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Thread: To Rule in Kansas City

  1. #1
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    Spoiler Alert: Skip down to the next post to begin reading from the beginning.

    1969 begins below. The Kansas City Royals are one of four expansion clubs. Like the others they experience a very harrowing schedule, but manage to emerge as the best of the newcomers.

    1st Draftee: SP Bert Blyleven
    Awards: OF Pat Kelly (All Star), 1B Bob Oliver (Gold Glove)
    Record: 66-96 (5th, 40 GB) (N/S 2.57)
    Division Winners: BAL (99), OAK (106), STL (96), SF (111)
    World Series: San Francisco Giants def. Baltimore Orioles

    1970 begins on Pg 5. After a horrendous start the Royals never really recover and limp into another 5th place finish.

    Off Season Acquisition: 1B Will Thompson
    1st Draftee: SS Roy Smalley
    Awards: 3B Jim Ray Hart, RP Ken Wright (All Stars), SP Bert Blyleven (K Leader)
    Record: 64-98 (5th, 42 GB) (N/S 2.43)
    Division Winners: BAL (103), OAK (106), STL (101), HOU (91)
    World Series: Houston Astros d. Oakland Athletics

    1971 begins on Pg. 11 Though some young players continue to struggle, our pitching comes together. For awhile we contend with Chicago and Oakland, but ultimately fall apart towards the end.

    1st Draftee: LF Jim Rice
    Awards: OF Jose Cardenal (All Star, Gold Glove), SP Bert Blyleven (All Star, K Leader)
    Record: 85-77 (4th, 12 GB) (N/S 2.06)
    Division Winners: BAL (102), OAK (97), CHC (87), ATL (92*)
    * won one game playoff vs. San Francisco
    World Series: Oakland Athletics d. Atlanta Braves

    1972 begins on Pg. 22 Everything begins to come together in a strike shortened season, though SP Blyleven struggles alarmingly. We lead for much of the season, but again falter at the end as the A's (ne' Athletics) surge to take their fourth divisional title.

    1st Draftee: 1B Willie Aikens
    Awards: 1B Will Thompson (All Star)
    Record: 86-68 (2nd, 11.5 GB) (N/S 2.28)
    Division Winners: BAL (95), OAK (98), CHC (105), LAD (97)
    World Series: Baltimore Orioles d. Chicago Cubs

    1973 begins on Pg. 33 and is underway.

    *******

    Major Changes from Our World

    1969: California Angels renamed Los Angeles Angels.
    1970: Seattle Pilots don't move to Milwaukee.
    1970: Vietnam War ends peacefully. No draft is ever called.
    1972: Washington Senators don't move to Texas.
    1972: Chicago White Sox DO move to Milwaukee (Brewers.)
    1972: Republican operatives are not captured during Watergate.
    1973: Los Angeles Angels renamed California Angels.
    1973: American League fails to approve DH.
    1973: Both leagues agree to revert to a 154 game schedule.
    Last edited by CatKnight; 05-20-2008 at 03:57 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Kansas City, Missouri
    September 21, 1968


    Forty thousand fans filled Municipal Stadium on a warm afternoon in late summer to watch their Chiefs battle the Denver Broncos. I didn't know much about either team: I'm not a football fan, and anyway the St. Louis Post-Dispatch barely admits the AFL exists.

    Up until a few days ago I was, and suppose still am, Director of Player Development for the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. This is a nice way of saying I call the farm teams once a week or so to see how they're faring and make recommendations on whether someone needs to be promoted or demoted. It's not a bad job as these things go, and I have a Series ring to show for it.

    Gary Gregg (my GM) said Ewing Kauffman would be calling me and thought I should hear him out. He had to remind me that Kauffman was the owner/president of the Royals.

    Why would I want to talk to an expansion team? I was in college back in '61 and '62, but it took years for the Angels, Senators, Mets and Astros to look even moderately competent. None had ever won the pennant, and considering their finishes last year (9-10 in the National League, 8, 10 in the American) I had to wonder if they ever would.

    Gary reminded me that everyone wants to work for a champion: In the last three years he'd received over a hundred applicants for my position alone. Also, well...let's say I'm not on August Busch's Christmas card list.

    "I don't know anything about Kansas City," I retorted. "Plus, it doesn't matter how well I pick. I'll be lucky to win 60 games next year."

    "Here in St. Louis you will never be more than you are right now. In Kansas City? Well, so long as you stay on Kauffman's good side I don't see why you can't do very well there. You might even win a pennant of your own some day."

    "It almost sounds like you're trying to get rid of me."

    "Yes!" he grinned. "I want you the **** out of my league. Seriously though, Chuck. If you want to stay, you're very welcome. You do a great job. I just think you can do more."

    That was the way the world was back in 1968. The Braves added Satchel Paige to their roster just so he could collect his pension, and we did the same with a career minor leaguer. We delayed the season opening for King's death and moved some games when Bobby Kennedy died. All in all it had been a very bad year, but it wasn't hard to find generous, decent people who saw no reason not to help you get ahead. I liked and trusted Gary, so I drove over to KC ... and wound up at a football game.

    Ewing Kauffman was in his fifties, bald and somewhat tall with a medium build. After serving in World War II he worked as a pharmaceutical salesman before starting Marion Laboratories in 1950. Eighteen years later he was wealthy enough to have his own foundation providing grants for entrepreneurs and, apparently, could afford a baseball team.

    "Mister Hunter? Come and join me." He spoke with a slight midwest accent, a little slower than back east. We sat in one of the guest VIP boxes overlooking the forty yard line. "I know this may seem a strange place to talk, but since my Royals will be playing here next year I thought you'd like to look around."

    "Mister Kauffman, it's a pleasure." I looked out the window. "You're playing in a football stadium?"

    "Call me Ewing, and the stadium can handle both. The Athletics played here for a few years if you recall."

    I nodded. I didn't really pay attention to American League teams, certainly not bad ones. They could have played in a sandlot and I wouldn't have been wiser.

    "Mister Hunter...Chuck?" He waited until I nodded, winked and smiled. "Chuck, Gary and I are old friends, and he thought I should talk to you about heading up operations for me. Seems he sees some potential for you."

    "That's kind of him. I do my best."

    His eyes strayed to the field, where Jan Stenerud kicked a field goal to give the Chiefs a 3-0 lead. "Tell me: We know from '61 and '62 that expansion teams generally have several bad years while their farms develop. Given our bad experience with the Athletics, I want baseball fans here to be able to get behind our team as soon as possible. That means winning. What would you do to get us on par with the rest of the League?"

    "Good question." I thought about it as he watched me closely. "First is the draft in October. I'd do my best to bring us reasonably competent fielders and pitchers, but I don't think we can expect much from that. As you know I've spent the past few years working my way up through player development. I'd spend aggressively to make your farm system one of the best in the Majors. I'd then trade those I drafted because there was no one better to try and get one or two good players. They could provide an example to the people coming up and perhaps bring them around sooner."

    "And how long until you could give me a winning season?"

    "There are so many variables I wouldn't even want to guess."

    Kauffman leaned closer and frowned. "Try."

    "Alright." I bought a few moments by staring at the field. Denver scored on a safety and had the ball again. How long did it take expansion teams to perform? Had any of them ever had .500 seasons? "1972."

    "Four years? You are generous! Everyone else I talked to said six to ten."

    "I..." If I picked my farm system draftees well and made a few lucky trades... "Yes, four years."

    He stared at me for a moment then nodded. "I will take that bet, sir. Or part of it anyway. Did they tell you about the new league configuration next year?"

    "Two divisions, six teams each?"

    "Right. One expansion in each National division, while the American West gets both us and the Pilots. Now as I understand it, one of the reasons for divisions is to make travelling costs cheaper. That means we'll be facing western opponents more than eastern."

    I narrowed my eyes. It was obvious he wanted to make a point, but so far it eluded me.

    "In other words, we will play the Pilots more than the Expos play the Padres. That means our schedule will be that much easier than theirs. Therefore, if you do your job well and Joe Gordon - your field manager by the way - does his, you should be able to have a better record than them. Yes?"

