Friday, March 25, 2011

Revisiting Playboy 2005

As some of you may know I have a small company in Council Bluffs/Omaha and in my offices I share a bathroom with the landlord who has an office in the building. While I've been using the bathroom for months one day I looked above the cabinet for some untold reason and discovered a couple Playboy magazines peaking over the edge.

Being a man I looked around (duh no one else is in the bathroom) and was compelled to grab the Playboy magazines to discover what great articles are to be seen on the inside of the pages and to my surprise what should I find but a preview of the 2005 baseball season. While many Royal fans remember the 2004 and 2005 seasons as probably the two worst seasons in Royal history both recordwise but also because of the promise 2003 brought I thought it would be fun to revisit what a non-sport publication thought at the time.

Last Season 58-104 Last place, 34 games out. The Royals used a franchise-record 58 players, one shy of the major league mark set by Cleveland and San Diego in 2002.

Off-season focus: They splurged on free agents a year ago and went from a contender in 2003 to having the worst record in franchise histroy. So they regrouped and committed to building from within the farm system.

Who was this farm system rebuild with? Buck and Teahen? I've always thought the idea that Baird looked to rebuild with the farm system was a total joke. The guy didn't draft well, buy international talent or even use all the minor league levels to develop players. Whoever bought into Baird's idea of development wasn't watching closely.

In-season prognosis: The Royals have the potential to suprise-not by winning the division but by making everyone else uncomfortable. They have young talent and are excited about the potential of third baseman Mark Teahen, who came from Oakland. How much they improve will depend on how well Runelvys Hernandez rebounds from elbow surgery and whether righty Denny Bautista can deliver.

Of course the Royals didn't make anyone uncomfortable that season by setting a new low mark going 56-106.

Welcome to town: Outfielder Terrence Long was excess baggage in San Diego, but the Royals see him as a much needed left-handed bat who will respond to a return to regular duty.

Terrence Long was just another name in the group of failed veteran pickups by Baird. Guys he would attempt to grab onto just before they left baseball. Baird's OF picks of Gonzalez, Long and Sanders over inhouse players like Diaz and Ibanez were just a couple reasons this franchise reached incredible lows in '04 and '05.

This preview was written by Tracy Rigolsby while Christina Kahrl wrote some bits and pieces as well, it's always fun to look back and review what people thought at the time no matter how painful that season was. There was also the nice Mike Sweeney little interview with one of the following quotes "I was there when we lost 100 games. I was there when we came up just short of winning the division. It would be sweeter to win in Kansas City, having gone through the tought times." Rigolsby took it pretty easy on the Royals as I believe most thought they were going to end up where they did but he shined as much hope as he possibly could.

While the baseball intro doesn't quite live up to the James Spader interview(I'm a Boston Legal fan), Hunter S. Thompson last words or Suburban Bombshells Naked comparison of Desperate Housewives it was definitely fun to discover in my office but unfortunately I won't be reviewing the October 2008 issue that is also above the cabinet.

NEXT UP: Royals Season Predictions

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