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That’s All Folks

Another season is in the books, and it was not pretty. The first run of the season scored as a direct result of an error by a third baseman with the initials of W.B. The last run of the season scored as a direct result of an error by a third baseman with the initials of W.B. You like symmetry? This was your season.

They started 2-2, they ended 2-2. The season began with a pitcher who was hungry for a follow-up to his Cy Young season (Greinke). The season ended with a start by a pitcher who was just hungry (O’Sullivan). Soria blew a save in his first outing and blew a save in his last outing (and just one in between).

This was the most trying season I’ve ever gone through. To stay interested into September was extremely difficult. The team was neither good nor interesting, which is a vicious combination. Come August when the young guys were up and playing, it helped a little, but the season was long lost by then.

I was more interested in individual accomplishments. Ka’aihue’s big September made me happy while Alex Gordon’s slumping September was not such a good sign. Billy Butler didn’t set the GIDP record. Yay…I guess. Aviles got hot, Betancourt went cold. Betemit’s average dipped below .300 but he still had a hell of a half plus a little season. Dyson is fast and looks like he might be able to hold down centerfield and the nine hole. Pena can hit when he plays and Greinke can sure look good when he can find the motivation. Soria can close, Tejeda can get strikeouts and that Meche fellow looked awfully good in relief. Where’d we get him again? Guillen is gone, Callaspo is gone, Ankiel is gone, Farnyard is gone, Bloomquist is gone (but will he back?), Kendall’s out for a little time anyway.

It gets better from here, right? The prospects are coming to save the day, no? I know it probably won’t happen in 2011, at least until September, but wouldn’t you love to see a 5-1 win where Montgomery pitches seven lights out innings, Moose and Hosmer homer and Giovatella scores three runs? The future looks so bright yet so far away.

As it stands right now, I’m happy the Royals season is over. The off-season is fun and with the playoffs we have baseball possibly into November, so that’s cool. Then comes the hot stove season, which promises to be fairly boring unless Greinke gets traded. Then we’ll have three or four more new, shiny prospects to be excited about. And then pitchers and catchers report in mid-February, just 19 or so weeks away. And I’m already counting down. I guess I’m no longer overjoyed the season is over. it took until my 448th word of this post, though, so that’s something.

Here’s my picks for Royals awards:

MVP: Billy Butler – Many believed he underachieved this year, but he had a really nice offensive season. Nice won’t be enough if the Royals plan on contending, but we have to remember that he’s just 24 and put up a 134 OPS+* which was ten points higher than his breakout 2009 season. He’s going to break out in a huge way in 2011. .325/.415/.540. You heard it here first.

*This seems like a really good time to point out a new tab at the top of page for terminology. If you happen to stumble upon this blog and like what you read but just don’t understand that darn baseball terminology, then fear no more. I’ll update it periodically, but the very basics are covered right now.

Pitcher of the Year: Joakim Soria – Could it be anyone else? 43 saves, 1.78 ERA, 9.7 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 4.44 K:BB. He was nails all season long. Even though his ERA was a little higher in 2010 than in 2008 (1.60), this was the better season. Sorry Quiz and Monty fans, but Soria is the best closer in team history and if he does it for three more years there won’t even be a question about it. He’s the real deal and he’s signed to a friendly contract. Trade rumors will swirl, but this is a guy they need to hold on to.

LVP: Jason Kendall – When the season started, I never would have guessed that anybody could be worse than Yuniesky Betancourt. Boy was I wrong! Yuni had a below average but spectacular for him season while Kendall struggled mightily. He slugged under .300 which is really difficult, didn’t hit a homer or a triple all year and insisted on playing all the time which allowed Brayan Pena to rot on the bench. The pitching staff regressed from last season and he played through an injury that the organization did not know of until his arm was practically hanging by a thread. The onus is on DM for signing him, but Kendall is easily the least valuable Royal of 2010.

Cy Yuk: Brian Bannister – Excuses are the backbone of Brian Bannister’s game. He once had trouble getting food in his system. What? He was shellshocked from a bad performance in Cincy. Get over it. In Texas (a couple years ago) he felt like he was pitching on the moon. He had trouble getting a grip on the ball. There are more, but you get the picture. We sort of set aside his excuses for the last three years because he was a decent pitcher. Not anymore. The time has come for Banny to put away his glove and become a coach. He won’t, of course, but it’s the right thing to do. If the Royals tender him a contract, I might just cry.

So that’s it, no more Royals baseball until spring. I’m currently working on a Royals report card grading every player, so stay tuned for that and stay tuned for a couple cool pieces I’m working on in the next few weeks to help pass the off-season time.

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  1. Daniel
    October 4, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I don’t think the future is as far away as you think it is. Moustakas will likely join the big leagues in May or June, just late enough to push his clock back another year. Giavotella and Hosmer will get playing time in September and 2012 will be the true beginning with Yuni long gone and the kids taking over full time.

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