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Archive for Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Why not bring back Greinke?

June 13, 2012

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Elite major league pitchers who enter free agency, such as, oh, Zack Greinke for example, amount to high-stakes poker games. Throwing a baseball, such a violent, unnatural action, makes every pitcher a risk to break down physically.

Guaranteeing Greinke $100 million or so over five years requires more than money. It requires guts. Kansas City Royals owner David Glass has the money, but does he have the stomach? Does he care enough about the public-trust aspect of owning one of just 30 Major League Baseball franchises to buy Kansas City a winner?

Glass could come up with 100 million reasons not to risk so much and his reasons too easily would be accepted by a fan base hypnotized into a state of indifference by years of substandard baseball played at poorly located, yet beautiful Kauffman Stadium.

One counter argument trumps all: Greinke would have more value to the Royals than to any other franchise. He turns 29 in October, which means he would be just 33 at the end of a five-year deal. He would draw big crowds every fifth day. A maturing lineup dotted with potential All-Stars armed with lethal bats and sound gloves won’t leave any mark in Royals history if they don’t have a serious starting rotation. No better place to start in building that than to put a dominant, experienced ace such as Greinke at the front of it.

It’s what the majority of the Royals’ fan base wants. Hearing that made Greinke feel good Tuesday night after he allowed a leadoff home run to Alex Gordon in the first and then shut out the Royals the rest of his stay on the mound. He pitched seven innings, allowed five hits, struck out eight (seven in the first four innings) and didn’t get a decision in the Royals’ 2-1 victory against the Brewers.

“I mean, it’s nice because I was pretty rude on the way out,” he said of the fans’ desire to have him come home. “I felt like I had to in order to get out. I didn’t want to have to be the bad guy, but I felt like I had to be. But I liked it here. Like I said, the fans are great. I don’t know how so many of them come to the games when they’ve been bad for so long, but it’s pretty impressive.”

Greinke didn’t sell his Kansas City home, which has created hope that he intends to return.

Sorry, it had nothing to do with anything, Greinke said.

“I got a two-year lease, so I was like, ‘All right, might as well rent it out.’ We like it. When we got married, it was our first home, so my wife really doesn’t want to get rid of it either.”

If Greinke returns to Kansas City via free agency, it won’t be at a discount price. Nor should it be. The only way to convince one of the game’s best pitchers that the organization has changed is for the Royals to outbid the competition for him, just in time for the lease on his house to expire, just in time to surround him with enough talent to contend.

Comments

blindrabbit 1 year, 10 months ago

Royals just like the Chiefs; hype all the way. Ownerships not interested in playoff caliber teams, just in making money. KC fans eat up this hype manure each year, with management of both organizations hanging out the playoff hopes! In fact better quality teams would probably bring in less money to the ownerships due to higher player salaries and resulting expenses!

Guess the KC community is satisfied with one Super Bowl win and one World Series title.

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thebcman 1 year, 10 months ago

Royals would be stupid to waste their money on Greinke. Limited talent, Huge ego, bad locker room vibe. Kid's goofier than a Disney cartoon.

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jamoca 1 year, 10 months ago

I'll be very curious to see what happens to Billy Bulter if they try to get Greinke. Their relationship didn't end in the best of terms...

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blindrabbit 1 year, 10 months ago

Better yet, just get rid of the Royals!

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Pork_Ribs 1 year, 10 months ago

Man...no kidding Cato. How frustrating that must be for a Cy Young winner. Greinke's going to make a ton of cash no matter where he goes. The reason he left KC is because the Royals are consistently in the gutter. Proof is in the numbers. Until they have a few years of ball +.500 and decent playoff appearances...the only free agents KC are going to sign are either 'names' that are on their way out or one's that have not proven themselves in the league. (on potential) The next team Zack signs with is going to be a consistent playoff contender. The cash is a foregone conclusion....a ring is not...especially in KC.

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nschmi04 1 year, 10 months ago

I am a big fan of Mr. Keegan (really) but I do not understand why he needs to throw a Kevin Kietzman jab (Kauffman Stadium location). Did that really need to be said in this article? What's the point?

I agree that KC (and Lawrence) would benefit from the stadium being located by The Legends or even downtown, but reading Keegan take the stance of Kevin Kietzman is nothing short of nauseating.

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cato_the_elder 1 year, 10 months ago

Zach Greinke pitching a superb game in Kauffman Stadium and getting no run support against a pitcher with a mediocre record? Sound familiar?

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