Sunday Insider: Central Intelligence
- September 28, 2013 - 4:58 PM
The Royals entered Saturday with 85 victories, their most since 1993. So it’s a sign of progress.
But Kansas City needs to figure out how to take the next step. The Royals have not made the postseason since 1985, currently the longest postseason drought among the big four major professional sports leagues. They haven’t even finished second in the standings since 1995.
They had a very good pitching staff, and some of the young core took steps forward in 2013. But where do the Royals go from there?
“We think we’ll have a natural upward progression offensively,” manager Ned Yost said, “but, yeah, I think we need another bat. It’s hard to say [where] because we really haven’t discussed anything specifically yet.”
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Paul Konerko hit career home run No. 434 on Thursday in a 3-2 loss to Kansas City. You can’t help but wonder if that was one of his last.
Konerko’s contract expires at the end of the season, and there’s plenty of speculation that the longtime White Sox first baseman will retire at the end of the season. Konerko, 37, was batting .247 with 12 home runs and 54 RBI entering Saturday. His bat speed is not what it used to be.
Chicago manager Robin Ventura was asked if Konerko’s home run on Thursday was his last.
“You don’t know,’’ Ventura said. “But I think any time players kind of go through this situation, I’m sure there are some weird thoughts of the last time for anything.’’
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Interesting note on the Tigers. They have lost five times this season when their starting pitcher didn’t give up a run in an outing in which he went at least six innings. Boston has no such losses, and Oakland has one.
© 2013 Star Tribune