    "I...I suppose. Yes." The American League had some dangerous teams, but he was right about the unbalanced schedule.

    "Good. Then I am prepared to give you a one year contract as general manager. Your goal will be simple: Give me a better win/loss record than the Expos, Padres and Pilots and you can stay. I will put that in writing if you like."

    "Yes...I mean no. I mean..." Going from a world champion on the verge of winning another NL pennant to the roadkill of the American League...

    "Do you need time to think about it?" Kauffman asked, frowning.

    A line from John Milton came to me. Better to rule in ****, than serve in heaven... We didn't have to stay down long. A little luck here and there could do wonders. I just had to decide if I was the man who could do it.

    "Yes, I'll take your contract."
    *****************

    The Chiefs went on to destroy the Broncos 34-2, a hopeful sign of things to come. On Monday I returned to work and told Gary what happened.

    "That's wonderful, Chuck!" He rose and shook my hand. "Congratulations!"

    "So..I suppose this is my notice."

    "At the end of the season you mean," Gary smiled. "You're under contract to me until then!"

    "I...I have so many plans to make. The draft is only a few days after the World Series. I should spend as much time in Kansas City as I can."

    "Oh, make all the preparations you need. Just remember you're a Cardinal until the final game. Who knows? We might pick up another ring for you on the way out."
    Last edited by CatKnight; 05-20-2008 at 03:58 AM.
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  3. #3
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Wow. Looks interesting. Good luck with not being completely embarrassed by the team. (Are you going to be using the actual '69 Royals roster? Letting the computer draft through the expansion? Or coming up with your own expansion draft method?)

  4. #4
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Sounds great, I am excited to see you back at it, am looking forward to more.


    BTW do you ever sleep, those are some crazy hours for those 2 posts

  5. #5
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Overbay 17: Welcome back. I'm going to go with the historical draft/lineup. If I have the computer do it, then each team will draft with more or less the same principles in mind whereas that doesn't appear to have been true IRL. If I did it myself...well, first I'd have to undo all the computer choices, THEN redo at least the American League draft. The 'real' Royals draft is interesting. It appears they drafted for the future, as opposed to the Pilots who wanted the best lineup they could manage from day one.

    royalblue5: Sometimes I sleep. I let my fiance use my computer most of last night though, so I ended up publishing very late.

    *******

    My job in St. Louis would only last three weeks more, long enough for us to lose the Series to the Detroit Tigers 4 games to 3. We really should have had them. At one point we were up 3 games to 1. However, they really stuck in there and in the end Mickey Lolich simply outduelled Bob Gibson. CF Curt Flood misjudged a seventh inning fly by Billy Northrup resulting in a 2 RBI triple that we couldn't recover from.

    Before I left for KC, Gary gave me a package, about the size of a ream of paper, to be opened when I reached my new home. I'd rented a boarding room in Overland Park for a few weeks while I found a house. It wasn't much - a bed, dresser, black and white TV - but it'd do until I could get settled.

    I opened the package and found a note from Gary with tips on what he felt every general manager needed to know, then pages upon pages of notes. Scouting notes. Copies of what the Cardinals knew about every team and roster in the American League, a treasure trove to a man who had to draft thirty players in four days.

    The last page of the Senators' roster had another handwritten note:

    "Always assume the men around you are just as smart as you are, if not smarter. They're not looking for you to do their thinking for them. They're looking for you to tell them which direction to head in. Luck."

    *******

    1968 Review (Historical)

    Code:
    American League:
    
    Team		W   L   GB
    Detroit        103  59  --
    Baltimore       91  71  12
    Cleveland       86  75  16.5
    Boston          86  76  17
    New York        83  79  20
    Oakland         82  80  21
    Minnesota       79  83  24
    California      67  95  36
    Chicago         67  95  36
    Washington      65  96  37.5
    Code:
    National League:
    
    Team		W   L   GB
    St. Louis       97  65  --
    San Francisco   88  74   9
    Chicago         84  78  13
    Cincinnati      83  79  14
    Atlanta         81  81  16
    Pittsburgh      80  82  17
    Philadelphia    76  86  21
    Los Angeles     76  86  21
    New York        73  89  24
    Houston         72  90  25
    Code:
    World Series:
    Game 1 (10/2): St. Louis 4 Detroit 0
    WP: Gibson (CG), LP: McLain, HR: (STL) Brock
    
    Game 2 (10/3): Detroit 8 St. Louis 1
    WP: Lolich (CG), LP: Briles, HR: (DET) Horton, Lolich, Cash
    
    Game 3 (10/5): St. Louis 7 Detroit 3
    WP: Washburn, LP: Wilson, HR: (STL) McCarver, Cepeda, (DET) Kaline, McAuliffe
    
    Game 4 (10/6): St. Louis 10 Detroit 1
    WP: Gibson (CG), LP: McLain, HR: (STL) Brock, Gibson, (DET) Northrup
    
    Game 5 (10/7): Detroit 5 St. Louis 3
    WP: Lolich (CG), LP: Briles, HR: (STL) Cepeda
    
    Game 6 (10/9): Detroit 13 St. Louis 1
    WP: McLain (CG), LP: Washburn, HR: (DET) Northrup, Kaline
    
    Game 7 (10/10: Detroit 4 St. Louis 1
    WP: Lolich (CG), LP: Gibson (CG), HR: (STL) Shannon
    
    World Series MVP:  Mickey Lolich (DET)
    Code:
    1968 Title	American League			National League
    Batting		Carl Yastrzemski (BOS) .301	Pete Rose (CIN) .335
    Home Runs	Frank Howard (WAS) 44		Willie McCovey (SF) 36
    RBI		Ken Harrelson (BOS) 109		Willie McCovey (SF) 105
    Stolen Bases	Bert Campaneris (OAK) 62	Lou Brock (STL) 62
    
    Wins		Denny McLain (DET) 31*		Juan Marichal (SF) 26
    ERA		Luis Tiant (CLE) 1.60		Bob Gibson (STL) 1.12#
    Strikeouts	Sam McDowell (CLE) 283$		Bob Gibson (STL) 268$
    Saves		Al Worthington (MIN) 18		Phil Regan (LA/CHC) 25!
    
    Cy Young	Denny McLain (DET)		Bob Gibson (STL)
    MVP		Denny McLain (DET)		Bob Gibson (STL)
    Rookie		Stan Bahnsen (NYY)		Johnny Bench (CIN)
    All Star MVP	(Nationals won 1-0)		Willie Mays (SF)
    *: Most wins since 1934. 12th all time
    #: Third all time for ERA
    $: Tenth all time for Strikeouts. McLain is now 11th (280), Gibson 17th and Luis Tiant (CLE, 264) 21st
    !: Fourteenth all time for Saves

    Code:
    Record		Career				Career/Active
    Batting		Ty Cobb (.366) (05-28)		Hank Aaron (.314) (54-)
    Home Runs	Babe Ruth (714) (14-35)		Willie Mays (587) (51-) (2nd)
    RBI		Babe Ruth (2213) (14-35)	Willie Mays (1654) (51-) (10th)
    Stolen Bases	Billy Hamilton (912) (88-01)	Maury Wills (502) (59-)
    
    Record		Single Season			Single Season/Active
    Batting		Nap Lajoie (.426) (01 PHA)	None in Top 25
    Home Runs	Roger Maris (61) (61 NYY)	Willie Mays (52) (65 SF)
    RBI		Hack Wilson (191) (30 CHC)	None in Top 25
    Stolen Bases	Maury Wills (104) (62 LAD)	Maury Wills (104) (62 LAD) (1st)
    Code:
    Record		Career				Career/Active
    Wins		Cy Young (511) (90-11)		Don Drysdale (204) (56-)
    ERA		Ed Walsh (1.82) (04-17)		Hoyt Wilhelm (2.47) (52-)
    Strikeouts	Walter Johnson (3509) (07-27)	Jim Bunning (2498) (54-) (6th)
    Saves		Hoyt Wilhelm (196) (52-)	Hoyt Wilhelm (196) (52-) (1st)
    
    Record		Single Season			Single Season/Active
    Wins		Jack Chesbro (41) (04 NYY)	Denny McLain (31) (68 DET)
    ERA		Dutch Leonard (0.96) (14 BOS)	Bob Gibson (1.12) (68 STL) (3rd)
    Strikeouts	Sandy Koufax (382) (65 LAD)	Sam McDowell (325) (65 CLE) (4th)
    Saves		Jack Aker (36) (65 KCA)		Jack Aker (36) (65 KCA) (1st)
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  6. #6
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    October 1968


    I had five days to prepare for a draft that might determine the fate of baseball in Kansas City. Too many bad choices and the fans would turn away in disappointment. Too many bad years, and eventually even Ewing Kauffman's legendary philanthropy (or at least his bank account) would give out. I didn't know much about Kansas City yet, but their newspaper, the Star, published an editorial:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kansas City Star: October 11
    And so after a one year hiatus, baseball returns to Kansas City. Pharmaceutical owner Ewing Kauffman has paired together a rookie General Manager (Charles Hunter, late of the Cardinals) and a veteran field manager (Joe Gordon, last with the 61 Athletics) to lead our team. We have some respectful advice for them as we renew the saga that is Kansas City baseball.

