OTC: Different Looking Royals Flex #BlueBats To Start 3-3 & Greet Fans In KC Opener

“My buddy Billy’s already out there [at The K]. He knows people.”
Jake Gutierrez, on how Billy was able to already tailgating four hours before the parking lot was scheduled to open for the Royals’ home opener this afternoon against the Twins, 810 AM
GH: I have been to a lot of Royals’ home openers – none were more depressing than last season’s debacle when Luke Hochevar gave up seven first-inning runs to the Indians in what would become an April to forget in a season that was so unexpected it turned the team’s Our Time slogan into a bad joke. But this home opener feels different. After a quiet and deflating 0-2 start, the Royals went to Philadelphia and broke out their #BlueBats. This team looks like it can hit. That is REALLY different when you’re talking Royals baseball.

“Royals look different. Ready to compete.”
Dinn Mann, @dinnmann, former KC Star sports editor and current MLB.com mogul, Twitter
GH: Not only do the Royals look different – they are attacking the season differently. Read on.

“I’m surprised by this but we’re gonna see what happens.”
Jeff Montgomery, as Ned Yost opted to yank his closer, Greg Holland, after he gave up two hits in the ninth in favor of Herrera, Fox Sports TV
GH: Monty was surprised because he is of the old Royals’ thinking – don’t mess with your closer’s head by yanking him when he’s in trouble. This is the new Royals. Yost and Dayton Moore need to win now or lose their jobs. Another 70-win season means a new regime at The K. I like when the Royals play to win instead of worrying about a player’s mental state. Winning fixes a lot of neurosis.

“You did this. If you are a Royals fan, you had a hand in the team that’s playing in Kansas City for the first time this afternoon. Kansas City’s sports passion — specifically, joy for last year’s baseball All-Star Game and disgust over the horrible Chiefs — created this year’s Royals team. Nobody with the Royals will say this out loud, but it’s the truth all the same. … You forced this change. And this afternoon, for the first time, you will see the product of your passion in person.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: It sure took David Glass and his crew a long time to discover that they were sitting on a MLB powder keg. After years of dousing that powder with a watered-down product, we finally might have a team worthy of our attention. It has been far, far too long.

“Royals owner David Glass is often — erroneously and unfairly — accused of being absentee and out of touch. But he heard you. Saw you. Felt you. And he changed because of it.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: I liked almost everything in Mellinger’s column except this. Mellinger is the one who appears erroneous and out of touch with his portrayal of the Royals’ owner’s horrific handling of this impossible-to-kill franchise. This read like The Star is concerned about the Royals as an advertiser.

“Kansas City has this national perception as sort of the capital of Midwestern kindness. And in most cases, we are a kind people. Need directions? Help with the door? Restaurant recommendations? Sure, absolutely, happy to assist. But reward our sports passion with incompetence? Follow up promise with failure? Then this city will boo without mercy, flood every line of communication with raw criticism — heck, there might even be a plane flying banners over the stadium calling for jobs.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: That Boo Cano thing at the All-Star Game and the fan bashing that Eric Winston laid out for the national media over the Matt Cassel injury altered the nation’s perception of Kansas City a bit as well. Sure, we are friendly folks but we can also be just as spicy as Gates’ BBQ sauce.

“[James Shields] is one of those guys you are just going to love. I would have loved to have caught him. There was snot coming out of his nose after that four-run inning he gave up. Shields just continued to pound them and wouldn’t let [the Phillies] get up. Just a fantastic outing! Call them warriors, call them bulldogs, call them your number-one starter.”
Mike Macfarlane, former Royals catcher, on the Royals ace, 810 AM
GH: If James Shields stays healthy I think the Royals are in the hunt for the ALC all season. Period. He’s that good and that big a part of this team’s attitude.

“Every game to me in professional sports is a must win. I hate the old adage that it’s just too early.”
Bob Fescoe, defending his negativity about the Royals after their 0-2 start, 610 AM
GH: Does Fescoe even think before he speaks – or ever?

