Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Jason Vargas Fan Club: Volume 3 (Nicknames)

Today is the day folks. Jason Vargas pitches for the Royals tonight and we here at the Jason Vargas Fan Club World Headquarters are so excited we just can't hide it. We are as overjoyed as Jason is virtually all of the time:
 (Jason does appear to crack a smile in the second image on the top, but you be the judge)

We previously took a look at Vargy and his pitching matchup here, and rather than re-hash some old stats and memories of the 2014 World Series, we thought it would be fun to instead come up with some nicknames for our beloved Vargy. Many of the other Royals players have nicknames or something the fans affectionately know them by, so why not have something for JV?! Might throw up a twitter poll to pick the best ones later tonight...

If you have any thoughts or comments, please feel free to chime in!

Possible nicknames for Jason Vargas:
  • Junior Varsity (because of his initials JV)
  • El Zurdo ("The Lefty" in Spanish since he is of Mexican American descent)
  • The Expressionless (since his facial expressions virtually never change)
  • VarGAS
  • Mr. Changeup (since that is his best pitch)
  • J-Varg
  • Vargy
  • Jason (since he is pretty boring and Jason is a boring nickname)
  • and, 69er (since he currently has 69 wins as an MLB pitcher)
What do you think? Shoot me an email or comment or a tweet (@mattfromkc) and let me know!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Jason Vargas Fan Club: Volume 2

After Jason Vargas' sweet showing against the A's a few days ago, his next chance to shine comes this week. This post marks the second edition of the Jason Vargas Fan Club (see here for the inaugural edition!), and boy are we excited here at the Jason Vargas Fan Club World Headquarters!

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the last place San Francisco Giants come to town in a rematch of the 2014 World Series. I know, I know, no one wants to be reminded of that awful night and Madison Bumgarner and his greasy locks shutting down the Royals. Ugh. But the Royals winning it all in 2015 made up for everything so all is well with the world, assuming the Royals get sweet revenge by destroying Bumgarner, who is scheduled to pitch on Wednesday.

(It is worth noting that the Royals defeated Bumgarner in the regular season in 2014; I will never understand why they were unable to replicate their regular season success against him in the postseason)

Coincidentally, Jason Vargas will be facing off against Bumgarner. Most people (probably, all sports fans actually) would say that Bumgarner is better than Vargas. Their season stats are below:
However, I am not most people. I am the founding member of the Jason Vargas Fan Club and therefore, I think all Jason Vargas haters (and Madison Bumgarner lovers) can suck it. Pete Grathoff from the KC Star posed a question on twitter for KC Fans regarding Bumgarner returning to KC:
My response to that question is that I want Jason Vargas riding a horse into Kauffman Stadium, flashing his magnificent arms through the outfield with the majestic fountains in the backdrop. Can you imagine seeing Vargy trotting out onto the field like this?!? Amazing... (if you are unsure of why I chose Vargy to ride a horse, see here)

Then I want Bumgarner to give up 6 home runs in the first inning. I hope he cries in his cereal the next day. The Royals have won 4 straight and the Giants have lost 2 straight. Even with all their stud pitchers (Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Matt Cain), the Giants are still crap. Here in KC, we have three aces!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Royals 420

Danny Duffy was amazing for the Royals last night, He walked two batters, struck out 6, and lowered his season ERA to 1.80 while winning his second straight start. He was also backed by some monster home runs from Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez, who now have hit 4 and 5 home runs on the season, respectively.

I saw someone point out on Twitter that Duffy has allowed 4 runs in 20 innings, and his next scheduled start is on April 20 (4/20). All 4 of the runs he has given up were earned and opponents are batting .20 against him. In 4 of his seasons as a Royals pitcher (including this one), he has posted a record of at least .500 when pitching at least 20 innings.

With all of these allusions to 420, I thought it would be fun to take a look at other 420 references in the Royals' history:
  • The most famous Royals to wear #4 on their jersey include: Daryl Motley, Danny Tartabull, Gary Gaetti, Angel Berroa, and of course the current great Alex Gordon.
  • The most famous Royals to wear #20 on their jersey include: Jim Campanis and the GOAT Frank White.  
  • On their first 4/20 in team history, the Royals lost to the A's 5-1 and the losing pitcher was Bill Butler. Hilarious. 
  • On 4/20/1994 - The Royals beat the Tigers in a battle between David Cone and another future Royal (Jose Lima). Notable in that game was that Bob Hamelin scored 3 runs despite having 0 hits. 
  • On 4/20/1998, both Ken Griffey, Jr and A-Rod hit home runs and the Royals lost to the Mariners 8-7. 
  • On 4/20/2013, Kelvin Herrera blew a save and lost to future Royal Jonny Gomes and the Red Sox 4-3. 
  • 4/20/2016 was notable because the Royals lost to the Tigers 3-2 despite the fact that they cranked out 10 hits and hit two home runs in the 9th inning. 
  • Lots of losses on 4/20 for the Royals. In fact, by my unofficial count, they have lost 14 times on that date since the strike shortened seasons of 1994 and '95 ( 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016). They did not play on 4/20 every year so that is pretty bad.  
  • It's worth noting that Lorenzo Cain's career slugging percent as a Royal would round up to .420
Here is hoping that this year's 4/20 game against the Rangers brings better results! 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Jason Vargas Fan Club: Inaugural Edition

Last night, Jason Vargas was masterful against the Oakland A's. It marked his 11th straight start allowing 2 or fewer runs, a Royals team record. After watching him keep Oakland hitters off balance all night, I finally decided to declare my fangirl appreciation for Vargy and become the founding member of the Jason Vargas Fan Club (JVFC). So welcome to the JVFC: Inaugural Edition. In this initial post, I would like to highlight some of his stats and post shoddy photoshop jobs to indicate my affection for the Lovable Lefty.

Jason Matthew Vargas was drafted in 2004, made his MLB debut in 2005 and has played for five MLB clubs (Marlins, Mets, Mariners, Angels, and Royals). He has had a decent career so far, sporting a 4.14 ERA and registering 69 career wins (NICE).
After 2 starts, Vargas is 2-0 with a sparkling 0.66 ERA, which is the best of the Royals starting pitchers. He has thrown 14 strikeouts and given up only 2 bases on balls. He has started the season on a high note, one of the few Royals players who is currently not terrible. He's living that Thug Life and all the haters gotta Deal With It.