw, which is normal for shortstops on most plays).
The best part of the idea is that it makes Bip Roberts trade bait.
Bip just isn't a good fit for the kind of team we have right now....

Terrance Shuman

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Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
to

In <51jmln$3...@jupiter.ks.symbios.com>, Matt Tiemeyer <mtiemeye@helios> writes:

<snip>

>Offerman's a good athlete. I just don't think
>SS is his position.
>
>Amazingly, he was signed to a 2-year contract
>recently.

I personally welcome the idea of keeping Offerman and
giving him a crack at 2B. If we don't, we'll be losing the
two best OBP players we have (Hamelin and Offerman);
this is the sort of rebuilding the team DOES NOT NEED.
Lack of baserunners is the primary offensive problem.
Ditching the two best OBP guys ain't the answer....

>> The SBs are highly overrated. His percentage is just over
>> 75%, so there's a tiny bit of value. But not that much. His
>> ..660 OPS in a year of explosive offense (as an OFer), is a
>> disaster--unmitigated. 76 runs isn't particularly good for
>> a guy who always hits at the top of the order and has 500+ ABs.
>
>No, not if he played for, say, Cleveland. Put that
>bunch behind him in the order and he scores 100
>runs.

Goodwin wouldn't score 100 runs if he played for the '27
Yankees. He isn't on base often enough.

>> Jeff Frye has over 60 runs in 335 ABs. His OBA is 50 points
>> better. That's the kind of guy we need in the OF (not a low
>> power MI, but a good OBA guy).
>
>Guys like Jeff Frye come to Kansas City and die,
>because they can't find a home in a lineup that has
>no protection most days. Witness the entire trio
>of Mets we picked up in the Saberhagen deal. All
>respectable offensive players before. Positively
>disastrous with the Royals.

Jeffries was certainly not a "disastrous" offensive player while
with the Royals. He had some defensive problems, and the fans
refused to get over the loss of Saberhagen, which affected Gregg
adversely. Trading Sabes for a young hitter like Jeffries was the
sort of smart move the Royals used to be famous for. Giving up
on him prematurely (I mean, c'mon--Jeffries for Felix Jose???)
is the sort of thing they are becoming famous for nowadays (they're
about to do it again with Hamelin).

Kevin McReynolds was basically a washed-up player offensively
*before* the trade. It was entirely predictable that he would not
live up to the front office's expectations upon arrival here.

Keith Miller had offensive skills, but the Royals frittered them away
by trying to use him the way the Brewers used to screw around
with Paul Molitor: stick him anywhere in the field you need a body.
It was disgraceful the way they tried to convert him into an outfielder.
On top of all that, he got hurt. Lots of players get hurt and never get
back. Kansas City is not unique in this regard.

Finally, this whole idea of "protection" is a non-starter. As Bill James
put it in the '86 ABSTRACT: "There is no evidence that it is any
easier to hit with a great hitter up behind you than without one. And
it is *writers,* not *players,* who have promulgated this myth about it
making a big difference." [Emphasis in original.]

<snip>

>I'd still say all of these players will not be
>able to function effectively with the players
>around them. Basically, K.C. is trying to
>take the Omaha Royals and make them a major
>league club without the benefit of veterans to
>provide any glue, direction, or for that matter,
>RBIs. September 16, with homer records falling
>all across the country, and Craig Paquette leads
>our team with 19. I rest my case.

That's fine, except that when we had Gaetti, Gagne,
and Joyner around, the only "glue" they provided was
the epoxy they put on the doors we needed to open.
Doors leading to players like Hamelin, Vitiello, Randa,
etc. Teams that try to compromise between a true effort
at rebuilding and keeping some "veteran leadership"
around usually occupy the cellar, which is where we are
right now.

<snip>

>> Snopek had a fine year at AAA in 1995. He's barely played
>> this year in Chicago, though I don't have his AAA numbers
>> handy. He's a hell of a lot better than Howard. His MLE
>> last year was 313 BA, 387 OBA and 468 SLG. He can hit.
>
>We have lots of guys who have played well at AAA.

