RC World Exclusive!

After months of prying our sources for information, RC today learned from an unimpeachable informant the details of the uniform changes scheduled for 2006. We can't reveal our source, but we can now confirm (with 100 percent certainty) some of the changes that will be made.

Contrary to earlier reports, the black color scheme will stay. The Royals are happy with the look, but the uniform will now read "Kansas City" in script across the front, rather than "Royals." The same change will be made to the road greys.

Based upon what we know, the black jerseys may look something like this. Keep in mind that RC isn't terribly good with graphics, so this is pretty sloppy, but it should give you an idea of what is possible:

In addition, the vests are out. The Royals will return to a more traditional look, and all their uniforms will again have sleeves. There may be some more subtle changes made (such as more gold trim), but we're not sure exactly about what they will look like.

Baby blues won't happen in 2006, but they are still being considered as a road alternative for the 2007 season. However, no decision has yet been made. This isn't exactly new information, but we have now confirmed it to be true.

  • Another interesting thing happened today, but it doesn't seem to have received much attention. 810 WHB today reported that the Royals may announce as early as tomorrow (Friday) that they are suing Jackson County for defaulting on their lease at the Truman Sports Complex. The Royals have sat by for several years as the County has failed to live up to its obligations, and tomorrow the Royals may take the first step toward exiting the lease.

    Apparently, Jackson County is expected to ask for another year to bring the complex into compliance, but Mark Gorris, the Royals' VP of business operations, said the ballclub is not willing to wait another year.

    It will be interesting to see what happens. RC isn't concerned about the KC area losing the Royals, but we wouldn't be at all surprised to see this bit of hardball result in one of the following:

    1) Jackson County making the improvements to Kauffman Stadium as required by the terms of the lease; or
    2) A new downtown ballpark movement gaining steam; or
    3) A new ballpark on the Kansas side of the state line getting serious consideration.

    Any of those scenarios would be an improvement over the current situation. The Royals have been more than patient with Jackson County, and it will be nice to see some actual movement.

  • OK, moving beyond uniform and stadium issues, the Royals did play a game today. And they lost. Again. That makes seven in a row, as the Royals completed the worst road trip they've had since 2000. And boy, it was ugly. KC blew an early five-run lead thanks to NINE walks in the first four innings by D.J. Carrasco and Leo Nunez.

    The Royals really needed a good start today, but unfortunately Carrasco was unable to deliver, lasting only 3.2 innings despite yielding only one hit. Folks, the Royals pitching right now is in a bad funk. In the last 12 games, the starters have averaged only five innings pitched while compiling a miserable 7.95 ERA. Hopefully Zack Greinke can get them back on track tomorrow vs. the American League's hottest team, the Oakland A's, but it will be a tough task.

    We're not sure how the rotation will line up for the series, as Allard Baird said on television tonight that Mike Wood could rejoin the team as early as this weekend. There's still no word on Runelvys Hernandez's pending suspension, so there's no telling who he might replace.

  • RC, along with the rest of Royals Nation, received some terrible news yesterday about Buddy Bell's nephew. As you've probably heard by now, Lance Cpl. Timothy Michael Bell Jr., was among 14 U.S. Marines killed Wednesday in a roadside bombing in western Iraq. The 22-year-old Marine was the son of Buddy Bell's brother.

    Timothy Bell: A true American hero

    God Bless Timothy Bell and his family for the tremendous sacrifice they've made to our country. Indeed, God Bless all the veterans of our armed services, for it's their sacrifices which keep us free. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Bell family.
  • Wednesday

    Snyder awful as Royals drop sixth straight...

    Ughh. This is getting hard to watch. Even when the Royals led the last two nights, RC knew that it probably wasn't going to last. Kyle Snyder was predictably bad, putting up a line of 3.1 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, and 1 K. Shawn Camp took over in the fourth inning, and he wasn't much better. However, after Camp left, the bullpen returned to form, closing out the game (3.1 IP) and surrendering only one more run. Mike MacDougal was on again tonight, blowing away the Sox in order in the eighth, and Jimmy Gobble pitched very well in his inning, except for a wild pitch that allowed the eighth Red Sox run to score.

    There were some bright spots on offense. Emil Brown hit the ball hard in every one of his at bats, collecting a homer and a triple for his efforts. It would be great if Brown could get hot again after a miserable .265/.302/.365 July. Mike Sweeney also contributed by smashing a solo shot completely out of the stadium. But of course, it wasn't enough.

    For the second straight night, Manny Ramirez hit a 3-run bomb...before leaving the game after colliding with SS Edgar Renteria in the second inning. RC feels a little guilty for admitting this, but we cracked a bit of a smile when saw Manny laid out on the outfield grass. We knew he wasn't seriously hurt, but we were also sure that he'd milk his "injury" for everything it was worth. We don't expect to see him in the lineup tomorrow, either, so perhaps KC will take one of these games.