    The Athletics failed here for a reason. Poor trades (including the infamous Roger Maris fiasco) gave them the reputation of being nothing more than a class AA Yankee farm club. Poor management ensured they never won more than 74 games during their tenure here and rarely broke seventy at all. To this day fans argue whether the ill fated Athletics were driven by incompetent management or merely indifferent.

    We know it will take the Royals time to prosper. You will find that, so long as we believe you're going forward, Kansas City fans are a tolerant crowd that will put up with a few bad years while you find your footing. Should we see signs of progress and growth, you will find Municipal Stadium filled with roaring crowds eager to cheer you on. Should it become apparent that you either don't have the drive and/or ability to go forward, as happened with the Athletics, then the hollow echo of wind on the otherwise silent upper deck shall be our reply.

    We do not expect perfection. We expect you to try. It will take awhile to earn our trust after the last few years, but having gained it you will find no more loyal fans in professional baseball.
    I called Seattle GM Kevin Calahan to congratulate him on his new job. Granted it was only four days, but the few calls I did get from other American League GMs were decidedly cool and reserved. Perhaps they didn't know what to make of the newcomer, or perhaps they didn't look forward to me raiding their rosters. Calahan reported the same treatment, especially from the Indians GM who insisted on being called Mister Bradley.

    In both leagues each 'veteran' team reserved fifteen players as untouchable. The American and National League drafts were held seperate, meaning Seattle and Kansas City would each get three players from their American League rivals, while Montreal and San Diego would 'raid' the National League. After each pick the 'veteran' GM affected could protect three more players. In the end we each wound up with thirty.

    The first ten picks showed a distinct difference in styles between Calahan and I. I drafted with the future in mind, hoping to stay just ahead of Seattle in the standings to please Kaufmann and really compete by 1972. He wanted to be effective on day one.

    Code:
    Kansas City Royals (historical)
    
        Player          Age  ML Seasons  ML Experience
     1. Roger Nelson     24      2          78 innings
     2. Joe Foy          25      3       1,515 at-bats
     3. Jim Rooker       26      1           5 innings
     4. Joe Keough       22      1          98 at-bats
     5. Steve Jones      27      2          36 innings
     6. Jon Warden       22      1          37 innings
     7. Ellie Rodriguez  22      1          24 at-bats
     8. Dave Morehead    25      6         665 innings
     9. Mike Fiore       24      1          19 at-bats
    10. Bob Oliver       25      1           2 at-bats
    Average Age - 24.2 
    Average ML Seasons - 1.9
    Average ML Experience - 332 at-bats, 164 innings
    
    Seattle Pilots (historical)
        Player          Age  ML Seasons  ML Experience
     1. Don Mincher      30      9       2,476 at-bats
     2. Tommy Harper     28      7       2,547 at-bats
     3. Ray Oyler        30      4         986 at-bats
     4. Gerry McNertney  32      4         537 at-bats
     5. Buzz Stephen     24      1          11 innings
     6. Chico Salmon     27      5       1,304 at-bats
     7. Diego Segui      31      7         889 innings
     8. Tommy Davis      29     10       4,032 at-bats
     9. Marty Pattin     25      1          84 innings  
    10. Gerry Schoen     21      1           4 innings
    Average Age - 27.6
    Average ML Seasons - 4.9
    Average ML Experience - 1,980 at-bats, 247 innings
    In the National League it was Montreal who would opt for youth, San Diego for experience.

    The one veteran I did pick up was Hoyt Wilhelm with 196 career saves (1st all time.) Just days after the draft the California Angels offered two young players for him. Deal. Don't get me wrong, Wilhelm's a great pitcher...but he'll also be forty six on Opening Day.

    Kansas City fans split into two camps on the issue: Many found it odd I didn't emphasize quality more, while veteran fans nodded sensing my long term plan.

    Joe Gordon fell into the first camp. Gordon was in his fifties, a grizzled veteran of too many baseball campaigns who explained in relentless detail why the Pilots had the right of it and we'd be looking up their tailpipe for the next five years. "And by then, Chuck, most of your young players who we couldn't get much information on will have failed, while Seattle will have been through a few drafts and have enough young players to stay ahead of us!"

    We sat in what would hopefully be his office by opening day, currently a disused cubby hole with a long forgotten Athletics banner on one wall. Gordon glared at me from behind a small glass tray holding five Series rings arranged like religious icons.

    I had to remind myself that Gordon was once one **** of a player. He came up with the 1938 Yankees, went to Cleveland in '47 and retired after 1950. In that time he hit .268 with 253 homers and 975 RBI winning the 1942 MVP and participating in nine All Star Games. In 1958 he returned to Cleveland as manager, switched to Detroit in mid-1960, then the Athletics in 61 with a lifetime record of 238-215 (.525).

    "I would think you'd be happy, Joe. Think about it: If I gave you a bunch of veterans, first they couldn't be that good or their old team would have protected them. They'll never get any better. Second, they'll have their own styles and preferences you'd have to learn to deal with. Now I've given you a pack of rookies and second years. You can teach them your style and teach them how to play baseball your way."

    Gordon snorted. "But the Pilots are better right now and that's the problem. Kauffman wants me to beat them this year. And what's so God damned funny?"

    I grinned. "One year contract, he'll renew if we beat the other expansion clubs? Me too."

    "Then why the **** didn't you draft differently!?"

    "Because I intend to be around in five years. Then we'll see who's right."
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  7. #7
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Winter 1968-69

    **** is trying to create a baseball team from ground zero. Ewing tried to help, I suppose, but he needed to worry about Marion Laboratories and so I ended up doing most of the work myself.

    I received surprising support from Lamar Hunt, owner of the Kansas City Chiefs. He invited me to lunch and said he believed it was in his best interest for the Royals to prosper. "After all," he said. "We're sharing fields for a few more seasons, and once that's over we'll be neighbors."

    Municipal Stadium had a proud history dating back to 1923, having hosted the AA Kansas City Blues, Negro League Monarchs, NFL Blues/Cowboys and, of course, the Athletics. As well as the Chiefs and Royals we shared the stadium with the NASL Spurs. Unfortunately Municipal was old and falling behind the standards of modern fields

    In 1967 voters approved $43 million in bonds to build the Chiefs and Royals seperate stadiums about 6.5 miles from Municipal. Many (mostly political opponents or press looking for a good story) saw this as bad press. After all, most cities these days are opting for multipurpose stadiums like Busch (St. Louis), Three Rivers (Pittsburgh), Riverfront (Cincinnati) and Anaheim.



    I tend to agree this isn't a great idea. I've never worked on scheduling, and I imagine it must be a pain coordinating with the NFL, but it can't be that hard. We've .. er... the Cardinals have shared Busch with the football team for three years now without too much trouble.

    Anyway, Hunt offered me administrative staff to help me coordinate building the team, and gave me names and addresses of a number of scouts. Football scouts, most of them, but those I contacted usually knew a baseball counterpart I could talk to.

