Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Streak Is Over

Well, the Royals ended their 13 game losing streak with a victory at soggy Yankee stadium in The Bronx, New York last night. The win also ended a 14 game losing streak at "The House that Ruth Built".
The Game
The boys in blue started their scoring efforts in the second with a leadoff homer from Reggie Sanders. After a Matt Stairs strike out and an Emil Brown groudout, Tony Graffanino singled and stole second. Then, the craziest play I've seen in years took place. ANGEL BERROA walked!! Then, after a Paul Bako walk, Shane Costa ripped a single to right fielder Bernie Williams scoring Graff and Berroa. Note Berroa scored easily because Bernie is 73 years old now and cannot throw.

The Yankee's plated their first run in the fourth on an RBI single by A-Rod and followed that up by a three run sixth that was keyed by a two run double courtesy of Giambi. The third run of the inning came off the bat of the next hitter, A-Rod who single in Giambi.

The Royals tied it up in the next half inning after a Graff single, Berroa sac bunt and Bako single. That's a manufactured run folks. Then the Royals took the lead for good on a three run shot by Berroa in the eigth.

A near two hour rain delay after 8 1/2 wasn't enough to cool off the KC squad. The Yankees threatened (a lot) in the ninth but Sisco got Giambi to ground into a double play to end the game. That coming after Joe Nelson gave up one and left with first and third with only one out.
Berroa had a good game with the game winning dinger, a WALK and a quality sac bunt that tied it up.
Apparently the KC Star is reporting the GM job has been offered to Braves' assistant Dayton Moore. I don't know a lot about this fella, but I'm sure he's learned something while working for former Royals GM John Sherholz (sp?). I don't think a new GM is going to make that much difference, it's going to take an owner that is willing to open his (or her) wallet and spend some money. We'll see where this takes the team as they work to slow down the losing and avoid the '62 Mets.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Baker's dozen

This has got to be one of the worst, demoralizing losses of the season. I listened to the first two innings on the radio this afternoon and was shocked to hear the back-to-back-to-back shots by Graffanino, Berroa and Minks. Not exactly murderer's row. I'm sure everyone has heard that the Royals jumped out to a 6-0 lead after the first. Tiger's starter Mike Maroth lasted only seven batters. However, in the top of the second Denny Bautista managed to walk two and hit a batter with a couple of singles mixed in to bring the score to 6-3. There was a Berroa error mixed in there too. A Marcus Thames two run homer in the fourth made it 6-5. Bautista lasted just 3 and 2/3 after giving up 5 runs (4 earned).

Recently called up from Omaha, Bobby Keppel jogs in and pitches well, giving up one earned run in 3 and 1/3 and striking out 4. I was in Omaha about a month ago and watched Keppel pitch something like 7 innings of shutout, two-hit baseball against the Memphis Redbirds. Esteban German hit home run number one in the bottom of the fourth to give the Royals a 2 run lead. The Royals added another run in the 6th to make it 8-5. However, it wouldn't last.

The Tigers scored three in the eighth with two coming on a triple by Pudge. Tied up. Then in the ninth our new found closer Elmer comes in and gives up back-to-back jacks to Craig Monroe and Thames (his second of the game). Pudge then blased a three run shot to make to 13-8. Game over.

I'm a big fan of Denny Matthews and Ryan Lefebvre on the radio. A couple of things about yesterday's game regarding these two guys. Denny made a comment yesterday (I think when Dessens came out) that the 'Tompkin's Call To The Bullpen' was the best value in radio advertising! I about crashed my truck. However, after the game I could just hear the losses building up in his voice. He's been doing this a long time and he's certainly seen better Royals' ballclubs. I don't know how he (and Ryan) don't jump out of the press box when things like this happen.

Donuts for this dozen?

How about a dozen. Hits? Nope, 12 straight losses for the Kansas City nine.

The Royals managed to lose yet another game to the Tigers Wednesday evening. The home team's only offense came in the sixth via a three run blast by Matt Stairs. However, the Tigers' offense was propelled by "slugger" Omar Infante who managed to hit his first two round-trippers of the year. The first was off starter Yimmy Yobble who pitched four innings (he was on a 60 pitch limit) and allowed just that one run.

But leave it to the bullpen to save the day. Wood gave up a two run dinger to Brandon Inge in the fifth and then two more runs were plated in the sixth. Then who comes in? How about recently recalled Leo Nunez out of the 'pen. The Royals' official website has a story on Nunez that lists him at 169 pounds. Nunez is 169 lbs just like Berroa is 28 years old. Nope.
Well, Infante launched his second of the game (and season) off Nunez and that was that.

