I sent off a few questions to Will McDonald from Royals Review, SB Nation's great Royal's site, to find out a little bit about the Royals before our series with them that starts tonight. Questions are in bold.
What is the mood like among Royal fans? This year isn't going great, but is there a feeling things will improve or are folks resigned to the idea that this is the way things are going to be for awhile?
It depends on who you ask, I guess. Though in general it's now bad for mostly everyone. Prior to their current six-game losing streak, there was a significant amount of "hey, these guys aren't so bad, maybe something is going on here" sentiment. The team started out 27-24 under new manager Ned Yost or something like that. Combined with increasing excitement and hype regarding the farm system, there was a fair amount of positive feeling out there.
What player has been the biggest surprise for you this season?
Probably Jose Guillen. You know you have low expectations for a guy when he hits a modest .795 OPS and you still feel like he's been better than expected.
I suppose that would have to be Greinke, though I feel bad saying it. He really needed another awesome season to fully get the recognition he deserves. Instead, he's taken a modest step back from his career year, and is sneaking back into obscurity. I hated seeing the early buzz around Ubaldo this April and May. I'd see people tweet or hear random talking heads say things like, "his ERA is 1.32 after 8 starts, this is UNHEARD OF... he's the next Gibson." Um, yea. Awesome. Except Greinke was doing the exact same thing, in the AL, like, umm, one year ago.
How haven't you guys run Dayton Moore out of town on a rail yet?
A combination of things. Moore got a lot of good press when he was hired, which also produced an exaggerated sense of how bad the previous regime was. Throw in low expectations generally and the fact that most Royals fans are already beaten down... and it really took three years before there was any significant mainstream criticism of Moore. For a first time GM who has said some weird/dumb things, Moore's actually done a brilliant job using the media to maintain his position. He said something back during Spring Training that basically intimated he would need ten years on the job before he could be judged. And for whatever reason, he mostly got away with this. The PR stuff matters less now because the farm system is having a good year, which was desperately needed.
Can you give us a quick scouting report on the starting pitchers we'll see this series?
Kyle Davies: your classic soon to be failed pitching prospect who gets a zillion chances and just never quite puts it all together. Anthony Lerew: random AAA guy. Zack Greinke: something seems off this year and he might not be 100% healthy.
Who is the best arm in the pen?
Joakim Soria. He'll pitch in one of the games with the Royals losing 5-1 because he needs work.
Is there anything else us Jay fans should know about the Royals? Could we work a deal out with you to trade divisions?
Hey, at least you have the Orioles.