Baseball and BBQ

Sure, living in Omaha may have brainwashed me a bit. It's Royals country up here, but I'm going to pose a bold question; Could the Royals be better than the Cards in 2010? The answer is 'Yes'.

Damn, that was tough to say. Sure, the Cards have a future about as bright as a bilingual hooker in El Paso, and the Royals are bound to piss half the talent away for a pack of Marlboros and a Frisco Burger. But looking at projected '10 rosters, it's tough to argue...

Catcher- Yadier Molina
First Base- Albert Pujols
Second Base- Brendan Ryan
Third Base- David Freese
Shortstop- Pete Kozma
Left Field- Chris Duncan
Center Field- Colby Rasmus
Right Field- Rick Ankiel
No. 1 Starter- Chris Carpenter with a robotic arm
No. 2 Starter- Adam Wainwright
No. 3 Starter- Jaime Garcia
No. 4 Starter- Adam Ottavino
No. 5 Starter- Clayton Mortensen
Closer- Chris Perez

Catcher- John Buck
First Base- Mike Stodolka
Second Base- Alberto Callaspo/Mike Aviles
Third Base- Alex Gordon
Shortstop- Mike Moustakas
Left Field- Jose Guillen
Center Field- Joey Gathright/Mitch Maier
Right Field- Chris Lubanski
Designated Hitter- Billy Butler
No. 1 Starter- Daniel Cortes
No. 2 Starter- Luke Hochevar
No. 3 Starter- Zack Greinke
No. 4 Starter- Gil Meche
No. 5 Starter- Brian Bannister
Closer- Joakim Soria

I've seen too much minor league ball to not know who most of these guys on both rosters are. Sure, Omaha has weird shit like PBR (not Pabst like I thought, but Pro Bull Ridin') and people going ape for Olympic Swimming, but for the first time since I've been up here, they will also have a decent minor league system. The Royals hired ex-Braves front office boy Dayton Moore and his crew last year, and he's flipped the entire system in less than 18 months. The Royals still spend a Brinks truck on crappy free agents like Jose Guillen and Gil Mess, and could never figure out a way to keep their own talent...basically the anti-pimp. But with the early 90's Braves model, this Royals team is scary good.

The Cards, in turn, flip the script: horrendous minor leagues and nabbing great free agents AND keeping their own team intact. An example of how bad the Cards minor league system has been was having Rick Ankiel as a top prospect at two different positions in less than four years. That's how bad the Cards OF prospects (minus Rasmus) have been for the past four years. Sick.

It's not impossible that the Royals implode and decide to hand out players quicker than Sir throwing back JIB tacos at 3:52 in the AM, and it's basically guaranteed that the Cardinals will make some sort of move so a drunken Mike Shannon never has to say David Freese at third, but we have to look at the stack right now...and the Royals have it.

Kansas City is becoming the new Birds on Bat. Both teams will basically have new stadiums by then (huge K renovation...with Ballpark Village!), good young GMs, a good pitching staff, and both teams could have a repeat of '85 in 2010. That's boldness son!

**Side note: How sweet is it to not see Izzy on a '10 Cards roster.**

No comments: