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Author Topic:   KC Royals - 2005
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From:Studio City, CA
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posted March 30, 2005 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jpgordo   Click Here to Email jpgordo     Edit/Delete Message

2004 recap: 58-104, 5th place

Manager: Tony Pena (4th year)

Arrivals: RHP Jose Lima, OF/C Eli Marrero, OF Terrence Long, RHP Dennis Tankersley, 3B Chris Truby, C Alberto Castillo, LHP Andy Sisco, RHP Leo Nunez, OF Brian Hunter

Departures: 3B Joe Randa, C Benito Santiago, LHP Darrell May, IF Desi Relaford, RHP Ryan Bukvich, LHP Dennys Reyes, OF Juan Gonzalez, C Kelly Stinnett

What to look for: Two years ago, the Royals enjoyed their only winning season since the 1994 strike, only to fall back to 104 losses in 2004. Look for something closer to the latter than the former, as they have shuffled a few veteran bodies, but otherwise once again will be counting far too heavily on young, inexperienced talent.

There are some bright spots, but just not enough of them to get out of the AL Central basement. Zack Greinke impressed as a 20-year-old with his command of a nice repertoire, and clearly is the ace of the present and future. Jeremy Affeldt and Mike MacDougal both have the stuff to become an excellent left-right late-inning combination. But both have to stay healthy.

John Buck made a good impression in 60-plus games after being acquired in the Carlos Beltran deal, and should become a solid regular catcher, especially with Tony Pena watching over his development. David DeJesus is the center fielder and leadoff hitter, but needs to show he can hit left-handed pitching and improve on his stolen-base success ratio.

And top prospect Mark Teahen’s chance at third will come a bit earlier than expected, as Chris Truby suffered a chipped bone in his wrist. The new/old guys include Jose Lima, who is only 32 (at least so we think). And beyond all the mound shenanigans, he is 21-8 with a 4.32 ERA in two seasons since returning to the majors after an independent league exile. In other words, the Royals can use him – and he will be the Opening Day starter.

Kevin Appier couldn’t make it back – at least not yet, anyway – after surgery, but Runelvys Hernandez has had an encouraging spring, and he will be back in a rotation that also will include veteran lefty Brian Anderson. Jimmy Gobble, 23, could get the fifth spot, but he’ll have improve after striking out only six more than he walked in a good-at-times 2004 season. Rule 5 pick Andy Sisco – all 6-9 of him – is expected to stick as the second lefty in the pen with Jamie Cerda. Shawn Camp and Nate Field are solid right-handed setup men. Eli Marrero probably will be the regular left fielder. Under the radar in Atlanta last season, he hit over .300 after coming off the disabled list in June.

Sophomore jinx victim Angel Berroa gets another shot at shortstop. He’ll probably fall somewhere between his 2003 Rookie of the Year performance and a forgettable 2004 season, in which he was sent to the minors for two weeks. Ken Harvey really should be limited to the DH spot, but he does have a chance to be a .300 hitter with just a bit more patience and plate discipline. And it will be interesting to see how much power Calvin Pickering can provide. But overall, there’s not much to get excited about here, as the Royals are stuck with a $40-million payroll and nowhere to go.

Rumor mill: Has Mike Sweeney worn out his welcome? He isn’t happy with the latest rebuilding effort, and maybe it’s time he moves on. Something has to give with Sweeney, Ken Harvey and Calvin Pickering at first base and designated hitter spots. But first, Sweeney has to prove he is healthy after chronic back problems cut short his season again.

The pressure is on: There can’t be any expectations for this young and rebuilding-yet-again roster, but another 100-loss season could endanger Tony Pena’s job security.

Breakthrough time: The pickings are slim on this roster, but Zack Greinke won eight games and kept his ERA under 4.00 in 24 starts as a 20-year-old rookie last season. Let’s see what he can do with about 10 more starts and somewhere between 180-200 innings.