    American League president Joe Cronin pointed out a number of minor league teams looking for sponsors. After some cordial phone calls I decided on the following:

    AA: Omaha (NE) Royals, American Association (1)
    A: High Point (NC) Royals, Carolina League
    B: Waterloo (IA) Hawks, Midwest League
    C: Winnipeg (MB) Goldeyes, Northern League
    D: Kingsport (TN) Royals, Appalachian League

    As I began interviewing for a Director of Player Development, Winter Meetings in Houston came around. It was my first look at my new rivals. For the most part they remained aloof, especially Mister Bradley, still somewhat annoyed at the players I'd selected from their rosters. Kevin in Seattle received similar treatment and we spent much of our time together sharing the wonders and heartache of trying to build a team.

    "At least you have a stadium," Kevin muttered. Seattle taxpayers agreed to fund a new, domed stadium for the Pilots. Indeed, it was considered a prerequisite for Seattle getting a team. Unfortunately it was nowhere near ready, and as it turned out neither was Sicks Stadium.

    Sicks was built in 1938 for the PCL Seattle Rainiers and also showing signs of age. Worse, no one intended it to be anything more than a minor league field and it had a capacity of twelve thousand. Pilot president Dewey Soriano initially promised to raise this to 28,000 through left field bleachers added over the winter, but scaled back to 25 due to rising contractor costs. Then the worst early winter in decades struck and construction ground to a halt.

    "Just between you and me," Kevin added, waving his hand as if to dismiss the rest of the League, "I don't know if we'll be ready. I don't know if we have the money we need. Mister Soriano's very mum on the subject and I don't like it. He's asked me to hire an absolutely minimal staff."

    This was the fatal flaw in the American League expansion. Kauffman and Soriano payed a mere $100,000 franchise fee to the league and $175,000 per player as compensation for the draft. Further, we'd be on our own for the first few years not being eligible for shared TV revenue until 1972. The League also remained silent on how much operating capital we needed to start.

    By contrast, the Nationals demanded a $4 million franchise fee and $200,000 compensation per player. On the other hand, the Expos and Padres would share TV revenue from day one. Most importantly, the Nationals also required them to have $2.5 million in operating capital as of their inception.

    "Shouldn't you tell Joe (Cronin) if you think there's a problem?"

    Callahan shook his head. "And get a reputation for a worrier? If things are still bad in spring maybe I'll bring it up."

    *******

    The American League meeting started with simple presentations of our uniforms...



    ...and logos for the upcoming year.



    Financially every team reported doing well enough, though Senator owner Robert Short complained about competitiveness in an American League dominated by 'certain teams.' I'm not quite sure what he wanted to imply, as different teams won the pennant in the last four years.

    A more serious question centered around pitching. Last year's batting title went to Carl Yastrzemski who batted .301. Denny McLain won thirty one games. Bob Gibson in St. Louis had a 1.12 ERA. Four pitchers made the top 25 for strikeouts pitched in a season. Something needed to be done, as the lack of offense seemed to be hurting attendance.

    The Rules Committee suggested testing out a "designated pinch hitter" in some of the minor leagues and trying it for a few games in Spring Training. The DPH would bat for the pitcher. I'd definitely want to see this tested with the farm teams before we tried it up here.

    The only surprise announcement came from the California Angels. Under pressure from the Dodgers, Giants, Athletics and now Padres they changed their name back to Los Angeles. (2) It is said the City of Anaheim is rather annoyed at the alleged snub. Oh well.

    I made a few minor trades up until spring training including picking up Lou Pinella from the Pilots (who in turn nabbed him from the Indians.)

    As I set the twenty five man roster in late March, having survived the DPH debacle (on hold indefinitely until the Rules Committee figures out what it wants to do), Joe complained bitterly that I was sending many of our best pitchers to Omaha.

    "I want to give them a chance to develop. Perhaps they'll be ready by August," I replied.

    "Hopefully we're not 10 games behind the Pilots at that point!" he growled.

    On March 30, partially to make him happy, I made a last minute trade with the Padres.

    We sent 25 year old C Jim Campanis (67/71) (.091 0-0 0 in 11 AB with the Dodgers) and 2B Billy Harris (63/68) [25] (.213 0-3 2 in 94 AB with the Indians) to them for Johnny Podres. (3)

    In case you have been in a cave for the last fourteen years, Podres is one of the greats. He started with the 53 Brooklyn Dodgers, followed them to LA, then joined Detroit in '66. He missed last season and he's starting to tire (70) [36], but his salary isn't that bad and he might provide some much needed leadership. In fact, on April 1 Gordon named him team captain.

    I also signed a free agent over the winter, 1B Craig Kusick (59/93) [20]. He'll earn $16,000 for one year. Now that's a horrible rip off since he'll start the year in High Point, but my scouts insist he'll be great if I can give him a few years. We'll see.
    -------------------------

    (1) In our timeline, around 1963 farm teams changed their designations to the modern AAA/AA/A system. I've kept a modified version of the old one. It translates (for this dynasty) as follows:

    AA - AAA
    A - AA
    B - A full season
    C - A short season
    D - Rookie

    (2) I rather like the name 'California Angels' (certainly vs. Anaheim, or LAA of A.) I thought the original name sounded interesting though, and I could see the Angels under increasing pressure with the Athletics and Padres moving in within the last two years, so I changed it back.

    (3) In case you couldn't tell, this is my first in game action. Other trades (like Pinella and Hoyt) were historical.
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  8. #8
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    The Sporting News
    Baseball Preview, 1969


    AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST

    Two of the new expansion teams will make their debuts in the West, so one would assume the other four would have an easy time of it. Right? Wrong. With most American League talent stacked in eastern teams (the westerns finished sixth through ninth last year) we project four teams to finish below .500 here. Further, like the NL East we believe the difference between the #1 and #2 teams to be razor thin and might lead to a playoff.

    Oakland Athletics
    Last Year: 82-80 (6th of 10) / Projected: 95-67 (1st-T)

    C: Jim Pagliaroni (.246 6-20 0)
    1B: Danny Cater (.290 6-62 8)
    2B: Dick Green (.233 6-18 3)
    3B: Sal Bando (.251 9-67 13)
    SS: Bert Campaneris (.276 4-38 62)
    LF: Jose Tartabull (.281 0-6 2 with Boston)
    CF: Rick Monday (.274 8-49 14)
    RF: Reggie Jackson (.250 29-74 14)
    S1: Catfish Hunter (13-13 3.35 11 CG)
    CL: John Wyatt (1-0 2.37 2 SV with Detroit)

    Coming off a disappointing season, expect vast improvements from Oakland. Campaneris led the league last year in stolen bases, while Catfish Hunter pitched a perfect game last May. Expect a breakout year from Reggie Jackson now entering his second season of full play.

    Minnesota Twins
    Last Year: 79-83 (7th of 10) / Projected: 95-67 (1st-T)

    C: Johnny Roseboro (.216 8-39 2)
    1B: Harmon Killebrew (.210 17-40 0)
    2B: Rod Carew (.273 1-42 12)
    3B: Ron Clark (.185 1-13 3)
    SS: Leo Cardenas (.235 7-41 2 with Cincinnati)
    LF: Graig Nettles (.224 5-8 0 in 76 AB)
    CF: Ted Uhleander (.283 7-52 16)
    RF: Tony Oliva (.289 18-68 10)
    S1: Jim Kaat (14-12 2.94 9 CG)
    CL: Ron Perranoski (8-7 3.10 6 SV)

    With at least two excellent starters, Rod Carew at the start of a brilliant career, and sufficent power from Killebrew and Oliva, the Minnesota Twins are dangerous. While we believe the A's are very slightly stronger, they could easily win this division.

    Los Angeles Angels
    Last Year: 67-95 (8th of 10-T) / Projected: 78-84 (3rd)

    C: Tom Satriano (.253 8-35 0)
    1B: Bob Chance (.214 3-7 0 with Washington)
    2B: Bobby Knoop (.249 3-39 3)
    3B: Aurelio Rodriguez (.242 1-16 0)
    SS: Jim Fregosi (.244 9-49 9)
    LF: Rick Reichardt (.255 21-73 8)
    CF: Jay Johnstone (.261 0-3 2)
    RF: Bubba Morton (.270 1-18 2)
    S1: Jim McGlothlin (10-15 3.54 8 CG)
    CL: Hoyt Wilhelm (4-4 1.73 12 SV with Chicago (A))

    The folk in Anaheim need to learn they can change their team name all they want, but it's the same rabble. Entering their ninth season, LA tried to bolster their lineup by acquiring a first baseman from the one team that might battle the expansion clubs for worst. Acquiring Hoyt Wilhelm from the hapless Royals was a masterstroke however. LA traded two young players for him, then later KC traded two young players for Johnny Podres. Wilhelm is much,much better.