Yes, and unfortunately many of them have been stuck there
because the "experts" in the front office are as clueless about
how to understand minor-league stats as fans often are. How
can you watch other teams give chances to kids like Chipper
Jones, Alex Rodriguez, etc. on the basis of their minor league
performances and then say "play[ing] well at AAA" means nothing?

<snip>

>Yeah...but there has to be veteran leadership
>in the offense.

To do what? Coach kids on how to knock 50-60 points off their
career OBPs? There is no question that the Royals have the
worst batting coaches in baseball. Keeping a bunch of low-OBP
veterans around for "leadership" would be adding ballast to a
sinking ship....

>Perhaps it's a chicken-and-egg question, but I
>maintain that the offense is way up because the
>pitching deteriorated first. And just wait until
>the league expands again...pitchers like Belcher
>will be staff aces.

Some of this is an inevitable consequence of expansion in the
era of the five-man rotation (remember, the five-man rotation
takes 20 percent of the starts available away from your four
best guys and gives them to your fifth-best guy). In my opinion
the umpires are under orders to goose the offense in the AL by
squeezing the strike zone. It is one thing to argue that batting
stats are inflated because of all the mediocre fifth starters, but
how does that explain the way the *good* pitchers are getting
knocked around? Bob Gibson couldn't keep his ERA under four
with the current AL strike zone....

>I still wouldn't mind teaching our AAA players how
>to actually *win*. If I'm standing in left field
>and see Pichardo enter the game with a runner on
>and a three-run lead, I'm thinking to myself why
>we're willing to give the game away. To me,
>this isn't healthy.

We agree on this, certainly. Losing, like winning, is primarily a
function of will. Few players will be able to summon the will to
excel when they are treated like so many Strat-O-Matic cards....

RAPA...@ulkyvm.louisville.edu

unread,
Sep 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/17/96
to

In article <51jmln$3...@jupiter.ks.symbios.com>

Matt Tiemeyer <mtiemeye@helios> writes:

>Well, there's a reason we don't see him at SS
>anymore. It's because the organization has decided
>that it's a huge risk to trot him out there.
>
Boone may think so, but I don't. I'm hopefully following
the rumors that say Boone will be managing in Anaheim
next season. Yeah! I wish there was some way we could
hire Buck Showalter.


>I remember the day ESPN said that K.C. had signed
>Offerman, "filling the hole left by Greg Gagne,"
>they said. My mouth dropped and I began to gasp
>for air.
>
Well, I called a friend who is a Dodger fan and squealed
with glee! We got a younger player who has great OBA. In
2 years Offerman may be in the playoffs with KC, while
Gagne will probably be out of baseball. Check their ages.


>
>Amazingly, he was signed to a 2-year contract
>recently.

Every now and then, KC makes a good personnel decision.
>
>Re: Goodwin...

>
>No, not if he played for, say, Cleveland. Put that
>bunch behind him in the order and he scores 100
>runs.
>
Well, that might not be good--in that context. Lofton has
124 runs already. 30% fewer would not be good.


>Guys like Jeff Frye come to Kansas City and die,
>because they can't find a home in a lineup that has
>no protection most days. Witness the entire trio
>of Mets we picked up in the Saberhagen deal. All
>respectable offensive players before. Positively
>disastrous with the Royals.
>
First, Lockhart is a counterexample. I don't believe
in protection and studies looking for it generally can't
find it. BTW, Jefferies had a fine offensive year in KC,
but then was stupidly traded for Felix Jose (a low OBA
mediocre slugger coming off an injury). Miller and McReynolds
were basically dumps/throw ins.


>We need someone who will be oblivious to the
>mediocrity around him and drive in runs just by
>getting up in the morning (a la Joe Carter, or
>Greg Vaughn -- now *there's* a young player we
>could have picked up who would have solidified
>some things).
>
Vaughn is young? Not in baseball terms. He's 30 and a
coming free agent. Marc Newfield, the guy on the other
end of that deal, was the kind of guy KC needs. He'll
be a star for years after Vaughn is a bench warmer.


