For What it's Worth: Shocker scheduling and Royal pain

(WICHITA, Kan.)

Of course the Royals get on a flight they have to shut down because of mechanical issues---different ones, I trust, than the Royals themselves have been suffering through for the last three weeks. I’m sure they enjoyed the bus ride over to St. Louis, giving more credibility to the so-called I-70 series.

Self-fulfilling prophecy---

Even when the Royals went to the eighth up 3-1 in St. Louis last night—you were waiting for the other shoe to drop. That’s how bad it’s gotten for Royals fans and, sure enough, Carlos Beltran leads off the eighth with a homer and the choke was on. One of the big differences between good and bad teams, besides talent, is the belief that you can get it done. Even down two runs with six at bats left, the Cardinals are thinking that they’re still going to find a way to win. Meanwhile, the Royals are wondering how they’re going to lose it. One’s belief or skepticism is a powerful force in sports, I’m not saying it was the only factor in the Cardinals rally—but it was a factor.

Arrested development---

Think about how many players the Royals have successfully developed over the last 25 years. By developed I mean productive, day to day players with staying power in the big leagues. Beltran, Mike Sweeney, Zach Grienke, Billy Butler and Alex Gordon are the names that come to mind, catcher Salvador Perez has a chance. Consider the four first round draft picks the Royals currently have on their roster: Aaron Crow, Luke Hochaever, Mike Moustakis and Eric Hosmer. Crow and Hochaver are both back end of the bullpen guys and the Moustakis/Hosmer promise has yet to be realized.

Not all his fault---but---

Kansas City Manager Ned Yost can be excused for hearing footsteps; my guess is that he’ll be the first of the sacrificial lambs to be offered up this season. The Royals have had six separate losing streaks of six games or more under Yost, who, other than just trying to stay positive, seems at wits end on what to do with his club. At the end of the day, players have to make plays—what we’re finding out is that there are precious few of those in Kansas City who can.

Upping the ante---

We figured that Wichita State’s Final Four run should give them some scheduling cache and it appears that’s happening. It appears that Alabama will play a home and home with the Shockers starting next year meaning the Tide, Tennessee and Davidson are sure to be on WSU’s schedule along with two of the three from Texas, DePaul and Brigham Young. Knowing Gregg Marshall, I would be surprised if more isn’t in the works as he’s taking an RPI hit with Creighton leaving the Valley.

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