Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Winter (court) storms

I usually reserve this blog for posts about my beloved Kansas City Royals but after witnessing the aftermath of K-State’s victory over rival University of Kansas last night, I felt compelled to speak out in defense of my alma mater.  

First of all, KU, you lost. Get over it. You were ranked in the top 10 and lost to a team with a losing record. Of course they are going to storm the court so QUIT WHINING ABOUT THAT. You guys basically did the same thing after a meaningless conference football win. In fact listen to YOUR OWN FANS:

Second, YOU LOST TO A TEAM WITH A LOSING RECORD. You can act as high and mighty as you want but doing so just shows your cockiness and lack of humility. Face it, your team is not as consistent as years past. What you really need is a dose of mediocrity to bring your egos back to earth. And if your team never has a mediocre season, THEN YOU ARE GOING TO JUST HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THE COURT STORMINGS. Again, listen to your own fans:
Third, for whatever reason, court storming is allowed in college basketball. Since your basketball program is normally pretty good, you are going to be a target for students storming the court when they beat you. You need to accept this fact of life and close your beaks. We are tired of hearing your squawking (or whatever jayhawks do) because no one else whines about court storming as much as you do. 

Fourth, safety is your only legitimate complaint about court storming, but in all reality, when was anyone’s safety in question last night? Watch all the videos. Aside from some idiot bumping ku player Jamari Taylor and some ku staff member putting a student in a headlock and shoving him, there was no real danger. I should know because I have been part of a court storming myself. In fact, I actually experienced a threat to my safety while storming the court as a grad student at the University of Iowa. The Hawkeyes beat Purdue, who were ranked #6 at the time, and along with hundreds of other students, I rushed the court. The problem was that I dropped my phone and fell trying to pick it up. As a result, I had to endure many students rushing by me without noticing me and I took several knees to my head and my phone ended up being knocked into several pieces. After 15-20 seconds, it was over and I found every piece of my phone (which still worked after I put it back together), and celebrated the win. I took a risk rushing the court, the same as the students did in Manhattan last night. Ku fans all reacted as if K-State was sending SWAT members with loaded rifles to bash in your players heads. Look at this person’s tweet:
Bill Self “getting crushed”? Really?! Bruce Weber looks like he is “getting crushed” too but there is no mention of that. Bill Self was fine, Jamari Taylor was fine, and presumably the K-State student who was shoved by the ku staff member was fine. College basketball will survive another day, in spite of the K-State students rushing the court. 

Finally, the K-State family had something to celebrate last night. Let the Wildcat Nation have their moment in an otherwise dreary season.  Also, ku fans would do well to just CHILL OUT, especially after revealing their ugly side after a loss earlier this month. And in case you were wondering, those comments from ku fans came directly from kusports.com.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Royals Predictions Part II

Yesterday, I posted my predictions for the Royals leaders in 2015 while simultaneously insulting the Detroit Tigers several times. Anyone who reads these posts (hi, mom) should be well aware of my disdain for the Tigers, and if you think that it is getting old when I make fun of them, then you can go read someone else’s blog BECAUSE I TRULY ENJOY MOCKING THOSE JERKS.

Anyway, this post contains other predictions for the 2015 Royals, including who I think will replace Nori Aoki in terms of providing the most comedic moments of being hit in the nuts by a baseball. And of course I will take some more shots at the Detroit Tigers, who in 2003 had the WORST SEASON IN THE HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN LEAGUE. If you don’t believe me then please click on this link and prepare to laugh at the hilarity of that team.
Part II:

Most scowls: Wade Davis. I love Wade Davis and that permanently-etched scowl on his face. I love that he did not give up a single home run last year and only gave up 8 earned runs in 72 innings (good for an ERA+ of 399!) and threw a whopping 109 strikeouts. I WOULD BE DEATHLY AFRAID TO FACE HIM AS A BATTER. I bet he eats nails for breakfast. Just look at his face below. Can't you imagine him chomping on some roofing nails?
By the way, how many times do you think Wade Davis will strike out Nick Castellanos and Alex Avila, who combined for 291 strikeouts last year? If I had a genie and 3 wishes, one of the wishes would be to watch Wade Davis strike out those hapless Tiger turds over and over and over and there’s nothing they can do because Wade Davis is amazing. 

