Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ka'aihue and Hillman.

You know, I want to believe Sam Mellinger when he writes that we shouldn’t be worried that Kila Ka’aihue* isn’t getting more playing time.

*: You’ll notice I added the ‘ in Kila’s name. The ‘ represents a glottal stop, what is known in Hawaiian as the ‘okina. (When you say “uh-oh”, the glottal stop is the hyphen.) Having learned the correct pronunciation of Ka’aihue’s name endears him to me even more, because it turns out we have something in common. The correct transliteration of my last name from the Arabic would actually be Jaza’erli; the letter they call ‘okina in Hawaiian is known as the hamzah in Arabic. My parents elected to simplify the name a little when they came to America – I guess they figured Jazayerli would be hard enough to pronounce without introducing non-Latin letters. But we will be referring to Kila by his phonetically-correct name from now. Glottal stoppers unite!

So yeah, I want to believe that Ka’aihue’s lack of playing time is simply because the Royals want to get a good look at Ryan Shealy, and does not mean that Ka’aihue won’t be the starting first baseman next season. And then Trey Hillman has to open his big mouth.

“I’m not trying to count KK out for a spot next year,” Hillman said. “But he did move two levels this season. He’s getting a taste (in the big leagues).

“Percentages tell us that, typically, you don’t see a guy go Double-A, Triple-A in one year and then be an impact guy (the following year) at what we hope is a slug position at first base.”

Hillman says that he’s not trying to count KK out for a spot next year. Why should he have to say that? When you get to work, does your boss pop into say that he’s not planning to fire you today? When you head to Sonic* for lunch, does your waitress tell you that they didn’t spit in your meal that day? You don’t try to reassure the fans that you’re “not trying to count KK out” unless you’re seriously thinking about counting KK out.

*: I love living in Chicago, because no matter how big a metropolis it is, the city still acts like a Midwestern town that’s perpetually star-struck by getting to hang out with the really big cities like LA and New York. I’d like to present, as my exhibit, this article about the biggest new phenomenon to hit Chicago. That’s right, Sonic finally opened their first restaurant in the area.

As it happens, I drive right by this Sonic every day on my way home to work, and can bear witness that it’s been packed every evening since it opened. My exposure to Sonic primarily comes from their weirdly appealing commercials that play incessantly during Royals games, so I’ll have to ask you all for a judgment: is it any good? It certainly looks appealing, but given that I’m fasting for Ramadan, any food item that doesn’t have mold growing off of it looks appealing at the moment.

So why is Hillman so skeptical about Ka’aihue? Because of the “percentages.” And clearly, he’s a guy who knows all about the percentages. Why else would he start Ross Gload against Kevin Slowey yesterday – Gload was 3-for-7 in his career against Slowey! That’s, like, a .429 average! And seven at-bats is a very meaningful sample size!

And what do those percentages say? That “you don’t see a guy go Double-A, Triple-A in one year and then be an impact guy (the following year).” Well, maybe that’s because you don’t see a guy go Double-A, Triple-A the way Ka’aihue went this season, huh Trey?

37 homers. 104 walks. A .315 average. A 1085 OPS. A lot of guys get promoted to Triple-A mid-season; almost none of them put up numbers like those in the process.

I don’t have a comprehensive list of players who have, and I’m pretty certain that Hillman doesn’t either. But just from memory, I can think of one guy who did exactly what Ka’aihue did: he had a monster season as a first baseman at age 24 in Double-A, moved to Triple-A late in the year, then made his major league debut that September. His name was Ryan Howard.

Howard had a better minor league season than Ka’aihue in one respect: he hit more home runs, 46 of them in 131 games, compared to Kila’s 37 in 124 games. But Kila had more walks (104 to 60), a higher batting average (.291), a higher OBP (.456 to .369), a higher OPS (1085 to 1006), and many, many, many fewer strikeouts (67 to 166).

The Phillies decided to do something radical: they didn’t just promote Howard in September, they actually played him a little. In 39 at-bats, he hit .282, with 5 doubles and 2 homers. A nice little debut.

