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I’m in the best shape of my life.

Last year, there were times when my wrist hurt. Some days, my fingers were stiff. Frankly, from about July on, it was painful to type.

So this winter, I dedicated myself to getting fit. I bought one of those hand-grip things to build strength in my wrists and I ve been lifting tiny little weights with my fingers.

I m eating better, too. I hired a nutritionist. Did you know that french fries, fried motzerella sticks, buffalo wings and beer are bad for you? I thought it was fuel for blogging. Turns out it was just fuel for getting fat. I ve completely overhauled my diet. Instead of eating that stuff every day, I cut it back to five days a week. Hey, cold turkey is a bitch.

Last year, I blogged at 180. This year, I m going to blog at 165. I figure that by carrying less weight, I ll be a little faster at the keyboard. Maybe my words per minute will go up. Last year, I was at about 65 WPM. Although I don t pay attention to stats like that. I leave that to the geeks.

I m also getting plenty of sleep. Building up my reserves so I can stay up late to catch the pivotal A s-Royals tilts on the West Coast. I can t lie Last year there were times I ran out of gas by the fifth inning. This year I m going to make sure I can go the full nine.

When I broke in five years ago, I had no idea the level of commitment this took. As I moved up the ranks, it was all so easy high school english, freshman comp in college but now I m a veteran and I know what I need to do to stay healthy and inspired for a full season. This year is gonna be huge.

Let s blog.


So, Sluggerrr pegged a fan in the eye with a hot dog and the fan is suing? Obviously, there are just a ton of jokes to make about this and since it s the Royals, it s even more hilarious. If it s not players shooting reporters, it s the mascot gunning down fans.

Let s step back a moment and imagine how this could have occurred at other ballparks:

— If it happened at a Yankee game, the problem would just magically go away. No one would hear from the plaintiff ever again.

— If it happened at a Met game, Omar Minaya would sign the mascot, slot him into the rotation in place of Oliver Perez and declare himself the winner of The Contest.

— If it happened at a Brewer game, the item of assault would have been a bratwurst.

— If it happened at a Phillies game, the rest of the crowd would have extracted their revenge on the mascot. Then, their thirst for violence only partially quenched, they would have turned on the injured fan.

— If it happened at a Dodger game, no one would have cared because Dodger Dogs are the best and it s an honor to get maimed by one.

— If it happened at a Red Sox game, John Henry would invite the injured person to be his guest in his private suite at Fenway for a playoff game, Theo would show him the company spreadsheets used to evaluate players and Terry Francona would let him be an honorary captain for a three game series against the Yankees.

— If it happened at a Giants game, the fan would have been struck by sushi.

— If it happened at a Marlins game, the hot dog would have landed in an empty seat.

— If it happened at a Cardinal game, Tony LaRussa would have logged a protest with PETA on behalf of the fan for getting hit with a meat product.

— If it happened at a Rays game, it would have hit a Yankee or Red Sox fan.

— If it happened at a White Sox game, Ozzie Guillen would have called everyone involved wimps and then would have demonstrated the proper hot dog throwing technique while aiming at Kenny Williams. Yeesssssssss.

In all wiener seriousness, this sucks for the guy who got injured. No one expects to go to a Royals game and get pegged in the face by a flying hot dog courtesy of some goof in a lion costume. If you think about it, it s surprising a serious accident hasn t happened with that compressed air launcher they normally just to turn food into missiles.

I hope the Royals do the right thing and help the guy out. Although since this has landed in court, I wonder if we re past the point where the Royals would do anything on their own.


Some random notes while I m still in the best blogging shape of my life.

-If you re not on Twitter, you re missing some great Royals Authority tweets. However, I m now prepared to announce that Ozzie Guillen on Twitter is the best thing to ever happen on the internet. Yeeessssssss.

-Greg Schaum launched his new website last week, Royals Prospects. If there s someone who knows more than Greg about the Royals minor league system Let s just say no one knows more about the Royals minor league system than Greg. He s already got just a ton of content. Do yourself a favor and bookmark it.

-We’ll have a couple of really cool announcements coming soon about the direction we hope to take Royals Authority for the upcoming season. Really cool announcements. Stuff where everyone wins. Stay tuned…

Yesterday, Clark posted his over/under scenarios for the regular season. Today, I present some questions I have as camp gets set to open. We ll find out some answers almost immediately and others will take a bit longer to sort out.

