Some Royals Things To Be Thankful For
I heard a very good sermon in church on Sunday. The main point was driven home by a video of comedian/famous theologian Louis C.K. on Conan Oâ€™Brienâ€™s TV show. The most important quote? â€śEverythingâ€™s amazing and nobodyâ€™s happy.â€ť
I know bloggers get a reputation (and yes, itâ€™s often deserved) for being negative. But in this Thanksgiving season, perhaps we could concentrate on some of the good things about the Royals. Iâ€™ll try to keep the snark to a minimum. After all, the Royals are probably much like the family youâ€™re going to spend time with this week: sure, they drive you crazy sometimes, but you do love them and sometimes you just have to overlook their faults. And some of the things they do are amazing, so let’s be happy about them for once.
Iâ€™m thankful David Glass has put up the money for the Royals to sign better draft picks and international free agents the last few years. It took a while, but heâ€™s finally meeting the minimum requirements I have for an owner: make the payroll high enough to win, and stay out of the way.
Iâ€™m thankful Dayton Moore has filled the farm system with exciting prospects. I think weâ€™re pretty close to seeing a couple of them finally break out, especially on the pitching staff (where the Royals are overdue to enjoy some success).
Ned Yost might drive me nuts with his love of bunting and some of his bullpen moves, but Iâ€™m thankful heâ€™s seemingly provided a stable clubhouse environment for the younger players. Iâ€™m also thankful he and Moore ended the Jack Maloof experiment early last year, and eventually hired Pedro Grifol as the full-time hitting coachâ€”I think Grifol is going to be very helpful.
Iâ€™m thankful we get to hear Denny Matthews describe the action in his understated wayâ€”I really enjoy it and I hope you do too. Same goes for Ryan Lefebvre, who has really grown on me as a broadcaster. And while heâ€™s a bit goofy for my taste, I appreciate the enthusiasm Rex Hudler brings to the booth.
On the field, Iâ€™m thankful we get to watch Alex Gordon play left field. Really, this could be said about most of the Royals on defenseâ€”we havenâ€™t seen a Royals team be this solid on defense in a long time. Iâ€™m thankful we got to see Lorenzo Cain make that home-run saving catch in Minnesota this year. Iâ€™m thankful we get to watch Jarrod Dyson run.
Letâ€™s seeâ€¦other things to be thankful for: Alcides Escobar going to his left, Mike Moustakas charging a bunt, and Eric Hosmer making the scoop at first (well, when it works). And I canâ€™t forget Salvador Perez gunning down baserunners left and right.
For that matter, I have to give thanks for Salvyâ€™s bat, too. And Hosmerâ€™s. And of course, the Royalsâ€™ best pure hitter, Billy Butler. Seriously, if your “down year” includes a .787 OPS, you must be doing something right the rest of the time.
Iâ€™m thankful for a great story like David Lough, who persevered in the minors for six seasons before getting a real shot, and then took advantage.
Then thereâ€™s the pitching staff. Youâ€™ve got to give thanks for a James Shields changeup, a Greg Holland slider, and a Kelvin Herrera fastball. And donâ€™t forget Tim Collinsâ€™ curve. Really, you have to be thankful for a bullpen full of talented arms, so talented that a very good pitcher like Louis Coleman canâ€™t stay in the majors.
Things certainly arenâ€™t perfect in Royals-land. But letâ€™s not forget, this year we watched a Royals team win more games than any Royals team since 1989. Thatâ€™s something to savor, even as we wonder if and how they can improve enough to reach the playoffs next year. And if they can pull that off, then weâ€™ll REALLY have a reason to give thanks.
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