Independence Day News, Notes, and Links

Happy 4th of July everyone!

A couple news items, a few notes, and some links to digest and enjoy. 

  • Last night it became official.  The Kansas City Royals have signed Nicaraguan 3B prospect Cheslor Cuthbert to a signing bonus between $1 million and $1.5 million.  I have seen differing reports on the actual bonus.  A commenter from Nicaragua, on a Baseball America blog, claimed the bonus was $1.5 million.  Dick Kaegel’s MLB.com article claims the bonus was $1.35 million but who knows how accurate that number is.  Kaegel also claims that Baseball America had him “ranked 7th among the top 25 Latin America prospects.”  The fact of the matter is that he was not ranked as the seventh best prospect.  Baseball America’s top-25 list clearly states at the top of the article, “the players below from Latin America are ranked based on their expected signing bonuses, not their projected talent.  In fact, that is important enough that it bears repeating:  The rankings are not an attempt to gauge the talent, but a way to forecast the market.”  Some more misleading reporting by the “established” media, but nothing outdoes this journalistic blunder.
  • Last night also marked Alex Gordon’s triple-A debut with the Omaha Royals.  Almost 24,000 welcomed Nebraska’s native son to Rosenblatt as he continues his rehab assignment.  Alex went 1-3 with 2 walks and 1 run scored as a DH in the game.  Since the Omaha Royals are heading out on the road, Gordon will now head to the NW Arkansas Naturals to play for double-A.  He is slated to return to the Kansas City Royals on July 17th.
  • The Royals have apparently traded for 35 year old LHP-Stephen Randolph, who was pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers triple-A affiliate.  Click here to get to Randolph’s minor league stats via Baseball Reference.com.  He is 35 years old so even if he comes to the Royals free of charge the question remains, why?
  • As you all are probably aware, the Royals were shut out last night 5-0.  Through 79 games, they have now been shut out 6 times.  On a positive note, they have also shut their opponent out 6 times.  12 times in 79 Royals games, 15% of the time, one of the two teams failed to score a single run.
  • The Colorado Rockies are currently 42-37.  On May 29th they fired manager Clint Hurdle and replaced him with bench coach Jim Tracy on an interim basis.  Since taking over as manager, Tracy has led the Rockies to a 24-9 record.  The situation is a direct parallel for what I want to occur with the Royals so I found those numbers interesting.  Like Gibbons, Jim Tracy had a good deal of success in previous stints as a ML manager.  Tracy was interviewed on MLB Network last night and they asked him to explain what he changed when he took over the club.  His basic response was that he simply encouraged the team to be more agressive.  There is no reason to believe that the Royals switching to Gibbons would have the same impact as what the Rockies have experienced this year, but it is noteworthy how changing the manager can profoundly alter the atmosphere and attitude of a team and its style of play.  I don’t believe the Royals players ever respected Trey Hillman, so he can’t lose the team.  After all you can’t lose what you have never had. 
  • While on the topic of our manager, check out this brilliantly crafted piece by Joe Posnanski titled Stupid is …
  • Another article I really enjoyed reading about was posted over on Royals Review titled Willie Bloomquist has Returned to Being Willie Bloomquist.

Be safe and have a wonderful holiday weekend!  Oh and if you missed the 2009 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, be sure to check it out.

Topics: AL Central, Alex Gordon, Baseball, Cheslor Cuthbert, Clint Hurdle, Jim Tracy, Kansas City Royals, KC, MLB, Stephen Randolph, Trey Hillman

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