I thought I’d answer Greg’s post in a way most of you can’t, with a post on this very website. This post could also double as “What the Royals Can Do to Win the Division” which means it’s the most important post you’ll read allÂ year. Fine, it’s probably not. But the good news is that I’m going to be a little shorter winded than you’re used to. So you’ve got that going for you. Anyway, I do have a few resolutions for the Royals that will make my enjoyment of watching the games much better and make the product on the field an improvement.
- Stop Running Into OutsÂ – For a team that supposedly prides itself on baserunning year in and year out, the Royals do a terrible job of running the bases. There was one year when David DeJesus and Mark Teahen were among the top baserunners in the league that the Royals weren’t terrible, but it was all on the strength of those two. The offense is actually a potential strength of this team. Let them do their work.
- The Sacrifice Bunt is NOT Your FriendÂ – This is along the same lines as the previous resolution. Maybe I should have put a heading of STOP GIVING AWAY OUTS! Like I said before, the offense is good. Stop lowering your run expectancies by playing for one run when you’ve got a lineup full of doubles machines. Big innings win games and ultimately championships. The one run inning gets you one run and then you get to watch one of the pitchers give up three and the game’s over.
- No More Infatuations with Role Players – I’m sure this happens on every team, but I don’t watch every team, I watch the Royals. I’m sick of guys like Willie Bloomquist getting 450 at bats because a manager loves his grit or toughness. Maybe it’s been a product of the lack of talent throughout the roster, but the Royals absolutely have to stop falling in love with players like this. Very rarely does a backup actually become something worthwhile. I’ll tell you this much right now. If Chris Getz and/or Yuniesky Betancourt get more than 400 at bats, the Royals will lose more than they win. The Brewers could handle Betancourt because they had a better team all around. The Royals are a .500 or so team and playing lesser players makes them worse. It’s a novel concept, but it’s true.
- Vow to Pitch Deeper Into Games – No matter how good your bullpen is (and let’s hope Clint’s doomsday scenarios don’t come true), the unit will wear down if the starters cannot pitch deep into games. A bunch of five or six inning starts does very little good for anybody unless there’s a staff of pitchers in AAA equally as good as the big league club and you can taxi players back and forth to save their arms. There might be an idea in that, but for now, let’s just focus on pitching more quality innings from the starters. A bullpen averaging three innings per night will wear down in August. Just subtract one inning per night from that and you’ve got a bullpen that’s got about 150 less innings of wear come what hopefully is playoff time.
- Win – This one seems awfully silly and obvious, but it’s time. 2003 was the last .500 season. 2008 was the closest thing to it and that was a 75-87 team. The fans deserve it. It’s going to take one or two more pitchers and maybe even another bat because injuries are inevitable. Whatever it takes, it’s time for the Royals to win. I’d obviously love for them to make the playoffs, but at this point I’d be satisfied with 85 wins. It’s been too long and too rare in my lifetime.
So those are my five resolutions. Give me a little more time and I could probably come up with 500, but I’m not that bored right now. The organization has a lot of bad habits, and they need to be broken. What better time than a new year?
Follow me on Twitter @DBLesky!