>I'd still say all of these players will not be
>able to function effectively with the players
>around them. Basically, K.C. is trying to
>take the Omaha Royals and make them a major
>league club without the benefit of veterans to
>provide any glue, direction, or for that matter,
>RBIs. September 16, with homer records falling
>all across the country, and Craig Paquette leads
>our team with 19. I rest my case.
>
Cleveland built with virtually all youth: Sorrento,
Baerga, Vizquel, Thome, Ramirez, Belle, Lofton and
Alomar. KC did it in the early/mid '70s too: Otis,
Patek, McRae, Brett, Mayberry, etc. If you know what
you're doing, a *great* team can be built.

KC's park deflates HR, but their biggest problem is
giving only about 250 ABs to guys like Hamelin and
Vitiello--but about1000 ABs to Goodwin/Howard.


>> Snopek had a fine year at AAA in 1995. He's barely played
>> this year in Chicago, though I don't have his AAA numbers
>> handy. He's a hell of a lot better than Howard. His MLE
>> last year was 313 BA, 387 OBA and 468 SLG. He can hit.
>
>We have lots of guys who have played well at AAA.
>
Well...sort of. Howard didn't. Goodwin didn't. Damon and Sweeney
are so young they've barely played AAA. Guys who were good in AAA
haven't had much of a shot: Vitiello, Stynes, Nunnally. Next year
will be much better offensively if they play the right guys.


>> He'll be 26 next year though, which is a concern. We need
>> potential stars of Damon/Sweeney's age. They're the future.
>
>Yeah...but there has to be veteran leadership
>in the offense.

Not that I believe a word of this, but Offerman is a vet. Damon
will be a 3rd year player next season. MacFarlane is a vet (though
I hope he's gone and Sweeney is around). Good kids are better
than bad vets. KC has bad vets.


>Perhaps it's a chicken-and-egg question, but I
>maintain that the offense is way up because the
>pitching deteriorated first. And just wait until
>the league expands again...pitchers like Belcher
>will be staff aces.
>
? her is what, 35?He's never going to be anyone's ace. Well,
maybe an expansion team's ace.


>I still wouldn't mind teaching our AAA players how
>to actually *win*. If I'm standing in left field
>and see Pichardo enter the game with a runner on
>and a three-run lead, I'm thinking to myself why
>we're willing to give the game away. To me,
>this isn't healthy.
>
Cleveland lost 100 game on the way to building its
current dynasty. The road to real strength must be built
slowly. Quick fixes rarely work--and not for long. For
example, the Padres and Rangers probably aren't going to
be good for very long. Oops--this should follow the next
paragraph.???


>We are indoctrinating these guys with a losing
>history. Perhaps that could make them appreciate
>a pennant race more down the road. But at least
>we need to demonstrate a willingness to make an
>attempt to win a ball game.
>
>Matt
>

Rodger

David Nieporent

unread,
Sep 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/18/96
to

In article <diamantr.5...@ext.missouri.edu>,
Rick Diamant <diam...@ext.missouri.edu> wrote:
>tsh...@primenet.com (Terrance Shuman) writes:

>What I don't understand is where Offerman fits in. I read that the Royals
>signed him for a 2 year contract! Is this so he can be the 1st baseman for
>the next couple of years instead of Hamelin? I certainly hope not!

You're making the incorrect assumption that Bob Boone actually has a
plan. Offerman will be the 1B/DH/2B/SS/3B/C. As will Craig Paquette,
Keith Lockhart, Joe Randa, Mike Sweeney...


--
David M. Nieporent |"I have been participating in the USENET for many
niep...@pluto.njcc.com|years now. I have never found it to be a requirement
Plainsboro, NJ |for anyone to know anything about any subject to post
DAVEY & ORIOLES 1996!!!|on any newsgroup." -- seen on talk.politics.misc.

Matt Tiemeyer

unread,
Sep 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/18/96
to

Terrance Shuman writes:

> In <51jmln$3...@jupiter.ks.symbios.com>, Matt Tiemeyer <mtiemeye@helios> writes:

> Goodwin wouldn't score 100 runs if he played for the '27
> Yankees. He isn't on base often enough.

