Truth & Rumors > MLB

Royals in dangerous territory: Irrelevance

Views
35730
Comments
80

08:14 AM ET 04.24 | Even Jeff Francoeur admits he wished he'd nipped a Royals "Our Time" marketing campaign in the bud, especially after 10 consecutive home losses. The Royals are again the laughingstock of baseball and the sport's worst team, and for now that hurts more because this year was supposed to be different. It'll hurt much more later because these last two weeks of failure have consequences far greater than making a push at .500. ... [If they miss opportunities to generate revenue] they've lost much more than a few games. They've lost an opportunity that isn't coming back. "I said that very thing to (a fellow team executive) the other day," [Drayton Moore] says. "We've got to win games. Because we can't lose our fans for the summer."

The Kansas City Star

Eric Hosmer, Icon Sports Eric Hosmer, Icon Sports
April 24, 2012  08:26 AM ET

It's time to replace the manager.

Comment #2 has been removed
Comment #3 has been removed
April 24, 2012  08:54 AM ET

The Royals and Pirates (once proud franchises before the 1994 strike) have been irrelevant for 18 years now. I look at MLB as 28 teams, not 30, because neither team has had a winning record since the strike. Every year they are supposed to be loaded with young stars in their minor league system, but end up trading or losing any superstar that they have to pay a big contract too (example Greinke). The sad thing is these model franchises when I was growing up in the 1970's and 80's (and along with the A's and Orioles) are the laughing-stock of MLB these days. I don't know if its the ownership? The economics of baseball? Or they are just run by morons?

Comment #5 has been removed
April 24, 2012  09:04 AM ET

@Flyers - Actually, the Royals had a winning record in 2003 though it was a fluke.

April 24, 2012  09:34 AM ET

It goes to show you that youth movements RARELY turn into successful seasons. Especially, while trying to do it without elite pitching talent.

April 24, 2012  09:34 AM ET

Until they have revenue sharing and a hard salary cap these small market teams will continue to be irrelevant and baseball will continue to be far behind the NFL in popularity.

April 24, 2012  09:52 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

The Royals and Pirates (once proud franchises before the 1994 strike) have been irrelevant for 18 years now. I look at MLB as 28 teams, not 30, because neither team has had a winning record since the strike. Every year they are supposed to be loaded with young stars in their minor league system, but end up trading or losing any superstar that they have to pay a big contract too (example Greinke). The sad thing is these model franchises when I was growing up in the 1970's and 80's (and along with the A's and Orioles) are the laughing-stock of MLB these days. I don't know if its the ownership? The economics of baseball? Or they are just run by morons?

They Royals haven't been loaded with young stars in their minor league system every year. In fact only in the last few years has their minor league system produced some highly regarded young players like Hosmer, Moustakas (sp?), Bubba Starling in any great number. Prior to that there was roadside of draft busts. Greinke is the only player of the last 5-7 years that fulfilled any promise that was worth trading outside of Billy Butler. Like the O's the Royals, until very recently they've had a long history of terrible drafts.

April 24, 2012  10:20 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

They Royals haven't been loaded with young stars in their minor league system every year. In fact only in the last few years has their minor league system produced some highly regarded young players like Hosmer, Moustakas (sp?), Bubba Starling in any great number. Prior to that there was roadside of draft busts. Greinke is the only player of the last 5-7 years that fulfilled any promise that was worth trading outside of Billy Butler. Like the O's the Royals, until very recently they've had a long history of terrible drafts.

Well put.

April 24, 2012  10:32 AM ET

So irrelevant there's no picture for them.

April 24, 2012  10:38 AM ET

Francoeur is the 4 hitter? Nuff said.

April 24, 2012  10:41 AM ET

From 1975 through 1989 the Royals were a competitive if not dominant team. There was no salary cap then either. The lack of a salary cap excuse is weak. Spend the money and you will win. Win and you will draw fans unless you are in Florida. Stop trading away all of your good players for cheaper prospects. The Tigers learned the hard way that just having a new stadium will not draw fans. Winning games does.

April 24, 2012  10:47 AM ET

Blaming it on baseball economics is nonsense.

