You know what sort of sucks? The next time you read Friday Notes, we’ll officially be in the offseason. Even if the World Series goes the full seven games, without weather, things will wrap up on Thursday. And then it’s on to the time of year when Dayton Moore likes to make a quick move. I’ve mentioned it before, but we could be only a week or two away from the first move of the Royals offseason in an effort to jump out ahead of the competition. In an effort to make a random guess of who the first move would be, I’ve predicted Edinson Volquez will be heading to the Royals. I really hope that doesn’t happen.
- While I’d rather not see the Royals trade for Volquez, I am becoming more and more convinced that they’ll have to boost their starting rotation through the trade market. I think as we get closer to free agents being able to talk to other teams I find myself losing the dream of the Royals being able to compete for big name free agents. It’s not that I don’t believe they’ll spend, but it’s just that a lot of teams are going to spend and there are going to be much better situations for these guys to go to than a Royals team hoping to make a leap. I’ve said this before, but the only way I actually see a guy like Anibal Sanchez coming here is if he just desperately wants to be a number one. Most of the teams who would sign him and would provide a great opportunity to win right away would sign him as their two or three starter. I do think the Royals will be saved from themselves on Kyle Lohse in spite of his rough NLCS.
- A lot of people in my life have asked me what I have against the Cardinals and that I should root for them because of their geographic proximity to Kansas City. There are a number of reasons other than the one I’m going to give you, but I don’t really want to get into mud slinging with the “best fans in baseball.” You can just assume they have something to do with it. This is sort of difficult to admit, but I think a lot of the reason why I so strongly dislike them is sheer jealousy. It’s not easy watching a team in a similar market win every single year and make deep runs into the playoffs all the time. I hope that gets reversed sometime soon.
- On Wednesday, the Royals finally named their replacement for Kevin Seitzer. In doing so, they actually named two. Jack Maloof and Andre David will be the two men in charge of getting the most of their hitters. To me, this is just underwhelming, but I also can’t find myself getting too upset about it. As Darin Watson pointed out in his article yesterday, a hitting coach lives and dies by his best players. Sure, the best coaches can bring out more in some players, but for the most part they don’t have a huge impact. One argument that I found interesting (though I’m not sure I buy it) came from former Royal Les Norman. He now hosts a weekly show on Sports Radio 810 and he mentioned to me that it might cause a clubhouse clash to have two coaches in players’ ears with players measuring results based on who they are working with and what not. I have a feeling that might be a bit of an overreaction, but it’s not an entirely crazy point. Either way, I just don’t see much of a big deal about this.
- Greg Schaum has brought this up a few times, and some studies have been done on other sites about bringing the fences in at Kauffman Stadium. Since the season ended, we’ve learned that the Mariners and Padres both are going to bring their fences in. Both of these parks were EXTREME pitcher’s parks that were built in an era when home runs were plentiful. I think the dimensions these stadiums had at the time made a lot of sense with balls traveling farther more frequently, but as the offensive era has settled down, both teams felt moving their fences in made a lot of sense. Previously, the Tigers did the same thing at Comerica. So the question again is should the Royals do it? On one hand, you’d see a lot more home runs from the Royals and I think the ridiculously low home run record would fall. On the other hand, Royals pitchers would give up a boatload of homers. I don’t know that I’d bring the fences in to the distances they were the last time the fences were brought in, but I’d go 380 in the alleys and 405 to dead center to tighten it up just a little bit. Teams in parks built for hitting win all the time. This is a move I really think the Royals should make and figure out a way to develop pitching to play to the park.
There’s just not a whole lot going on right now, so that’s what I have for you this week. I have a feeling this is going to be a very active offseason where we’ll have plenty to talk about. I’m hopeful for a couple new starting pitchers, a trade of Jeff Francoeur to open up right field for Wil Myers and just some general excitement. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This is probably the biggest winter in Dayton Moore’s tenure because if he doesn’t find some answers, he could be on the hot seat very quickly. It’ll be interesting and we’ll be here with you the whole way.
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