Hmm, so you say. How many would he have to score
with the Indians? 98? 94? 91? Fact, is the
'96 Royals don't even have extra base power as a
team. It's hard to score runs when you *must*
steal a base to score it. It's easy when you
can trot home and welcome the guy who just hit
a shot off the facing of the upper deck or
something.

> >Guys like Jeff Frye come to Kansas City and die,
> >because they can't find a home in a lineup that has
> >no protection most days. Witness the entire trio
> >of Mets we picked up in the Saberhagen deal. All
> >respectable offensive players before. Positively
> >disastrous with the Royals.
>
> Jeffries was certainly not a "disastrous" offensive player while
> with the Royals. He had some defensive problems, and the fans
> refused to get over the loss of Saberhagen, which affected Gregg
> adversely.

True enough. But he managed to overcome these
kinds of things a) with the Mets before K.C., and
b) with the Cards after K.C., the very next year.
He hit over .340. Amazing, indeed.

Trading Sabes for a young hitter like Jeffries was the
> sort of smart move the Royals used to be famous for.

I'm not sure if I'm aware of many who believe the
Saberhagen trade was a smart move. Incidentally,
they also lost the player who was really K.C.'s
MVP the year before, because he did absolutely
everything. That man was Bill Pecota. And yes,
his trade value was never higher. Neither was
his worth to Kansas City.

>Giving up
> on him prematurely (I mean, c'mon--Jeffries for Felix Jose???)
> is the sort of thing they are becoming famous for nowadays (they're
> about to do it again with Hamelin).

I agree on the Hammer. Jose, of course, was
projected to be a guy who could generate power and
show some speed. He also had a good arm, though
not much range.

> Kevin McReynolds was basically a washed-up player offensively
> *before* the trade. It was entirely predictable that he would not
> live up to the front office's expectations upon arrival here.

Maybe. But either one has to figure he was *not*
washed up, or one has to figure that the Saberhagen
deal wasn't real good. Take your pick.

> Keith Miller had offensive skills, but the Royals frittered them away
> by trying to use him the way the Brewers used to screw around
> with Paul Molitor: stick him anywhere in the field you need a body.
> It was disgraceful the way they tried to convert him into an outfielder.
> On top of all that, he got hurt. Lots of players get hurt and never get
> back. Kansas City is not unique in this regard.

Again, I say, although Miller had offensive skills,
they were not displayed in K.C. That's all I'm
saying. He did not live to potential before or
after his injury.

> Finally, this whole idea of "protection" is a non-starter. As Bill James
> put it in the '86 ABSTRACT: "There is no evidence that it is any
> easier to hit with a great hitter up behind you than without one. And
> it is *writers,* not *players,* who have promulgated this myth about it
> making a big difference." [Emphasis in original.]
>

Perhaps. Of course, I have heard players who
believe it, whether they've spread it or not. But
the whole thing is really sort of beside the point.

>
> >I'd still say all of these players will not be
> >able to function effectively with the players
> >around them. Basically, K.C. is trying to
> >take the Omaha Royals and make them a major
> >league club without the benefit of veterans to
> >provide any glue, direction, or for that matter,
> >RBIs. September 16, with homer records falling
> >all across the country, and Craig Paquette leads
> >our team with 19. I rest my case.
>
> That's fine, except that when we had Gaetti, Gagne,
> and Joyner around, the only "glue" they provided was
> the epoxy they put on the doors we needed to open.
> Doors leading to players like Hamelin, Vitiello, Randa,
> etc. Teams that try to compromise between a true effort
> at rebuilding and keeping some "veteran leadership"
> around usually occupy the cellar, which is where we are
> right now.

Last year, we had veterans. We scared some people
into thinking we could make the playoffs. This year
we have none, and we were out of it very, very
early. The most glaring factor is that we don't
have anyone on this club right now who has displayed
any offensive leadership. Part of this is Boone's
unwillingness to let anybody log enough time in the
box to do some damage. But not all of it. No one
has displayed any kind of leadership. Not Damon,
not Hamelin...well, there might be one guy who
has been reasonably consistent -- Mike Macfarlane.
He does the same job every year. Were it not for
the interim experiment with Sal Fasano (fine, he
needs his at-bats, too), Macfarlane would probably
have 25 HRs or so. Not many RBIs, since no one's
on base, but he'd be pulling HIS weight, at least.

