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Big League Stew

The Royals are in ultra-scavenger mode — and that’s good

Big League Stew

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For the purposes of this post, let's say that I have just traded the ten-dollar bill that I just found on the ground for a fast-food meal at a chain burger joint.

It's nothing fancy, but it will get the job done. I hadn't eaten in days.

Furthermore, let's also suppose that I decide to walk home from the restaurant in an attempt to work off the caloric impact I have just foisted upon my system.

I am enjoying my walk — the future seems bright — but also thinking that I should have thrown in an apple pie or another double cheeseburger because I am still quite hungry. That's when I walk past a Morton's and see you dining inside. You're just finishing up your meal and you're motioning to the server to toss the remainders. {YSP:MORE}

That's when I tap on the window to get your attention before the plate is removed. I have no idea what's on it. Could be a bone that's been picked clean. Might be something I'm allergic to and that will leave me sick. But it also might be a worthwhile piece of steak that you weren't able to finish. Perfect for fixing into a sandwich when I get home. Combine that with the first burger and some nice cookies that have been baking back home and I'll be a man who's well-fed through little or no cost to myself.

So I tell you that I'm perfectly willing to take your doggy bag if you don't want it. I might take it all the way home, but I might also throw it away. It doesn't matter, though, because you've already paid the bill. I'm on the hook for nothing.

I've also just perfectly described the strategy that Dayton Moore and the Kansas City Royals are taking in their attempts to resurrect a winner. The $10 bill I found on the ground is Melky Cabrera, the first meal is the much-needed pitcher they just obtained in Jonathan Sanchez and the cookies waiting at home are the tantalizing low-cost prospects the Royals have been assembling.

As for the steak? Well, that's Carlos Zambrano, which Moore will gladly take off the Chicago Cubs' hands if they're not going to finish with him. In many other places, this is called freeloading. In baseball, though, it's a smart strategy for a small-market team.

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