Monday, May 19, 2008

What Did I Miss?

So, I just got back from Cancun a few hours ago...did I miss anything?

Aw, *&%$@!.

And $%&*#.

Also, &^*%@.

I got home from the airport in time for the seventh inning, which enabled me to witness the Royals being no-hit for the first time in my lifetime. I had long taken it as a point of pride that the Royals had only been on the losing end of a no-hitter once, and that pitcher - Nolan Ryan - would prove to be the most likely pitcher to ever throw a no-no, given that he'd go on to throw six more.

For all the indignities I have suffered as a Royals fan, this was one I - and any Royals fan under the age of about 40 - had managed to avoid. There were some close calls, certainly. Just last year Mike Sweeney (in his first at-bat in three months) singled in the ninth to end Scott Baker's bid, just after John Buck had walked to end the perfect game. Luis Alicea ended Todd Ritchie's bid for a no-hitter in the ninth back in 2001, for which I've long been grateful. And of course there was Greg Gagne's notorious infield hit in 1994 on which the umpire made a questionable call, denying Bobby Witt the perfect game.

Thirty-five years is a long time for any team to go without being no-hit. It was, in fact, one of the longest streaks of any active team. The Yankees haven't been no-hit since Hoyt Wilhelm shackled them 50 years ago this September, but only because a few years ago the rules committee disallowed no-hitters of less than nine innings, taking away Melido Perez's six-inning, rain-shortened effort in 1990. A Yankee conspiracy, no doubt.

I had a feeling tonight would be different, if only because we were playing the Red Sox, who may not be the New York Yankees, but are certainly the New Yankees - they (and their fans) act as if good outcomes are their birthright, and what makes them even more insufferable is that they back up their bravado every time. The game was at Fenway Park, which is as big a home-field advantage as anywhere in baseball. They had already gotten the requisite defensive gem - that was a hell of a catch by Jacoby Ellsbury, who's not even the best centerfielder on the team (he moved to left in the 9th to make way for Coco Crisp.) And most importantly, Jon Lester was dealing.

If the streak must end, I'm glad it ended at the hands of someone who has been through as much adversity as Jon Lester. Will Carroll, himself a cancer survivor, has admitted to breaking down in tears after the final out. The uncomfortable visual image of a crying Will Carroll notwithstanding, if a no-hitter can bring that much joy to the hearts of so many people, I'm happy to oblige.

Anyway, I much prefer the symbolic embarrassment of a no-hitter to the very real and tangible embarrassment of finishing in last place year after year. The Royals are still 20-22, they're still just 2.5 games out of first place. This one might hurt more than a 6-4 affair, but they all count the same in the standings. In 2004, the Braves were on the receiving end of a perfect game from Randy Johnson; they still won their division. The year before the Giants won 100 games and the division even though they were no-hit by Kevin Millwood along the way. The 1999 Diamondbacks also won 100 games, but were skunked by Jose Jimenez. In 1997, the only two teams that were no-hit that year, the Giants (Kevin Brown) and the Astros (Francisco Cordova), both finished in first place.

Of the previous 16 teams that were no-hit, five went on to make the playoffs. If we win 70 more games this year and sneak away with the AL Central, will anyone care if we get no-hit the other 50 times? So let's start a new streak tomorrow. Let the Red Sox celebrate tonight - we're still just a win away from tying this series up.

In the meantime, Dayton: your offensive crisis just hit Defcon 2. If only there was a Hall of Fame-caliber hitter just sitting around, waiting to be signed, that we could just drop into the DH spot...

63 comments:

Darin said...

The Yanks were no-hit in 2003 by Roy Oswalt and a bunch of relievers, right?

The rest of this was what I needed to hear tonight, except I think this might be more than symbolic embarrassment...I expect a deluge of jokes about the Royals after this. Or is that some sort of carryover from the past few years of horrible basball?

Anonymous said...

thank you for that last line. i've been pushing that for a long time and i'm glad i'm not the only one that thinks that that guy could help us. he adds immediate credibility to our lineup and would make everyone else's job much easier.

Rany said...

Ah, dammit...I used baseball-reference's Play Index, and looked for any pitcher who started against the Yankees, didn't yield a hit, and threw at least 5 innings - I figured I couldn't possibly miss a no-hitter. Bzzt.