“Get off to a good start and then you can coast a little bit.”
Bob Fescoe, expounding on his thoughts on the Royals, 610 AM
GH: Sure sounds like a “must win” philosophy to me.

“They’re still going fine. It’s been 41 years now.”
Curt Nelson, Royals HOF director, on the Kauffman Stadium fountains, 610 AM
GH: Our city’s signature structure is the right-field fountains at The K. More people around the country know Kansas City for those lighted fountains than probably anything else in town. What are some others? The Scout? The Shuttlecocks?

“What an incredible season. It ended in a difficult way, but the Shockers will pick up these pieces. Marshall, so deflated by the loss, also talked about how excited he is about the future. There are no guarantees WSU will be on this stage again. It’s such a hard feat to accomplish. But the Shockers are in position to be good year after year. Cleanthony Early, who looked like a future NBA player with his 24 points and 10 rebounds against Louisville, will be back next season. So will Ron Baker, Tekele Cotton, Fred VanVleet and others.”
Bob Lutz, columnist, Wichita Eagle
GH: Great run by the Shockers. It will be interesting to see if the KC media adopts them next season as a program to cover or ignore.
“[Percentage] of ESPN Tournament Challenge Brackets that picked a Louisville-Michigan title game: 1.4%”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, Twitter
GH: I was not one of them. We have a dozen or so people at the top of our OTC Bracket contest who picked Louisville as their champion. If Michigan wins it could mean someone else grabs the crown. We will sort it all out tomorrow.

“This might be the first time in my life that I picked the Championship game correctly in my bracket.”
Nate Bukaty, @nate_bukaty, Twitter
GH: Congrats to Nate. I will be rooting for Michigan tonight. Love the story in Monday’s Star by Blair Kerkhoff on Trey Burke’s parents being Northwest Missouri State grads.

[email protected] and Twitter / greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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13 Responses to OTC: Different Looking Royals Flex #BlueBats To Start 3-3 & Greet Fans In KC Opener

  1. Jim says:

    DGlass gets NO credit for this Royals team. Dude’s made 100’s of millions of dollars on this franchise and has spent the last decade fielding an embarrassing group of MLB players. All an $80MM payroll gets you is an “atta-boy” for not being the lowest payroll in baseball. Royals will be sub-.500 again this year. Sorry, Sam. That is NOT what Royals fan demanded!

    • Paul says:

      Jim, I disagree. For the past five years there’s at least been a plan. Before that – nothing. Dayton Moore has drafted well, stocked the minor leagues, and I think we’re about to start seeing some results. It’s easy to speculate how good or bad they’ll be, but I like the team they’re putting on the field and can see it being competitive. If I can attend meaningful games in August and September, I’ll be a happy fan.

      So, I guess David Glass does deserve some credit for hiring Dayton Moore and letting him do the job.

  2. NYC says:

    How does the Star have no coverage of Yost pulling Holland yesterday? I like the move for the reasons presented by GH above, but wow, how is this not a storyline in the morning paper? GH thinks Mellinger’s comment on Glass reads like the Star is concerned about Royals advertising; I think the omission of this storyline reads like the Royals own the editors. Big miss, and yes I know the subject was covered in Sunday’s paper, but the storyline went big time at Sunday’s game.

  3. Gavin says:

    Greg, your recollection of last year’s home opener being the most depressing is interesting. My memory is a little hazy on this because I’d been drinking, but wasn’t it 2009 when the Royals had Zack Greinke but they trotted out Sidney Ponson for opening day? Again, my memory is a little hazy, but I seem to recall Royals management essentially saying “Yeah, we know we’re gonna suck but we also know that you idiots are going to sell out opening day no matter who we trot out there. So you get Ponson. We’re gonna hold out Greinke for a day or two later to sell out more tickets when he gets his start.” Cynical as hell and an absolute breaking of the faith of the fans. It was abusive. I’m still angry about it.