But the next season, they decided to send Howard back down for a little more seasoning; they were happy with their current first baseman. When their starter got hurt in May, Howard got a 12-game trial and didn’t hit very well (.214/.267/.393), so it was back to Triple-A. Finally, their first baseman suffered a season-ending injury at the end of June. Howard, who was putting up ridiculous numbers in the minors (.371/.467/.690), got recalled and hit .296 with 21 homers the rest of the way. He finished with numbers of .288/.356/.567, and despite playing in just 88 games, won Rookie of the Year honors.

The Phillies missed out on some accolades of their own, because they missed the playoffs by a single game. Do you think they regret not promoting Howard sooner? I do, Trey.

But the Phillies had a pretty good excuse. Their incumbent first baseman, the guy they decided to go with instead of Howard at the start of the year, was a guy named Jim Thome. He’s a pretty good hitter. You’re starting Ross Gload, Trey. He isn’t.

Anyone who thinks that Ryan Howard wasn’t ready to be an “impact guy” at “a slug position at first base” that season is a moron. The Phillies didn’t think that; they simply had no way to resolve the dilemma of having two terrific hitters at first base. Even so, they made the wrong decision – well, Jim Thome made the wrong decision to wrench his back – and it cost them a playoff spot.

I guess if there’s a silver lining here, then, it’s that whatever Hillman decides to do at first base, we don’t have to worry about it costing us a playoff spot. In fact, I’m becoming increasingly convinced that we won’t have to worry about a playoff spot for as long as Trey Hillman is in charge of deciding who the first baseman is.


Patrick Topor said...

I don't understand why they'd call him up and give him no shot. The GM should be forcing his hand here.

Antonio. said...

I'm going to be a faux glottal stopper and start spelling my name Hern'ndez.

As far as OPS goes, a guy named Justin Huber once had a season that was near what Kila has had, but he never matched Kila's power or overall patience. The Royals were pretty full of crap players then too. Now I'd say that Huber's overall MiLB career was better, but Kila certainly can outplay him overall--if given a chance. I don't understand why you don't understand why they won't give him a shot over veteran less-than-stellar players when we've seen it before. And we need to face it: this GM seems to force no managerial hands.

Anonymous said...

#2 is down. Can't wait for you to start rethinking #1.

I hope you don't have to, but, I'm with Patrick... Does a GM ever just say "play this guy, he's going to be on the roster at some point next year, whether you like it or not."

Then again, perhaps the GM is the one brilliant enough to sign, say, a journeyman first baseman from South Florida to a two-year contract in the first place, and doesn't want the previous regimes' due to show up.

Sonic kicks ass. They have tater tots and lots of yummy treats. Burger better than Burger King and McDonalds, not as good (or as deadly) as Wendy's. Not sure if they're Halal halal (halaal?) though. The only fast food restaurants strictly observant Muslims will eat at in my area (Toronto) is, believe it or not, Popeye's, which is certified by the local (regional?) clerics.

Anonymous said...

D'oh. There should just be one "halal" there. I'm an idiot. Also, correct all other typos in there ("due" = "dude," for example).

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

Since the semester started, I have had little time to watch the Royals. And I was glad of this. I had seen nearly every game on since the start of the season, and been to a few. It was becoming increasingly hard to stomach.
Anyway I found a few minutes the other night, and wanted to see Kila.
So I turned on the tv, sat down saw that the score was (7-2) Twins, saw Gload at 1st base and Jason Smith at 3rd, I promptly cursed Hilman and turned off the television without even watching the Royals come to bat. Screw it, more of the same.

Anonymous said...

Sonic (or Skronic, if you prefer the slang of my youth)... is okay. Better than some fast food, but still just basically... fast food. But its spectacular for fountain drinks... Cherry Limeade especially.

KCDC said...