    The Royals send D.J. Carrasco to the mound to face Matt Clement, who himself is making his first start since getting nailed in the head with a line drive off the bat of Carl Crawford a little over a week ago. It would be nice if the Royals could give him a rude welcome back. It's a day game, so don't forget to record it if you have to work, like RC.

  • Not much is going on in the minors tonight. The headline thus far is that Gary Perez homered in his second straight game for Burlington. Perez went 2-for-4 again, which means he is now 4-for-8 with two homers since his promotion.

    Justin Huber was forced to cool his jets tonight, as Omaha had the night off, and Wichita got shut out on only four hits in their game against Tulsa. The Mavs are currently involved in what looks like another slugfest, but Billy Butler is hitless so far in two at bats. We'll keep you posted.
  • Tuesday

    Royals blow lead in Beantown

    Burgos and Brown blow game in the seventh


    MLB Hires Third Grade Girl to Design 2006 All-Star Logo

    Not really, but you could forgive us for thinking so


    That's More Like It!

    Slumping Justin Huber knocks in six runs in O-Royals 7-1 victory. Mike Wood brilliant as starting pitcher.


    Gary Perez Thinks Midwest League is a Cinch

    Prospect homers in first game after promotion from Idaho Falls


    Jeff Bianchi Returns to Arizona Lineup with a Bang!

    RC's #4 Royals prospect homers in first game back after missing two weeks with back injury

    KC Dirt Dogs had been getting concerned because the crack team at hadn't been updating their Arizona League box scores.

    * - What the hell is this?


    RC takes an off-day along with Royals...

    Tonight RC got a preview of October, when we return to our civilian lives and try to find something to do with our evenings other than watch Royals games. And we didn't like it! TV sucks now -- the next season of 24 doesn't start until January -- so there's nothing to watch, and there are only so many times you can call someone an idiot on the KC Royals message board before that too gets old. Anyway, since the Royals didn't play tonight, we don't have much to report on. Just a couple notes from the minors, as usual.

  • Billy Butler continued to avenge that little slump he had last week by going 3-for-3 (at press time) with his 25th HR of the season, which the High Desert announcer described as a mammoth homer to left-center. His three RBIs tonight place him in a first place tie for the league lead with minor league HR leader Brandon Wood. Yes, we know RBIs is a grossly overrated statistic, and we know we probably refer to them too often, but it's still pretty cool that Butler can miss a couple weeks after taking a pitch on the hand and still lead the league in ribbies.

  • By the way, we've been meaning to throw some kind words toward whoever it is that announces the Mavs games. We have no idea what his name is, but the guy is really good, particularly for a solo act. If you're ever up late, give him a listen. His play-by-play is stellar, and he's always got something interesting to add about the players and the California League. We can't imagine how hard it must be to announce a game without a partner, but the Mavericks' guy pulls it off nicely.

  • Justin Huber got his first hit and RBI at Omaha tonight, going 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. He's now 1-for-13 with seven Ks since his promotion. Not exactly the AAA debut we were hoping for, but it's important to remember that it has only been three games. Huber will hit.

  • EDITORS NOTE: We just heard the Mavs announcer say his name when he was signing off, and we're pretty sure he said it was John Rosen. The spelling on that last name could be all screwed up, but we know it's John something...Anyone who knows for sure, feel free to chime in.


    No deal! And RC is cool with that...

    The trading deadline came and went, and the Royals -- like nearly every other team in baseball -- stood pat. In what has to be the most boring deadline of all time, only five trades were completed, none of which terribly significant. The best player moved today was probably Kyle Farnsworth, who went to the Braves. Upon learning that he had been traded, Farnsworth reportedly attempted to body slam Detroit's trainer. Nobody was sure why, but Farnsworth insisted he overheard the poor guy "talking smack."

    So, why didn't Allard Baird pull the string on any trades today? Where is our corner outfielder?

    RC doesn't know, nor do we care. As far as we're concerned, one of our corner outfielders is 4-for-5 tonight in High Desert, and the other is on a couch somewhere in Lincoln, Nebraska.

    Could improvements have been made to this team by making some trades?

    We don't know, and neither do you. Trade rumors always have a funny way of exciting people, and when that anticipation turns into disappointment, people get upset and say stupid things. If you don't believe us, check out the KC Royals discussion board. "Start the clock on Baird" is the title of one stupid post. "Baird's reign, third worst in MLB" is the title of another. But the fact is that none of the idiots who are complaining about the Royals' inaction today have the slightest idea of what had actually been offered for Terrence Long or Jose Lima or Matt Stairs. And seeing how nearly every other team in baseball also did nothing, RC suspects it probably wasn't a whole lot, if anything at all.

    Besides, as we pointed out yesterday, today's deadline wasn't all that important for the Royals. Guys like T-Long and Lima will have no problem clearing waivers, so Baird still has a month to get something done. And if he doesn't, who cares? Do we really expect the Royals to get anything significant in return for Long, Lima, or even Stairs? The only thing RC hopes to see is a serious decline in Long's playing time, so we can get a better look at Chip Ambres. So for us, this trading deadline was pretty meaningless anyway.

