Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Jose Guillen Is A Distraction. Film At Eleven.

Jose Guillen may or may not want to kill his manager, the Royals have won four in a row, the trading deadline approacheth…and your humble scribe has been felled by a nasty case of the stomach flu. I’m back to eating solid foods again, and I did lose four pounds in the ordeal, so that’s something. Let’s try to catch up quick before Dayton makes his move tomorrow. (He will be making a move. I refuse to believe otherwise.)

I’m not sure I can add anything about the Guillen situation that hasn’t already been said. I agree with Mellinger that this time, at least, it wasn’t Guillen’s fault. This wouldn’t the first time that ESPN Deportes has reported something that turned out to be meritless, and I’ve already heard from other sources that this story is complete bunk. But I also agree with Posnanski that the Royals are – and ought to be – at their wit’s end with Jose.

But whose fault is that? Dayton Moore bid against himself to sign Guillen, offering him $12 million per when there were no credible offers from other teams that were anywhere close. Guillen’s behavior this season isn’t a revelation; it’s a logical extension of his actions from his previous decade in the majors. Moore’s acting like he signed Harvey Dent and ended up with Two-Face.

Moore signed Guillen because he got desperate to upgrade the offense, put too much emphasis on adding an RBI guy when he should have been looking to add an R guy, and let’s be honest – he wanted to add a little fire to the team. What he got instead was a lot of fire, and now he acts surprised when he has to pick up a fire extinguisher every other week. If signing Gil Meche was an example of how brilliant Moore can be when he thoroughly researches a player before making a bold and risky move – signing Guillen is an example of how Moore is as fallible as anyone else when he targets a player for the wrong reasons. The Royals signed Guillen because they couldn’t get Torii Hunter to take their money, and they decided they had to sign somebody. So they did. They signed somebody with a .287 OBP and anger-management issues.

Here’s my biggest beef with the Guillen situation: it’s an accepted fact that the easiest way to set Guillen off is to keep him off the field, and that as long as you keep him in the lineup everyday he’ll be happy. This isn’t a terrible trait for a player to have in the abstract – there are worse problems than to have a player that doesn’t want to take a day off. But the Royals are taking this approach to an absolutely absurd extreme.

The Royals have played 10 games in the last 10 days, and Guillen has started all but one of them, playing the outfield every time. And the man can’t run. He’s got a strained groin, an injury that hurts just to think about. He aggravated the injury last Saturday, but stayed in the game even though he had to waddle after flyballs. The Royals lost the game after an easy flyout dropped in for a double in the 8th; the fans let Guillen have it; everybody loses. Guillen got the next day off, but was back in the lineup playing right field for the entire Oakland series. Today he drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the tenth, then admitted after the game he was surprised he was still playing because “I could barely walk.” He can’t walk, and he can’t hit – he’s just 9-for-his-last 62. He looks like a beached whale in the outfield. So why is this man not on the DL?

Because he’s Jose Guillen, and he wants to play. And the Royals are letting Jose Guillen play when he wants to play. And everybody loses.

Happier topics to discuss in the morning. (I'd write more now, but baseball-reference.com is down at the moment, and I'm helpless without it.)

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post, as always. A wonderful antidote to all those people who seem to be writing "leave poor Jose alone, he's been a real read who has brought a lot of 'fire' to the team." Fire apparently doesn't like to take a pitch, either.

Anonymous said...

It should say a lot about how feared Jose is when Oakland intentionally walks Alex Gordon twice to get to Guillen (and walks Gordon five times)

Can we get the league to allow Guillen to play right field in a golf cart?

Also, what are the betting odds that Jose injured himself somehow on the throw from Monday against Detroit where he hit the top of backstop from right field?

Shelby said...

Trade him for a couple of high-risk/high upside prospects, free up some serious cash, and move forward.

The end.

RD said...

Rany don't ever quit doing this, no matter how bad the boys in blue are this blog is the only thing that keeps my interest in the Royals.

Thank you for what you do. Don't burn out like Neyer.

Anonymous said...

To defend the signing - Guillen did have a 353 OBP last year, so I don't think a dropoff to 287 could have been reasonably expected by anyone.