> <snip>
>
> >> Snopek had a fine year at AAA in 1995.
> >

> >We have lots of guys who have played well at AAA.
>
> Yes, and unfortunately many of them have been stuck there
> because the "experts" in the front office are as clueless about
> how to understand minor-league stats as fans often are.

Many of them have been in Kansas City all year long.

> How
> can you watch other teams give chances to kids like Chipper
> Jones, Alex Rodriguez, etc. on the basis of their minor league
> performances and then say "play[ing] well at AAA" means nothing?

I didn't say playing well means nothing. I'm saying
that Chipper Jones comes into a lineup with
Fred McGriff and Dave Justice, and on a team with
the best pitching staff in baseball to teach him
how to win.

Alex Rodreguez (wow) comes into a lineup including
(let me count the sticks) Griffey, Edgar Martinez,
and Jay Buhner.

So now we have two elements in these situations
which provide for the success of these players.

1) They play on much better clubs where they don't
have to do too much too early for the club to
succeed (although they have).

2) Just as important, they're both simply better
than anyone K.C. has at Omaha or with less than two
years major league experience. These are phenomenal
players on great teams.

> <snip>
>
> >Yeah...but there has to be veteran leadership
> >in the offense.
>
> To do what? Coach kids on how to knock 50-60 points off their
> career OBPs?

Actually, to teach them about pitchers which they've
never seen before, teach them how to act like
major leaguers, show them how to succeed in the
clutch, and so forth.

> There is no question that the Royals have the
> worst batting coaches in baseball. Keeping a bunch of low-OBP
> veterans around for "leadership" would be adding ballast to a
> sinking ship....

You're implying that I believe that OBP is worthless
again, Terry...such is not the case. I don't want
to bring someone in like that. I want to get some
genuine, good players who have experience. Why
don't we do this? Very simple; the front office
doesn't want to pay for it. So all the diaper-clad
Omaha players run out and try to figure out how
to become a pennant contender...and *then* I'll bet
they'd finally make a trade down the stretch for
an aging pitcher, etc.



> but
> how does that explain the way the *good* pitchers are getting
> knocked around? Bob Gibson couldn't keep his ERA under four
> with the current AL strike zone....

No argument. Which still cries out that we have
a bad offensive club (which is decidedly *not*
composed of veterans with low OBP). It's composed
of rookies and inexperienced players who have
low OBP.

At least if we could bring in someone from the
outside, we could use him long enough to get
some production before his skills start to erode.
Maybe the other players could learn something
before that happens.

Matt

Terrance Shuman

unread,
Sep 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/18/96
to

In <51p0os$4...@jupiter.ks.symbios.com>, Matt Tiemeyer <mtiemeye@helios> writes:
>Terrance Shuman writes:
>
>> In <51jmln$3...@jupiter.ks.symbios.com>, Matt Tiemeyer <mtiemeye@helios> writes:
>
>> Goodwin wouldn't score 100 runs if he played for the '27
>> Yankees. He isn't on base often enough.
>
>Hmm, so you say. How many would he have to score
>with the Indians? 98? 94? 91? Fact, is the
>'96 Royals don't even have extra base power as a
>team.

Irrelevant. If we had guys bangin' off the padding, Goodwin
*still* wouldn't score 100 runs because *he wouldn't be on
base* when the extra-base hits happen. Do the math: With
his OBP, in 500 ABs he'd be on base around 150-175 times.
Are you suggesting he'd score 67% of those times if we just
got a few more extra-base hits? Come on. This guy's Runs
Scored total has been neck and neck with his SB total most
of the season.

> It's hard to score runs when you *must*
>steal a base to score it.

He's allegedly the fastest man on the team. The radio guys
keep talking about what a "potent weapon" he is. You'd think
a guy like that could score from *first* on a double once in
awhile. It's even harder to score from the bench than it is
from first....

> It's easy when you
>can trot home and welcome the guy who just hit
>a shot off the facing of the upper deck or
>something.

