Royal Definitions


As September rolls around, Major League Baseball is chock full of races. Of course there’s the race for division championships, the races for Cy young awards*, and the race for M.V.P.

*Team Justin or Team Jered?….oh good grief I cant even use that without feeling guilty…I hate those stupid vampire books.

But let’s be honest, all of these races pale in comparison to the ever-burning question: Will the Royals win more than 70 games this season? As of the posting of this article, the Royals sit at 54-79. So I decided to grab my handy-dandy abacus, go to work, and discovered that the team needs to go 16-17 the rest of the way to achieve that majestic 70th win.

Before the season began, many individuals deemed that this season would be a success or “step in the right direction” if the Royals could win at least 70 games this year. Here’s my question: Is 70 wins the definition of success for this year? My answer is pretty similar to most of my answers to questions: I don’t know, that’s up to you to decide.

In my opinion, the Royals win/loss record isn’t so important. My foolhardy optimism has been far too buoyed by the multiple small successes within our franchise to worry about our record. Your opinion of success may be different than mine but here’s a couple of reasons I think you should consider before defining the Royals by their record.

Johnny Giavotella: Dude’s looked pretty good as a rook. His defense has not necessarily been what one would call stellar but I like his stick a lot more than Getz’s. I think the defense can come.

Salvador Perez: Guy has come up and shown he’s got the gun that everyone said he had. The best part has been that he’s shown he’s not necessarily a liability on offense. He’s certainly not Mike Piazza, but he looks like he can develop into a great backstop.

Mike Moustakas: After a bit of a rough stretch this season, Moose is starting to come on. I’m not saying he’s got it all figured out, but he’s batting .277 in the last 26 games he’s played. To me that sounds like he’s making adjustments and if he can keep hitting this well through September, I’m willing to bet that he won’t be struggling to reach the .200 mark next season.

There are several other reasons I haven’t listed that could be included as well. There’s the fact that half the guys who start for the Royals everyday are either equal to my own ripe old age of 22 or are even younger. That fact alone equals a tremendous amount of potential upside in the future. Then there’s been the great play of Alex Gordon, Melky Cabrera, and yes…even Jeff Franceour*. These elder statesmen have all contributed to some great outfield defense, unexpected power, and career rejuvenation.

*Regardless of what you think of the validity of his extension.

You can’t and shouldn’t look at wins and losses to define the direction of the Kansas City Royals. Going 16-17 over the next 33 games won’t be easy. It’s possible….but it may not happen. Don’t let that discourage you. You know I’m a huge proponent of looking at the little things.

Of course, I wouldn’t mind winning 70 games. I’m sick of people mocking my campaign for us not to lose 100. 70 games would be a better number. We’ve only won 70 or more 2 out of the last 9 years.

Numbers don’t define….but they’re nice to look at.

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Tags: Alex Gordon Jeff Franceour Johnny Giovatella KC Royals Melky Cabrera Mike Moustakas Salvador Perez

  • LastRoyalsFan

    I hear what you’re saying but at this point we all know that from the perspective of advancing The Process and bringing up the next generation of Royals, this year has been successful. The Royals have gotten Hosmer, Giavotella, Moustakas, Perez, Duffy and most of the bullpen acclimated to the big leagues. They’ve managed to tune up the performance of all three outfielders. They’ve advanced the rotation by adding Paulino and subtracting Davies (and hopefully Mazzaro and O’Sullivan). They’ve completely rebuilt the bullpen.

    I’m beginning to agree with the front office guys including GMDM who seem to be communicating that we should let these guys develop next year and add one or two front line starters. Assuming these rookies don’t all experience a ‘sophomore jinx’ at the same time the front office guys may well be right.

    If all of these moves position the Royals to be a much better team in 2012, and I think they do, then the win-loss record of 2011 really has little bearing on things. Winning at least 70 games and improving on last year’s record would be a concrete indicator for the players and casual fans that the team is headed in the right direction. However, one could argue that a 100-loss season with all of these positives would be the best of all worlds, as it would position us for another high 1st round draft pick next year.

  • LastRoyalsFan

    I hear what you’re saying but at this point we all know that from the perspective of advancing The Process and bringing up the next generation of Royals, this year has been successful. The Royals have gotten Hosmer, Giavotella, Moustakas, Perez, Duffy and most of the bullpen acclimated to the big leagues. They’ve managed to tune up the performance of all three outfielders. They’ve advanced the rotation by adding Paulino and subtracting Davies (and hopefully Mazzaro and O’Sullivan). They’ve completely rebuilt the bullpen.

    I’m beginning to agree with the front office guys including GMDM who seem to be communicating that we should let these guys develop next year and add one or two front line starters. Assuming these rookies don’t all experience a ‘sophomore jinx’ at the same time the front office guys may well be right.

    If all of these moves position the Royals to be a much better team in 2012, and I think they do, then the win-loss record of 2011 really has little bearing on things. Winning at least 70 games and improving on last year’s record would be a concrete indicator for the players and casual fans that the team is headed in the right direction. However, one could argue that a 100-loss season with all of these positives would be the best of all worlds, as it would position us for another high 1st round draft pick next year.