    Chicago White Sox
    Last Year: 67-95 (8th of 10-T) / Projected: 74-88 (4th)

    C: Duane Josephson (.247 6-45 2)
    1B: Tommy McCraw (.235 9-44 20)
    2B: Sandy Alomar (.253 0-12 21)
    3B: Pete Ward (.216 15-50 4)
    SS: Ron Hansen (.196 9-32 0 with Washington/Chicago)
    LF: Brian Downing (first season)
    CF: Ken Berry (.252 7-32 6)
    RF: Walt Williams (.241 1-8 0)
    S1: Tommy John (10-5 1.98 5 CG)
    CL: Bob Locker (5-4 2.29 10 SV)

    Ace Tommy John is the bright spot in an otherwise mediocre White Sox club. Chicago simply doesn't have enough power, or enough hitting to make up for that lack, or enough speed to make up for that. If John pitches a full, strong season the ChiSox might eclipse Los Angeles...barely.

    Seattle Pilots
    Last Year: Expansion / Projected: 62-100 (5th-T)

    C: Merritt Ranew (Last played 1965)
    1B: Don Mincher (.236 13-48 0 with California)
    2B: Gus Gil (Last played 1967)
    3B: Rich Rollins (,241 6-30 3 with Minnesota)
    SS: John Kennedy (Last played 1967)
    LF: Tommy Davis (..268 8-50 4 with Chicago (A))
    CF: Steve Whitaker (.117 0-3 0 in 60 AB with New York (A))
    RF: Tommy Harper (.217 6-26 11 with Cleveland)
    S1: Steve Barber (6-5 3.23 3 CG with New York (A))
    CL: Jack Aker (4-4 4.10 11 SV with Oakland)

    The Pilots' drafting philosophy appears to have been being as productive as possible, as quickly as possible. They have a slightly higher payroll than KC and average almost two years older. With three players not seeing Major League time in 1968, it'll be interesting to see how they do. There's not much to like about the Pilots, but they should do better than the hapless 62 Mets.

    Kansas City Royals
    Last Year: Expansion / Projected: 62-100 (5th-T)

    C: Hawk Taylor (Last played 1967)
    1B: Bob Oliver (Last played 1965)
    2B: Luis Alcaraz (.151 2-5 1 with Los Angeles (N))
    3B: Joe Foy (.225 10-60 26)
    SS: Rich Severson (first season)
    LF: Lou Pinella (.000 0-1 0 in 5 AB with Cleveland)
    CF: Pat Kelly (.114 1-2 0 in 35 AB with Minnesota)
    RF: Ed Kirkpatrick (.230 1-15 1 with California)
    S1: Wally Bunker (2-0 2.41 2 CG with Baltimore)
    CL: Moe Drabowsky (4-4 1.91 4 SV with Baltimore)

    One thing can be said for Kansas City: They aren't afraid to take risks and were by far the most active of the four expansions during the off season. They drafted for youth, and while that may eventually pay dividends expect them to really struggle this year. Bunker may be the bright spot in KC but expect another long year for suffering KC fans.

    *******

    In summary:

    AL East: Baltimore (113-49)
    AL West: Oakland (95-67)
    NL East: St. Louis (92-70)
    NL West: San Francisco (101-61)

    AL Pennant: Baltimore defeats Oakland
    NL Pennant: San Francisco defeats St. Louis

    World Series: Baltimore defeats San Francisco
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  9. #9
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    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    KANSAS CITY ROYALS
    Opening Day, 1969


    CATCHERS

    Hawk Taylor (71) [29] (Did not play in Majors in 1968)
    CON: $97,500 through 1969 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1957 Milwaukee Braves (10th season)

    Ellie Rodriguez (72/78) [22] (.208 0-1 0 SB in 24 AB with Yankees)
    CON: $14,100 until Arb 72 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1968 New York Yankees (Rookie)

    Taylor is far too expensive for his value, and I have many good catchers coming through the farm. Unless he starts breaking records or comes down sharply on his demands, this is his last year with us.

    FIRST BASEMEN

    Bob Oliver (70/73) [26] (Did not play in Majors in 1968)
    CON: $14,100 until Arb 72 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1965 Pittsburgh Pirates (Rookie)

    Mike Fiore (65/73) [24] (.059 0-0 0 in 17 AB with Orioles)
    CON: $14,100 until Arb 72 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1968 Baltimore Orioles (Rookie)

    Two relative pups, and not that good at that. It will take years for Craig Kusick (59/93) to be ready. We'll have to do something about first when we can.

    INFIELDERS

    Joe Foy (76/80) [26] (.225 10-60 26 with Red Sox)
    CON: $89,500 until Arb 70 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1966 Boston Red Sox (4th season)

    Rich Severson (69/74) [24] (Rookie)
    CON: $14,100 until Arb 72 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1969 Kansas City Royals (Rookie)

    Luis Alcaraz (72/75) [27] (.151 2-5 1 with Dodgers)
    CON: $14,100 until Arb 71 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1967 Los Angeles Dodgers (3rd season)

    Paul Schall (74) [26] (.210 2-16 5 with Angels)
    CON: $94,500 through 1969 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1964 Los Angeles Angels (6th season)

    Jerry Adair (70) [32] (.216 2-12 0 with Red Sox)
    CON: $84,000 through 1970 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1958 Baltimore Orioles (12th season)

    Schall and Adair are probably overpriced and will need to be dealt with, especially considering they're starting on the bench. Foy is the only one I'm really looking forward to seeing in action.

    OUTFIELDERS

    Pat Kelly (76/82) [24] (.114 1-2 0 in 35 AB with Twins)
    CON: $14,100 until Arb 72 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1967 Minnesota Twins (Rookie)

    Ed Kirkpatrick (73/77) [24] (.230 1-15 1 with Angels)
    CON: $116,000 through 1969 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1962 Los Angeles Angels (8th season)

    Lou Pinella (71/80) [25] (.000 0-0 0 in 5 AB with Indians)
    CON: $14,100 until Arb 72 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1964 Baltimore Orioles (Rookie)

    Fred Rico (69/77) [24] (Rookie)
    CON: $14,100 until Arb 72 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1969 Kansas City Royals (Rookie)

    Scott Northey (70/79) [22] (Rookie)
    CON: $14,100 until Arb 72 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1969 Kansas City Royals (Rookie)

    Kirkpatrick is the third highest paid player on the team, and his stats last year don't look impressive. He will be in for a pay cut (or move) after this year. Everyone else is actually or officially a rookie.

    STARTERS

    Wally Bunker (81) [24] (2-0 2.41 2 CG with Orioles)
    CON: $249,000 through 1969 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1963 Baltimore Orioles (7th season)

    Dave Morehead (78/82) [26] (1-4 2.45 3 with Red Sox)
    CON: $112,000 through 1969 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1963 Boston Red Sox (7th season)

    Jim Rooker (76/86) [26] (0-0 3.86 0 in 4.2 IP with Tigers)
    CON: $14,100 until Arb 72 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1968 Detroit Tigers (Rookie)

    Johnny Podres (70) [36] (Did not play in Majors in 1968)
    CON: $39,500 through 1969 / ACQ: Trade 3/69 from Padres
    MLB: 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers (15th season)

    Dave Wickersham (76) [33] (1-0 3.48 0 in 20.2 IP with Pirates)
    CON: $41,000 through 1969 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1960 Kansas City Athletics (10th season)

    Podres is looking less and less like a good move, though this is probably his last year. Bunker and Morehead are making a lot of money. Hopefully they're worth it. Wickersham will probably want a raise after this year.

