Twitter Tuesday: 2/11-2/18
Twitter Tuesday is a new weekly feature to Pine Tar Press, in which Iâ€™ll review all things #Royals through the eyes of Twitter.Â Snark and sarcasm are welcomed and valued just as much as baseball insight.Â Keep them clean, and keep them coming.
Welcome to the first Spring Training edition of Twitter Tuesday.Â Pitchers and catchers reported last week, and position players have since reported–even Alcides Escobar and his wife.Â Lets examine your #Royals tweets.
Â I suppose if you have to lose two really good guys from your organization, you want them to be broadcasters and radio personalities rather than aces and sluggers.Â That is precisely what happened last week, as Robert Ford and Bob Davis vacated their respective positions with the Royals.
As most die hard, and sometimes delusional, Royals fans know, Robert Ford hosted the Royals post-game show on 610 Sports Radio.Â He has received a well-earned promotion, and will be the next play-by-play broadcaster for the Houston Astros.Â Ford often went beyond the scope of his Royals duties, and interacted with fans viaÂ Twitter, and for thatÂ he will truly be missed.Â Personally, I blame you jack-holes that continuously peppered him with Jeff Francoeur and Luke Hochevar questions.Â
Bob Davis resigned from his broadcasting duties with the Royals, and will now focus all of his attention on KU athletics.Â Davis was a whipping boy for many finicky Royals listeners, mainly because he wasn’t Denny Matthews.Â In fact, he was the anti-Denny Matthews.Â No disrespect to Mr. Matthews, but I preferred listening to Davis.Â Blasphemous, I know.Â Davis brought such emotion to his broadcasting style that you felt like you were watching/listening to the game with a buddy at a local pub.Â I know many felt he would get far too excited over the little things, but I’ve always wondered why people were so hard on him for trying to bring a little excitement to a fanbase that has generally had noneÂ for such a long time.Â I know Davis will never see this, but I hope he knows there are those that really enjoyed experiencing the ups and downs of the games he was calling.Â
Â Well, Greg isn’t the only choice, but he’d certainly be a good choice.Â I mean, for example, I’d probably do that job for free.Â You’re telling me it would be my job to watch the game, and then answer questions from the fans during a post-game show?Â Sign me up.Â There is nothing more I’d rather do than talk baseball–Royals baseball at that–with my fellow Royals fans, and I’d get to do so with the security of knowing you can’t punch me in the face when I make fun of your game analysis.Â Seriously, why isn’t my phone ringing yet?
As for Greg, he’s far too busy making sure the inmates aren’t running the asylum over at Pine Tar Press headquarters.Â While I can’t reveal the location of PTP HQ, I can tell you that it is a large residentialÂ structure; big enough for all the PTP writers/bloggers to reside in the basement, and Greg was kind enough to have all of our mothers move in and live upstairs to make for a more homely feel.Â He really is too good to us.
Translation of Marc Topkin’s quote from Elliot Johnson: “It kind of sucks being traded from a perennially good team to a perennially bad team, but I’ve looked at their second base situation, and I’m going to get some serious AB’s.”
Elliot Johnson is the player to be named later in the Wil Myers/James Shields deal.Â I’m a fan of this acquisition.Â By no means is it a game-changer, but Johnson seems to be more talented than your usual player to be named later piece.Â He’s a true utility man in that he not only plays multiple positions, but he plays them well–something the Royals sorely need.
I need to retract a statement I made in last week’s Twitter Tuesday piece.Â I originally joined in on the Ned Yost is crazy chorus, but I’m withdrawing that.Â Yost is doing what a good manager should do, and that is verbalizing confidence in his players.Â I’ll let you in on a true insider secret; neither Yost nor Eiland truly believe Luke Hochevar is going to win 18 games.Â Ask yourself this though, where is the harm in Yost and Eiland making those comments?Â There is none.Â ItÂ doesn’t matter if we, as fans, believe in Hochevar, but if Hochevar knows his coaches have faith in him, that goes a long way.Â What’s that? You say they’re losing their credibility with the fans?Â MLB managers and coaches don’t care about that, nor should they.
Again, nobody believes Hochevar is going to experience that kind of success.Â By now you’ve surely heard that Hochevar and the coaches have discovered a fixable mechanical flaw in his delivery that should calm his problems of pitching out of the stretch.Â That’s great, and hisÂ problems of dealing out of the stretch are well-documented, but I don’t think I’m alone in believing the biggest flaw of Hochevar resides between the ears.Â That, my friends, is exactly why Yost and Eiland made the comments about winning 18 games.
