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Glass expects improvement from Royals after trades

Glass expects improvement from Royals after trades

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) David Glass was as excited as anyone with the Kansas City organization about the offseason moves that led to a revamped pitching rotation.

Now the Royals owner is ready for the changes to translate to success on the field.

Glass attended a stop on the Kansas City caravan Monday near his home in northwest Arkansas, where the Royals Double-A affiliate is located. The often-criticized Glass hasn't experienced the playoffs since becoming the team's owner in 2000. He praised general manager Dayton Moore and said the offseason trades that brought pitchers James Shields and Ervin Santana were part of Kansas City's ``overall plan.''

Shields was acquired, along with Wade Davis, from Tampa Bay in December - after posting a 15-10 mark with a 3.51 ERA last season. That followed the move a month earlier that brought Santana from the Los Angeles Angels. The combination of the two moves has Glass thinking big for this season.

``My expectation for this year is for us to be very competitive,'' Glass said. ``I think the expectation level, from talking to the players, the manager and the general manager; all of them believe that they can compete in the Central Division and that we've got a shot at winning it.''

Kansas City hasn't reached the playoffs since winning the World Series in 1985, and it hasn't had a winning season since finishing 83-80 in 2003. The Royals, whose minor league system has been praised in recent years under Moore, were 72-90 last season - their fourth straight season with an improved win total.

Moore tapped into that farm system to pry Shields away from the Rays, packaging top prospect Wil Myers in the deal. The outfielder hit .314 with 37 home runs and 109 RBIs last season, and he excelled in the All-Star Futures Game in Kansas City.

Glass said he expects Myers to develop into ``an All-Star player'' in the majors, but he said the move was needed to help improve a starting rotation that combined for a 5.01 ERA last season - fifth-worst in the big leagues. He also said a smaller market such as Kansas City must rely on player development and trading prospects to acquire top established players, rather than doing so in free agency.

``The whole thing was not knee jerk,'' Glass said. ``It's part of the overall plan.

``... The only thing we were really short on was starting pitching. We've got a great bullpen, so (Moore) decided now's the time to step up and dramatically improve your starting pitching and go for it, see what you can do about winning your division,'' he added.

Glass said the trade for Shields wasn't the only one the Royals discussed during the offseason in an attempt to bring in a top starting pitcher, and he said there were ``some other alternatives'' that he preferred more than Moore. However, he trusted the general manager's opinion and is hopeful the flurry of activity has invigorated both the Kansas City fan base and organization.

``We've got great fans who deserve a team that wins more than we've won,'' Glass said. ``... I think all of us believe that we're getting there.''

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Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. CHARLOTTE HORNETS

Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

On a roll

The Wizards have some serious momentum going right now. With an impressive win over the Cavs on Thursday, they have now won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury. They had a week off due to the All-Star break, but didn't show any rust at all in their first game back.

The Wizards are now 34-24, 10 games above the .500 mark. They are fourth in the East and could move into third on Friday if they win and the Cavaliers lose. Even with Wall out, things continue to look up for Washington.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Hornets have had their number

The Wizards haven't done so well against the Hornets so far this season. Charlotte has taken both meetings and that includes a 24-point win on Jan. 17. That game featured Dwight Howard taunting the Wizards late in the fourth quarter.

Howard has killed the Wizards through two games with averages of 22.0 points and 14.0 rebounds. Jeremy Lamb (20.0 ppg vs. Wizards) has been a big factor as well as All-Star Kemba Walker (21.5 ppg vs. Wizards).

The last time these teams played about a month ago frustrations boiled over in an incident that got Tim Frazier ejected. Michael Carter-Williams picked a fight with Jason Smith and Frazier went off:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

Hornets coming in hot

The Hornets are outside the playoff picture at the moment at eight games below .500, but they have won two straight games and Walker and Howard are coming off huge games. In a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, Walker dropped 31 points and Howard grabbed 24 rebounds.

Those guys will be riding a high coming into Washington on Friday. But it should be noted that Howard complained after the game how tired he is at this point in the season. That exhausion could affect him more in the second game of a back-to-back.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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Tarik's 3 stars: Caps come up empty on an emotional night in Florida

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USA TODAY Sports

Tarik's 3 stars: Caps come up empty on an emotional night in Florida

Vincent Trocheck scored on the power play with 18.7 seconds remaining and the Panthers escaped with a 3-2 victory on an emotional night in Sunrise, Fla.

Trocheck’s goal was Florida’s second in the final four minutes…and the Caps were left to lament yet another incomplete performance. Washington has now lost three of its last four games and fell to 4-5-2 in February.

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Vincent Trocheck, Panthers

Trocheck did what Trocheck does in the third period: The Florida forward scored a clutch goal in the final seconds, redirecting a Jonathan Huberdeau shot through Brooks Orpik’s legs and past Braden Holtby. Eller was in the penalty box when Trocheck scored his 13th third period goal of the season.

2-Andre Burakovsky, Capitals

After losing a goal to Eller in the first period, Burakovsky made sure he didn’t go home empty handed. No. 65 scored on the power play in the second period to put the Caps ahead 2-1. It was Burakovsky’s third goal in six games. He also earned a secondary assist on Eller’s redirection score.   

3-Braden Holtby, Capitals

Following a handful of un-Holtby-like performances lately, Holtbeast roared Thursday night at BB&T Center. He made at least one game-saving stop in each period: an arm save on Trocheck in the first period; a pad stop on Denis Malgin in the second and another extended pad stop on Evgenii Dadonov in the third. Holtby finished with 30 stops.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.