So the big announcement promised on Monday comes a few days late… The cat is already out of the proverbial bag at this point.  Anyway, just in case you didn’t hear:

Royals Authority has joined ESPN’s Sweet Spot Network as their Royals blog.

Clark, Nick and I are really pumped about this opportunity to partner with ESPN.  We have to thank Rob Neyer and the gang at ESPN for pulling everything together.  Rob made the announcement on Tuesday and kind of gave a State Of The SweetSpot laying out the reasons behind forming this network and his vision for the future.

Just because we’ve “gone corporate” doesn’t mean our coverage of our favorite team is going to change.  We are going to continue to break down The Process, piece by piece and while providing the same Royals coverage you (hopefully) enjoy on a daily basis.  It may sound corny, but you guys are the reason for our success.  We can’t thank you enough for reading and commenting.

Since the network is brand new, we’re still not sure about the total role we will play.  They’ll link to us from time to time and they’ve already used us for their Power Rankings.  We may get into an ESPN chat when the Royals are on the network.  (Not holding my breath on that one.)  If you are a basketball fan and you know about their True Hoop network, that is what we’re hoping to emulate.

One change you may have noticed is the navigation bar at the top of the site.  The pulldown menu features other bloggers on the network.  We also feature them on our sidebar. Visit them.  It’s a quality group.

In other site news, as part of our goal to be a one-stop for Royals information, we’ve added a few new pages at the top of the site.  The first link is 2010 Payroll, which breaks down the contracts of the 25 players on the roster and the three currently on the DL.  There’s also a graph that charts the Opening Day payroll going back five years to 2006.

We also added a page dedicated to Dayton Moore and the moves he’s made as General Manager.  It’s a resource that lists every trade, waiver claim and free agent he’s brought to Kansas City.  It will continue to be updated throughout the year.  It’s not meant to be a commentary, rather it’s a reference.  If you can’t remember who was involved in his first ever trade (Brandon Duckworth) or who his most frequent trade partner is (White Sox – 4 deals) you can hit his page and see for yourself.

Finally, on a personal note, I am currently writing about fantasy baseball at Baseball Prospectus.  I’m just as excited and enthused about this development as I am our partnership with ESPN.  Plus, I get to talk about RBI.  My latest piece is about cleanup hitters.

It’s been quite a month at Royals Authority.  Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Luke Hochevar vs. Max Scherzer on Wednesday. We’ll get to see how Hochevar fares after taking that comebacker off his ankle in his final spring start.  There’s also the matter of his new changeup.  Should be interesting.  It always is.