Most bases on balls (pitchers versus batters): Pitchers, by far. In 2014, Royals batters only had 380 bases on balls, and Royals pitchers gave up 440 free bases. In comparison, Oakland batters had 586 bases on balls but their pitchers only threw 406. The Royals are notorious for rarely taking a base on balls and new additions Kendrys Morales and Alex Rios do not take many bases on balls either. Be prepared to watch another season filled with Royals batters swinging at 3-0, 3-1 and 3-2 counts. The Tigers rank in the middle of the pack for bases on balls, which is mainly due to players like Nick Castellanos and Alex Avila striking out so much that they never have a chance to take a free base.

Most baseballs to the crotch: Erik Kratz. Who, you ask? Erik Kratz is Salvy Perez’s backup and the only reason I predicted him to replace Nori Aoki as the team’s crotch-catching baseballer is because THE ROYALS DEFENSE IS SO FREAKIN’ GOOD THEY WILL NOT CATCH BASEBALLS IN THEIR CROTCH ANYMORE. And Kratz probably will not play very much meaning if anyone catches it in the crotch, it will be someone highly unlikely to do so. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about see this)

Number of games that Sal Perez will sit out: Less than 15 unless he gets hurt. I know that is a vague answer but we all know how much Ned Yost loves Salvy and how reluctant he is to take him out of a game. And although Erik Kratz is a competent backup, the Royals certainly do not have the luxury of a seemingly endless number of MLB-capable catchers like the Astros (seriously, the Astros have 4 catchers who have caught an MLB game on their roster). Salvy played in 150 games last year and was visibly worn down at the end. Yost needs to be smart and give him some rest. On the same token, hopefully the stupid Tigers keep sending out Alex Avila and his 151 strikeouts to catch for them.  

Best feel-good story of 2015: Mike Moustakas becomes a father a few months into the season (no, I do not know if his wife is actually pregnant) and absolutely tears it up the rest of the year – 20 home runs, 90 RBI’s, and makes everyone forget about his pathetic first 4 years. A second feel-good story would be that Justin Verlander does a Tim Lincecum and absolutely tanks this year, which would be amazing because he will make $28 million in 2015.

Players voted as All Stars: Wade Davis, Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain. Sorry Alex Gordon, you will be left out again because for some idiotic reason people think you are only the 4th best left fielder in the MLB. What a bunch of potato heads amirite?! I don't see Davis regressing at all from last year, and Hosmer and Cain are starting to reach their potential while gaining some national exposure. The Tigers' Miggy Cabrera will probably make his 7th straight All Star game because people in Detroit love pudgy slow guys and will stuff the ballot box for him. BORING. At least the Royals have the decency to have different All Stars each year.

Games played in October: 16. Due to scheduling, the Royals will actually play 4 games in October to end the season. I predict they will earn the Wild Card for a second consecutive year, this time beating the Mariners, then will beat the Indians 3-2 in the ALDS before losing to the Angels in 6 games in the ALCS. I predict the Detroit Tigers will miss the playoffs and cry so many tears that a pipeline will be built from Detroit to California to help reduce their ongoing drought.

Baseball is back today, and even though KC is apparently frozen over right now, we can all rejoice knowing my predictions have a 0.000001% chance of being true, which is enough for me! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

2015 Royals Predictions: Part I

It is way too early to predict who will be the Royals best players in 2015, but in honor of being only one day away from players reporting to Spring Training, I thought I would give it a shot. Below you will find my 2015 Royals Predictions for various statistical categories. I will likely change them several times before the season starts so please hold all comments related to my intelligence until April. 

I have divided my predictions into two parts. The first part is mostly serious predictions. The second part is mostly fun predictions. I will post Part II later this week. And as a bonus, I will provide snide commentary for all predictions while simultaneously trying to insult the Detroit Tigers as much as possible.  
Part I:
Most home runs: Eric Hosmer. Hoz stepped his game up in the playoffs and latter half of the 2014 season. He has still not fully reached his potential, and even though his home run totals have not been consistent throughout his short career (19, 14, 17, 9 in the past 4 years, respectively), he seems due for an explosion. Hosmer’s doubles have increased every year since 2012 indicating he is getting comfortable hitting MLB pitchers, and he truly became a leader for the Royals in the playoffs. I can see Hosmer smacking 24-25 homers this season. 

Highest batting average: Alex Rios. I am going to go out on a limb and predict that Rios has a bounce-back year in 2015, posting a career high in batting average since he will get to play 81 games in spacious Kauffman Stadium. He has averaged 32 doubles per season in his career, and has a career batting average of .278, which should only get higher when he gets to hit in a bigger ballpark, right? All things considered, Hosmer, Moose, Gordon, Rios and Kendrys Morales all had below average years in 2014 and someone has to bounce back. Rios is a good candidate for that.