As for playing him while he is hurt - I think the bigger question is why isn't he at DH, with Butler at 1B, and Gload on the bench, until his groin heals well enough to play the field. That would seem to assuage everyone, and come with the added benefits of, you know, developing a first baseman with the potential to one day actually have a first baseman hitting pedigree.

ChaimMKeller said...

Guillen drove in the winning run not once last night, but TWICE. It's not his fault the bullpen gave it back in the 7th.

I agree he should be letting his groin recover somewhat, but who do we have to replace him that's likely to do that for us? Shane Costa? Please.

Jose, I'm happy to have you here in KC.

NHZ said...

Good stuff, Rany. Jose might be worth the pain if he was anywhere near even last year's production, but he's definitely disappointed thus far.

I agree he should be letting his groin recover somewhat, but who do we have to replace him that's likely to do that for us? Shane Costa? Please.

Uh...yep! Shane Costa could definitely go 9-for-62! Pretty much anyone can! I can!

Isaac said...

Regarding Guillen's behavior in general, I was not that worried about him coming to KC when he was signed. I had seen him play last year with Seattle who was also a bad team and he behaved himself just fine. You didn't hear a peep out of him. My guess was that he was maturing.

When he has raised him voice this year, I have agreed with him in almost every case. I like the fire in the clubhouse as opposed to previous years.

I disagree with what he was signed for. He is overpaid even if he is producing at the level he did last year. This was a mistake by DM.

Finally, when a manager concedes to a player's wishes over what is best for the team because he is worried about that player causing a stink, then A.)the player needs to be calmed down a bit and B.)the manager isn't doing his job.

ChaimMKeller said...

Jose has had good stretches to go along with his bad ones. Anyone can "be as good as" a guy in a slump. Over the course of the season, though, he's already, as of late July, had more RBIs than any Royal did all of last season, and needs only 15 more - which I predict he'll get easily - to top any Royal of the prior 3 seasons.

I can't see Shane Costa giving us that. No way, Jose.

Anonymous said...

I think it is laughable what this town is trying to do to Jose Guillen. You don't want a player with fire and passion and plays through injuries and says exactly what he thinks. Instead you'd rather have the soft spoken Mr. Nice Guy. Well wake up, you didn't want him either, his name was Mike Sweeney. At least when this one gets injured he still plays. I'm all for Guillen being here, and staying here. The more he says exactly what he thinks, the closer this franchise is going to be to respectability. Maybe he'll finally embarrass the front office enough that they have to put real MLB players on the field.

KCDC said...

Ok, so I know Kila has only been up in Triple-A for 5 games, but after homering again today, Kila now has 3 home runs in 5 games, his on-base percentage is over .400 (it was .463 in Arkansas), and his OPS for the season including both stops is 1.096 and seems to be rising every day. I know, he was drafted out of highschool, so he's been in the system for a long time, specifically Double-A for the last 3 seasons.

But let's put that aside and just look at the player and the current numbers--he's got an MLB 1B body, listed at 6'3" 233. The numbers show he has undeniable power, and he's shown fantastic plate discipline for years. If we write off the relatively slow curve to the fact that he was drafted young and he had some health problems, and we just call him a late bloomer, we are left with a guy who just turned 24 to start this year and has posted a 1.096 OPS in Double/Triple-A. How many guys in the last 10 years have posted an OPS over 1.000 in Double/Triple-A at age 24? Over 1.050? What sorts of players have they turned into?

Anonymous said...

Your insights are incredible, great job.

The royals, lets be realistic this organization is a crap organization with what is it over 15 years of below .500 ball or something close. I thought the KC A's were bad, but this organization during the GLASS era has exceeded expectations as a terrible organization.

Why does GLASS not talk to print, or radio media? He is the owner right? I guess he feels no obligation to the fans who virtually gave him a free stadium plus a $150 mil of free upgrades.

Rumor is after stadium is completed team is worth more and he can sell it at more of a profit. At 70 plus years, his ownership won't last more than 8 years or so. What will we do then? Let's hope he dosen't give it to his son the village idiot to run.
Maybe someone from Garmin will buy it?