Totally forgot about that game - what a bizarre game it was, too. Still, any game in which the Yankees get no-hit is fine by me. So their streak ran 45 years - we came up 10 years short.

(Anyone know how to create strikethroughs in blogger, by the way?)

Olentangy said...

Adam Dunn is the perfect candidate. The Reds need pitching, and the consensus is that the Indians are the front runners for his services. Why not the Royals? He just had a defensive highlight in the outfield last week, he is not just s 1B/DH guy just yet. Package a pitcher with a DeJesus/Teahen/Gathright so that the Royals can have a bona fide slugger in the lineup.

Mark LaFlamme said...

Hello and condolences, Royals fans. I'm one of you living up here in New England. My phone started ringing three seconds after the last pitch. It hasn't been fun. Anything. Anything, I say, but a no-no.
What I wonder is why? They've been hitting every pitcher they face the past handful of games. How all at once did they go cold before a mediocre hurler like Lester?
But anyway. That's just me seeking solace in answers. I wrote a quick blog to address those Sox fans who haven't tracked me down yet.
http://marklaflamme.com/blog/?p=906

Dallas Tucker said...

I will tell you why, Mark... National League. American League. The NL is a joke, and the fact that the Marlins are division leaders with that pitching staff is absurd.

THEbobhamelin said...

I second Rany's sentiments that it is painful to have a no-hitter thrown on us, as we went through 23 years of utter patheticism without one..but if it happened..i'd prefer it was a jon lester great feel good story, instead of a sidney ponson or a jeff weaver type.

also..dayton and glass. that was a slap in the face that is going to leave a bitter taste in Royals fans mouths. we have sat through some horrid offensive displays..and its time to swallow your pride and get Bonds in KC...finish his career and the year here..protect Gordon and Butler's bats..and get us over this no-offense whatsoever hump..

then next year, we can go after Dunn and/or Teixeria.

Also, olentangy. Dunn has a no-trade clause after june 15th in effect. i'd seriously doubt KC is one of the 10 teams he'd agree to.

S P said...

Hey, if I'd like to ask you some questions about what you think about certain things about the Royals this season, where would I e-mail the questions? If you don't want to put out your e-mail address in public (spambots are awful things), you can just go to http://statpattern.com/contact and send it to me. I'd be very interested in some of your thoughts on a few things I've noticed about the team lately.

Kevin said...

Rany,

The tag for strikethroughs in Blogger is < strike >

Alex said...

We want Bonds! We want Bonds!

Barry L. Bonds said...

People, I have not faced an MLB pitcher in 8 months! If you expect me to step in and start mashing, youre crazy. I'm almost 44 years old!

Andrew said...

If the Royals sign Barry Bonds, I'll stop watching. While I might be one man, I bet there are a few other people that will join in.

The man is a cancer, circus and hermit rolled into one big turd. This team has been making progress in the two years since GMDM took control, signing Bonds would make this team a joke. What are we going to do? DH him, put Billy Concrete Hands at first and platoon Buck and Olivo? Please.

This franchise is slowly shedding the "joke" label. If we would like to be mocked for years then by all means, sign Bonds.

Seriously, let's all have a little patience. We could definatly make a run for Dunn (Cortez, Gathright, Gobble and Lumsden anyone?) which would be a hell of a lot more logical than signing the 3-ring circus that is Bonds.

Every time I read that, I die a bit on the inside.

Anonymous said...

Dunn would be a good option but you would be getting a streaky power hitter that is a bit of a defensive liability. Just what would you be willing to give up to get him. And don't forget... you have to sign him to an extension if you give up a slew of talent for him. What is that going to cost? Do we KNOW that he will continue to impress with his power at the "K"?

Don't get me wrong... I like the guy and would love for him to be on the Royals but what do we give up? Would we be willing to include Butler in the trade for example when he MIGHT be a younger and cheaper version of the same guy? Just asking.

As for Bonds... I don't see how that would make us more of a "joke" around MLB. I do see the point of the poster suggesting that he just might NOT be ready to hit after sitting all these months. However, he likely would find his swing in short order given his track record. And... his bat would ABSOLUTELY give Guillen some protection in the lineup while allowing both Gordon and Butler more time to mature offensively. I still believe in both these guys and figure it is just a matter of time before they figure it all out. I wouldn't abandon the Royals for signing Barry but I admit that I would find it hard to actually cheer for the guy.

