Tag Archive | "610 Sports"

I-70 Conversations: The Night Shift Host Nolan Woodford

KC Royals logo with blue background

Nolan Woodford, the host of ‘The Night Shift’ on 610 Sports Radio took a few minutes out of his schedule to talk with me. We discussed The Royals, focusing on the Shields/Myers trade with the benefit of some hindsight, how he would rate their season in general, and answered some mid-season award questions.

Paul: At the halfway point of the season, how would you evaluate the year? And what letter grade would you give it?

Nolan: The season hasn’t been a total disappointment so far – this is the closest the Royals have come to contending in a decade.  They’ve done some outstanding things and have loads of potential, but the results have been average at best, thus far.  They’re right on pace to go 78-84, which is where I had them at the start of the year.  But with the talent on this team and the way the starting rotation has performed, being under .500 should be considered underachieving.  So I would give them a C.  It’s going to be enough to get most everyone through the year, but it’s not a grade you’re particularly proud of.  There are certainly going to be opportunities for the grade to go up in the second semester.

Paul: Would you consider the Royals hitting .500 this year a success?

Nolan: Kind of.  I think the team has to go at least .500 for Ned Yost to keep his job.  But I think they’re clearly the second most talented team in the AL Central behind Detroit, which means they play a lot of games against teams they’re better than.  So while going .500 for the second time in the 21st century wouldn’t be a failure, they need to finish with a winning record.

Paul: In light of the Shields for Myers trade, does that make .500 not enough? Since KC only has Shields for 2 years and Myers is a potential future star, does that change the perception of what the Royals should do this year and next year?

Nolan: They need to make the playoffs either this year or next year.  And they have enough talent they can do so, especially if Eric Hosmer continues to produce like he has in the last few weeks.  But you traded away 6 or 7 years of Wil Myers for 2 years of James Shields.  Surely, the Tampa Bay Rays expect Wil Myers to guide them to the playoffs in that time.  So Shields needs to do the same in Kansas City.  You don’t trade away the Minor League Player of the Year if you’re not trying to win now.

Paul: Who would you consider to be the team’s MVP and Cy Young this year?

Nolan: I think the MVP is Salvador Perez with Alex Gordon a close second.  Perez is a year or two away from being the perennial All-Star starter / Gold Glove winner for Catchers in the American League.  The Royals went 2-7 when Perez was out after the death of his grandmother.  He just brings too much both to the line-up as well as the pitching staff.  There’s a reason he is considered the one absolutely untradeable commodity the Royals have.  Gordon is a close second because he’s also an All-Star candidate, a tremendous leader, and one of the best defensive outfielders in the game.  As far as Cy Young goes, while James Shields and Ervin Santana have pitched at an All-Star level, I’d give it to Greg Holland.  He averages nearly 2 strikeouts an inning and after a shaky first couple of weeks has established himself as one of the most dominant closers in baseball.

Paul: Who would you consider to be the AL’s MVP and Cy Young?

Nolan: Chris Davis is having a hell of a year in Baltimore, but to be the man you’ve gotta beat the man.  And Miguel Cabrera is still the man right now.  I would’ve gone Clay Buchholz for Cy Young before he went on the DL, but right now I’d probably go with Hisashi Iwakuma in Seattle.  At 13-0, Max Scherzer is in the discussion, but record doesn’t really matter anymore with the Cy Young voters.

Paul: Who would you consider to be the NL’s MVP and Cy Young this year?

Nolan: It’s not as easy a choice for MVP in the NL, but at this point in the season I’d go with Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks.  Carlos Gonzalez is having another MVP caliber season in Colorado as well.  Hands down, I’d go Clayton Kershaw for Cy Young with Matt Harvey as runner up.

Paul: What are your thoughts on Jeff Francoeur departing? Does that make the Myers trade harder to swallow?

Nolan: Nothing against Francoeur personally, but his departure was long overdue.  I think you have four very good outfielders in Gordon, Cain, Lough, and Dyson all outplaying Francoeur both offensively and defensively.  The Myers trade will only be hard to swallow if James Shields leaves without guiding the Royals to at least an AL Central Title.  Jeff Francoeur’s release only helps improve their chances of winning one.

