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Quick Hit Friday and a Site Announcement

A few notes to wind down the week about the 4-1 Royals. Break ‘em up!

• Through five games the Royals lead all of baseball in walks from their offense with 36 in just five games. Second place Cleveland has also played just five games and have 35 walks. The team with the third most walks is the Arizona Diamondbacks who have played eight games. Crazy stuff. I don’t know if this can carry over through the rest of the spring, let alone the season, but it’s still fun to see that the team is actually being selective.

• Leading the walk brigade is Alex Gordon who has 11 plate appearances and five walks. That’s the good news. Well, the fact that he’s only struck out twice is also the good news. The bad news, though, is that his line is .000/.455/.000 because he hasn’t yet gotten a hit. It’s still early, but I wonder if pitchers are scared of potential dominance by Gordon so they’re working around him.

• One concern about the Royals offense is that in spite of all the walks and even a large amount of hits, they’ve scored just 38 runs. They need to be more efficient as an offense during the season or else they will get eaten alive when they’re not facing minor leaguers for a third or more of their games.

• Watching the last couple of games on television has been an absolute treat with the exception of having to listen to Charlie Steiner alone in the booth on Wednesday. Boy was that bad. Well, the little note yesterday about Aviles competing for the starting shortstop position was bad, too. Still, the Royals have been playing their young guys, and it’s really nice to see what the future might look like. There have been some struggles, but Lamb’s performance on Wednesday gave me goose bumps. While I have my bouts of optimism, I’m a skeptical fan after enduring all these years of losing, but this spring training is giving me legitimate hope that I never have had before with this team.

• It’s very early yet, but I’m pleased with the lack of injuries we’ve seen from this team with the exception of Wilson Betemit. A lot of teams come to camp and players have various minor injuries early on, but the Royals have avoided that bug so far. Knock on wood. I think that’s probably a product of having such a young camp, but it’s still nice to see that the training staff hasn’t had to do too much work so far in the early going.

• A recent ESPN SweetSpot article has ranked the Royals front office (including owner, general manager and manager) as the worst in the American League Central. Without getting into the key points of the article, I feel like it’s a good time to make a point about David Glass. The criticisms five years ago were very fair. He was shortchanging draft picks, not spending on free agents and was just generally very tight with his money. Now, though, the Royals are among the leaders in draft spending, they go after free agents (the right ones not withstanding) and they spend on Latin American prospects. There’s not much more he can do as owner short of putting together a $100 million which is totally unnecessary. David Glass was a terrible owner, but Dayton Moore did a fantastic job of getting him to open his wallet and pay for what the Royals need to become competitive.

• And finally, that site announcement that I promised you earlier this week. You’ll be reading from a new writer periodically beginning next week. As much as I’m sure you all can’t get enough of me, you will very much enjoy the new viewpoints. I sent him down to Surprise this weekend to cover spring training, so you’ll hopefully get to enjoy pictures, potentially videos and much more. Okay, fine, he was going to Surprise anyway, but it’s still cool that we have a writer at Spring Training. Anyway, look for that next week and have a great weekend, everyone.

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