    RELIEVERS

    Moe Drabowsky (79) [33] (4-4 1.91 7 SV with Orioles)
    CON: $126,000 through 1970 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1956 Chicago Cubs (14th season)

    Tom Burgmeier (73/82) [25] (1-4 4.33 5 with Angels)
    CON: $14,100 until Arb 71 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1968 California Angels (2nd season)

    Chris Zachary (73/79) [25] (Did not play in Majors in 1968)
    CON: $50,500 through 1969 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1963 Houston Colt 45s (6th season)

    Mike Hedlund (72/80) [22] (0-0 10.80 0 in 1.2 IP with Indians)
    CON: $14,100 until Arb 71 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1965 Cleveland Indians (Rookie)

    Dick Drago (71/81) [23] (Rookie)
    CON: $14,100 until Arb 72 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1969 Kansas City Royals (Rookie)

    Don O'Riley (61/69) [24] (Rookie)
    CON: $14,100 until Arb 72 / ACQ: Off Season 1969
    MLB: 1969 Kansas City Royals (Rookie)

    Like with the starters, expect a lot of movement here as farm players become good enough (or reach their potential) and can no longer benefit from training in Omaha. Drabowsky's my only expensive reliever, and if he lives up to expectations I can live with it.
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    2,896

    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    (Note: Due to a rather serious bug with scoring, I've gone back from 10.34 to 10.31)

    April 1, 1969

    I've decided to start keeping a personal journal. I'm hoping it'll help me gather my thoughts. Running a club, especially a startup one like the Royals, is far more time consuming than I ever dreamed. Kevin Callahan, the Pilot GM, thinks people will want to read about our exploits one day. Maybe, but now I have to go over the last few months and write down what I remember.

    So, today was Opening Day. Today was also a shocker. Last year pitching was so dominant that some of the minor leagues under the National Agreement are experimenting with a designated pinch hitter. They also lowered the strike zone and the mound, and the umpires have been told to crack down on illegal pitches.

    Joe Gordon and I agreed (I twisted his arm) to let Johnny Podres be our opening day pitcher. No, he's not our ace - but he was great once, and this may well be his last year. It doesn't do any harm to give him one last honor.

    From a pitcher's standpoint it was a massacre. Podres only lasted 2.1 innings and gave up nine earned runs. His only consolation was that Boston ace Ray Culp did even worse: 8 runs in ONE inning. After one inning we led 8-4. After three they led 11-10. We took the lead back in the fourth to make it 12-11, but the Sox rallied late.

    The final? Boston 15, Kansas City 12.

    Boston hit seven homers off of us, three by Carl Yastrzemski. Yastrzemski won last year's batting title. If he remains this dangerous he'll be the runaway MVP.

    We managed two homers - Joe Foy and Ed Kirkpatrick. Severson and Pinella hit their first career singles. Foy led our attack with 4 RBI of his own.

    I checked games from around the league to see if they were equally high scoring:

    Los Angeles 7, New York 1
    Baltimore 7, Oakland 3
    Cleveland 8, Chicago 4
    Minnesota 16, Washington 8
    Detroit 8, Seattle 7

    That's an average of 8 runs PER TEAM. I don't think batters have anything to worry about anymore.

    ********

    Code:
                         1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 +  R  H  E
           Red Sox (BOS) 4 0 7 0 0 0 2 1 1   15 16  0
            Royals (KCR) 8 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0   12 13  1
    
    BOSTON               ab  h bb  r hr bi  k sb     avg
    M. Andrews (2B)       5  2  1  1  0  0  0  0    .400
    R. Petrocelli (SS)    3  1  3  1  0  0  1  0    .333
    C. Yastrzemski (LF)   5  3  1  3  3  6  2  0    .600
    R. Smith (CF)         6  2  0  2  1  1  0  0    .333
    G. Scott (1B)         6  3  0  3  1  1  0  0    .500
    K. Harrelson (RF)     5  3  0  2  1  2  0  0    .600
    C. Fanzone (3B)       4  0  1  0  0  0  0  0    .000
    R. Gibson (C)         3  1  0  1  0  2  0  0    .333
     C. Cooper (P)        1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
     C. Fisk (P)          1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0    .000
    R. Culp (P)           0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
     G. Thomas (P)        1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0    .000
     B. Landis (P)        0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
     D. Jones (P)         1  1  0  1  1  3  0  0   1.000
     M. Nagy (P)          1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
     L. Stange (P)        1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
     D. Schofield (P)     0  0  1  1  0  0  0  0    .000
     S. Lyle (P)          0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
    TOTALS               43 16  7 15  7 15  5  0
    
       2B:  R. Gibson (1), G. Scott (1)
       HR:  G. Scott (1), C. Yastrzemski 3 (3), R. Smith (1), K. Harrelson (1), D. Jones (1)
       GIDP:  R. Smith
    
              BOSTON   ip  h bb hr  r er  k pit    ERA
             R. Culp  1.0  5  3  1  8  8  1  48  72.00
           B. Landis  1.0  2  0  1  1  1  0  25   9.00
             M. Nagy  3.0  5  3  0  3  3  1  60   9.00
           L. Stange  3.0  1  1  0  0  0  4  50   0.00
             S. Lyle  1.0  0  1  0  0  0  2  19   0.00
              TOTALS  9.0 13  8  2 12 12  8 202
    
    KANSAS CITY          ab  h bb  r hr bi  k sb     avg
    J. Foy (3B)           4  3  2  2  1  4  1  0    .750
    R. Severson (SS)      6  1  0  1  0  2  0  0    .167
    P. Kelly (CF)         5  1  0  1  0  0  1  1    .200
    L. Piniella (LF)      4  2  1  2  0  2  0  0    .500
    E. Kirkpatrick (RF)   4  2  1  3  1  1  0  0    .500
    M. Fiore (1B)         2  1  2  1  0  0  1  0    .500
     B. Oliver (P)        1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
    E. Rodriguez (C)      4  1  1  1  0  2  2  0    .250
    L. Alcaraz (2B)       3  0  1  0  0  1  0  0    .000
    J. Podres (P)         1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0    .000
     D. Drago (P)         2  1  0  1  0  0  1  0    .500
     C. Zachary (P)       1  1  0  0  0  0  0  0   1.000
     D. O'Riley (P)       0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
     P. Schaal (P)        1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0    .000
    TOTALS               38 13  8 12  2 12  8  1
    
       3B:  J. Foy (1)
       HR:  J. Foy (1), E. Kirkpatrick (1)
       GIDP:  E. Kirkpatrick
    
         KANSAS CITY   ip  h bb hr  r er  k pit    ERA
           J. Podres  2.1  9  1  4  9  9  2  69  34.71
            D. Drago  3.1  4  2  1  2  2  2  58   5.40
          C. Zachary  2.1  2  1  2  3  3  1  38  11.57
          D. O'Riley  1.0  1  3  0  1  1  0  34   9.00
              TOTALS  9.0 16  7  7 15 15  5 199
    
         WP: L. Stange (1-0)
         LP: C. Zachary (0-1)
         SV: S. Lyle (1)
    
         Temperature: 66F
         Wind: 7 MPH (right to left)
         Attendance: 50,000
         Time: 3:46
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    2,896

    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    April 5, 1969

    Our first victory! Hopefully the first of enough to keep my job. Seattle won yesterday, so now we're tied at 1-4.

    After having the Red Sox hand us our heads, we hosted the New York Yankees. They won yesterday 8-3. Today Johnny Podres came back for his second start against Mel Stottlemyre.

    They took a first inning lead on back to back doubles by Horace Clark and Tom Tresh, followed by a single by Roy White. Then Bobby Murcer hit a fifth inning two RBI homer making it 4-0.

    Here we go again, I thought.

    Not quite. Mike Fiore and Ellie Rodriguez walked to start our half, then with one out Paul Schaal pinch hit for Podres and singled to load the bases. Joe Foy then singled as well for two runs, and Pat Kelly doubled for two more. Just like that we were tied!

    In the sixth we started to do it again: Ed Kirkpatrick walked, Fiore followed, then Rodriguez singled to make it 5-4. One out later Don O'Riley grounded to short letting Fiore come home and we led 6-4. An eighth inning double by Rodriguez, followed by singles by Luis Alcaraz and PH Jerry Adair made it 7-4.