Toronto $62.7 $62.5 $2,016,703 -0.3%
Florida $55.6 $56.9 $2,190,154 +2.3%
Arizona $60.7 $53.6 $1,986,660 -11.7%
Cleveland $61.2 $49.2 $1,639,629 -19.6%
Pittsburgh $34.9 $46.0 $1,534,900 +31.8%
San Diego $37.8 $45.9 $1,479,650 +21.3%
Tampa Bay $71.9 $41.9 $1,612,776 -41.7%
Kansas City $72.3 $36.1 $1,338,015 -50.0%


That's the bottom end of the 2011 baseball salaries. I see 2 of last year's playoff teams in that segment. While yes, it is definitely true (and I want to be clear I'm not contesting this point) that having more resources gives a team a better competitive edge, it is NOT true that you need a huge bloated payroll to win.

The Orioles, Pirates, and Kansas City in particular have made repeated bad choices in the draft while the Rays, Nationals, and Diamondbacks (to highlight some of the positive) made repeated smart choices.

Heck, the Rays are a model franchise of the last decade. They took a lot of what the Athletics and Mariners did in the early part of the last decade, expanded on the strengths, minimized the glaring weaknesses and parlayed that into perennial success. It starts in the minor league system. Hiring managers that are good teachers and represent leadership presence through a major league manager that is still a teacher, but is a different kind of leader. If Joe Maddon isn't remembered as one of baseball's all time greatest managers then there is something wrong with real baseball fans.

Getting back on topic - It starts with the owner. If we want to see a competitive Pirates and Royals again, the ownership needs to make some hard decisions and fix the organizational problems down in the bowels of the system.

Caveat - I am a Yankees fan and I'm not ashamed of the success the team has had. I want to see the OTHER great franchises regain that greatness because it makes for better baseball. Orioles, Royals, and Pirates I'm looking at you guys. Where's the Roberto Clemente, Honus Wagner, George Brett, Frank White, Eddie Murray, and Jim Palmer of this generation?

April 24, 2012  10:49 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Francoeur is the 4 hitter? Nuff said.

And buying pizza for opposing fans in Oakland probably doesn't endear yourself to the local residents...maybe he should buy BBQ for the fans in KC in right field...oh wait, there usually aren't any fans that show up to get it

April 24, 2012  11:10 AM ET

.....noone should freak out in april...but i guess writers must write something.....royals will be good in a couple of years......

Comment #17 has been removed
April 24, 2012  11:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

It's time to replace the manager.

time to replace the whole roster with the minor league team, perhaps they could play better without any type of pressure!!!

April 24, 2012  12:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

From 1975 through 1989 the Royals were a competitive if not dominant team. There was no salary cap then either. The lack of a salary cap excuse is weak. Spend the money and you will win. Win and you will draw fans unless you are in Florida. Stop trading away all of your good players for cheaper prospects. The Tigers learned the hard way that just having a new stadium will not draw fans. Winning games does.

More so than spend $$ and you will win, teams have to draft wisely especially if your business doesn't generate as much revenue as the bigger market teams (look at Tampa). You can't have your 1st round picks turn to busts. Luke Hochevar, 1st round in 2006 (5.30 career ERA) or guys like Chris Lubanski (who?) in 2003 who is now with the Phillies organization but couldn't even make it beyond AAA ball with KC. Alex Gordon finally broke through in his 5th season in the bigs last season, but until then was a career .245 hitter, borderline bust depending on what he does this season. Those are just the first rounders. What about the 2nd and third round picks which usually in the top 100 in those drafts?

 
April 24, 2012  12:24 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

From 1975 through 1989 the Royals were a competitive if not dominant team. There was no salary cap then either. The lack of a salary cap excuse is weak. Spend the money and you will win. Win and you will draw fans unless you are in Florida. Stop trading away all of your good players for cheaper prospects. The Tigers learned the hard way that just having a new stadium will not draw fans. Winning games does.

They haven't had many good players over the last 10 years worthy of trading away. Besides Greinke who? Why? Because they've drafted terribly.

Comment

Remember to keep your posts clean. Profanity will get filtered, and offensive comments will be removed.


Truth & Rumors

MOST POPULAR

  1. 1
    Bryant headed back to Germany
    Views
    3556
    Comments
    928
  2. 2
    Shakeup looms for White Sox
    Views
    5363
    Comments
    334
  3. 3
    Lightning may be swept aside
    Views
    1077
    Comments
    95
  4. 4
    Leonsis leaves coach, GM twisting
    Views
    1292
    Comments
    80
  5. 5
    Manning eager to get started all over again
    Views
    6928
    Comments
    74

SI.com

SI Photos