Most stolen bases:  Jarrod Dyson. Despite playing in only 120 games in 2014, Dyson led the Royals in stolen bases with 36. Alcides Escobar had a respectable 31 playing in 42 more games than Dyson, but I can envision Dyson getting more playing time in 2015 since he was such a solid and consistent performer from August through October. And if Alex Rios or Lorenzo Cain gets hurt, Dyson will fill their place nicely which MEANS MORE STOLEN BASES HAHAHA SUCK IT DETROIT YOU GUYS ARE TOO SLOW FAT AND OLD TO STEAL BASES. 

Most hits: Alex Gordon. Gordon has averaged 173 hits per season that past 4 years, although he has had fewer in each season in that time span. However, Gordon’s work ethic is legendary and since his numbers have slipped a bit the past two seasons, I can see him making strides to prevent slipping any further. And in case you were wondering, Miggy Cabrera for the Tigers has also been slipping during the past 3 seasons AND HE HAS NOWHERE NEAR THE WORK ETHIC OR SVELTE BODY PHYSIQUE THAT GORDON HAS SO I DOUBT THAT FATSO IMPROVES IN 2015. Ha!

Most games played: Alcides Escobar. Esky has only missed 15 games in his 4 seasons with the Royals, and did not miss any last year. Everyone complains about his bat but the reality is that he is one of the most valuable players to the team. He is certainly more consistent than Moose or Hosmer, and provides intangibles with his glove and speed that would be sorely missed if he got injured.  

Most wins: Jeremy Guthrie. You might be surprised to learn that the pitcher with the most wins (28) in the past 2 seasons is not James Shields. Shields had a very respectable 27 wins in his short stint with the Royals, but Jeremy Guthrie has had the most wins overall since Shields became a Royal. Granted, he also has 23 losses in that same span, but J-Guts is very consistent, and as the elder statesman for the Royals starting pitchers, I can see him taking on a leadership role that was left empty when Shields departed in free agency. And guess what? The Tigers lost out on Max Scherzer this offseason and Justin Verlander sucks now and I bet the they would love to have Jeremy Guthrie on their team. Detroit sucks and makes me sick. 

Most strikeouts: Yordano Ace Ventura. In 2014, Ventura had 159 strikeouts and looked every bit as dominating as we Royals fans have hoped for. I can see some regression in 2015 as hitters learn his weaknesses, but he still has the fire to lead the team in strikeouts. New pitcher Edinson Volquez had 140 strikeouts last year for the Pirates, which would have ranked #3 for the Royals, so he has potential to challenge Ventura for the team lead in 2015. AND GUESS WHAT? Ventura had the same number of strikeouts as Justin Verlander in 2014, despite having one fewer Cy Young awards than him. Verlander sucks.

Rookie of the year: Brandon Finnegan. Or no one. I can’t decide. The Royals are a young team and retained their main core players, meaning they won’t be relying on any prospects getting called up this season. In fact, Finnegan and Kyle Zimmer (if he is ready) may not even get a chance to pitch for the Royals in 2015 because Kris Medlen is waiting in the wings. Not having a rookie of the year is a good problem to have. The Tigers' 2014 Rookie of the Year was some guy named Nick Castellanos, who had 140 strikeouts last season. I have absolutely no respect for an organization that awards a player for 140 strikeouts.

MVP: Sal Perez. Salvy is the heart and soul of this team. He is basically the only player besides Lorenzo Cain who had an above-average year in 2014, and he posted career highs in plate appearances, at-bats, runs scored, doubles, home runs, stolen bases (!), bases on balls, and total bases, all while posting the lowest batting average and on-base percentage of his career. He is also the best catcher in baseball (suck it Yadier Molina and Buster Posey) and how well he plays will strongly dictate how well the Royals do this season. By the way, the Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila had 151 strikeouts last year (Salvy had 85 and he played approximately 5,000 more innings than Avila). The Tigers are such a joke and I hope they have 10,000 strikeouts in 2015 thanks to Castellanos and Avila. 

Part II is coming up soon, so stay alert. Also, if anyone gets hurt in Spring Training, I am changing these predictions and I will make you read through another 890-word post so you better pray that the Royals remain healthy!