    • Bob Sacamano says:

      You are correct it was 2009. Typical Royals, lets screw the fans, they will still show up for the home opener even if we throw a complete no talent hack out there to pitch for us.

      • johnny wadd says:

        Greinke pitched the 2nd game, 2 days before.

        I know he was great that year, but making two starts in three days is asking a little much. Your other options to start the home opener would have been Kyle Davies or Horacio Ramirez. Pick your poison.

        • Gavin says:

          Alright, so it’s not as ugly as I remember but it’s still damn ugly. Davies is better than Ponson, isn’t he? And, while this is obviously years later and doesn’t do anyone any good but it does give me an opportunity to bitch, why wasn’t Greinke pitching the opener? That might have had him ready to picth the home opener as well. I’m sure there was a reason, but goddammit, I do not have time to be rational about this.

  4. Gavin says:

    Oh, And “SNOT coming out of his nose”? What the hell?

    As for recognizable structures: The Plaza and Truman Sports Complex come to mind.

  5. The Smartman says:

    Somebody shoot me! The Royals are 3-3, BFD! Let’s see where they are on Memorial Day! Anything less than 90-95 wins should mean regime change. Being in the hunt don’t mean shit if ya don’t bag the trophy. Maybe the 2014 slogan can be Dream On! Get Steven Tyler to come out and scream the National Anthem on opening day. Sorry but Taint Stevens just doesn’t make me think about baseball, or anything for that matter.

    When do the Chiefs open training camp?

    Boo hoo Shockers. Nice run, pat yourselves on the back. What you had was a once in a lifetime experience. If Jesus cared about NCAA hoops you would have beat that tramp banging greaseball. There would have been true Divine Intervention. Hell, Notre Dame would have beat Alabama too. But Jesus don’t roll that way. You gotta earn it. He ain’t given it to ya. When the going got tough you folded. Close don’t count. That’s the difference between men and boys. The program will always be respectable but it won’t always do the unexpected.

    Mellinger’s article was pure hooey. What a load of crap, just absolute crap. Sounded like something a high school freshman would write about after getting Coke back in the vending machines. It was more syrupy than a Carpenter’s song. I’m thinking about jerking off in a Zip-Lok bag and mailing it to him.

  6. Will says:

    Maybe the Royals think Luke Hoch will learn something from watching James Shields day in and out. I missed his performance yesterday by did catch Mac’s version this morning and I’m sorry I missed it now. Wil who?

  7. nick says:

    Smartman’s post ehoes all my sentiments.

    I find all the rah-rah Royals hype nauseating rather than exciting. Since the strike-shortened seasons of ’94 and ’95, the Royals’ AVERAGE record is 68-94. In the last 12 seasons, the Royals have lost 100 games more times than they’ve won 70 games (4 and 3, respectively).

    The franchise has been so bad for so long, it kinda boggles my mind that Mellinger, Mann, or anybody else could ever think that ANY year is gonna be different. If the Royals are above .500 and in wildcard contention in mid-Augest, THEN get out the trumpets.

  8. JP says:

    Maybe it’s me, the beer I drank, or I have fallen under the Kool Aid, but I have a different feeling about this team than previous Royals teams. I know it’s early, but that come from behind victory honestly felt like the 70’s and 80’s teams. You knew they were going to win the game late. They hung in, Perez made a hell of a throw in the first inning, and Santana went on to pitch a beautiful game. They actually executed a perfect hit and run. I know it’s early, but I want to be excited about this team. We can’t let the past bad teams define this one.

    Finally, to those still whining about the strike, it’s been almost 20 years. Get over it. You can’t bitch about Glass not spending (which I do and will continue to) on the one hand, then whine about salaries on the other end. It is reality. I do think this team has a chance to contend. I will fully judge them after about 30 games.

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