Sunday, October 3, 2010

Growing Pains: to 2011 and beyond

Show me that smile...

It's over. Mercifully so, if I could add. Once again, another piss poor season by the Kansas City Royals. So many frustrating elements in a season that was full of some clever marketing and mind numbing praise towards some of the Royals worst players. Also a season that saw the reigning Cy Young winner go from an untouchable, young stud, to a hittable, malcontent complainer.

Trey Hillman was fired early in the season, although it's been well discussed that he should have been fired after last year. Hillman was in no way suited for this job or for any managerial job in Major League Baseball. Instead of treating Hillman's job interview like a job interview, Dayton Moore seemed to treat it like an awesome night out at a bar where he and Hillman became bros for life. Well, after the first two seasons of Hillman's tenure, it was quite obvious that he was in over his head. Players didn't respect him, fans grew tired of his "Treyspeak" in postgame pressers and it all seemed like a cruel joke.

Of course, Ned Yost replaced Hillman and took the Royals to the brink of quasi-contention in late June, where the Royals just sat seven games under .500 and eight games back from the division lead. I got excited for about three hours during this time, and then the Royals went into Chicago and got bitch-slapped back down to reality and so began the decline.

Scott Podsednik was traded. A guy who the Royals PR department loved, and I'll give them credit, Scotty Pods had a good year for the Royals. But to suggest that he was playing at an All Star level was kind of absurd. Podsednik was a good veteran presence on the team...oh jeez, now I'm starting to sound like the Royals PR department. But he stabilized the top of the lineup, as we saw the offense sputter after Pods left for the Dodgers.

Yuniesky Betancourt had a "career year" according to most Royals fans on Facebook. Sure he did, after all, he did post an 88 OPS+...

Ok, that's all I really can muster on 2010. It was a terrible year, from the Winter Meetings all the way until 4pm today. Too much energy was wasted on my end from complaining about Rick Ankiel, Juan Cruz and Dave Owen.

Time to recharge the batteries, KC! 2011 will be a new year, with exciting new toys coming up through the system. The bullpen will be MUCH better with the additions of Tim Collins, Blaine Hardy, etc. The bullpen is where we are going to see our young arms make their first impact at the big league level. Mike Montgomery, Chris Dwyer and other starters will likely start out of the bullpen before making their mark in the rotation.

Mike Moustakas will be here at some point next year, and so will Eric Hosmer if all goes well. John Lamb and Wil Myers might shoot through the upper minors and be knocking on the door come 2012.

I'm expecting at least one of our prospects to have an immediate, Evan Longoria/Ryan Braun/Buster Posey type impact at some point in the next two seasons. Will it be Moustakas next year out of Spring Training? Will it be Hosmer coming up in mid season? Will it be Mike Montgomery filling in for an injured starter? Who knows. These questions will be answered. Next year may not be much better than 2010, but one thing is for sure, it will be a lot more fun.

As long as we have eachother...