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kcchief
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Posts: 237
From:Kansas City
Registered: May 2000

posted December 11, 2006 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kcchief   Click Here to Email kcchief     Edit/Delete Message
KC changes perception with Meche
12/07/2006 3:27 PM ET
By Mike Bauman

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Perhaps the little guys can play the big-spending game. Or at least one of them can.
As the Winter Meetings came to a close on Thursday, the Kansas City Royals created one of the biggest splashes of the gathering, signing free-agent starting pitcher Gil Meche to a five-year contract for a reported $55 million.

It was an out-of-character move for the normally tight-fisted Royals. And Meche, 28, while he has always been considered to be a pitcher of considerable promise, has a 55-44 career record with a 4.65 ERA. His most productive season was 2003, when he went 15-13 with a 4.59 ERA. These are not numbers that appear to command a $55-million deal, particularly from a team that has historically operated under budgetary restrictions.

But this is one way for the Royals to change the perception of their club. After a 2003 season that appeared to be a breakthrough, they lost 310 games over the next three years. They were generally perceived to be a small-market operation with a typically small chance for success.

Now, under a new baseball administration, they must be regarded as a small-market operation that is willing to take a large chance and expend a great deal of capital, at least on this occasion, for this pitcher.

General manager Dayton Moore, who was brought on board to revive the Royals, said of the acquisition of Meche:

"He fits in with our long-term plan. He's the guy that we focused on. He's the youngest guy out there with the best raw stuff entering the prime of his career. He's a guy who can anchor our pitching staff going forward."

A number of clubs were extremely interested in Meche, including the Chicago Cubs, who have been the most aggressive spenders of this offseason. It was generally thought that Meche would emerge with a contract of roughly the same type that Ted Lilly received, which eventually was a four-year, $40-million package from the Cubs. But the Royals' simply out-spent the competition in their pursuit of Meche.

And it appears that the Royals are not done spending. They are in the hunt for more starting pitching and are among the clubs pursuing another free-agent pitcher, Miguel Batista. It has been believed that Batista would receive a three-year contract in the range of $25 million. But almost all of the general estimates on the size of contracts during these Meetings have turned out to be conservative estimates.



Complete coverage >
The signing of Meche in itself broke a few free-agent molds. Typically, a pitcher such as Gil Meche would be signed by a contending club -- a well-heeled contending club -- that was seeking to fill out its rotation. In the case of the Royals, they cannot yet be considered a contender, particularly in the rugged, competitive terrain of the American League Central. And with them, Meche, rather than being something like a No. 3 starter, will now be the focal point of their rotation.

Given the rest of their pitching staff, the Royals have obviously improved themselves with the addition of Meche. Is this actually $55 million worth of improvement? The next five years will tell.

But more than anything, with this very large expenditure for one pitcher, they have challenged the perception of their club as a small-market also-ran, operating somewhere just above the subsistence level. That kind of thing can be worth more than money, even if the current price tag for altering this perception appears to be a hefty $55 million.

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kcchief
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Posts: 237
From:Kansas City
Registered: May 2000

posted April 02, 2007 06:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kcchief   Click Here to Email kcchief     Edit/Delete Message
HOW 'BOUT MY ROYALS!

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- More than 41,000 fans got on their feet and gave Gil Meche a standing ovation.

Very few of them would probably ever admit to being among the many critics who accused Kansas City of paying too much for the 28-year-old right-hander. The big deal paid off, for one outing at least.

In his first start since the Royals gave him a club-record five-year, $55 million contract, Meche went 7 1-3 solid innings and led his new team to a 7-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox and an ineffective Curt Schilling.

Settling down after a shaky first inning, Meche gave up six hits and one run. He struck out six and walked only one in the longest outing by a Kansas City starter on opening day since 1988

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jpgordo
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Posts: 2883
From:Studio City, CA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted April 26, 2007 10:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jpgordo   Click Here to Email jpgordo     Edit/Delete Message
Oh man... they suck... again!

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indiedan
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Posts: 6492
From:Santa Monica
Registered: May 2000

posted May 04, 2007 12:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
Kansas City 5, LA Angels 2

Preview - Box Score - Recap

By DOUG TUCKER, AP Sports Writer
May 3, 2007

AP - May 3, 5:29 pm EDT
More Photos

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Gil Meche may turn out to be the best $55 million invested by Kansas City Royals owner David Glass.

