The Glad Game

I may be getting into unexplored territory here, but when I was younger, usually in the summer, I would stay up well past my bedtime. When I was nine, my parents let me have a cable box and TV in my room, so I would stay up until the wee small hours of the morning watching sports highlights, infomercials and the Disney Channel. (Did I hear a record scratch?)

One of the films they would show with regularity was Pollyanna starring Hayley Mills (later of The Parent Trap and Saved By The Bell fame). If you don’t know the story, it goes like this: Pollyanna moves to an embittered town after becoming orphaned. Her aunt is a spinster, and the town is full of general grumpiness and discontent. Until Pollyanna comes along. She refuses to see anything in a negative light, always looking for the bright side. Why, she even makes Rany look like a Grinch. One of her favorite techniques was to play “The Glad Game” – coming up with anything and everything that made her glad.

Well, the Royals are 11-17, they’ve only won one series all year. They just came out of a series at Tampa where they scored only 8 runs. Their pitchers have walked more than any other team. The bullpen has fallen apart multiple times.

I think we could use some Gladness in Kansas City.  Here’s what I’m glad about:

I’m glad that Zack Greinke has a 2.27 ERA through six starts.

I’m glad that after 2009, that seems like underachieving.

I’m glad that Kyle Davies is starting to perform to the level of his talent. So far. For a fifth starter, a 3.52 ERA isn’t bad at all. For a second starter, it’s not that shabby either.

I’m glad that Joakim Soria keeps doing what he does, dominating. He has another sub-2.50 ERA and a better than 6/1 K/BB ratio.

I’m glad that Jose Guillen is hitting. Or was hitting. Then he slumped. Now he’s been hitting again. I’m glad there may be a trade market for him in a month or so.

I’m glad that Willie Bloomquist only has 32 plate appearances.

I’m glad that a reason for that is because the Royals have easily recognizable better options in Mitch Maier, Chris Getz and Alberto Callaspo.

I’m glad that Billy Butler is on pace to again hit better than .300.

I’m glad that Mike Aviles is back and looks healthy while hitting the ball with authority all over the place. I’m glad that Trey has figured out he needs to find a way to get him into the lineup (as he starts at second base tonight in place of Chris Getz).

I’m glad that Kila Ka’aihue has been recalled before September after crushing Triple A pitching again. (I’m glad he might even get some at bats in the next two weeks?)

I’m glad that help is on the way. Michael Montgomery won his first start at Double A Northwest Arkansas last night after destroying the Carolina League. Eric Hosmer is leading the Carolina League in hitting playing most of his games in a pitcher’s park. Mike Moustakas has a 1.468 OPS since coming off the DL.

Moustakas also has a 13% walkrate. Before 2010, his walkrate was only 7 percent.

I’m glad that Derrick Robinson has evolved from project to prospect, carrying the fourth best batting average in the Texas League and leading all of the minor leagues with 18 stolen bases.

I’m glad that Wil Myers has a .984 OPS in his last ten games after starting off hitting below .200 for Burlington.

I’m glad that a couple of players in the minor leagues have stepped up along with Derrick Robinson like Kelvin Herrera and Bryan Paukovitz in Burlington (2.97 and 2.74 ERAs respectively), Blaine Hardy in Northwest Arkansas (zero runs against and only 10 baserunners in 17 relief innings) and battery mate Manny Pina (.286 with three homers from the top defensive catching prospect in the system).

I’m glad that the MLB Draft is coming up next month, and that for all of Dayton Moore’s failings in structuring a major league roster, he’s improved the farm system and I expect should continue to do so this year.

I’m also glad that after a rough night in Chicago last night, the Royals can get right back into a new series with a fresh start.

I’m also glad that the Indians aren’t all that much better than the Royals, so we may not finish last in the AL Central.

No, the Royals aren’t good, but look on the bright side, next year, we might see Moustakas in Kansas City along with Mike Montgomery. Aaron Crow could be up at that point, too. Eric Hosmer may be in Omaha at some point next year, approaching the majors in 2012. Maybe 2010 won’t end all that well, but there’s plenty to look forward to.

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Tags: Aaron Crow AL Central Alberto Callaspo Baseball Billy Butler Blaine Hardy Bryan Paukovitz Dayton Moore Derrick Robinson Eric Hosmer Joakim Soria Jose Guillen Kansas City Royals KC KC Royals Blog Kelvin Herrera Kila Kaaihue Kyle Davies Manny Pina Manuel Pina Mike Aviles Mike Moustakas Mitch Maier MLB Royals Trey Hillman Wil Myers Willie Bloomquist Zack Greinke

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