Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, amongst others, as well as blogs such as this one, are a great way to see how fans feel about their teams. It is also an interesting way to see what people regard as the biggest needs for any particular team. For the Royals, based on the running commentary from majority of the fans, it would seem as though the Royals biggest needs involve having a different owner, a different general manager, a different manager and a designated hitter that does not ground into double plays.
Based upon this premise, we can create the ideal first two rounds for the Royals. If every team was able to draft for what they truly needed, instead of being restricted to amateur players, then the Royals could truly fix their holes.
First, let us look at the Royals biggest need. A new owner, one who truly is more interested in winning baseball games and championships, instead of lining his pockets and treating the Royals like an ATM. So, with the 17th pick of the draft, the Kansas City Royals select….Mark Cuban. Cuban took the perennial doormat known as the Dallas Mavericks and turned them into a successful franchise. In a league without a salary cap, and with his desire to win at all costs to his personal bottom line, Cuban would be the type of owner that could make certain that the Royals are no longer shopping at Wal-Mart for free agents.
A new owner would likely want a new General Manager as well. While Dayton Moore has done a solid job rebuilding the Royals minor league system, there are questions as to his ability to construct a major league roster. So, the Royals, in this fantasy world, would put Moore in charge of finding prospects while allowing someone else to construct a major league roster and make trades. So, with the 28th pick in the draft, the Royals bring back a name from the glory days of the 1980’s, John Schuerholz. Schuerholz built winners in Kansas City, and later with the Atlanta Braves, so he knows how to construct a winning franchise.
Now, all that is needing is a manager to complete the off the field overhaul. The Royals, having pieces in place that could cause an almost instant turnaround, would need a manager who has a track record of postseason success. Someone who knows the ins and outs of the game, and would be a true mastermind between the lines, putting the Royals in the best position to succeed on any given night. That would lead the Royals to selecting, with the 40th pick of the draft, Tony LaRussa, who won a World Series in three different decades. If anyone knows how to win in baseball, it is LaRussa.
In the second round, the Royals would then be able to focus their attention to the on field roster. As Billy Butler runs as though he has an anvil strapped to his back, the Royals new front office petitions Major League Baseball to allow them to have a designated runner for Butler. Under the new rule, put through after Cuban greased a few palms in the Rules Committee, that player can wait a few steps behind the batter’s box, ready to run on contact. With such a rule in place, the Royals draft Usian Bolt in the second round, suddenly keeping Butler from hitting into double plays. Bolt could also function in the old Herb Washington role from the mid-1970’s Oakland A’s, pinch running whenever Butler would be out of the lineup. Just imagine that type of speed on the basepaths!
Yes, obviously such a draft would never happen, but as Royals fans, we can certainly dream.