I didn't see Reggie Sanders get thrown out in the eighth with the Royals down by three but I sure heard about it. I will ask anybody reading this to tell me how moving one run into scoring position can directly lead to three runs. He was "trying to get something going" he says. Well, he managed to contribute (along with every other player that took the field) to keeping something going. 12.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

11 Straight...Again

People keep asking me about the Royals and all I can think to say is "they're terrible". Now I keep thinking that "they're terrible" just doesn't cut it. This team cannot be described as terrible anymore. I would imagine that every person outside of KC - and many within - that is not a Royals fan is hoping that this team loses every game the rest of the season and finishes 10-152. We all know that isn't going to happen but the team does need to snap out of this skid to prove it. I relate what other fans think of this team to a good team and winning. People in New York get upset when the Yankees lose. Now people all around the country get upset when the Royals win.

The bats somewhat came alive in last nights 8-5 loss to the Tigers. Four homers were a nice surprise, especially the first two of the season by Gruds. However, as this team can always seem to find a new way to lose a game, our "best" reliever comes in to attempt a four out save with the good guys leading 5-3. The Tigers promplty rallied and by the end of the eighth the Royals trailed 7-5. Another run in the top of the ninth and "that's all she wrote". 8-5 and the second 11 game losing streak of this still young season.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ten straight

Well, the Royals' lost their tenth straight game to the first-place Detroit Tigers. Justin Verlander pitched a complete game five hitter and made me thankful that we'd missed him in our two previous encounters with the Tigers. Costa, Minky and Brown all managed a hit while Gruds picked up two. Guiel managed a walk, however, a few moments later the inning ended as he was picked off first.

Well, it appears that the players only meeting held on prior to Monday's game did a lot of good. I guess we could still see some sort of a turnaround - maybe Verlander is that good. If he really is (who are we kidding, the Royals are just that bad) the Padres made a nice decision to go with Matt Bush. Maybe not. Didn't he get into a bar fight just after being drafted?

The Royals are really, really bad. A buddy just mentioned that we've been swept in 9 of 15 series this year. I checked it out and sure enough it's true. It's kind of fun because we're starting to get some play on BBTN and Sportscenter because of the futility. Speaking of BBTN, they threw up a stat that said the 06 Royals are one of four teams (I think it was four) that have two, ten or more game losing streaks within the first fifty games of a season. Quality.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Swept by Pujols

Man that guy is good.

Well, that's three straight to the Cardinals and nine straight overall. The team now stands at 10-31, their worst start in club history. Pujols went three for three in the series - a homer in each of the three games and is now on track for something stupid like 150 for the year. My buddy Aaron Guiel jacked number three on the season and is clawing his way back to the Mendoza line.

I didn't bother to watch all of today's game because there was really no point after the homers by Duncan and Luna in the fifth. Elarton (again) pitched well enough to win and Sisco's struggles continue. There really isn't much to say about today's game. It was a traveshamockery of baseball.

Overall, the Royals' are terrible. When Allard brought in "the veterans" to help out the few youngsters this team has I initially thought it was a good idea. I had no idea this team would be as bad as they are. Well, maybe we can get something in return for the likes of Elarton, Minky and Gruds. Combine that with the draft (just take Andrew Miller) and we might actually be in a place to start a "youth movement".

Another day another Royals' loss

The boys in blue lost their 8th straight overall and their second in a row to thier cross-state "rivals". Bautista pitched very well, giving up only one run in six innings. Then Budd brings in Burgos in his return to middle relief to pitch the seventh. After a solid seventh he gives up a walk and a base hit to Eckstein and Speizio, respectively, and then gets Pujols fly to DEEP center - about 430 feet. 4-0.

Then we come to the bottom of the eigth and the Royals' mount a comeback. The Royals' managed to bring the score to 4-2 but it very well could have / should have been more. I'm not really sure what I think about Gruds running through a stop sign in the bottom of the eighth. Silverio was just about standing on the plate holding up the stop sign so I can sort of understand why Gruds may have missed it. However, if he would have stopped the good guys would have had second and third - which would have been the tying runs - with only one gone for Matty Stairs. I don't know. At least he was hustling?

A couple of comments about the happenings throughout baseball yesterday. Bonds slugged number 714 to tie the Babe for second all time. Something just seems fishy with Bonds to me (and the rest of mankind). Granted, he has never failed a drug test but MLB wasn't testing when he was jacking home runs at a rediculous pace.

How about Michael Barrett walloping AJ after he was bowled over on a play at the plate? Apparently Mr. Barrett didn't appreciate what looked to be a clean play and decided to let AJ's face know what he thought about it with his fist. I just couldn't help but laugh.

Those are my musings for the day. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


It's official. The 2006 Kansas City Royals now possess the worst road start in the history of Major League Baseball.

Well, I missed the first game of the I-70 series - not that big of a dissappointment - there is a pretty good chance we'll be swept with only one or two of the games actually competitive in the late innings. The fiancee was graduating last night - good for her!