Regulars: CF David DeJesus, SS Angel Berroa, 1B Mike Sweeney, DH Ken Harvey, RF Matt Stairs, LF Eli Marrero, 3B Mark Teahen, C John Buck, 2B Tony Graffanino

Rotation: RHP Jose Lima, RHP Zack Greinke, RHP Runelyvs Hernandez, LHP Brian Anderson, LHP Jimmy Gobble or RHP Mike Wood or RHP Dennis Tankersley

Relievers: Closer: LHP Jeremy Affeldt; Setup men: RHP Mike MacDougal, RHP Shawn Camp, LHP Jamie Cerda, RHP Nate Field, LHP Andy Sisco, RHP Kyle Snyder

Role players: C Alberto Castillo, 1B/DH Calvin Pickering, 2B Ruben Gotay, OF Terrence Long, OF Abraham Nunez, OF Aaron Guiel

Disabled list: 3B Chris Truby, RHP Scott Sullivan

Predicted finish: 5th place, 62-100

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posted April 28, 2005 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kcchief   Click Here to Email kcchief     Edit/Delete Message
Minnesota 6, Kansas City 5, 11 innings

By DOUG TUCKER, AP Sports Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Even after forcing extra innings, the Kansas City Royals couldn't win.

Lew Ford singled home the go-ahead run off Mike Wood in the 11th, lifting the Minnesota Twins over Kansas City 6-5 Thursday and completing the first 0-6 homestand in Royals' history.

Kansas City lost its eighth in a row and its major league-worst record dipped to 5-17, including 2-12 at home. After being swept three games each by the Chicago White Sox and the Twins, the Royals go on a 12-game trip.

Wood (0-2) walked pinch-hitter Joe Mauer leading off the 11th and Nick Punto sacrificed. Shannon Stewart was intentionally walked, Jason Bartlett struck out and Ford singled into left, just over the glove of third baseman Joe McEwing.

Jesse Crain (1-0), Minnesota's sixth pitcher, allowed one hit and one walk in two innings. Justin Morneau had a career-high four hits and two RBIs for the Twins, who are 5-0 against the Royals.

Kansas City had tied it 5-all with an unearned run in the ninth off Joe Nathan, who had converted 19 consecutive save opportunities since last Aug. 19 against the New York Yankees, including six this year. Angel Berroa led off with a double, and David DeJesus hit a fly ball to deep center. Berroa tagged up and took third, then came home to tie it 5-all when third baseman Juan Castro bobbled the ball.

Twins starter Kyle Lohse came out in the fifth because of stiffness in his right shoulder, and the Twins said he will be re-evaluated in Minnesota. He gave up three runs and five hits.

Kansas City starter Runelvys Hernandez allowed five runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings. He got in trouble in the first when he walked Bartlett and hit Ford with one out. Morneau followed with an RBI single, Torii Hunter hit a sacrifice fly, Jacque Jones walked with two outs and Castro hit a run-scoring double that made it 3-0.

John Buck and Berroa singled leading off the third, and both scored on David DeJesus' triple. Mike Sweeney's sacrifice fly tied it 3-all.

Ford hit a tiebreaking RBI double with two outs in the seventh and scored on Morneau's third single for a 5-3 lead. Ken Harvey, recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Omaha, singled leading off the eighth against Juan Rincon and came around on a passed ball and two wild pitches to make it 5-4.


RHP Shawn Camp was optioned to Triple-A Omaha, one day after he threw just three pitches in a relief outing and gave up a hit batter, a wild pitch and a two-run triple. ... Minnesota's Corky Miller was 0-for-4 and is 0-for-12 for the year. ... Berroa was on base four times with a single, double and two hit by pitches.

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posted May 11, 2005 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kcchief   Click Here to Email kcchief     Edit/Delete Message
It's just a shame all the players still have to finish the season. They're horrible!
Tony Pena resigns as Royals manager

By DOUG TUCKER, AP Sports Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The underachieving Kansas City Royals' frequent on-field mistakes finally took their toll on Tony Pena.

Just hours after shortstop Angel Berroa's ninth-inning baserunning blunder contributed to a 3-1 loss in Toronto on Tuesday night, Pena resigned as manager of the woeful Royals.

``I feel that at this time we have not played to the top of our abilities,'' Pena said in a statement released by the team. ``The Kansas City Royals are on the right track by committing to their young players, and I believe the Royals will be contenders for a long time if they don't change their direction.''


His announcement came two weeks after he'd been given a vote of confidence by the team's owner and general manager and less than two seasons after his selection as American League manager of the year.

``We are not playing well,'' Pena told The Kansas City Star after Tuesday night's game. ``It's tough to go to the ballpark and lose game after game. I haven't been eating. I haven't been sleeping. I don't want to get sick.''