Paul: Do you think Brett will have an impact as hitting coach and help change the hitting for The Royals?

Nolan: Since George Brett took over as Hitting Coach (with Pedro Grifol) on May 30th, the Royals have the best record in the AL Central.  Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas have both shown improvements, and their success may be the biggest key to the Royals having success in the second half.  Plus, I think just having the greatest Royal of all time in the dugout can do nothing but help a young team trying to guide a once great franchise to its first postseason in a generation.

Paul: You mentioned Yost, who was on the hot seat earlier this year. Now he seems to be a little safer as manager. What are your thoughts on him as a manager and on him keeping or losing his job?

Nolan: I think there’s probably a better manager out there for the job than Ned Yost.  Some of his managerial decisions are downright baffling – such as his insistence on batting a player with a .279 OBP in the 2-hole because he “thinks it’s a good fit”.  I remember – when the writing was on the wall for Trey Hillman – voicing my hope that the Royals could bring in Clint Hurdle, a former Royal who was serving as the Rangers’ Hitting Coach.  Now he’s managing the team that has the best record in the National League despite having Vin Mazzaro on its roster.  But no matter what, Ned’s going to be here until his contract is up at the end of the season.  I believe bringing in George Brett was done to help add a needed new voice without firing the manager and in turn putting Dayton Moore on the hot seat.  If the team finishes below .500, I think Ned gets let go regardless of who ends up on the hot seat next.  If they do better, then anything’s possible.

Thanks again to Nolan for doing the interview with me. And those in the Kansas City market, look out for his show ‘The Night Shift’, where you can hear more of his thoughts on The Royals, baseball and sports in general.

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Kansas City Royals and Tampa Bay Rays Announce Makeup Date

KCRoyalsPressRelease

KANSAS CITY, MO (June 21, 2013) – The Kansas City Royals announced today that the makeup game with the Tampa Bay Rays, which was postponed due to inclement weather on May 2, has been rescheduled for Monday, August 26 at 1:10 p.m. The game will be carried live on 610 Sports Radio and the Royals Radio Network.

School Day at The K ticket purchasers:

The original School Day at The K pre-game program on Thursday, May 2nd was rescheduled and performed on Wednesday, June 12th.  Any remaining School Day tickets from May 2nd are still good for the official make-up game on Monday, August 26th vs. Tampa Bay.  There will be no pre-game School Day program on Monday, August 26th.   If you are unable to attend the game on Tuesday, August 26th, you can exchange your original ticket from May 2nd to any future Royals home game during the 2013 regular season.

How to Exchange Your Tickets:

If you purchased your tickets from a Royals Group Sales Department and would like to exchange them for the August 26th game or another mutually agreed upon game as a group, please contact your Royals Group Sales representative.

All other May 2nd tickets can be exchanged for the August 26th game or any other regular season home game by visiting the Kansas City Royals Box office to exchange your ticket(s).

Please Note:

All seating is subject to availability at time of exchange.  The Royals will make every effort to provide seating as close to your original seat(s) as possible.  If seats in your seating category are unavailable for your game of choice, the Royals will make accommodate you in comparably priced seats.

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Kansas City Royals Spring Training Pics From Bob Fescoe

Bob Fescoe spent last week in Surprise, Arizona interviewing Kansas City Royals players and coaches for his morning show on Kansas City’s 610 Sports Radio.

When he was not on the air, he was taking in the sites of early Spring Training and snapping pics that he would later tweet out to his followers.

With Bob’s permission, we share those pics with you below:

Billy Butler BP

Picture 1 of 42

Billy Butler takes BP with Frenchy and Hosmer looking on

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

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Gloves For Kids In Kansas City Monday 9-17

KANSAS CITY, MO (September 16, 2012) – On Monday, September 17, fans will have the chance to help provide baseball equipment for Kansas City’s disadvantaged youth at a special Gloves For Kids event presented by the Royals and Ryan Lefebvre’s Footprints Foundation.  Additional support is provided by Rawlings, Rally House and 610 Sports Radio.  The event will be held at Rally House-Kansas City North, located at 8650 N. Boardwalk Ave. in Kansas City, Mo., from 6-8 p.m.