Meche allowed two hits in seven innings, retiring 17 straight batters after Vladimir Guerrero's two-run homer in the first and leading the Kansas City Royals over the Los Angeles Angels 5-2 Thursday.

"I've been pitching good. I'm not going to let a two-run homer bother me," Meche said. "The key for me is not walking people. You see what happens when I do."

Meche (3-1), who received the biggest contract given to a free agent by Glass, has a 2.23 ERA in seven starts, third in the AL behind Oakland's Dan Haren (1.60) and the Angels' John Lackey (2.19).

With terrific command of all his pitches, Meche struck out six and walked one in seven brisk innings. Reggie Willits walked in a 10-pitch at-bat ahead of Guerrero's ninth home run.

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Only two Angels hit the ball out of the infield during Meche's stretch of 17 straight batters retired, a streak that ended in the seventh when Guerrero reached on a one-out infield single that went off second baseman Esteban German's glove.

Guerrero took second on an error by first baseman Ross Gload on Meche's pickoff attempt, but Meche struck out Casey Kotchman and retired Erick Aybar on an easy grounder.

"I said in spring training I want to be the guy to come over here and get this rotation going," Meche said. "It started with my first start. I've been on a good roll since. I had a bad one in Detroit, but bounced back."

Meche was 55-44 with Seattle, the only other major league club he's pitched for. He's off to the type of start the Royals were hoping for.

"When I'm in hitter's counts, I'm basically throwing offspeed pitches for strikes, and when you can do that up here, you're going to be successful," Meche said. "Everything else is kind of working off that."

Brandon Duckworth and rookie Joakim Soria finished the three-hitter, with Soria pitching the ninth for his fifth save in five chances. The victory gave Kansas City a split of the four-game series.

Gload had the first four-hit game of his major league career, drove in two runs and scored three.


AP - May 3, 5:22 pm EDT
More Photos


Jered Weaver (1-3) matched his career high with nine strikeouts, giving up three runs and seven hits in six innings. Weaver, who has a 5.12 ERA, lost to Kansas City for the first time in three decisions.

"We have to have some guys behind (Guerrero) that take advantage of what is created by teams pitching around him," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "After Meche gave up the homer, he started to get a real good feel for his changeup, and threw some good breaking balls. He pitched a good game."

Gload tripled and scored in the second inning, had an RBI single in the fourth, a single in the sixth and an RBI double off Dustin Moseley that made it 4-2 in the seventh. Rookie Billy Butler then singled him home for his first major league RBI.

Gload gave Meche a lot of the credit for the victory.

"I got a couple of hits, got lucky a couple of times," Gload said. "Gil made a commitment to come here. We want to play good for him. He works fast. He gets outs."

Guerrero had big first innings in the series, hitting a two-run double and his fifth career slam in addition to Thursday's homer. He has 29 RBIs in 27 games.

"The ball Guerrero hit, they tried to go inside," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "With him, you've got to make sure it's way, way inside, or he's going to do exactly what he did with it."

Gload tripled leading off the second and scored Kansas City's first run on John Buck's sacrifice fly. Gload tied it 2-all in the fourth with an RBI single following Mike Sweeney's double.

After singling in the sixth for his third hit, he stole second, took third on Butler's long fly ball and scored on Tony Pena Jr.'s single for a 3-2 lead.

"Meche is not throwing quite as hard as he did in Seattle," Scioscia said. "But sometimes that makes you a better pitcher."

Notes

Bell said an MRI exam on OF Reggie Sanders revealed a torn left hamstring and he will be placed on the 15-day DL Friday. OF Shane Costa probably will be brought up from Triple-A Omaha. ... The Angels placed INF Maicer Izturis on the 15-day DL, retroactive to April 30, with a sore right hamstring, and brought up Brandon Wood from Triple-A Salt Lake. It meant a day off for Orlando Cabrera, who had played in each of the first 28 games. ... After beating the Angels 3-1 Wednesday night, Jorge De La Rosa has the best home ERA in the AL at 0.82.

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jpgordo
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Posts: 2883
From:Studio City, CA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted May 10, 2007 08:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jpgordo   Click Here to Email jpgordo     Edit/Delete Message
How can they already be the worst team in baseball? Is it because THEY ARE the worst team in baseball?

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