Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Colon Blown

Thankfully I was at work and unable to watch the Royals' pen squander yet another lead.

The only thing we fans once gave the braintrust at Treyton Millman Incorporated credit for is now the biggest problem with the team, and it's debilitating. Another day, another blown save. The Royals managed to wrest defeat from the jaws of victory, undercutting what Brian Bannister did over the course of his 6.1 innings of work before managing two outs. As if that weren't enough, Roman Colon decided to anal-ize him a second time for good measure by allowing the inherited runner to score.

There is nothing left that you need to see fellas. Change needs to happen now.

DFA Colon.

DFA Mendoza.

Call up Rosa.

Call up Lerew.

Anyone can see that this needs to happen. The fact that you cannot is damning. The last thing that we deemed an ability of Moore's has now also been proven to be an inability. With nothing left to cling to, what is it exactly that is keeping Dayton Moore and Trey Hillman off the unemployment line? Their incompetence is over-abundantly clear.

Put us out of our misery.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Royals Option Mike Aviles to Omaha, Fans Incensed

In yet another head-scratching move, Dayton Moore & Co. have decided that Mike Aviles was the 25-man roster casualty to make room for Gil Meche, who was activated from the Disabled List for his start on Sunday.


Nevermind that the optioning of a position player to activate a pitcher means the Royals are now carrying 13 pitchers on the Major League roster.

Nevermind that Kyle Farnsworth could easily be put on the DL as he is actually injured.

Nevermind that Luis Fucking Mendoza shouldn't be pitching for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, let alone the Kansas City Royals.

And nevermind that Mike Aviles is going to Omaha to play shortstop when the player that the Royals are currently slotting at short is the worst everyday player in the American League, being neither proficient with the wood or the leather.

On a day when the Red Sox threw Bill Hall in to sub for Marco Scutaro and Bill Hall (who had been moved off of short years ago) flashed better lateral range than Yuniesky Betancourt dreams of having, the thought of Betancourt allowing routine grounder after routine grounder through the infield for hits while working pitch-counts for one- and two-pitch at-bats is simply unbearable.

Dayton, Trey, whoever needs to hear this: Yuniesky Betancourt is not a shortstop. He is not a Major League hitter. No one gives a fuck who you traded to get him. You were wrong to acquire him. You are wrong to keep playing him. You have a more competent shortstop on your roster who you just sent down to get reps. God fucking dammit.

Seriously, Royals fans are checking out and the first week is just coming to an end.

This is but one story of organizational incompetence this season. I have barely even touched on the utter worthlessness of the bullpen as a whole or the fact that there are actual relievers in Omaha who actually could do the job. Hillman's pre-game statement that, “We need to keep as much pitching as we can right now until we get this bullpen situation ironed out," is also entirely irrelevant as there is no way in hell that Luis Mendoza is any part of the solution to the issue at hand. The complete inability to properly assess what the Royals have on their own roster is crippling the organization.

Perhaps the awful start that seems imminent will be enough for David Glass to shit-can Dayton Moore because this ship cannot be righted by the hands at the helm.

(photo from Seattle Times website)

Luis Mendoza: Royal Killer

I could write about the somewhat depressing Zack Greinke start (two straight hanging breaking balls crushed really did him in--especially since he has the Royals trying to provide him with run support instead of a real baseball team), but that really isn't that pressing of an issue.

No, we Royals fans get to sit here wondering what the fuck Luis Mendoza is doing on this 25-man roster. Seriously, what fucking super-genius decided that this shitty fuck of a pitcher should be pitching in the Royals organization at all, let alone at the Major League level?

Luis Mendoza has never been a serviceable pitcher IN THE MINORS. Why the fuck should he be pitching in Kauffman Stadium?

Then, we've got Trey Hillman deciding to actually use him. In a game. Nevermind that SABR-Trey insists upon Jimmy Gobbling Dusty Hughes; Luis Mendoza is a batting practice pitcher who should be thrown out there only to pump up the confidence of Royals hitters before games. Only here he is pitching in a real game.

I'm losing my fucking mind watching this awful product on the field, and we're now five fucking games into the season.

Fire everyone, David Glass.

Fire them now.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Royals Hate Mike Aviles and Mitch Maier

We're four games in, and it would seem that Trey Hillman feels that both Mike Aviles and Mitch Maier haven't sat enough to fully cool off from their torrid spring. With their spots on the 25-man roster entering spring training, both men saw fit to force their way onto the roster.

In 21 games and 57 plate appearances, Aviles hit .471/.517/.725 with one-third of his hits going for extra bases (three doubles and five triples). Not to be outdone, Maier triple-slashed .475/.530/.814 in 66 plate appearances with five doubles, three triples, and three homers. Collectively, they drew thirteen walks while only striking out eight times.