True. Unfortunately, if we *had* those kinds of thumpers
Goodwin would usually be one of the ones greeting them at
the dugout steps, since he *doesn't reach base that often.*



>> Jeffries was certainly not a "disastrous" offensive player while
>> with the Royals. He had some defensive problems, and the fans
>> refused to get over the loss of Saberhagen, which affected Gregg
>> adversely.
>
>True enough. But he managed to overcome these
>kinds of things a) with the Mets before K.C., and
>b) with the Cards after K.C., the very next year.
>He hit over .340. Amazing, indeed.

He didn't have to "overcome" any offensive problems in
St. Louis. His defensive problems went away when he was
shifted to 1st base by the Cardinals, a move the Royals could
not make because we were stuck with a "proven" hitter: Wally
Joyner, who was never worth a damn as an offensive player
after his rookie season. Jeffries hit just fine for us; we allowed
our commitment to Joyner to cloud our judgement, and traded
away an excellent young hitter for a known head case who had
never really done much of anything.

> Trading Sabes for a young hitter like Jeffries was the
>> sort of smart move the Royals used to be famous for.
>
>I'm not sure if I'm aware of many who believe the
>Saberhagen trade was a smart move.

Saberhagen has done very little since leaving the Royals except
get injured and cash some nice paychecks. The fact that the
Royals turned around and gave away Jeffries does not alter the
fact that the Mets made a mistake in trading Jeffries to us for
Sabes in the first place. You just don't trade a hitter with that kind
of potential for a pitcher with Saberhagen's erratic history.

>Incidentally, they also lost the player who was really K.C.'s
>MVP the year before, because he did absolutely everything.
>That man was Bill Pecota. And yes, his trade value was
>never higher. Neither was his worth to Kansas City.

If Pecota has amounted to anything since his departure, I've
certainly missed it. You are missing the point, here. The reason
the Mets wanted Pecota is because Saberhagen was not enough
to compensate for the loss of Jeffries. As has been noted
elsewhere, McReynolds/Miller were basically irrelevant to the deal.
The Mets had no use for either of them (especially McReynolds,
who had a ridiculously inflated salary).

>>Giving up
>> on him prematurely (I mean, c'mon--Jeffries for Felix Jose???)
>> is the sort of thing they are becoming famous for nowadays (they're
>> about to do it again with Hamelin).
>
>I agree on the Hammer. Jose, of course, was
>projected to be a guy who could generate power and
>show some speed. He also had a good arm, though
>not much range.

You are being too kind. Jose was the outfield version of Willie
Aikens. An entirely predictable bust....

>> Kevin McReynolds was basically a washed-up player offensively
>> *before* the trade. It was entirely predictable that he would not
>> live up to the front office's expectations upon arrival here.
>
>Maybe. But either one has to figure he was *not*
>washed up, or one has to figure that the Saberhagen
>deal wasn't real good. Take your pick.

For all intents and purposes, the deal was Sabes for Jeffries,
and was reported this way in most respectable baseball mags.
My guess is we *had* to take McReynolds and his fat contract
or it was no deal. The Mets were trying to unload his salary.

>> Keith Miller had offensive skills, but the Royals frittered them away
>> by trying to use him the way the Brewers used to screw around
>> with Paul Molitor: stick him anywhere in the field you need a body.
>> It was disgraceful the way they tried to convert him into an outfielder.
>> On top of all that, he got hurt. Lots of players get hurt and never get
>> back. Kansas City is not unique in this regard.
>
>Again, I say, although Miller had offensive skills,
>they were not displayed in K.C. That's all I'm
>saying. He did not live to potential before or
>after his injury.

My point is that *whatever* offense he provided (and I seem to recall
he had a pretty good year for us before he got hurt), he was essentially
a throw-in on the deal....

>> Finally, this whole idea of "protection" is a non-starter. As Bill James
>> put it in the '86 ABSTRACT: "There is no evidence that it is any
>> easier to hit with a great hitter up behind you than without one. And
>> it is *writers,* not *players,* who have promulgated this myth about it
>> making a big difference." [Emphasis in original.]
>>
>Perhaps. Of course, I have heard players who
>believe it, whether they've spread it or not. But
>the whole thing is really sort of beside the point.

