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Friday, May 26, 2006

A few suggestions, if I may, for the troubled but proud Kansas City Royals baseball team:

1. Trade Mike Sweeney. This in no way impugns Sweeney, but he makes too much for this team. Even if the trade value is low due to his injuries and age, the money saved will be worth it.
2. Re-acquire Jeff Suppan. He's the kind of pitcher the Royals need: always keeps his team in the game. And since his stats aren't that impressive, he won't break the bank.
3. Hire a great pitching coach. Dave Ricketts or Leo Mazzone (masterminded all those Braves division titles) can't be that attached to their new jobs.
4. Keep Reggie Sanders. The guy wins wherever he goes. It's clubhouse chemistry. That is the beginning of winning: a clubhouse full of guys who like each other.
5. Don't trade any minor-league prospects, ever. Even if St. Louis offers Pujols, don't do it. Most especially not pitchers, ever.
6. Stop making excuses. Oakland and Minnesota are consistently good with similar financial constraints. And a little winning will help revenues!
7. Be willing to tilt most of the payroll toward the starting pitchers, once good ones are found. This is why KC is bad: no starting pitching.
8. Ask San Diego what they want for Tim Stauffer. Unless they say, 'prospects' or 'cash,' give them what they ask for. This kid is going to be a star starting pitcher.

The ideal but plausible KC starting rotation looks like this:
Zack Grienke
Jeff Suppan
Tim Stauffer
Sidney Ponson
Mark Redman (he's not as bad as his stats suggest)

Do indeed thank STL for their generous contributions to future Royals success (Both Ponson and Jeff Suppan pitch for the Cardinals now). I think this rotation could be very good, if a bit unnoticed. But unnoticed is how one wants its starting pitchers when one shares a league with the Yankees.

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