    We had a bit of a scare in the ninth with Tom Burgmeier pitching. Tresh singled, then White doubled. Bill Robinson grounded to second for the first out, but Tresh made it home. Murcer then grounded to short scoring White. Thurman Munson grounded out to Burgmeier ending the game 7-6.

    Code:
    New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals
    April 5, 1969
    
                         1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 +  R  H  E
           Yankees (NYY) 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2    6 11  0
            Royals (KCR) 0 0 0 0 4 2 0 1 x    7  8  0
    
    NEW YORK             ab  h bb  r hr bi  k sb     avg
    H. Clarke (2B)        5  2  0  1  0  0  0  0    .545
    T. Tresh (SS)         4  3  1  2  0  1  0  0    .294
    R. White (LF)         5  3  0  2  0  1  0  0    .286
    B. Robinson (CF)      4  1  1  1  0  1  0  0    .286
    B. Murcer (RF)        5  1  0  0  0  3  0  1    .261
    T. Munson (C)         5  0  0  0  0  0  2  0    .231
    D. McDonald (1B)      3  0  1  0  0  0  0  0    .231
    B. Cox (3B)           4  1  0  0  0  0  0  0    .316
    M. Stottlemyre (P)    3  0  0  0  0  0  1  0    .000
     R. Klimkowski (P)    0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
     J. Pepitone (P)      0  0  1  0  0  0  0  0    .500
     L. McDaniel (P)      0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
    TOTALS               38 11  4  6  0  6  3  1
    
       2B:  H. Clarke (4), T. Tresh (1), R. White (2), B. Robinson (1)
    
            NEW YORK   ip  h bb hr  r er  k pit    ERA
      M. Stottlemyre  5.2  5  5  0  6  6  2  97   7.11
       R. Klimkowski  1.1  0  2  0  0  0  0  18   6.75
         L. McDaniel  1.0  3  0  0  1  1  0  17   2.25
              TOTALS  8.0  8  7  0  7  7  2 132
    
    KANSAS CITY          ab  h bb  r hr bi  k sb     avg
    J. Foy (3B)           4  1  1  0  0  2  0  0    .350
    R. Severson (SS)      5  0  0  1  0  0  0  0    .217
    P. Kelly (CF)         4  1  1  0  0  2  0  0    .250
    L. Piniella (LF)      4  1  0  0  0  0  0  0    .263
    E. Kirkpatrick (RF)   2  0  2  1  0  0  1  0    .176
    M. Fiore (1B)         1  0  2  2  0  0  0  0    .385
     B. Oliver (P)        1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
    E. Rodriguez (C)      3  2  1  2  0  1  0  0    .313
    L. Alcaraz (2B)       4  1  0  0  0  0  0  0    .118
    J. Podres (P)         1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0    .000
     P. Schaal (P)        1  1  0  1  0  0  0  0    .500
     D. O'Riley (P)       1  0  0  0  0  1  0  0    .000
     J. Adair (P)         1  1  0  0  0  1  0  0    .500
     T. Burgmeier (P)     0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    .000
    TOTALS               32  8  7  7  0  7  2  0
    
       2B:  P. Kelly (1), E. Rodriguez (1)
    
         KANSAS CITY   ip  h bb hr  r er  k pit    ERA
           J. Podres  5.0  8  3  0  4  4  2  86  15.95
          D. O'Riley  3.0  1  1  0  0  0  1  51   7.20
        T. Burgmeier  1.0  2  0  0  2  2  0  19  18.00
              TOTALS  9.0 11  4  0  6  6  3 156
    
         WP: D. O'Riley (1-0)
         LP: M. Stottlemyre (0-2)
         SV: T. Burgmeier (1)
    
         Temperature: 86F
         Wind: Calm
         Attendance: 30,240
         Time: 3:12
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    2,896

    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    Early April 1969

    That first day taught me something important about both us and the Pilots. They'd lost by one run, we by three. We weren't that bad. It was still probable we'd finish 5-6, but I wonder if the Sporting News predicting both of us having 100 losses might have been too rough.
    *******

    Boston (0-0) at Kansas City (0-0)

    1: Red Sox 15-12 LP: Zachary (0-1), HR: Foy (1), Kirkpatrick (1)
    > BOS LF Carl Yastrzemski gets 3 HR, 6 RBI

    2: Red Sox 10-3 LP: Bunker (0-1), HR: Kelly (1)
    > CF Pat Kelly's 3 RBI homer is all we can manage.

    3: Red Sox 10-1 LP: Morehead (0-1)
    > BOS CF Reggie Smith gets 2 HR, 6 RBI
    *******

    Ouch. We gave up twelve homers in that series. My only consolation is that the Pilots have yet to win their first game as well. As do the Expos, Astros, Senators and Athletics. (Philadelphia and San Diego haven't opened their seasons yet.)
    *******

    New York (2-1) (4th-T, -1g) at Kansas City (0-3) (4th-T, -3g)

    4: Yankees 8-3 LP: Rooker (0-1)
    > Yankees move into a tie for first place

    5: Royals 7-6 WP: O'Riley (1-0), SV: Burgmeier (1)
    > Our first victory comes as O'Riley shuts the Yanks down for 3 innings

    6: Yankees 5-4 LP: Bunker (0-2), HR: Alcaraz (1)
    > 2 homers by NYY CF Joe Pepitone do us in.
    *******

    The Pilots won their first game on the fourth at home against the hapless Senators...then lost the other two. The Padres are now 1-2, the Expos 0-6. The battle for worst in the Majors continues as we take our show on the road.
    *******

    Kansas City (1-5) (5th-T, -4g) at Washington (2-4) (6th, -3g)

    7: Senators 6-3 LP: Morehead (0-2)

    8: Senators 19-8 LP: Rooker (0-2), HR: Foy (2)
    > Rooker gives up 10 ER in 2.1 IP. WAS LF Frank Howard gets 5 RBI, 3B Ken McMullen 6.

    9: Senators 13-5 LP: Podres (0-1), HR: Severson (1)
    > Podres deserves the loss as his ERA falls to 15.32.
    *******

    This is the worst of the AL East!?!? Slaughtered! The Pilots took three games off so now lead by 1.5. The Expos are 0-9. San Diego 4-2. I wonder if it's too early to panic. The only good news was Severson getting his first career homer.

    Now we head into the steel belt to meet the new worst team in the East.
    *******

    Kansas City (1-8) (6th, -5g) at Cleveland (4-5) (6th, -3g)

    10: Royals 5-3 WP: Bunker (1-2), SV: Drabowsky (1)

    11: Royals 12-10 (10) WP: Zachary (1-1), HR: Kirkpatrick (2), Fiore (1)
    > Fiore hit a 2 RBI homer in the tenth for our first extra-inning win! Kirkpatrick gets 5 RBI

    12: Royals 13-4 WP: Rooker (1-2), HR: Oliver (1), Piniella 2 (2), Kirkpatrick (3)
    > Our most convincing win yet as Rooker gets the team's first CG.
    *******

    Montreal finally wins two games of their own. I'm pleased with this series- our pitching improved dramatically vs. the slaughters by the Senators (and Red Sox), while we're finally hitting well again. This is also our first sweep! Now up to New York, who has done well for themselves since our last encounter.
    *******

    Kansas City (4-8) (5th, -4g) at New York (6-3) (2nd, -0.5g)

    13: Yankees 11-4 LP: Podres (0-2)
    > I'm starting to think baseball offense is now TOO strong. Certainly Podres is having trouble adjusting though his ERA falls to 13.50.

    14: Yankees 5-3 LP: Bunker (1-3)

    15: Royals 4-3 (10) WP: Drabowsky (1-0), SV: Burgmeier (2)
    > Rico hits a 10th inning RBI single to avoid the sweep.