Bench coach Bob Schaefer, 60, will replace Pena on an interim basis in the first managerial change in the majors this season. Schaefer also managed the Royals for one game on an interim basis in 1991 between the firing of John Wathan and the hiring of Hal McRae.

Schaefer said Pena wasn't himself the last month.

``It just got to him. He took a lot of it personally, thinking it was all his fault,'' Schaefer said before the Royals' game at Toronto on Wednesday. ``I really wasn't surprised because it was beating him up.''

General manager Allard Baird said a permanent replacement would be found as quickly as possible.

``We'll take as long as we need to hire a new manager,'' Baird said. ``The timetable to fill this position is secondary to finding the right individual to manage this ballclub.''

Berroa's blunder was typical of the way the Royals played while losing a franchise-record 104 games in 2004 and getting off to the worst start in the major leagues this year. He led off the ninth inning with a double, but was thrown out at second base after Mike Sweeney flied out to center field.

``I think he went too far and there was no reason for him to get into the double play when we're down two runs,'' a downcast Pena said hours before his resignation became public.

After starting 16-3 in 2003, the surprising Royals competed into September and finished 83-79 for their first winning record since 1994. Pena was named AL manager of the year and Berroa was honored as the league's top rookie.

The next year, they loaded up on high-priced, underachieving veterans but never competed. In a signal to disappointed fans that they were giving up on the season, they traded star outfielder Carlos Beltran to Houston before the All-Star break.

Baird said Pena, whose record is 198-285, would be offered a job in the organization.

``He's a guy who has a tremendous passion for this organization,'' Baird said. ``He's still talking about the direction of the ballclub. That says a lot about who he is and what he is.''

A five-time All-Star catcher during his 18-year playing career from 1980-97, Pena was a coach with Houston when the Royals chose him to replace the fired Tony Muser early in the 2002 season.

``There are good people and good teachers working in this organization, from the front office all the way to the bottom. I wish this team and the fans the very best,'' Pena said in his statement.

Hampered by a tight budget, the once-proud Royals have not appeared in the postseason since winning the 1985 World Series. The team had the second-lowest opening-day payroll in the majors this season at $36.9 million, ahead of only Tampa Bay.

The Royals will host the Devil Rays in a four-game series in Kansas City this weekend.

``It's tough. Unfortunately, we didn't play well this year. Our record reflects that,'' Sweeney. ``We're sorry that Tony felt that he had to resign because he's a proud man. He won manager of the year two years ago. We're definitely going to miss him.''

Baird said Pena had played ``a major role in the development of our young players.''

``Under Tony's leadership, he has positioned many of our young players to be the foundation for the further success of the organization,'' Baird said. ``Despite our early season struggles, this team has battled with an intensity that reflects Tony's personality.''

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posted June 16, 2005 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kcchief   Click Here to Email kcchief     Edit/Delete Message
The Kansas City Royals will be without slugging first baseman Mike Sweeney when they shoot for a season-high fifth straight win, and a three-game sweep of the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers.

Sweeney suffered a sprained left wrist and elbow in the fourth inning of a 3-1 win on Wednesday. He was stretched out to receive a throw from third baseman Mark Teahen when Jayson Werth of the Dodgers ran into his non-throwing hand while charging into first.

The mitt went flying and Sweeney dropped to the ground in apparent pain. He went into the clubhouse holding his left hand.

Sweeney was replaced by Tony Graffanino, and will be re-evaluated Thursday.

``It's probably going to be a few days,'' Royals manager Buddy Bell said. ``Hopefully, it's not as serious as it looked. He's got an elbow problem and a wrist problem.''


Derek Lowe will try to earn his first road win for Los Angeles in a place where he has never lost. Lowe, who is 0-3 with a 3.68 ERA in six road starts this year, is 2-0 with a 5.96 ERA at Kauffman Stadium in 10 appearances, including three starts.

The right-hander is 4-4 with a 4.61 ERA over his last nine starts. He allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings of a 5-3 loss at Minnesota last Saturday.

The Dodgers have lost seven of 10 road games.

Los Angeles first baseman Hee Seop Choi failed to homer for the first time in five games. Choi, who had seven homers over the previous four games, was moved to the No. 6 spot in the batting order and had a single in three at-bats.

Los Angeles got its lone run on Jeff Kent's RBI single in the fourth inning. It snapped a string of 10 straight runs for the Dodgers via solo homers.