Select Royals players will sign autographs for fans who donate at least $25 toward new baseball gloves and other baseball/softball equipment for underprivileged youth in both the Kansas City area as well as the native countries of some of the event participants, including the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

Royals players scheduled to appear include:

Pitcher Louis Coleman                                    Second Baseman Johnny Giavotella
Pitcher Tim Collins                                          Pitcher Jeremy Guthrie
Pitcher Danny Duffy                                        Pitcher Kelvin Herrera
Shortstop Alcides Escobar                             Catcher Salvador Perez
Second Baseman Chris Getz                         Manager Ned Yost

Session participants will be announced at Rally House at 5 p.m.  One group of players will sign from 6-7 p.m. with the other group to follow from 7-8 p.m.  Please note that a $25 donation is required for each session, and fans will be allowed to have one item autographed by each Royals player participating in that session.  Sales for both sessions will begin at 5 p.m., and each session will be capped at 150 people.  For details, visit www.royals.com/glovesforkids.

The event will also include a Royals Charities silent auction featuring unique Royals memorabilia, including autographed items from players including Billy Butler, Mike Moustakas and George Brett, which will run until 7:45 p.m.  In addition, Bob Fescoe, host of “Fescoe in the Morning” on 610 Sports Radio, the home of the Royals, will be reporting live from Rally House from 5-7 p.m.

Created in 2001 by Lefebvre’s Footprints Foundation, the Gloves For Kids event has raised more than $85,000 to provide new baseball gloves and related equipment for Kansas City area youth.

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Clemenating Jonathan Sanchez

I know this makes me far from unique, but as a young man growing up in Kansas City that dreamed of being a journalist, I became quite enamored with Joe Posnanski. Posnanski, of course, was a star columnist at the Kansas City Star along with Jason Whitlock. Both went on to bigger and better things in far different ways, and both were incredible columnists. While Whitlock had a way of dividing a city on seemingly any topic, Posnanski was much more subtle. He could write something you already knew, something you were already thinking, and make you care about it more than you ever had. Whitlock could make you feel things about him….Posnanski made you feel things about you.

Okay, if you’re still with me I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with our Kansas City Royals. Well, seemingly because the current English language cannot fully express his literary genius, Posnanski has on his blog started JoeWords. This is awesome, and I encourage you to read it, but for the purposes of this article I just want to focus on one of them:

Clemenate (KLEM-a-nayt), verb, to hate an athlete in an entirely healthy, fun sports way (rather than hating them in a crazed, stalking, loaded gun, insane sort of way). Ex. Jonathan Sanchez is making himself far too easy to clemenate this season.

This week saw a flurry of commentary about Sanchez. 610 Sports ran a gag trying to get him blocked from Twitter, Ryan Lefebvre and Rex Hudler bother questioned how much Sanchez loved baseball, and Bob Dutton wrote a scathing piece about the Royals refusal to consider shipping Sanchez out. However, the one that really caught my eye came from Minda Haas. Minda is an outstanding photographer and a good friend of I70 baseball, and this week she wrote this.

Minda is right in many regards, most notably that baseball players are people too and their life need not revolve around baseball for them to be successful. I also agree that personal attacks against baseball players based on their performance are unwarranted, and I think this is what Posnanski was trying to capture when he created the word clemenate.

I don’t hate Jonathan Sanchez, but I clemenate him with ounce of my baseball loving soul. I clemenate his attitude, because it’s hard to watch him play the game and think he cares even a little. I clemenate his methods, because watching him pitch, even when he’s getting people out, is equal parts maddening and sleep inducing. Mostly though I clemenate what he has done to this Royals season.

The Royals are 3-7 in his ten starts this season and he’s given them an average of 4 2/3 innings per start. Every time it seems like the Royals are about to get on a hot streak, Sanchez kills all momentum an uninspiring walk-filled performance. Young teams are streaky, and this Royals team has lived up to that billing, but it’s tough to streak too far in the right direction when you know you’re sending Sanchez to the mound every 5 days.