However, after poking around the web, Star, and Sportscenter (hey, at least the lowly Royal's were mentioned) I've got a decent feel for how the game went down. Looks like Mr. Redman managed to blow a 5 run lead with 6 earned in 4+ innings. Solid.

On to some good news. The fans out at the K last night got to see Pujols go deep for number 20 of the year. More good news, this time roster related. Huber has gone down where he will actually get some at bats and some more time to learn to play first. I, with the rest of the Royals' fans, am speechless as to the point of Huber's stay here in KC. I don't know. Shane Costa came back from his hamstring injury to relieve Stevie Wonder, I mean Kerry Robinson, in center (who was optioned to Omaha). Guiel is still here too, however platooning with Emil Brown. I'm just happy to see him still in KC. Guiel should get some ABs agains St. Louis righty Anthony Reyes who is making his ML debut for the 2006 season. Royals are sending Denny to the bump. Hopefullly, he'll turn those flashes of brilliance (see ML debut in LA last year) into some sort of consistency.

Since I didn't see the game that's about all I've got to say.

Friday, May 19, 2006

My Thoughts On The Royals

I'm going to go ahead and use this first posting for a little intro and my current thoughts about the Royals'.

I LOVE the Royals' and I'm going to give my opinion right off the bat on the "youth movement". I completely understand what Allard was doing when he brings in the likes of Minky, Gruds, Reggie, and the plethora of "old' pitching that was brought in. Theoretically, these guys "weren't in the way of a prospect". That's fine by me. However, the other day when the lineup consisted of NOT ONE PLAYER under 30, that kind of makes me wonder where are these young guys? Bako, Minky, Gruds, Berroa (he's not 28), Graff, Brown, Robinson, Guiel and Stairs.

Let's take a look at our current core of young position players. Berroa - he's got to...insert learn plate discipline, learn focus in the field, etc. Teahan - well, he's been sent down to O to work on the swinging part. Late last year we thought he had learned to drive the ball and end the Ichiro-esque opposite field flares. This year he showed some promise by hitting the ball hard early in the year but obviously not hard enough. JohnBuck (does anybody remember how Tony Pena used to say JohnBuck. Classic. Not as classic as Yimmy Yobble though) I like. He's shortened that elongated swing of his and that swing doesn't freak me out too much anymore.

Pitching wise Runelvys, Grienke, Gobble, Howell, Sisco, Burgos and MacDougal are all pretty solid pitchers. There would be no number one starters on any other team but they aren't that bad. Especially the well documented bullpen. I know that Burgos has been terrible of late but he's got too good of stuff for him not to become at least a quality Major League Pitcher. It's who we fill those holes with is where we have gotten into problems. Elarton is working on becoming the hard luck pitcher of the year. However Redman and the now departed Mays aren't rock stars.

I understand Baird's position here. We've got a handful of "youths" here in the Major's that aren't playing too well - maybe with the exception of DeJesus and we needed some veterans to fill the holes. So, in summary the current youth movement is getting very close to nonexistant (and that's fine if we don't have any quality "youths" to bring up. I would like one of two things to happen.

1. First is start to bring up the "next youth movement". Pull a Marlins and bring everybody up and have service time start ticking away but at least we'd know what we have and we'd have some fun watching these kids. Granted, this is probably not a good idea. I'm guessing A God (I left the "r" off on purpose it's sounds cool) isn't ready for the Santana changeup or the Zito curveball. Maybe. However, I would like to see Gordon, Maier, Lubanski, Butler, etc. up here just to get me excited about the Royals. As far as Huber goes that is the largest travesty in sports. I understand it is a power struggle but everyone needs to remove their heads from their asses and send him back down where he can continue to learn to play first base and get some at bats.

2. Continue with the status quo for a year or two where we can keep getting these high draft picks. FOR THE SAKE OF THE TEAM, TAKE ANDREW MILLER and pay him what he wants. I don't care if he isn't the typical far and away #1. Everyone (except Derek Ladnier) agrees that he should be #1. So, in this situation we continue signing the Elartons, Mays and the like, lose 95 games a year (and that's assuming we start winning this year) and suck for long enough that no matter how poorly we draft we can field of team of legitimate players.

Still no news on the changes with the Royals. I'm skeptical if a change to the GM would fix anything. I do say that Buddy has got to go. I disagree with the "book" that he's going by that says you've got to bring your closer in (or anyone in) when the guy on the bump is lights out.

On a Cubs note, did anyone see Neifi Perez's bunt yesterday? First and third, two out bottom of the ninth. Hey Neifi, Let's bunt. I understand the suprise thing but I'm not sure how the runner of first is going to score on a bunt. I know I know, he's hoping to get Mabry up who's got some power. I don't know, just seemed crazy to me. He sucked here and he sucked in SF. I think that whole Coors Field thing helped him out.