Given that Mitch Maier is the Royals' best defensive center fielder and that Mike Aviles is their "most fundamentally sound infielder," it would only stand to reason that they would not get to play after the team made moves in the offseason in the spirit of building a stronger defensive team--reason, of course, as it applies to how the show is run in Kansas City. Considering that they were the team's hottest hitters coming into the regular season, the rational thought being incorporated here is encouraging...

Combined, they have one pinch-running appearance.


Could someone please steal the compromising photos that Yuniesky Betancourt has of Hillman or Moore (Treyton Millman?) and give them to Aviles? I think we all trust his surgically repaired throwing elbow more than Betancourt.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Royals Screw Themselves, Zack Greinke, and Fans On Opening Day

The first thing that comes to mind when reflecting back upon yesterday's Opening Day debacle in Kansas City is that there may not be a time more apropos than now to cite one of my favorite movie quotes. In David Mamet's State and Main, dim lothario actor Bob Barrenger (played by Alec Baldwin) flips a station wagon at the titular intersection. Having occurred while getting road-head from an local teen while on location in a small New England town, the likelihood of public relations disaster on an already troubled shoot are high. Despite the fact that a nightmare is likely to follow, the breathless but unfazed Barrenger wriggles out from the upended car and exclaims, "So that happened." (For those unable to give two minutes of their life over to the embedded trailer (sorry about the picture quality), the pertinent section starts at the 1:55 mark.)

I find myself being able to bring little else to the table here.

The game turned out as I feared and succinctly serves as a microcosm for what I expect this whole season to be.

Zack Greinke pitched well enough to warrant the win, out-pitching Cy Young second-runner-up Justin Verlander.

In the first inning with runners on first and second and two down, Willie Bloomquist dropped an infield fly while stumbling up the pitcher's mound, allowing the ancient Magglio Ordonez to score from second on a ball that ended up a whopping 60 feet from the plate. This extended Greinke six more pitches than it should have in the inning, as he ended up unnecessarily having to strike out Brandon Inge looking on a 3 - 2 count.

As the sixth inning ended Greinke's pitch count sat at 96. If that pitch count was sitting at 90, I don't think anyone would have been surprised to see Zack come back out to face Scott Sizemore, Adam Everett, and Austin Jackson in the seventh. Instead, the Royals bullpen imploded. Sporting a two-run lead, the unholy triumvirate of Roman Colon, Robinson Tejeda, and Juan Cruz promptly decided it was their job to give up six runs in the seventh.

As if that weren't enough, the sure-to-be fan favorite* Jason Kendall was thrown out at home trying to score from second on a weak Scott Podsednik fly-ball after Dave Owen decided that the 170 feet that the ball traveled from home should afford the 35-year-old catcher more than enough time to reach the plate safely. Yes, the play at the plate was close, but the fact remains that there was one out with Billy Butler about to step up to bat. With Kendall standing on third (Podsednik's single came with runners on first and second), the tying run would have been at the plate in the form of the team's best hitter with only one down. Instead, Kendall is out at home, and Butler's pop-out ended the inning.

*Note: I can't find the sarcasm font right now, but let me assure you that the little bit of presaging there was rife with it.

Now, I'll grant you that this was only game one, but there wasn't a lot to take encouragement from. Hillman opted for a line-up consisting of Bloomquist at third, Guillen at DH, Kendall at C, and Betancourt at short. While I fully expected three-quarters of those men to be in the line-up, that doesn't make it any more palatable.

Mike Aviles played well enough in Spring Training to warrant a place on the 25-man roster when they could just as easily have placed him on the disabled list. He had been getting some work at both second and third. Why is the 2008 Royals Player of the Year who appears to have come back from injury and has given every indication that his bat has returned to form sitting on the bench on Opening Day?

Alberto Callaspo is your second-best offensive player, yet he, too, finds himself on the bench on Opening Day?

I know it's only one game, but if there were ever a statement game for a team that generally finds itself looking up at every other team in the divisional standings, it's Opening Day. No one gives a fuck that no-glove/no-bat Jose Guillen is making $12 million this year, and I can sure as shit tell you that no one would walk out of the gates at the K on Opening Day complaining about not having gotten to see Willie Bloomquist man the hot corner. Get Aviles and Callaspo in the goddamn lineup.

And I'm not going to even get started on the absurdity of the alignment of the outfield...

Yes, it's too early to be making major sweeping statements about the team based on the Royals one game played, but it certainly is disheartening to see the things we all foresaw in the offseason coming true in the first game of the season.

We root for the one team in baseball that can be most aptly compared to the Keystone Kops. I guess it is our fault for not being disloyal/smart enough to jump ship a long time ago, but at least do us the favor of getting the best possible team on the field four or five days a week, SABR-Trey.

Maybe this is all excessively negative and reactionary, but when the culmination of a widely criticized off-season is a bumbling season opener, it is the most honest reaction.