Weekend notes...It could be worse
RC is no big fan of Royals television play-by-play man Bob Davis, but we're also not one to incessantly whine about him either. Yes, Davis stinks, and RC much prefers to listen to the Royals radio broadcast team, which we do on our Official XM radio whenever the Royals have a home game. But the constant whining about Davis by the Royals blogosphere does get pretty old (the biggest whiner being someone we no longer link to).
The reason we bring this up is because today, RC was forced to watch the Tigers' broadcast. RC takes many measures to avoid such an unfortunate scenario, by subscribing to XM radio, MLB Extra Innings, and MLB.TV. Because of this overkill, rarely are the stars aligned so perfectly against us that RC has no other recourse but to listen to an opponent's broadcast. But it happened tonight.
And for those of you who are convinced that Davis is the worst baseball announcer in the game, you clearly haven't heard Tigers color-man Rod Allen. Allen is just terrible. As much as you hate Davis, at least he doesn't talk like a seventh grader. At least he doesn't refer multiple times during the broadcast to a player, camera man, or Tigers employee "getting his groove on." Just remember that the next time you're swearing at your television when Davis misidentifies a player or gets excited about a fly ball that is caught 50 feet shy of the warning track.
RC first reported that other organizations' scouts were incredibly impressed with Bianchi after seeing his first couple games in Arizona, and their evaluation of him appears to have been spot on. Too bad for them that the Royals figured it out first and placed him higher on their draft board than anyone else.
By the way, we finally figured out how to provide a direct link to Bianchi's MLB Scouting Bureau video. We highly recommend you watch it, because it's fun as hell to watch him go 4-for-4, slamming a couple homers, a double, and a single. You can access the video here.
We know that that Royals were concerned that Nicoll had thrown a lot of innings earlier this season for his college team, so it will be interesting to see how they handle him. We anticipate he'll probably head to Idaho Falls, where he'll pitch sparingly, as J.P. Howell did last summer.
- On whether or not winning more games is the main second-half goal:
"I just want to keep guys healthy, and I want to be able to know what we’ve got by the end of the year. That’s the most important thing...But we’re going to consider the second half just an extension of the season. We’re not going to turn over a new leaf or anything like that. We’ve just got to continue to get better. That’s the way (the players) need to look at it."
- On the Royals rushing prospects to Kansas City:
“We can evaluate guys in Double-A and Triple-A. But you know what? You don’t really get a true evaluation until these guys have been in the big leagues for a couple of months. This game is so much faster at this level...What they see up here is something they’ve never experienced. Ever. They can’t learn it until they get in this situation, until they get into the big leagues and learn to understand the speed of the game.”
- On players understanding the game:
"It’s not just swinging the bats and making great plays. It’s understanding the game situationally. They’ve got to understand what to do in certain situations. That’s come a long way since I first got here. It’s still not where it needs to be...It doesn’t necessarily mean that a guy comes out and hits a home run or hits a cutoff man or anything like that. It’s where you’re positioned on the field, positioning. Knowing who’s hitting and their tendencies. Knowing who’s pitching and how they pitch.”
OK, some of that is little more than the company line. But the important thing is there's no doubt Bell believes in what the Royals are trying to accomplish. That's imperative, because if he and Allard Baird aren't on the same page, this isn't going to work. But most important, Bell is clearly a patient man, which is absolutely vital for the manager of a developing team.