25 October 2006

Bell back

Well, what I've been worrying about has happened. Buddy Bell will be back in 2007, as the team announced this past week. I guess we Royals fans have to trust Dayton Moore's judgement on this but, damn, I wish he had jettisoned him. Of course, it's hard to fire someone who left the team late in the season for cancer surgery. Doesn't look that great to fire that guy. Hopefully the Royals can improve in 2007 despite Bell's presence in the dugout. I figure if they don't, surely Bell's gotta go. Of course, any manager becomes "better" if better players are in the lineup, so on that note I hope for improvement next season. In other news, Jimmy Gobble, Emil Brown, Brandon Duckworth, Runelvys Hernandez and Todd Wellemeyer were ruled "Super Two" guys and will likely get big raises if they come back with KC next season. If they don't get contracts, at least Gobble, Duckworth and Wellemeyer will become free agents. In another quick hit, on a Hawaiian Winter Baseball note, Mike Stodolka is hitting .370 with a 1.033 OPS through 9 games and, in the Arizona Fall League, Luke Hochevar got hammered in his first start but was slightly better in start #2 (he has taken no decisions so far) and Mitch Maier is hitting .327 through 11 games.

Another NPB Note is pending on one of Japan's most tradition-rich franchises -- the Hanshin Tigers, so look for that whenever I can wrap it up.

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