I agree. So, does this mean you'll stop telling us how important
it is to get some "protection" for our few good hitters? ;-)

<snip>

>Last year, we had veterans. We scared some people
>into thinking we could make the playoffs. This year
>we have none, and we were out of it very, very
>early.

This is a post hoc fallacy if I ever saw one....

> The most glaring factor is that we don't
>have anyone on this club right now who has displayed
>any offensive leadership.

I am not sure what "offensive leadership" is. Are we discussing
attitude now?

> Part of this is Boone's
>unwillingness to let anybody log enough time in the
>box to do some damage. But not all of it.

Well, virtually all of it, anyway. There is damn good reason
that *nobody* has ever dicked around with lineup cards the
way Boone has, "youth movement" or not. It is quite simply
impossible to get any offensive continuity this way; baseball
is a harder game than that....

> No one
>has displayed any kind of leadership. Not Damon,
>not Hamelin...well, there might be one guy who
>has been reasonably consistent -- Mike Macfarlane.
>He does the same job every year. Were it not for
>the interim experiment with Sal Fasano (fine, he
>needs his at-bats, too), Macfarlane would probably
>have 25 HRs or so. Not many RBIs, since no one's
>on base, but he'd be pulling HIS weight, at least.

Is that your definition of "offensive leadership?" HRs?
Before we start worrying about our HR totals, we'd do better
to concentrate of some "leadership" with regard to the most
crucial offensive skill: getting on base. The player on the
team who is best at it has been benched for what amounts
to half a season, and has been hounded relentlessly in the
press for taking too many walks. The player who is next best
at it only sees his name in the paper after he makes a throwing
error. And for a nice contrast, we see the player who has the
most to gain from boosting his OBP get nothing but raves for
his worthless SB totals, while no one ever mentions the fact
that the man makes outs in close to 70% of his at-bats.

<snip>

>> How
>> can you watch other teams give chances to kids like Chipper
>> Jones, Alex Rodriguez, etc. on the basis of their minor league
>> performances and then say "play[ing] well at AAA" means nothing?
>
>I didn't say playing well means nothing. I'm saying
>that Chipper Jones comes into a lineup with
>Fred McGriff and Dave Justice, and on a team with
>the best pitching staff in baseball to teach him
>how to win.

No sale. Jones doesn't hit like he hits because he gets to
watch Halle's ex and the Crime Dog. He doesn't hit like he does
because he gets to play behind Maddux and Glavine. He hits
like he does because he is a *hitter.* He knew how to hit before
he ever laid eyes on any of those guys in person. Their presence
may add some marginal improvement in his approach to the
game, but to credit his success to their influence is just silly.

>Alex Rodreguez (wow) comes into a lineup including
>(let me count the sticks) Griffey, Edgar Martinez,
>and Jay Buhner.

You are already falling back on the idea that "protection" is
the key. It isn't. Rodriguez would hit no matter whose lineup
he was in. Griffey, et. al., did *not* make him into a hitter.
He was there already....

>So now we have two elements in these situations
>which provide for the success of these players.
>
>1) They play on much better clubs where they don't
>have to do too much too early for the club to
>succeed (although they have).

So what you are saying is that Jones and Rodriguez are
turning in stellar seasons because there is no pressure on
them to do so? What would Rodriguez' line look like if he
*did* feel pressured? .320, 25, 85? I'll take it....

>2) Just as important, they're both simply better
>than anyone K.C. has at Omaha or with less than two
>years major league experience. These are phenomenal
>players on great teams.

Yes, they are. But the "great teams" part is irrelevant.
They'd be stars anywhere.

>> >Yeah...but there has to be veteran leadership
>> >in the offense.
>>
>> To do what? Coach kids on how to knock 50-60 points off their
>> career OBPs?
>
>Actually, to teach them about pitchers which they've
>never seen before, teach them how to act like
>major leaguers, show them how to succeed in the
>clutch, and so forth.

This must be the week for trotting out erroneous "truisms."
In spite of monumental efforts at proving its existence, there
just isn't any evidence that certain hitters "tend" to excel in
the clutch. It is a fault of perception that some of us think
they do. It certainly can't be "taught" or "learned."

