TMS MLB Preview 2009: The Kansas City Royals

'Scuse me, waiter? You got some crazy in my baseball

The AL Central's worst team will still be that by season's end, and yet, with a subtle move here and there, they've cemented a place in my heart with their slavish adherence to crazy.

I'm not sure if it's hormones in the barbecue there, or the complete dearth of excitement, but KC loves it some crazy. From George Brett's ref-spittling mania to the cuckoo joy of Jose Lima (and his giant-titted wife!), KC has become a little Midwestern haven for baseball's lunatics.

This year, in addition to the existing skittishness of Zach Greinke, one of MLB's few to land on the DL for psychological issues (does John Rocker count?), they have Coco Crisp, Sidney "Drunk Punch" Ponson, and Kyle "Fuckin'" Farnsworth, a guy as loud and angry as he is terrible on the mound. Seeing him try to bridge the 8th inning successfully for his closer, the Mexicutioner, will be hilarious, considering it's not an honor he'll enjoy very often.

Jose Guillen: don't ever try to separate him from his baseballings

I mean, this team isn't very impressive, although if a few streaky players hit a hot patch at the same time, they could do some damage (and by "damage" I mean "steal a series or two during interleague play"). DeJesus is a decent hitter, as is Guillen right behind him, and the biggest intangible could be the late-order duo of Gordon and Butler.

Mike Jacobs will have another typical Mike Jacobs season, hitting plenty of HRs with a shitty average, and of course, their complete failure to build a rotation around big-money SP Gil Meche (note: never worth the money they paid for him) will prove their bigger doom. That rotation rivals Baltimore in terms of its Special Olympics-like qualities.

There is one upside to KC, thankfully: at least the ribs at Arthur Bryant's are fucking incredible.

LET'S GIVE OUT SOME AWARDS, SHALL WE?

Mr. Sexy Times Two: Alex Gordon and Billy Butler.
In fantasy baseball, you look for guys like this and hang on tight, confident that eventually, the rookies will climb to the statistical heavens like all their projections said they would. After reasonable seasons last year, I expect 'em to shed the yoke of mediocrity and become the studs that they are. I mean, c'mon Billy, you're a fucking DH. What else can do you for us?

Why, God, Why?: Coco Crisp
I realize that KC is a small-market team, but fuck, trading for the decrepit 30-somethings of the league won't help you pull a Tampa Bay and suddenly ascend to greatness. After all, you're doing it backward; the Rays won by trading old fucks for youth, while you're tossing out all the minor leaguers you own in order to cling desperately to deadwood. He did have a decent year in '08 (like most guys reaching the end of a contract), but even so... the vast expanse of Kauffman Stadium won't do him many favors.

The Ulysses Award for Player that's Wasted on a Team Like This: Joakim Soria.
The Mexicutioner is a beast on the rubber; it's just a shame we rarely get to see him pitch when it counts. As a closer he has a bright future, but it involves him being able to get out of Kansas City first.

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