Go Royals!!! C-ya, AusSteveW

Anonymous said...

I don't really care about Bonds' perception, because he can still get on base and hit for power, which are the two things which this Royals offense have trouble with. However, I just don't really see the point of bringing in Bonds to this team.

As someone already pointed out, he hasn't played the game for a while so it will take him a lil while to get into the swing of things again so he won't make an instant impact. He still has lingering court issues so he will probably miss some time (albeit, limited time) having to go to hearings. I personally don't buy the whole "lineup protection" thing, as its not like anyone is pitching around anybody on our team anyway (unless you count the intentional pass to Pena, ha!). And, probably most importantly, I doubt that even with Bonds' bat in the lineup that this team is a serious contender so what would be the point?

skeptic said...

No pinch hitter for Tony Pena in the 9th?

Sure, the game was over, but how about some attempt by Trey to break up the no-hitter.

Anonymous said...

So, have we evolved as baseball fans or not. I understand and am frustrated by a no-hitter as much as the next guy. But aren't we in the OBP% era and the Royals did get two baserunners. Would you be as disappointed if in a week they have a game with only two singles but no walks? Also, who would have thought that Callapso could strike out, much less on the last out of the game.

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming the one man DH mashing machine you are referring to is the immortal, invincible Shane Costa.

Ryan said...

re: pinch hitting for Pena in the 9th. For some reason, Callaspo came in the game as a replacement for Grudzielanek earlier in the game, even though they were getting no hit and Grud is leading the league in hitting.

Buck, Gathright, and Gload were on the bench to pinch hit. Gathright and Gload are lefties, and Buck just came off bereavement leave, because his twins were born a little early. Hillman said he didn't want to use Buck. The left the two lefties to face the southpaw Lester, who was still throwing 95 mph heat still with his breaking stuff.

It'd be nice if they had another right handed hitter on the bench.

Unfortunately, I don't think this is the last time the Royals are going to be in danger of being no-hit this year.

Has a team ever been no-hit more than once in a season? Because this team could do it easily.

Also, trading Billy Butler for Adam Dunn has to be one of the worst ideas I've heard in awhile, no offense...pardon the pun.

Anonymous said...

Maybe in a rebuilding year a team shouldn't overreact to immediate problems like a lack of offense by spending millions on a "win now" solution which likely wouldn't be enough to get the Royals into contention.

The offensive problems on this team will be addressed seriously in the offseason. Let's not lose our perspective.

Rob said...

Ok Rany, so I posted on here only once but I read quite often. I'm a Red Sox fan who moved to Kansas about a year ago...and really enjoy your blog. Didn't love the "they (and their fans) act as if good outcomes are their birthright" comment, I am obviously biased but I don't think that's true of any of my friends and family...always a cautious optimism but I don't think that's the same as a "birthright", that's for sure.
Anyway, that's not the point. And I'm not posting here to gloat. The only reason I'm happy it was against the Royals was because it meant I got to actually WATCH the game!! (Can't afford the MLB package right now).
I loved how your announcers kept trying to jinx Lester, that was great. It was killing me when it happened, but now that the game is over I can enjoy that. I mean, really, could they have brought it up any more??
And for those of you who are actually serious about wanting Bonds - please stop. You have a great young team and there is NO need for such a player on the roster. He would harm more than help. But I'm sure you weren't serious about this request. I hope. You would have been better off trying to sign Thomas after Toronto released him earlier this season.
Ok...that's all for now...

Mark LaFlamme said...

I'll be at Fenway for game three, having decided against drinking Drano. Cus you know, if we were to take the next three, the sting of this will fade dramatically.

Ryan said...

An opposing teams announcers can talk about a no-hitter all they want. What do they care if they jinx it? Anyways, announcers are supposed to be reporting the game to the fans. I don't think the same jinx rules apply anyways.

Also, I checked on the splits. Against lefties:
Pena: .222/.256/278
Gload: .211/.2ll/.263
Gathright: .212/.278/.212
(Yes, Gathright has a lower slugging than on-base percentage against lefties.)

Buck? .269/.406/.462

Did Buck take batting practice Monday or not?

I'm happy for Lester, and I don't want to ruin Buck's new-dad glow. I'm just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Something that is being overlooked by everyone in their "Royals suck, Lester did this against a bunch of scrubs" jokes and analyses, is the fact that Jon Lester pitched a superb game. Lester was dazzling. He had everything working. While the Royals' roster isn't filled with big boppers, it is loaded with pesky little Twins-style hitters.