  • Also rankling the fans a bit today was the fact that the Royals this afternoon were swept by the D-Rays. RC watched the game, and we don't have much to say. The D-Rays are hot right now, and the Royals aren't. Unfortunately, things don't look to get any easier, as the Royals now head to Boston for a three game series. Maybe tomorrow's off-day will help them get back on track.

  • Finally, some good news from Omaha! J.P. Howell tonight pitched six beautiful shutout innings, allowing four hits and three walks, and striking out five. But even better was that his groundball to flyball ratio on the evening was 13-0. That's right...All of Howell's outs tonight were either strikeouts or groundouts. That's an excellent formula for success for a lefty who doesn't throw all that hard, and it's great to see the Royals' best pitching prospect get back on track.

    That's about it for tonight's post. As we alluded to above, Billy Butler is in the midst of another huge game at High Desert (4-for-5, two doubles, two RBIs), and California League All-Star John Gragg is pitching a shutout through eight innings. We'll be monitoring a few things throughout the evening.
  • Royals lose as trading deadline approaches...

    Let us get this straight...The Royals win a great series against the team with the best record in baseball, and then they go to Tampa and lose a series -- and potentially get swept -- at the hands of what was the worst team in the American League. Talk about an emotional letdown!

    Even worse is that due to the 6:15 pm (EST) starting time, RC was blacked out from watching the game. Zack Greinke had another disappointing outing, but since we couldn't see it, we have no idea if he was as bad as his line. Anyhow, we'll be able to watch Jose Lima try to salvage a win and avoid the sweep, so we'll report more on the big club tomorrow.

  • The trading deadline is tomorrow at 4 pm (EST). Thus far, there is absolutely no news coming from the Royals. The latest rumors had the Dodgers being interested in Matt Stairs, and the Angels still interested in Mike Sweeney. However, we don't expect much to happen between now and 4 pm tomorrow. If a trade does happen, we think it will most likely be Allard Baird inserting himself into a multi-team trade. Of all the veteran players the Royals could potentially trade, Stairs is probably the only one who might have trouble clearing waivers (because of his low salary), so tomorrow's deadline probably only actually applies to him.

    As soon as we hear anything, we'll relay it to you immediately.

  • The KC Star broke some more interesting news today about Billy Butler and Justin Huber:

    Current plans call for Huber and Butler to play in the Arizona Fall League with the expectation that each will get the chance to open next season in the big leagues.

    Actually, we had already figured both would go to the Arizona Fall League, but the interesting part of that story is that Butler will be given a chance to open next season in Kansas City. We already knew the Royals believe that Butler is ready to hit Major League pitching right now (RC agrees after seeing him last month), but this article shocked us.

    We always figured Butler would start next season at Wichita and move up to KC sometime in the middle of the season. Having him break camp with the club wouldn't make much sense, because it would burn a year of Butler's service time during a season in which the Royals really don't have much of a chance to compete.

    Will Butler be the opening day LF in 2006?

    We didn't object when the Royals broke camp this season with Mark Teahen, because Teahen really isn't the type of high-ceiling player who's likely to cost the Royals a lot of money down the road. But Butler is different. Butler could be a perennial All-Star, so his service time must be monitored and maximized carefully. If he's clearly ready, both defensively and offensively, at the beginning of next season, then so be it. But we'd hate to see the Royals lose a season of Butler's services to a developmental year in a lost season.

    Of course, it's far too early to worry about such things, particularly because the Star wasn't directly quoting Baird. It just blindsided us, and it's something we'll have to watch.

  • Shortly after High Desert's season began, we took notice of a relief pitcher who was putting up a stellar performance in a league and ballpark that are both extremely hitter-friendly. Having no idea where Chris Demaria came from, we checked his minor league stats and found that his early season statistics were perfectly in line with what Demaria has done throughout his career. We took note and decided to follow him throughout the season.

    Well, he has continued to dominate. As the Mavs' closer this season, Demaria has been unhittable. Check out his career statistics:

    Williamsportlow-A (short) 313464154.35
    Williamsportlow-A (short) 4736310482.68
    High Desert high-A55.253810692.26

    RC is confused on a couple different counts. First, we wonder how in the hell the Royals were able to snag a guy with such excellent control in the AAA portion of the Rule 5 draft. Second, we wonder why in the hell he's still in A ball. Demaria will be 25 in September, but he's still never pitched above high-A, despite his stellar performance.

    Demaria's career WHIP is right around 1.00, which is excellent. His career K/BB ratio is better than 5-to-1, and his ratio this season is 7-to-1, both incredible. His HR rate is very solid, and his ERA has been well below league-average in every season he's pitched.

    So what's the story with this guy? Why did the Pirates move him through their system so slowly? And why aren't we hearing about his imminent promotion to Wichita? RC has no idea (maybe he throws like a girl or something), but we hope to see him get a shot soon at facing more advanced hitters. Seems to us that he's earned it.