Hey, the good news is, baseball is in the air. About damn time. On with the questions.

Are Gil Meche and Brian Bannister healthy and ready to make 32 starts for the Royals?

Although both pitchers were felled by Trey Hillman’s Starting Pitcher Chainsaw Massacre, Meche’s troubles began in his first spring training start last year when he reported a stiff back following a one inning outing. If both are healthy and Meche returns to the form he flashed in his first two seasons with the Royals and Bannister can continue to refine his cutter he developed last year, this team has the foundation of a quality starting rotation. As many have pointed out, the CHONE projections have the Royals rotation ranked as the 6th best in baseball.

Take those projections with a grain of salt. Zack Greinke has the highest projected WAR among all pitchers and CHONE is making the assumption that both Meche and Bannister are healthy and at the top of their game. Certainly, the potential is there, but let s not get carried away just yet.

Where will Alberto Callaspo play?

Did you see the Star’s rundown of the 40 man roster on Sunday. Nothing huge, just little capsules on each player along with a one-liner about how they fit on the team. For Chris Getz, the line read, Second base is his job to lose.


I know Callaspo leaves a lot to be desired with his glove, but this is a team in desperate need for offense, which is something Callaspo provides. If Getz is the starting second baseman, will the Royals slide Callaspo over to DH? I’d be fine with that, but then what happens with Jose Guillen? Honestly, I could care less about what happens with Guillen, but do we really want to hear the inevitable stories about how he’s pissed off? Oh well, this is his last season here, so he may as well go out with some fireworks.

Speaking of Guillen, is there any chance the Royals will get some production out of him in 2010?

I’ve heard various reports about his health and fitness this winter. It’s ranged from good to bad to horrible, so how he’s doing health-wise is anyone s guess.

My hope is, he reports to camp fat and hurt and the Royals decide to immediately end the Guillen era and give him his unconditional release. Hey, we’re out $12 million for 2010 anyway.

Has anyone heard if the Royals found someone to play the part of Sluggerrrr? Maybe the Royals can get their money s worth by having Guillen don the costume. That would be great, but can you imagine the liability when he s performing at a birthday party, drops a handful of f-bombs and then tears his groin while shooting hot dogs?

Is Billy Butler still motivated?

The knock on Butler prior to last season was he lacked a certain amount of maturity that would push him to realize his potential. All he did to dispel that notion was to work all winter on his defense and report to camp in excellent shape.

My question then, did he do something similar this off season? Sometimes, success creates a comfort level and some athletes aren’t able (or willing) to push themselves to maintain that success.

I m not saying Butler is a candidate for regression. There s no evidence he decided to take the winter off and rest on his laurels. I m just saying I hope he’s still working just as hard as he worked last year. I just get the feeling he could have a monster year if he put in the proper work this winter.

Who will set-up Soria?

The Dayton Moore era has been marked with bullpen uncertainty almost since day one. Sometimes, it all works out like it did in 2008. Other times not so much, like last year. Juan Cruz will be looking to bounce back but with Kyle Farnsworth and Robinson Tejeda auditioning for a starting role, there aren t many known commodities currently residing in the back of the bullpen.

(Hopefully the Royals understand Farnsworth isn’t an option to be a set-up man. I fear when it becomes apparent he can t start, the Royals will undoubtedly try him in this role once again.)

Will Alex Gordon be ready for the season?

Last year was supposed to be his breakout year, but now like his free agency, it s been delayed a season.

With newly acquired third baseman Josh Fields in the fold, is it possible the Royals picked him up to apply some pressure to Gordon? The parallels between the two are interesting in that both were highly touted prospects coming out of college and have yet to come close to that potential in the majors. Fields represents a true alternative should Gordon once again falter (through injury or poor performance.) That s something the Royals have never really had at third. Certainly, Teahen could have been that but during his last three years with the team, his services were needed at other positions. This year, Fields doesn’t really fit anywhere on this team.

I think it would be super cool if they threw the third base job wide open. Fields versus Gordon, may the best man win. It’s not like your going to piss Gordon off more than you already have. Besides, competition is healthy. That alone would make spring training infinitely more interesting.

There you go. A few questions for you to ponder as the equipment trucks and players roll into Surprise to get ready for the season.

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