The Royals don't score runs, but they do get their fair share of singles and I think much more credit needs to be given to Lester. These Royals can't be discounted as a lesser team. Jon Lester made Mark Grudzielankek and his slappy pals look like a bunch of Tony Pena Jr.'s. Congratulations go to Jon, this is a tremendous accomplishment and an outstanding story.

Nathan said...

Great accomplishment for Lester. I'm happy for any pitcher or team who get to enjoy a moment like this, even if it comes against the Royals.

Yes, we should certainly sign Bonds. He's the greatest hitter of his generation, and--media deprecations aside--hasn't been proven to have committed any wrongdoing. Sure, he was probably on HGH. So what, if it wasn't against the rules at the time? He's never tested positive for steroids. His defense sucks, but the cost of Butler's defense doesn't remotely approach the benefit of a 1200 OPS monster in the linup.

The royals are getting excellent pitching and have some talented hitters. There's no reason to assume this is a rebuilding year, particularly with Detroit falling over the edge of the Earth. Why not seize the moment? I thought we should beat Oakland to the punch on Frank Thomas, but Bonds would be even better.

Anonymous said...

DEFCON 2? Really? So the Royals offense is basically in the equivilent of the Cuban Missile Crisis? I guess Bonds does represent our missiles in Turkey--old, antiquated, and scheduled for retirement.

We're 42 games in and the most convincing argument I've heard for the Royals winning the division is that everybody else in the division stinks. True, but not much of a theory to base, what a $15 million? expenditure on.

Relax. If Glass has $15 he just HAS to spend right now, put it in scouting, put into the draft, put into Latin America. It's been forever since we won, but damnit, I want 1976-1985 success for this francise, not 2003. And Barry Lamar Bonds was a great player, but he's a 1 year fix for a team that is not going to win this year.

Andy said...

Yo Rany, when do we get your take on the Soria contract? Locking him up for six years is a good thing right?

Anonymous said...

I don't know what the splits are for the Royals as a team, but I'm to the point where I get really pessimistic about our chances of winning any time we face a lefty. Sure, CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee and John Lester are all good pitchers, but we make them all look like the second coming of Steve Carlton. We just seem like we flat out stink against lefties. Gordon can't hit 'em. Teahen is absolutely lost facing a southpaw. I think it's time we start thinking about a straight platoon for Teahen. He's hitting .291 against righties, but only .208 against lefties. He has an absolutely humiliating OPS of .458 against right handers. 18 K's in 53 AB's. Yeah, Pena is clown at the plate, but I've seen about enough of our starting, every day corner outfielder putting on the punch and judy show every day. It's absolutely unacceptable to be striking out as much as Teahen is with the lack of power and RBI production (32 K in 156 AB total). If we aren't getting production from our SS, we damn well better be getting production from our corner outfielders. And don't even get me started on 1B.

Anonymous said...

I was at Fenway last night. Being at Fenway an hour before gametime while the Royals are wrapping up batting practice is the best part of my summer.

It was funny watching Cool Hand Luke straying toward the Green Monster in search of the bullpen, before McClure redirected him toward right field.

Both before and during the game, the Royals seemed a little too happy-go-lucky. They were consistently slow to leave the dugout when it was time to play defense. In one inning, Luke struck out somebody, and Olivio lollipopped the throw-around toss to Butler, who dropped it, and had to scramble around to pick it up and continue the throw-around. In another inning, John Buck came out to start warming Luke up while Olivo got his gear back on, and Buck couldn't reach Luke on one of the throws, and the warm-up ball ended up in the deep infield behind second base. Really sloppy. It was like the Royals said "Ugh, it's cold again, which way to the hotel?"

I'm not drawing any conclusions, but it was pretty disheartening to watch the Royals play. It seemed as if they didn't really care about the game.

AJ said...

Rob the Red Sox fan here typifies every single Red Sox fan on earth.

Crying about the Royals announcers because they were "bringing it up too much". Are you kidding? What the hell did you expect them to do?

Stop giving yourselves so much credit, and take some liberty in the fact that you are in fact the Yankees...only worst.

At least the Yankee fans know they are jackasses.

royalsfanatic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
royalsfanatic said...