>> There is no question that the Royals have the
>> worst batting coaches in baseball. Keeping a bunch of low-OBP
>> veterans around for "leadership" would be adding ballast to a
>> sinking ship....
>
>You're implying that I believe that OBP is worthless
>again, Terry...such is not the case. I don't want
>to bring someone in like that. I want to get some
>genuine, good players who have experience. Why
>don't we do this? Very simple; the front office
>doesn't want to pay for it. So all the diaper-clad
>Omaha players run out and try to figure out how
>to become a pennant contender...and *then* I'll bet
>they'd finally make a trade down the stretch for
>an aging pitcher, etc.

Cynicism, such cynicism! ;-) I share your misgivings
about the front office, but the plain fact of the matter is that
baseball history teaches us that to pursue short-term success
by trading talented young players for "proven" stars is the
road to perdition. For decades the Indians developed tons of
good players, only to trade them for "established veterans"
just when the kids were ready to contribute. They didn't start
winning until they started hanging on to their kids and letting
them become major league stars.

I am not suggesting that having a few savvy veterans around
isn't helpful. It is. But it is *way* down on my list of things we
need to improve the team.

>> how does that explain the way the *good* pitchers are getting
>> knocked around? Bob Gibson couldn't keep his ERA under four
>> with the current AL strike zone....
>
>No argument. Which still cries out that we have
>a bad offensive club (which is decidedly *not*
>composed of veterans with low OBP). It's composed
>of rookies and inexperienced players who have
>low OBP.

We have the worst (or near-worst) OBP in the majors.
It has truly been a team effort. The fish stinks from the head
down: we have low OBP because Boone and his coaches
don't give a damn about it.

>At least if we could bring in someone from the
>outside, we could use him long enough to get
>some production before his skills start to erode.

Says who? Recent history suggests that the erosion
usually begins before the guy has played an inning for
his new team.

>Maybe the other players could learn something
>before that happens.

Sure. How to milk your stats for a fat contract and free
agency. Is this what we want them to learn?

Jon Saloga

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Sep 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM9/19/96
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Matt Tiemeyer (mtiemeye@helios) wrote:

: I'm not sure if I'm aware of many who believe the


: Saberhagen trade was a smart move.

And whatever became of Saberhagen after that trade, anyway? Oh yeah, he
managed one good season for the Mets (which equals what Jefferies gave
the Royals), never did pitch a full season for them, and is now in the
middle of an 18 month injury layoff. This guy makes Mark McGwire look
like Cal Ripken.

: I agree on the Hammer. Jose, of course, was

: projected to be a guy who could generate power and
: show some speed. He also had a good arm, though
: not much range.

I always wondered where people got the notion that Felix Jose was a
"power" hitter. In his two full seasons with the Cards before coming to
KC, he hit 14 and 8 home runs. He did hit 40 doubles one year, but his
slugging average never got above .438. In fact, at the time, he was
almost the same exact hitter as Jefferies, but older and less competitive.

: Again, I say, although Miller had offensive skills,


: they were not displayed in K.C. That's all I'm
: saying. He did not live to potential before or
: after his injury.

??..His best season as a major leaguer was his first year with the Royals.

: The most glaring factor is that we don't


: have anyone on this club right now who has displayed

: any offensive leadership. Part of this is Boone's


: unwillingness to let anybody log enough time in the

: box to do some damage. But not all of it. No one


: has displayed any kind of leadership. Not Damon,
: not Hamelin...

Change that to "MOST of this is Boone's unwillingness..." How can anyone
display any "offensive leadership" when he bats 3rd in the order one day,
and 9th the next, and that's IF he even plays at all? Or when he gets
pinch hit for after going 3 for 4? Not to even mention the musical chairs
display going on out in the field.

This team isn't going to go anywhere until Boone and his flunkies get
shown the door. I pray to God that rumor of him going to the Angels is
true.. I feel a little guilty wishing that much ill will towards the
Angels (I wouldn't even wish that on the Dodgers!), but it's time to end
this two-year experiment with the walking managerial dartboard.

Jon S


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