Getting Some Love
Â I would have rather seen the Royals a little later in Spring Training when the battles for second base and the 5th spot in the rotation had more time to matriculate, but it was nice to see a generally upbeat report on the state of theÂ Royals.Â MLB Network analysts definitely hit on the fact that the rotation has been overhauled, which really isÂ a sight for sore eyes.Â A couple things that caught my attention: 1. James Shields has set the expectation of 1000 innings by the rotation.Â I like that it came directly from Shields and not the Royals brass or management.Â I got the feeling that Shields has firmly taken over as the leader of the pitchers;Â 2. Jeff Francoeur made a statement regarding the pitchers in which he said (paraphrasing) the players believeÂ every night the Royals have a chance to win, and with this current staff, there should be no long losing streaks because any one of them is capable of stopping the bleeding.
I can’t believe I’m going to say this, because I generally think Mitch Williams is a buffoon, but I agree with his prediction of 2nd place for the Royals.Â A Wild Card is a long-shot, as I believe the Royals would have to win at least 90 games.Â That would represent an epic improvement over last year.
A Glimpse at Opening Day
First of all, isn’t every manager better off not having to make a bunch of decisions?Â That’s usually indicative of a team that is doing well.Â This notion that Ned Yost has to shoulder the blame for a talent-starved and very young team last year is ignorant to me, especially when it is followed with the notion that if the Royals succeed this year, it will be in spite of their manager’s blunders.Â I’m a Yost fan.Â I like his pedigree and I like that he came from the Bobby Cox tree of managers.Â Managers simply don’t make much difference in the final record of a MLB team.Â His job is to manage the clubhouse, keep the Royals as a tight-knit unit, and keep them motivated and hungry (DO NOT INSERT BILLY BUTLER JOKE HERE!).Â The RoyalsÂ are in the American League, where managerial tactics could almost be done by a trained monkey.Â If Yost does things correctly, the fans will never see his best work as it will be done behind the scenes.
I like the projected lineup, but I don’t love it.Â In my opinion, if Alcides Escobar is good enough to bat second, he’s good enough to bat leadoff.Â I’m a firm believer that one of your best hitters should bat second, thus I would propose Escobar leading off and Alex Gordon batting second.Â That might prompt Billy Butler and ErisÂ Hosmer toÂ trade places as well.Â Â I prefer to see Gordon in a spot to do some damage, and truthfully, if Hosmer is going to hit, he can doÂ so just as easily from the fourth spot whileÂ being insulated by Butler and Salvador Perez.Â Alas, I understand Yost’s penchant for penciling in that righty-leftyÂ balanced lineup.
Well, this is pretty much exactly what we all expected, but hoped not to see from Lorenzo Cain.Â Not it isn’t a serious injury, but I believe we’ve been told that before about Cain, only to see him disappear for extended periods of time.Â The Royals have said they expect him to be at, or near, 100% by the end of the week.
I certainly agree with the notion that the Royals should have made a more concerted effort to get more depth in the outfield.Â Jarrod Dyson is niceÂ insurance to have, but Cain’s inability to stay healthy and Jeff Francoeur’s 2012 ineffectiveness should have served as an impetus to sign/acquire outfield depth.Â My friend, @crashdavis_7, has been banging the Peter Bourjos drum all offseason.Â Not a bad idea.Â The lack of outfield depth does concern me as there is no one with any kind of pop that could step in for an injured Alex Gordon or Jeff Francoeur.Â I believe a smart move would be to find a left-handed hitter, with some pop, that can give FrancoeurÂ a break or replace him if ineffectiveness lingers.
Are We There Yet?
Hell yes!Â Three daysÂ until the Royals first Spring Training outing.Â Get your overreactions ready.Â In all seriousness, this is the most excited fellow Royals fans have been for spring training baseball.Â Who is your pick to click for spring training?Â Â Mine are Miguel Tejada and Wade Davis.Â Â This, of course, meansÂ Tejada will win his second MVP, andÂ Davis will make James Shields look like a throw-in on the Wil Myers trade.
Where is Ray Lewis When You Need Him?Â WHAT TIME IS IT?!
Chances are, Ray-Ray is somewhereÂ not murderingÂ again, but semantics aside it is GAME TIME!Â Is it sad that I’d rather watch this game than any of the upcoming World Baseball Classic games?Â More on that in a later Twitter Tuesday piece.Â Seriously, I’m kind of surprised the Royals haven’t tried to capitalize on the fervor that is surrounding this upcoming season, and televise a game like this.Â I mean what else does Fox Sports Kansas City have to show? I’m pretty sure I saw darts on there this weekend.
USA vs. World, and the Royals win.
Until next week, Tweeps.