All who suddenly find themselves in the pro-Bonds camp please go and read the anonymous post that starts off with DEFCON 2...and then reread it and read it again......let it sinnk in AND RE-READ IT

My hometown Portland Trailblazers went through a spell where the tried to get over the hump by overlooking the character of the players they brought in and spent a decade trying to rid themselves of the Jailblazers tag.

This is our team, but this is not our year....isnt it enough of a red flag that every other AL team has passed on the opportunity to sign BB? Its not our mistake to make

t-bone said...

I just have to weigh in to say NO BONDS. I have loved this team for too long and suffered so long. I don't want to turn this ship around with him at the helm. I want to do it our own way. Haven't we tried enough over priced over the hill vets over the years. Please please stop clamoring for for B. Bonds. Please.

Adam Halperin said...

If I was Dayton Moore for a day, my first move would be to fire hitting coach Mike Barnett. Honestly, what does he do??? He's obviously not teacing dicipline at the plate. Is there any strategy when going to plate? For example, the home plate umpire last night had a really small strike zone. Yet, as the game progressed and the no-hitter seemed more and more feasible, Royals hitters began swinging at EVERYTHING. Why not force that umpire to call strikes? People get so worked up about striking out looking. For me, with this team, I'm willing to see more people striking out looking if it means they're being more selective and laying off garbage. We need a new hitting coach...this team should have much better offensive production with the players it has. And finally, Alberto Callaspo needs to be the everyday shortstop...NOW. I'm willing to take a few steps down in defensive play at the shortsopt position than to see pena jr. give next to no offensive production night after night...it's embarrassing.

Ron Rollins said...

Hey, it wasn't a real no-hitter. It was only an 8-inning, 24-out no-hitter, becasue Pena got to bat 3 times. Lots of pitchers can pitch 8inning no-hitters, so this one doesn't really count.

And Pena not being pinch hit for in the 9th? How many more reasons do we need that Trey Hillman is not a major league manager. That might great in a developmental league, but it shouldn't be happening in the majors.

rebmoti said...

I don't disagree with the main conclusion that in the long run, a no hitter doesn't matter. Where it could matter, though, is if it impacts them going forward: tailspin, shame spiral, whatever you want to call it. Well I remember the years the Yankees would sweep the Rs in April and that would start a 3-10 slide and then that's pretty much it for the season.

In other words, they better not get swept up there.

It's up to Trey to make sure that tailspin doesn't happen, and it is there, more than pinch hitting or intentional walks or anything else, that we will see if he is worth his stripes.

Anonymous said...

Rany,

I think you need to talk to your buddy Rob Neyer and either tell himself to stop calling himself a Royals fan (he seems to only do it to generate sympathy) or start paying attention to how the Royals are actually doing.

His latest "ESPN Insider" blog entry about Royals fans' suffering begins with how the loss is just another one in a meaningless season, with many more to come (paraphrasing). Nevermind that KC is within striking distance of 1st place and are playing better than they have in many years (not counting the fluke that was 2003).

Good move jettisoning his dead weight and starting your own blog dedicating to actually cheering for and appreciating the slow move the Royals are making towards respectability, not just giving the old "I'm a Royals fan, so I know pathetic baseball..." line that Rob seems to spit out nowadays.

Andrew said...

Ron,

Really? So by not pinch hitting for TPJ in the 9th inning of his 44th big league game is enough to prove that Hillman isn't a major league manager?

Geez, I bet you wanted Bell and Pena gone by like, game twelve then, right?

Seriously, between reading inane pleas to sign Bonds, and people saying that Hillman obviously isn't a big league manager, I'm begining to think that we as Royals fans need to find some chill pills.

Michael A. Molde said...

No...no...NO! on Barry Bonds, if I'm correct in assuming that's who you're hinting at signing to drop into the DH spot.

God, he is a team cancer, and has NEVER won a championship. I don't care if he would join the team today, and easily hit 20 home runs by the end of the year, I just don't want that guy in a Royals uniform.

Barry is facing an awful lot of issues off the field, as it stands, and I don't want this Royals season to turn into a drama about what Barry Bonds is up to every waking hour this season.

I might be in the minority here, and most people would say I'm crazy for refusing to consider adding a bat like that to this run-starved Royals lineup, but doing that would be like making a deal with the Devil. I'd rather have this young team continue to grow, and learn how to win, than to have one of the game's most selfish and media-unfriendly players in the lineup.

