Tuesday did not go as expected. The Royals entered a two-game series in Detroit on a six game winning streak. And they were playing the Tigers! But in all fairness, the Tigers were playing a Royals team behind them in the standings, so the Tigers would probably be disappointed if the reverse had happened.
Welcome to today’s Dr. Feelgood!
THE LEAD – ROYALS DON’T REALLY BELIEVE EVERY WIN IS IMPORTANT
Since joining the Royals, GM Dayton Moore has said that every win at the major league level is important. It doesn’t matter what the situation is for the current team. They could be a 100-loss team. Moore says that learning to win at the major league level is important.
It’s so important that the Royals will justify not trading a veteran player by saying they weren’t offered enough in return and that keeping the veteran helps them win at the major league level. We are told this so often, and it’s repeated by the team’s broadcasters, that we believe it’s a major philosophy throughout the entire organization.
The problem is that the organization doesn’t really believe that every win at the major league level is important. Why would I say that? Of course they do. They have said it a million times. Well, don’t take them at their word. Look at what they actually do.
Do you remember when they Royals were growing as a team with the players who would ultimately appear in back-to-back World Series including a championship in 2015? Do you remember when Alcides Escobar, a struggling hitter, would come to the plate in a big spot late in a game? What did Ned Yost do? Everyone wanted a pinch hitter. Everyone knew Escobar wasn’t gong to come through. Did Yost pinch hit for Escobar? No. He did not.
Ned Yost used to explain his refusal to pinch hit for a young player by saying that the players need to learn how succeed in those situations in order for the team to be successful down the road. It makes complete sense. The Royals were not battling for a playoff spot in the years prior to 2014. Ned was giving players some valuable at bats in some critical situations. But the fact is, Ned Yost was willing to sacrifice a win in order for players to get experience.
This approach that the Royals had to risk the team losing in order to get better down the road is not a bad strategy. In fact, I would say that it’s the right way to approach winning with a young club. And it did pay off in 2014 and 2015. The problem is that the Royals continue to say they don’t do that. They say that every win is important.
We have also been told that the Royals have decided at times to not trade away a veteran player because they thought he could help them win at the major league level now. I generally think this is a way of saying, “Look. We were not offered anything for this player and we can’t eat the contract so we are going to see if he can help us the rest of this season.” Do I know this for a fact? No, but it is about the only thing that makes sense for the Royals not trading away some of their veterans to replenish their minor league system. I have to tell myself this or I would lose my mind.
I think what Dayton Moore means when he says every major league win is important, is that he wants to try to win every game but he isn’t willing to do whatever it takes to win every game. It’s a fine line but an important distinction. And the GM of a major league team has to say every win is important. If he says losing is ok then his players might start to feel that way. And when players don’t feel every game is important then you have a bad team.
So, I get it. I think I understand what Dayton Moore is saying. So remember the next time you hear a Royals broadcaster say that every win is important to the Royals that what they are really saying is that it’s important but not necessarily more important than development.
Tigers 6, Royals 0
6:10pm – MLB – FSKC – Royals (Brady Singer, 2-4, 4.66) at Tigers (Tarik Skubal, 1-2, 7.27))
Tigers 6, Royals 0
“Do the Royals know they are playing the Tigers.” That’s what my wife asked me when the Royals were down 5-0 in the third inning in the middle of a six game winning streak.
The Royals just finished winning the last three games of a four game series in Cleveland and then swept the Pirates at Kauffman Stadium. The Tigers are closer to being the Pirates than they are the Indians. But the Tigers looked more like the White Sox Tuesday night.
Danny Duffy was scheduled to start but didn’t for disciplinary reasons. So Jakob Junis got the start and he was absolutely awful. Junis allowed five runs on seven hits and a walk in just 2 1/3 innings.
The offense didn’t show up against Matthew Boyd who entered the game with a record of 1-6 and an ERA of 7.63. The good feeling the Royals had after their brief homestand against the Pirates crashed with a thud in, of all places, Detroit.
The flood guys will try to start another winning streak tonight behind Brady Singer.
– Danny Duffy did not start on Tuesday as scheduled. He missed the Monday flight to Detroit but took a later flight and joined the team. The Athletic reported that Duffy was in a car with some damage but the car was off and the keys were not in the ignition. There was no sign of any unlawful activity so no police report was filed. Jakob Junis got the start in place of Duffy.
– INF Matt Reynolds cleared outright waivers and was assigned to Triple-A.
– Kansas State’s opponent last Saturday, Arkansas State, had to reschedule its game for this upcoming weekend due to COVID. Arkansas State was down nine starters against the Wildcats. They had more positive tests since the game and are not able to field a two-deep roster for this weekend.
ROUND AND ROUND
– Major League Baseball reached an agreement with the MLBPA on a plan for the 2020 postseason. The plan includes neutral-site bubbles for the Division Series, League Championship Series and World Series.
– Orlando will reportedly host eight early-season college basketball events during the first few weeks of the college basketball season. Kansas is participating in two of the events
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