Let’s stop this thing about the Royals being “the bad boys of baseball” before it starts

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So there is an HBT commenter, some of you may have come across him, named “kcrobert10.” He’s notable for a couple of reasons. First off, he’s literally the first commenter I can remember in the six-year history of HardballTalk who self-identifies as a Royals fan. It’s just the sort of thing you remember.

But he’s far more notable for his habit of showing up in the morning recap thread calling the Royals “the bad boys of baseball.” Without any apparent irony. It’s about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, bless his heart.

Cute, but no, we can’t let that stick. As long as I’m drawing breath, I will not let “bad boys of baseball” happen with the Royals. Or anyone else for that matter. There was one sports team with a claim to “Bad Boys” and that was the Rick Mahorn Detroit Pistons. They owned it and retired it. And even if they hadn’t, calling a team the “Bad Boys” is the most 80s-90s thing ever, so we sure as hell shouldn’t be doing it in 2015. And that’s even if the Royals sign Mahorn to play first base. Which they should, but that’s another post.

But man, I really don’t want to come down too hard on kcrobert10 in all of this. Like I said, he’s positively adorable. So even if I fully intend to kill the thing he holds dear and to do it with a smile on my face, I will throw him a bone. A bone in the form of this article that our long-time commenter Moses passed along to me. Passed along to me because Uncle Moses here thinks kcrobert10 is adorable too. It comes with the abomination of a headline leds “Straight Outta Kauffman,” which could get a headline writer hurt if he crows about writing it. But anyway:

While the Royals fan base certainly has the team’s back, opposing fans think otherwise. After being the darlings of baseball last year with their Cinderella run, some are calling the Royals the “bad boys” of the league this season.

But is it justified? We’ll leave that up to you.

Soak it all in, kcrobert10. Revel in it.

At least until me and all the other right-minded people come and beat that little meme to bloody death with a bag of doorknobs while you watch.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?