Shelby said...

Dear Anonymous (re: Rob Neyer),

Couldn't agree more.

A lot of it is probably frustration on his part, but c'mon. Shut UP about being a Royals fan. Stop mentioning it. We just don't care anymore.

He's as good an analyst as Rany, but I really think he's MORE a-holish about the Royals than Kurkistan(sp?) and Stark and even Gammons.

I love the guy for starting the robandrany thing but just stop, dude.

Anonymous said...

Believe me watching TPJ swing and miss 9 times a game and giving up 3 outs a game is tough to watch, but the real problem is the lack of production throughout the rest of the lineup. Teahan is killing us. Guillen is finally starting to get somewhat hot. And why is it our rookies always struggle and everyone says they need to mature, but the rest of them are tearing up MLB. Longoria, Fielder, Howard these guys hit the ground running on bad teams. Gordon fell flat on his face last season and is still slow going this season. Teahan had his shoulder removed. That is the only thing that can be said of his lack of production since the surgery. Our corner Offensive position players are not carrying their weight at the plate. TPJ makes some great plays on defense and if Butler, Gordon, Guillen and Teahan would hit the complaints wouldn't be as loud calling for TPJ's head. But this team is starting to put together a great pitching staff. One built on the future and not a bunch of retreds.

Still it is late may and we are still in it. I can get use to this!!!

KC1FAN8569

Carl Willingham said...

Great post Ron Rollins!!!!There went the coffie across the room..

Anonymous said...

Let's go get Chad Tracy to take over for Gload, we dont need Bonds.

fw said...

Regarding the outrage surrounding Bonds...Where was similar outrage when Guillen (who is actually in the Mitchell Report)was signed? And signed for much more in terms of dollars and years than Bonds would expect.

Better yet, where was the outrage when alledged wife-beater Alberto Callaspo was obtained?

Jay0864 said...

I realize that TPJ is beyond woeful at the plate right now, and I am exasperated as anyone with his batting. But to read so many posts about him here, it almost comes across that it was his fault that 24 other outs were made. Heck, his chopper was about as close to a hit outside of Guillen's liner that the Royals had.

Was it just me or did just about every batter took what looked like a BP fastball down the middle on the first pitch? I guess congrats for in elevating his pitch count!

And let's not forget, this isn't the first time Lester has dealt on our team. He had an 8 inning 1 hitter that Papelbon finished up for him against the Royals.

Anonymous said...

Dear Royals: What's with the long faces? So you ran into a guy with no-hit stuff. Big deal. It's happened lots of times to lots of teams. What scares me is that unlike other teams that have suffered the same fate, you guys might not get a hit in tonight's game. Back to back no-hitters. Now that, people, that would be shameful. I want to see tonight's lead-off hitter lay down a bunt in the first inning. Let's get the ghost of Johnny Vander Meer off our back...pronto.

FJ in OP

Will Carroll said...

I wouldn't say I broke down ... tears welled up.

Anonymous said...

How many times have we been shut out now this year? 6? In 7 weeks. Sad.

Teabag should carry more of the blame for our offensive woes than JalaPena. At least Pena isn't hitting smack dab in the middle of the lineup every stinking day.

And I agree that the time has come for Mike Barnett to hit the road...although he would probably take a swinging bunt and miss if he took his own hitting advice.

Anonymous said...

All you Bonds naysayers:

If he were to join the team by the All-Star Break, I'd be willing to bet he'd STILL lead this team in homeruns, and that's even if he started cold turkey, with no minor league warmup at all. (all he would have to do is catch Guillen, and perhaps Gordon)

I'd also bet, when it comes right down to it, you naysayers wouldn't have the guts to take this bet.

Another washed up vet? Hardly. We're talking about arguably the GREATEST hitter of all time - undoubtedly in the top 2 or 3 by ANYBODY'S measure.

I'm sure moving to the AL would knock a 100 points or so off his OPS. I'd peg him at, say 1050.

1050 OPS replacing, essentially, the platoon of Ross Gload and Miguel Olivo. If the division continues as it is now, that MIGHT make the difference between playoffs and no playoffs. Seems like a no-brainer, when you think about it.

Nathan said...

Bonds naysayers: what do you say to the post by fw?