    Code:
    Team           W   L   GB
    Los Angeles    10   5  --
    Oakland         9   6   1
    Minnesota       7   6   2
    Chicago         5   9   4.5
    Seattle         4   8   4.5
    Kansas City     5  10   5   ****
    NLE: Philadelphia (9-3) leads Pittsburgh by 1g
    NLW: Houston (9-3) and San Francisco are tied.
    ALE: Baltimore (10-4) leads New York by 1g

    Code:
    AVG:  Ellie Rodriguez (.326)
    HR:   Ed Kirkpatrick (3)
    RBI:  Joe Foy (12)
    SB:   Pat Kelly (3) (T-3rd AL)
    
    W:    Bunker, Rooker, Drabowsky, O'Riley, Zachary (1)
    ERA:  Dave Morehead (4.32)
    K:    Dave Morehead (21) (3rd AL)
    SV:   Tom Burgmeier (2) (T-1st AL)
    Last edited by CatKnight; 01-03-2008 at 01:54 PM.
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    2,896

    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    COMMENTS:

    Um...I'm going to HOPE that as I play through this season the offense corrects itself. As it stands....well, let me show you.

    Historical: (American League) (National League)

    Runs per Game: (4.09) (4.05)
    ERA: (3.62) (3.60)

    Simmed through April 15:

    RpG: (6.56) (6.19)
    ERA: (6.21) (5.83)

    Now 15 days means absolutely nothing statistically speaking, but in that time you see the following scores:

    Boston 24 Minnesota 15
    Baltimore 23 White Sox 11
    Cincinnati 23 Montreal 7
    Washington 19 Kansas City 8
    Detroit 18 Oakland 15
    Dodgers 18 Philadelphia 3
    San Diego 16 Cubs 14
    Cubs 16 Houston 0

    Among others.

    Has anyone else played with the 1969 rosters and found this? Eep.

    On the other hand, I guess this universe is going to see no need for a DH.
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    1,810

    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    I wonder if the stats are defaulting to 2007stats.txt and not 1969stats.txt. You might want to check the simulation settings.

    Otherwise, great work with this dynasty. I'm enjoying the detail.

    --Pet

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    2,896

    Re: To Rule in Kansas City

    petrel: I asked a month or two back - the game doesn't use the stat files anymore. Adjustment for each era is handled behind the scenes now.

    These numbers look high for 2007, let alone 1969. I'm going to do some tests to see how bad this is. I'm trying to put this off with a tolerant chuckle, but when the leading home run hitter escapes April 1969 with SEVENTEEN ... :sighing:

    By contrast, of the top home run hitters from 2007, on April 30 A-Rod 14 and 34 RBI. None of the other top 5 had more than 6 HR and RBIs in the teens. Granted someone else could have peaked in April and fell off later, but... And batting average league wide is still in the high .280s.
    *******

    Late April 1969

    "Terrible."

    This is what Tulsa Oiler manager and former pitching ace Warren Spahn said about the DPH rule when it came to the American Association. As the Oilers are a Cardinal affiliate, I used to talk to Warren every week or so to see how his players were doing and if he needed anything.

    Warren could be blunt, and he was definitely set in his way when it came to pitchers, but I thought this deserved a little explanation so I gave him a call.

    "Chuck, we played two games with it. In Oklahoma City the DPHs combined to go 0 for 8. Here in Tulsa they went 2 for 7. ****, in two good starts I might have hit 2 for 7. Christ knows I could go 0 for 8!"

    I told him that if the current offensive totals held true for the rest of the year, batting average would jump 61 points (.230 to .291) in the AL, while we'd jump from 1,104 homers to 2,221 ... more than doubling the amount, far too much to explain even with two expansion clubs.

    I believe this DPH rule is dead ... in fact I hear Gary's leading an effort to try and get some of the new pitching rules about strike zones and such repealed. Bob Gibson is 1-2 5.46 ERA, Detroit's Mickey Lolich has a 12.42 ERA, Atlanta's Phil Niekro 0-3 8.31 ERA. There's no way they should be struggling like that.

    *******

    We begin the second half of April 5-10, half a game out of FOURTH place and in the cellar of the AL West. Of the four expansion teams, the only one worse is the flailing Montreal Expos. Joe Gordon looks more strained and fierce by the day, snapping at anyone who crosses his path.
    *******

    Kansas City (5-10) (6th, -5g) at Detroit (8-7) (3rd, -2.5g)

    16: Tigers 7-2 LP: Rooker (1-3)
    > Tiger LF Willie Horton goes 4 for 4, 3 HR, 7 RBI to win single-handedly.

    17: Royals 9-4 WP: Podres (1-2), HR: Oliver (2), Foy (3)
    > The "Old Man" can still win, giving up 2 ER in 8 IP

    18: Tigers 13-9 LP: Bunker (1-4), HR: Northey (1), Fiore (2)
    *******

    We now get our first break, two days to meditate on how our season's going, before we invite Detroit home for six games over seven days. I get home on the nineteenth, and it's the first chance I have to meet with Richie Perrin, my new scouting director.

    Now that he's had a chance to make some independent studies, Richie suggests a number of radical moves. (ie- switching back to 10.31 from 10.34 changed a bunch of ratings.) I therefore called Joe Gordon in and listened to what he had to say.

    With 3B Paul Schall struggling on the bench (.190 in 21 AB) in a supposed hitter's paradise this year, we decide to let him get some practice in Omaha and call up 2B Frank White. White's supposedly not quite ready, according to Richie's men, but he's batting .319 in Omaha. That's worth a risk or two to me.

    Pitching's a little more serious. I send down RP Don O'Riley (1-0 10.45), Long Reliever Mike Hedlund (0-0 14.00) and reliever Chris Zachary (1-1 11.45), calling up RP Ken Wright (0-0 2.45 in AAA), SP Roger Nelson (0-1 2.70 in AAA) and SP Al Fitzmorris (1-0 1.96 in AAA) to take over. Gordon puts them in the middle relief spots to see how they do.

    While we were off we passed the White Sox to move up in the standings. That's nice, but Seattle's still ahead...
    *******

    Detroit (10-8) (4th, -4g) at Kansas City (6-12) (5th, -6g)

    21: Tigers 12-3 LP: Morehead (0-3), HR: Kirkpatrick (4)
    > Tiger SP Mickey Lolich holds us to 4 hits in 8 innings.

    22: Tigers 5-4 LP: Rooker (1-4)

    23: Tigers 7-0 LP: Podres (1-3)
    > Tiger SP Earl Wilson holds us to 3 hits. It's only the 8th shutout in the Majors this year.
    *******

    We are now the worst of the expansion teams. The only team as bad as we are the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are also 6-15. Ewing called me to ask about our prospects. He didn't seem that happy.
    *******

    Detroit (12-9) (3rd, -3g) at Kansas City (6-15) (6th, -8g)

    25: Tigers 13-7 LP: Bunker (1-5), HR: Kelly (2)
    > Ugh.

    26: Royals 10-3 WP: Morehead (1-3), HR: Kelly 2 (4)
    > Kelly's 3 for 5, 6 RBI performance is decisive. Frank White debuts going 2 for 4 with a triple.

    27: Tigers 11-9 LP: Rooker (1-5), HR: Kirkpatrick (5)
    > I'm actually proud of this game. Down 9-3 entering the bottom of the 7th we fought back.
    *******

    You only get so much for effort though, and we're still in the gutter of the AL West. One would think this next series would be easy, but since they swept us earlier this month...
    *******

    Washington (9-15) (6th, -9g) at Kansas City (7-17) (6th, -9g)

    28: Royals 3-2 (11) WP: Nelson (1-0)
    > Kirkpatrick hits an 11th inning single to win.

    29: Senators 6-4 LP: Bunker (1-6)

    30: Senators 6-1 LP: Morehead (1-4)
    > Washington gets three homers.
    *******

    Mere housekeeping: RP Galen Cisco (48/57 now) was injured while at A ball trying to earn his way back to the Majors. He wouldn't be back til September, and everything the scouts and doctors are telling me says there's no reason to wait. I buy out his contract for $17,000. He retires from organized baseball the next day.

    Cisco is 33, and played six professional seasons, his last on a Major League level in 1967.
    He finishes 24-55 4.59 ERA, 9 CG 1 SV
    Galen played for the 61-62 Red Sox, 62-65 Mets, and 67 'Sox.
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

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