The bottom line is, Sanchez must go…quickly. We’ve seen far too many young stars grow disenchanted with the Royals version of “trying” to win. You can not in good faith tell Eric Hosmer or Mike Moustakas that we’re trying to win when you continue to send Sanchez to the mound.

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Royals Spring Broadcasts Announced

ROYALS AND ENTERCOM-KANSAS CITY ANNOUNCE 15 GAMES OF 2012 SPRING TRAINING BROADCAST SCHEDULE

KANSAS CITY, MO (February 15, 2012) — The Kansas City Royals and Entercom-Kansas City today announced the first 15 broadcasts of the 2012 Royals Spring Training Radio schedule that will air on 610 Sports Radio (KCSP-AM).  All Spring Training contests will be webcast on royals.com, including the games not on 610 Sports Radio.  The Royals and 610 Sports Radio will add five more broadcasts once the NCAA Tournament schedule is released due to 610’s commitment to University of Kansas basketball as well.

The 2012 spring radio broadcast schedule is as follows:

Sunday March 4 @ Texas 1:05 p.m.
Monday March 5 vs. Texas 2:05 p.m.  
Tuesday March 6 vs. San Diego (SS) 2:05 p.m.  
Sunday March 11 @ Oakland 3:05 p.m.  
Monday March 12 vs. San Francisco 3:05 p.m.  
Tuesday March 20 vs. Los Angeles Angels 3:05 p.m.  
Wednesday March 21 vs. Oakland 3:05 p.m.  
Monday March 26 @ San Francisco 3:05 p.m.  
Tuesday March 27 @ Milwaukee 3:05 p.m.  
Wednesday March 28 vs. Texas 8:05 p.m.  
Thursday March 29 @ Los Angeles Angels 3:05 p.m.  
Friday March 30 vs. Chicago White Sox 8:05 p.m.  
Sunday April 1 @ Seattle 3:05 p.m.  
Tuesday April 3 @ San Diego (PETCO Park) 9:05 p.m.  
Wednesday April 4 @ San Diego (Lake Elsinore) 4:05 p.m.  

                                *All Times Central – Game Times Subject to Change

 

For the 44th year, Royals Hall of Famer Denny Matthews will call Spring Training play-by-play action and he’ll be joined by Ryan Lefebvre, newcomer Steve Physioc and Steve Stewart.  The spring schedule for Bob Davis will be determined by University of Kansas basketball.  Stewart will anchor the exhibition webcasts.

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The Big Question Might Be The Big Z

Carlos Zambrano.

There are very few names that will launch most any baseball writer into a tirade quicker than that one. Zambrano is the type of player that is seldom loved in our end of the spectrum that is baseball but when he is, that writers will quickly come to his defense. More often than not, writers are quick to point out all of the wonderful flaws that surround the pitcher known simply as “Z”.

As a writer myself and a lover of baseball, I dislike the term “off-season”. There truly is no off-season in baseball, it simply becomes a time of year when Major League Baseball is not operating games with the thirty clubs that we all follow so closely. It is this time of year, the administrative time of year, that games shift to winter ball and our focus turns to our team’s adjustments being made for the following season.

Today we have learned, thanks to an interview with Mark Carman at 610 Sports, that Dayton Moore has identified a possible fit in Kansas City for the game’s most interesting character, Carlos Zambrano. From that interview:

We would have to be interested. We would have to explore it because that’s what you should do. You should explore every opportunity. Carlos Zambrano is a heckuva competitor. Carlos Zambrano has had a lot of success in the major leagues. Carlos Zambrano is actually a very pleasant, easy going, classy person off the field. Sometimes, as with all of us the competitiveness takes over and brings out qualities in us that we are not proud of. Obviously the Cubs grew tired of some of his outbursts but I believe in our coaching staff and we’ll always take a chance and a risk on certain players. We’ll see how that particular situation unfolds.