What evil has Barry Bonds been proven to have committed that sets him apart from the rest of the motley crew that is major league baseball? The media hates the man, but that's no reason for us to hate him.

Andrew said...

Because he is a cancer. He is a circus. Frankly, I like this team a lot, and I would find it really sad that the media clusterf*#@ that is Barry Bonds would join them.

This team will be fine, we can address this at the deadline, without looking like fools by signing this clown.

Danny said...

Shelby,

I don't think there is any Royals fan that is not frustrated about how things have gone for the past 23 years. It is almost heartbreaking that of all my favorite sports teams, a World Series win 23 years ago, when I was all of 2 years old, is the most recent championship that I can celebrate.

I remember a couple years back, when there really seemed no light at the end of the Royal blue tunnel, when that "life-long" Royals fan got so fed up he sold all his memorabilia on eBay. If you are going to go to an extreme like that, then I say you were never that hardcore of a fan in the first place. And, if I remember correctly, at least that guy was old enough to remember the glory days and the World Series victory. The best times I can remember are Appier and Montgomery throwing good games; definitely not shabby ballplayers but not exactly a great time in KC history.

So if you are going to call yourself a Royals fan, Rob Neyer, be a fan. Pay attention to what the stats indicate, analyze deeply, but for goodness sake have some optimism. If there is any time to have optimism as a Royals fan, this is it. If you can't muster it now, kindly sell your fan membership on eBay and leave the bandwagon now.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you are right. The Astros used 6 pitchers in that game, which I believe is the most pitchers ever used in a no-hitter.

Nathan said...

Andrew,

Do you think the Royals would lose more games because of media hype and alleged-but-unspecified cancerousness than they would win because Bonds hits baseballs like he doesn't believe in gravity? To me, it seems uncouth to give the media the power to arbitrarily veto player acquisitions with their circus-stirring powers anyway, but in any case, I really doubt that a circus can take that many runs of board.

Andrew said...

Nathan,

No I don't. However I don't think that Bonds is worth the extra three to five victories he might bring. I believe that this team is in a big evaluation year, and by this time next year, they could be contending. I don't see the point in bringing in anybody (including Thomas) that is as old as Bonds and just dropping them in the DH.

This isn't our year to contend, and we should break the bank or risk messing up clubhouse chemistry in some delusion that we're this year's Rockies. We have plenty of time, with all the young talent we have, our window isn't closing, but opening, no reason to panic yet.

Scott said...

What I haven't heard in all the discussion of signing Bonds is a comparison to 2004. I think it's pretty well accepted that the Royals were fooled by their apparent success in 2003, and their moves that offseason--primarily signing Juan Gonzalez--set them off the course that they had been following, and ended up harming them in the long term. I think that 2008 is similar. It is widely believed that the Royals are on the right path toward building a winner. The success in 2003 was built on a weak division (like this year) and a record significantly different from the expected W-L that their runs scored and allowed would suggest (like this year). Bonds *might* bring some short-term benefits, but he could be a long-term disaster.

THEbobhamelin said...

I am soooo SICK AND TIRED of hearing people say "this is not our year to contend" or "we are rebuilding for the future"..did having allard baird knuckleball us so much make you so conditioned to failure that you REFUSE to see the light here?

We are 3 games under .500 and on this same date last year...we were 11 games under and 11.5 out.

I have knews for you folks with us 1/4 into the season.

WE ARE IN CONTENTION...god, posts like this make me sick as we could actually FIGHT into the playoffs THIS year (and be more attractive to 08 FA's who want to play for a playoff team)..and instead of saying "hey, Barry's bat between Gordon and Butler's may actually cause them to see better pitches" you say "oh no Bonds. ew. yuckypoo..let's wait til 2010".

I am sick of waiting. I want a power bat..even the mere THREAT of a power bat..44 year old, 20 year old, 30 year old..i don't care. I want someone in that lineup that a pitcher is cautious when he pitches, because right now...there is NO ONE in KC's lineup that is causing a pitcher to break a sweat of worry.

Let me re-iterate.

Season is +25% in..we are in contention. deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Royals fan now living in the Bay Area for the last 3 years. Bonds is toxic. Worst thing the Royals could do is sign him. He is a one man circus who does not help others in the line-up. Yes his OPS is the second best of all time. (Babe had similar numbers in a less offensive era, therefore #1.) That being said, the Giants let him go because they wanted to protect their younger players from him.

