TAYLOR & LARIMORE: ROYALS versus CARDINALS

Ian Taylor, Sports Writer & Jordan Larimore, Senior Editor

Ian Taylor

“Yost thinks there will be  a World Series in the future”

An underdog, a team that has been abysmal since before most in the 18-24 age group were born, the Kansas City Royals may be on the verge of a ceiling break.  

It’s a ceiling that most fans sporting the color blue have felt for years was made of concrete, but as light shines on Kauffman Stadium this year, it seems that ceiling should be made of glass.  

After an offseason that placed a plethora of new names at the top of a pitching staff that by all accounts had been the proverbial Achilles heel, the Royals have passed through the early stages of the year with dramatic improvement.  

Leading the Cactus League during spring training in almost every statistical category and recording the best record of all teams in baseball, the Royals show signs of brilliance.

Queue the jokes, as most in the area would follow the previous optimism with their own version of what would be their yearly Royals chaos theory, but this year begs to be different.  

With star power oozing from the pores of every position, this team is no longer a perennial bottom-feeder.  

This team is now a young group ready to take the loyal fans from the  to the promise land.

Royals manager Ned Yost said earlier this spring that he feels like the Royals are in line for a World Series title in the next few years, music to the ears and with that sort of confidence it seems that the time to get on the bandwagon is now.  

To root for a team that no one but the fans that care the most expect anything from is the truest form of sporting fandom.

That is literally what it is all about.

 

 

 

Jordan Larimore

“Mixture of youth, experience has St. Louis sitting pretty”

The future of Major League Baseball runs through St. Louis. With six out of eight position players in the Opening Day lineup being homegrown, the youth is here, and it’s here to stay.

Simply put, the Cardinals have figured things out. Pundits thought the team would never be the same after the departure of Albert Pujols.

What did the Angels get for an average annual value of $24 million?

A designated hitter who hits slightly better than his weight.

What did the Cards get by not giving into Pujols’ ludicrous demands?

Allen Craig and Matt Adams. Craig is hitting .375 with runners in scoring position on the young year. Adams is hitting .600 in such spots.

At one point last week, Adams, playing in only a part-time role thus far, had hit well enough to lead the league in batting average. Problem was, he hadn’t had enough at-bats to qualify. He was 18 short. Plug in a hypothetical 0-18 stretch and Adams would still have been hitting nearly .400.

St. Louis is hitting .395 with runners in scoring position, and .431 with RISP and two outs. But maybe offense isn’t your cup of tea. Maybe you like crafty, effective and exciting pitching.

Have we got news for you.

Through 13 games, the Cardinals’ starting rotation went 8-2 and posted a league-best 2.13 earned-run average.

The only weak spot on this 2013 club is the bullpen. And that’s only a weak spot because of Jason Motte’s likely need for Tommy John surgery.

A technicality.

It’s true that the various replacements have been nothing short of atrocious. But at least the rotation has picked up the slack. And maybe, just maybe, Motte will be back as soon as May.