...make myself a different set of rules.
I was going to fold this into my post about today's game, but I kinda got carried away with that one. Plus, these aren't really related thoughts. I wanted to weigh in on two recent developments in Royal land: the draft and the trade of Angel Berroa.
First up, the draft. Everyone knows the Royals have to have good drafts. They are never going to be able to purchase top free-agent major league talent. They will have to develop it. Of course, this means the Royals' eventual turnaround (please God, let there be an eventual turnaround) will take some time.
I'm no scout, but I am pleased overall with the Royals' 2008 draft now. Taking a player whose agent is Scott Bora$ and who reportedly will seek a $7 million signing bonus is another sign the Royals are finally willing to pay for talent in the draft. There was not one decision that got the Royals where they are today; it was a bunch of decisions, including drafting players who were not as good as others because they would sign cheaply. Today, I salute David Glass and Dayton Moore for being willing to find talent and pay it. Check back in 2018 to see if the Royals really did a good job, though.
Second, the Angel Berroa trade. In the glorious summer of 2003, it looked like KC had a long-term answer at shortstop, as Berroa ran away with the Rookie of the Year award. Sure, he struck out a lot, didn't walk and sometimes screwed up routine plays. But he hit 17 homers!
Then came 2004. Apparently AL pitchers spent the offseason watching tape of Berroa and realized they did not necessarily need to throw strikes to get him out. Angel never adjusted, and was finally, mercifully banished to the minors before the 2007 season.
(Not before running one manager out of town, though. I am convinced to this day that Tony Pena Sr.'s abrupt resignation in May 2005 was not due to the team's 8-25 record or his impending testimony in a divorce case, but to Berroa's inexplicable baserunning blunder in the 9th inning of that night's game. With the Royals down two in the 9th, Angel doubled to lead off the inning. When the next batter hit a routine fly to center, Berroa took off running and was easily doubled off. I think Pena decided he could not watch Angel play one more game.)
So Friday, the Royals traded Berroa to the Dodgers for nothing. Or close to it, an A-ball shortstop. Sure, the Dodgers were desperate for a body to play short while their regular starter recovers from an injury, but I like to think this is a positive move for the Royals. It's one less link to that fluke season of 2003. And it's one less link to the failures of 2004-2006. Plus, it removes the tempation to ever bring him back to replace Tony Pena Jr.'s toothpick bat. Dayton Moore said he thought Berroa needed a fresh start. I think the Royals needed one, too.