He also hit a soft 1050 ops. Anytime an AB mattered he was walked. Scoring a couple of runs down 4 is not important. His knee is also shot.

Ban Bonds!

Anonymous said...

I agree, we don't want Bonds. Anytime teams go with clubhouse cancer guys it's bad. The NFL is full of these examples.

But, the Royals are in contention which means they REALLY need to do something with the bats.

The easy changes are ones dealing within the team:
1. bench Pena for Callaspo. It's not the 70's when SS could be good glove/no bat and I think Pena's bat last year was a fluke. He seems unwilling to learn patience and to shorten his swing - why does he always swing for the fence and for low and outside dirt pitches? Royals can afford to give up a little field for more bat because of the pitching.
2. bench Teahen for anyone. I haven't followed Omaha but there's gotta be someone better than Teahen. I think Teahen is done, he's proven he'll never hit.
3. bench Buck for Olivo. I also kind of think Buck has peaked as a hitter. Olivo can hit and is sufficient behind the plate.
4. I would also put firing Mike Barnett here.

After these quick fixes, start shopping Teahen, Pena, Buck, Gathright, Gload. Probably we'll find that we can't get much for them but minor leaguers but maybe we can find some diamond in the rough bats. I hate to give up any pitching prospects but we will need to to get a good major league batter.

This is definitely a year we need to try to compete because of the apparent weakness of the division. But, I agree it needs to be done in the context of the youth movement. By making moves to compete and win this year we can create the confidence and winning attitude necessary to carry forward.

Kevin

Rob said...

Wow, AJ...really?? You took my comment as crying?? I believe I said it was "great". I found it funny! I said it was killing me while it happened, but OBVIOUSLY the opposing announcers should bring that sort of thing up as much as possible...I wouldn't expect any less!
Chill out a little ok? I thought my comments were pretty unassuming and non abrasive but I guess you still got offended.

Antonio said...

why does everyone think gordon/butler are immature enough to allow the negatives of bonds to wash over them as if they were some thug's 10 year old seeing daddy drunk, high and beating his wife?

It's funny to me how many baseball fans are psychologists in their spare time.

Also...Gload

v rh .281/.326/.416 .307 BABIP
v lh .327/.347/.451 .357 BABIP

Starting Gload? Bad idea.
Subbing him v LH? Not such a bad idea.

Antonio said...

"Maybe in a rebuilding year a team shouldn't overreact to immediate problems like a lack of offense by spending millions on a "win now" solution which likely wouldn't be enough to get the Royals into contention.

The offensive problems on this team will be addressed seriously in the offseason. Let's not lose our perspective."

What's the difference? It's not like we have some young stud in the upper levels of the minors? Why is spending millions now to win a weak division such a bad idea while retooling in the offseason--the best time for the competitors of the division to get better too--at the cost of millions such a good idea? Either way, you're spending a lot of money. The difference is that the ALC is winnable in 2008. We don't know that will be the case in 2009.

Antonio said...

"What I haven't heard in all the discussion of signing Bonds is a comparison to 2004. I think it's pretty well accepted that the Royals were fooled by their apparent success in 2003, and their moves that offseason--primarily signing Juan Gonzalez--set them off the course that they had been following, and ended up harming them in the long term. I think that 2008 is similar. It is widely believed that the Royals are on the right path toward building a winner. The success in 2003 was built on a weak division (like this year) and a record significantly different from the expected W-L that their runs scored and allowed would suggest (like this year). Bonds *might* bring some short-term benefits, but he could be a long-term disaster."

Crazy talk.

1. Bonds is and has always been better than Gonzalez.
2. The upside of the youth of the Royals' offense is much better than the 2003 team. That was made up of a lot of players playing over their heads--combined with a lot of luck as their RS/RA would show.
3. The pitching is better than the 2003 team.

4. The farm system is better now than then. Who other than Zack Greinke can you remember from the '03-'04 farm system?

These four reasons would show that it's not THAT similar to 2003. Yes, we are taking on a weak division. We're down this year on the RS/RA, but the ExW-L puts us at one game worse than we actually are. And that's with a very weak offense. One guy can't completely turn it around, but you have to imagine we'll get better production out of a lot of spots. Also, I am going to guess that this year's Chicago/Minnesota isn't as good as that year's Minnesota/Chicago--but that's just a guess.

KCemigre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.