The Dodgers placed closer Eric Gagne on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday two days after a second-degree sprain of the ligament in his right elbow was revealed by an MRI. Gagne, who converted 18 straight saves, spent nearly the first two months on the disabled list with a knee injury.

``Gagne might be the best closer in the game so, yeah, you feel lucky you don't have to face him in that situation,'' Bell said.

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posted August 17, 2005 04:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message

By JIM COUR, AP Sports Writer
August 17, 2005

SEATTLE (AP) -- The Kansas City Royals are approaching a piece of baseball history they don't want to own.

The Royals' losing streak reached 17 games Tuesday night when they lost 4-3 to the Seattle Mariners on Yuniesky Betancourt's go-ahead infield single in the eighth inning.

Kansas City is four defeats from tying the AL record of 21 in a row set by Baltimore at the start of the 1988 season, and the Royals' club-record skid is the longest in the major leagues since that Orioles slump.

The 1961 Philadelphia Phillies dropped 23 straight from July 29 to Aug. 20, according to the Elias Sports Bureau -- the longest losing streak in the big leagues since 1900.

``I think it's gotten past the point of frustration for us,'' Matt Stairs said. ``When we make a mistake, it seems to beat us. Tonight it was an infield hit. I thought it was a good ballgame and I thought we played well, but we lost.''

With the score tied at 3, Jeremy Affeldt (0-2) gave up a two-out single to Jeremy Reed in the eighth and walked Mike Morse. Reed stole third on the first pitch to Betancourt, then scored when the rookie hit a grounder deep in the hole at shortstop.


Angel Berroa fielded the ball and threw to second base, but Morse beat the play.

``I guess we have four more games to keep that from happening,'' Affeldt said when asked about the Orioles' AL record.

Affeldt blamed himself for not holding Reed close.

``With two outs, I probably should have looked him back a couple of times, but I didn't,'' the pitcher said. ``All these losses are tough. But this is how it's going for us.''

Bench coach Bob Schaefer, who filled in for manager Buddy Bell for the second straight night, agreed with Affeldt that Reed's stolen base was a key play in the Royals' 80th loss this season.

``Affeldt didn't pay him that much attention,'' Schaefer said. ``But I give them credit. With two outs, it's a gamble.''

It was a gamble that Mariners manager Mike Hargrove was willing to take.

AP - Aug 17, 1:14 am EDT
More Photos

``A lot of people pooh-pooh the idea of stealing third with two outs,'' he said. ``But it's got a lot of advantage to it. A lot of things can happen and one of them did.''

Reed had two stolen bases in the game, his fifth and sixth of the season. He's been thrown out eight times.

``I've been getting thrown out every time,'' he said. ``There have been some close calls and bang-bang plays. Maybe I was trying to be too fine.''

Joel Pineiro (5-7) won his second straight decision, pitching eight innings and giving up three runs and six hits. Eddie Guardado worked the ninth for his 29th save in 31 opportunities.

Kansas City finished with six hits, two by Matt Stairs.

The Royals' skid started on July 28 with a 10-5 loss at Tampa Bay. Four of the defeats have been by one run, including two losses in a doubleheader Sunday at Detroit.

Bell had been expected back from Arlington National Cemetery, where he attended services Monday for his nephew, a Marine killed in Iraq. Lance Cpl. Tim Bell Jr. was killed by a roadside bomb this month.

The teams play a day game Wednesday, with D.J. Carrasco pitching for the Royals. Kansas City then goes to Oakland for a three-game series that begins Friday night.

Schaefer said Bell would definitely be at Wednesday's game.

``He just got hung up tonight,'' Schaefer said.

The Royals grabbed a 3-2 lead in the second on David DeJesus' sacrifice fly. The Mariners tied the score on Adrian Beltre's sacrifice fly in the third.

In the first, the Royals went ahead 2-0 on an RBI single by Stairs and a sacrifice fly by Emil Brown. The Mariners came back to tie it in the bottom half on RBI singles by Raul Ibanez and Beltre.

Zack Greinke pitched the first six innings for Kansas City, allowing three runs and eight hits with seven strikeouts.

Greinke said things are going so badly for the Royals that he momentarily quit talking to his girlfriend on Sunday night.

``I told her I just didn't feel like talking,'' he said. ``That's how bad things are going. This is getting old.''

Greinke said he has resumed talking to his girlfriend, but the Royals haven't resumed winning yet.

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