End of The Season Odds And Ends

Clark FoslerCorrespondent IOctober 2, 2008

Not much going on in the Royal Universe these days aside from the usual post-season wraps.  GMDM and Trey Hillman have been chatting lately and giving their assessment of the season.

Hillman, in his press conference at the K, touched on a variety of subjects, including his relationship with Jose Guillen.  Naturally, Hillman says he’s fine with Guillen and his approach and says Guillen can be a key part of a winner in Kansas City.  I haven’t believed everything Hillman has said of late, but this is something I buy.  Do you think Guillen would keep his mouth shut if he had an issue with the manager?  He never has before.  But for Guillen to be a factor for the entire season, he needs to report to camp in shape.

Hillman also mentioned that Shealy’s bat was slow.  No surprise there, either.  That’s been the Royals mantra all season… One decent month isn’t going to change that.  It’s the main reason scouts peg him for 20-25 home runs in a season when it looks like he should hit around 35.  Bat speed is like location in real estate.  It enhances your value.

And Hillman touched on Callaspo’s lack of range at second base.  I’m becoming more and more convinced that the Royals will look for another middle infielder this winter to marginalize Callaspo.  Man, I love his bat and his discipline.  His approach is exactly what this team needs in the lineup.  The pitchers may not like this, but the Royals need to sacrifice some defense in this instance.  According to the Fielding Bible, Callaspo is at a -5 in 365 innings at second.  Not good, but I’m willing to trade that for a .361 OBP.

–  Meanwhile, GMDM was on 810 radio where he said he expected his team to post somewhere between 78 and 82 wins this season.  We should have included him the Royals Authority community projection because he was right in our wheelhouse.

GMDM said Kyle Davies really stood out to him down the stretch, saying he’s never been better than his last three starts.  For the record, in those three starts he posted a 1.29 ERA in 21 innings, striking out 19 while walking three.  His average Game Score was 71.  Yeah, I’d say that was the Good Kyle Davies.

He appreciates the overall effort and preparation of his players, even during the losing streaks.

On the rumors that Hillman had lost the clubhouse, GMDM said he didn’t find that to be the case (no surprise there) and said on every team there are two or three disgruntled players who will feed stories to the media.  It would appear GMDM has done some investigating and identified those who aren’t on the same page as the manager.  He said those players won’t be back next season.  Hmmmm…

You can listen to the interview here.

– Angel Berroa was a late inning replacement at second base for the Dodgers in Game One of the NLDS.  Kind of surreal, seeing Berroa in the post-season.

– Speaking of the post-season, I’m already sick of that Bon Jovi song.

–  And that d-bag Frank Caliendo.

– Ambiorix Burgos is in a ton of trouble.  A ton.

–  Greg Schaum from 610 Sports launched “Baseball This Week” last Wednesday night at 8 PM.  If you’re jonesing for some quality baseball talk this winter (and who won’t be) this looks to be what they call appointment radio.  And if you miss the broadcast, you can catch up here.  (As far as I know, the first episode hasn’t hit the web yet.)

– Sam Mellinger voted Mike Aviles second in the AL Rookie of the Year and is worried people will think him an idiot.  He shouldn’t worry.

Aviles - 35.0
Longoria - 34.8
Ramirez - 20.7

Runs Created
Ramirez - 76
Longoria - 74
Aviles - 64

Win Shares
Longoria - 20
Ramirez - 18
Aviles - 17

Aviles had fewer plate appearances than either candidate, yet held his own in some important metrics.  My ballot would look the same as Mellinger’s.

–  My picks for the first round:

Rays over White Sox
Angels over Red Sox
Phillies over Brewers
Dodgers over Cubs