Let me try to break the mold of the two types of writers I just described and let’s take a look at the two sides of Carlos Zambrano. First, we will drop by our friends at Baseball-Reference for some pure statistical analysis:

Year Age Tm W L ERA G GS GF CG IP R ER HR BB SO WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2001 20 CHC 1 2 15.26 6 1 1 0 7.2 13 13 2 8 4 2.478 12.9 2.3 9.4 4.7 0.50
2002 21 CHC 4 8 3.66 32 16 3 0 108.1 53 44 9 63 93 1.449 7.8 0.7 5.2 7.7 1.48
2003 22 CHC 13 11 3.11 32 32 0 3 214.0 88 74 9 94 168 1.318 7.9 0.4 4.0 7.1 1.79
2004 23 CHC 16 8 2.75 31 31 0 1 209.2 73 64 14 81 188 1.216 7.5 0.6 3.5 8.1 2.32
2005 24 CHC 14 6 3.26 33 33 0 2 223.1 88 81 21 86 202 1.146 6.9 0.8 3.5 8.1 2.35
2006 25 CHC 16 7 3.41 33 33 0 0 214.0 91 81 20 115 210 1.294 6.8 0.8 4.8 8.8 1.83
2007 26 CHC 18 13 3.95 34 34 0 1 216.1 100 95 23 101 177 1.331 7.8 1.0 4.2 7.4 1.75
2008 27 CHC 14 6 3.91 30 30 0 1 188.2 85 82 18 72 130 1.293 8.2 0.9 3.4 6.2 1.81
2009 28 CHC 9 7 3.77 28 28 0 1 169.1 78 71 10 78 152 1.376 8.2 0.5 4.1 8.1 1.95
2010 29 CHC 11 6 3.33 36 20 2 0 129.2 55 48 7 69 117 1.450 8.3 0.5 4.8 8.1 1.70
2011 30 CHC 9 7 4.82 24 24 0 0 145.2 80 78 19 56 101 1.442 9.5 1.2 3.5 6.2 1.80
11 Seasons 125 81 3.60 319 282 6 9 1826.2 804 731 152 823 1542 1.319 7.8 0.7 4.1 7.6 1.87
162 Game Avg. 14 9 3.60 36 32 1 1 207 91 83 17 93 174 1.319 7.8 0.7 4.1 7.6 1.87
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/8/2011.

If you took a look at that chart and did not know who it belonged to, you would be in full support of Dayton Moore pursuing this opportunity. He is a top of the rotation type starter that can dominate when he is on his game.

The true test, however, is Zambrano off the field. Face it, the Royals are a very young franchise right now. Guys like Jeff Francoeur not only add production, but leadership to the clubhouse. Frenchy is the type of guy you want around the young players, showing them the ropes and teaching them life outside of, and around, the game.

Like him or not, Zambrano has had some meltdowns. He walked out on his team last season. He gets visibly upset on the field and has been known to fight with his teammates, even in the dugout during a game.

The player that takes the mound would be a game changer for the Royals.

The player that has had so many public problems would be a distraction to a young team.

Those two points are hard to put on a scale and weigh out. Dayton Moore has that choice before him right now. Is the risk of the possible chemistry problem worth the reward of what the player can provide on the field?

What works in the Royals favor is the situation in Chicago itself. The Cubs are going to cut bait with Zambrano, so if they can find a trade partner to send them a bag of balls and pick up $1 million of the horrible contract he is under, they will take it. It puts Moore in a good position to move a low level prospect and barely pick up any salary in order to acquire a potential front of the line starter. Again, the Royals General Manager had this to say:

He has a no-trade clause for 29 other teams so he is going to have to be comfortable wherever he goes and there is a lot of money attached to his deal. There is a vesting option that is a part of that worth $18 or 19 million going forward. We certainly wouldn’t want to put ourselves in a position where we have to honor a contract of that nature.

I don’t envy GMDM on this one. It is not as clear cut as you would like it to be.

The quotes utilized in this article were provided by MLBTradeRumors.com and have been credited to CSNChicago.com’s Dave Kaplan.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
Follow him on Twitter here.

 

 

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