Friday, June 18, 2010

All Star Game, baby!

This comes as no real surprise, but Kauffman Stadium will be hosting the 2012 MLB All-Star Game.

I'm going to do my darnedest to get tickets, at least to the Home Run Derby, but I'm not going to hold my breath. However, this is pretty exciting for Kansas City, and great for the Royals - and hopefully by 2012 we'll have a team worthy of All-Star designation.

Of course, this won't be Kansas City's first All-Star game. We hosted in 1973, and if you've followed this All-Star story at all, you know that 17 - seventeen - players from that 1973 game are now in the Hall of Fame, including...

Hank Aaron

Tom Seaver

Johnny Bench

Nolan Ryan

Carl Yastrzemski

Catfish Hunter

Carlton Fisk

Brooks Robinson

...just to name a few. Pete Rose was also there. And another ballplayer you may have heard of: Willie Mays, in his final All-Star appearance.

Who will be the Hall of Famers from the 2012 game? I'm guessing the number will probably be less than 17.

Derek Jeter will probably be there. He's a lock for the Hall. Mariano Rivera, if he's still playing. Alex Rodriguez, if the steroid stigma will allow him entry into the Hall. And that's just from the Yankees.

But after that, the Hall of Fame prospects get a little thinner. JAlbert Pujols? Yeah, probably, if he can avoid the steroid speculation. Joe Mauer? Yeah, if he keeps hitting the way he's hitting. Ichiro? Maybe, but he might not have the career numbers to do it (although he already has over 2,000 hits in nine-plus years). Roy Halladay? Tim Lincecum? Zack Greinke? Any number of pitchers in the game today could string together five or six strong seasons and be considered for Cooperstown.

Then there are a lot of borderline position players who may or may not be Hall of Fame worthy. David Wright, Chase Utley, Dustin Pedroia, Miguel Cabrera, guys like that.

Who knows? But it'll be a lot of fun to watch. Can't wait until 2012.

--Matt Kelsey

Monday, June 7, 2010

Is there a Henry Wiggen on the board for the Royals in the draft?

We're hours away from the 2010 MLB First Year Players Draft, and the Royals have the No. 4 overall pick.

Which is just the Royals' luck.

All the draft experts say there are three great prospects in this year's draft class, led by Bryce Harper, likely to go first overall to the Nationals. After those three, as Peter Gammons says, No. 4 through No. 44 are pretty much at the same talent level.

That just sucks.

Still, the Royals should be able to get an impact player. There was talk over the weekend that the Royals had reached a tentative agreement with catcher Yasmani Grandal, but it sounds like it's mostly fell through. I think they'll take lefty college pitcher Chris Sale.

It's always good to stockpile young pitching.

But the Royals are known for reaching down deep past great prospects for lesser-known commodities (Luke Hochevar No. 1 overall, anyone?).

I guess we'll see.

But this day, Draft Day, is where you build a winning team. Let's hope the Royals can lay a cornerstone this afternoon.

UPDATE: So it wasn't a pitcher they chose. Instead it was Cal State Fullerton shortstop Christian Colon. I like the pick. He seems like a solid ballplayer and a good citizen. I'm sure we'll learn a lot more about him in the coming days, weeks, months and years.

--Matt Kelsey

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Giving up television: An update

This is more difficult than I thought.

It's not even like there's anything on that I want to watch, but turning off the TV - or, more appropriately, not turning on the TV - has proven to be tough. It's an odd feeling for me, just sitting there, reading a book or a magazine, without the TV on in the background. Even now, as I type this post, I can hear the TV blaring from the other room, where I left it on earlier this evening.

I think this difficulty in kicking the habit shows conclusively that I am addicted to television.

And I'll bet most of the people reading this are, too.

I'm gonna keep trying, though. I don't want to go cold turkey, but I'm going to wean myself off the tube.

The first step is to go turn it off right now.

-- Matt Kelsey