I think we're going a little hard on Hillman for that quote. It was featured in a piece about fan desire to see Kila play more. You have to assume the question he was responding to was something along the lines of, "Hey Trey, a lot of fans are really excited about the minor league numbers Kila has put up this year. Don't you think they'd really love to see him play more than he's been playing?" Hillman's response was:

"I appreciate what they want to see, we want to see it as well," Hillman said. "But, as I said early on, it's probably going to be in shorter spurts than it is for Ryan Shealy. I'm not trying to count KK out for a spot next year, but he did move two levels this season. He's getting a taste."

To me, that says he wants to get Shealy some AB's first and foremost because that evaluation deadline is coming up very soon. And then he's reassuring the fan base that even though there won't be a ton of AB's for Kila, Hillman is not limiting the AB's because he's counting out Kila out for next year. As to the second half of the quote:

"Typically -- it doesn't always happen this way -- the percentages tell us that, typically, you don't see a guy go Double-A [Northwest Arkansas], Triple-A [Omaha] in one year and then be an impact guy at what we hope is a slugging position at first base. I still look at it every day probably as much as the fans want me to, as far as production and wanting to get him in there."

I suppose you can interpret that as you want, but I think he's simply reminding fans that there are legitimate reasons to be skeptical of how the gaudy minor league numbers might translate. In a conversation about the challenge of meeting fan desire for increasing KK's playing time, I think it's fair to point out that the guy hasn't exactly proven himself to be Pujols yet. And even there, Hillman finishes the response on an upbeat note suggesting that he'd love to get KK in there more and he considers it every day.

And the Ross Gload arguments you've made are totally unfair. I didn't look through the game logs to double-check, but I believe Gload hasn't started at 1B a single time since KK and Shealy have been promoted. Hillman has shown that he understands the matter for what it is--a time share between Shealy, KK, and Butler at first. You can say you'd like to see KK get more AB's than he has, but I think the fact that Shealy is out of options in 2 weeks is a perfectly valid explanation for how the AB's have been split.

Let's critique Hillman where criticism is due, but I think his actions in this matter have been perfectly rational.

Anonymous said...

kcdc, gload started at 1b yesterday with Guillen at DH while Butler, Shealy, and Kila all sat out. That is the main source of this post I think. Hillman led us to believe Gload was done at 1b for the rest of the year but he just couldn't help himself.

Anonymous said...

Sonic is disgusting. They used to have really tasty fast food, but the quality dropped off about 4-5 years ago. Now the hamburgers taste like they could have come from McDonald's, and I got sick off their popcorn chicken once. And the drinks, don't get me started on the drinks. Every time I order one, my order is wrong. Cherry limeade (the regular and the slush version) used to be my favorite drink. Now they can't get it right. It tastes bad and they don't put the cherry in it anymore, and you are lucky to get a small slice of lime. Screw Sonic. The only reason they are as popular as they are is because of the commercials which I personally can't stand. They are just idiotic.

As for Hillman, I pretty much view him like I do a Sonic. Wouldn't go there unless I had to, or I just felt like getting screwed. Sometimes, I feel like getting a half price drink from 2-4, and by the time I take my first sip I remember why I hadn't been back there for 6 months.

Can we change the blog name to "Fire Trey Hillman"?

Anonymous said...

Trey Hillman = Buddy Bell.


rebmoti said...

I wonder if Dayton Moore has any idea that, to hell with the clubhouse, Trey Hillman appears to be losing the blogosphere!

Unknown said...

I wish that Trey Hillman = Buddy Bell. If we could only be that lucky.

I think Hillman creates many of his problems by opening his mouth. Some of the things he has said of late have been funny for lack of a better description.

I do want to say that Ryan Howard had done better prior to his big year in the minors. This is one of the main reasons that they doubt Kila right now. I don't know how warranted it is but nonetheless.

The one way you can be sure that Kila is or is not major league talent is by giving him some playing time. They don't seem to want to do that.

I think that a 29 year old coming off an above average year in triple A is not someone we should be focused on. If they really really wanted to take a look at Shealy, why would they not bring him up prior to this month? He fields just fine from what I remember. Since we didn't have a first baseman this year it seemed like a perfect opportunity. Alas, we are now pressed to find playing time for Shealy, Kila, Butler, and for some unknown reason, Gload.

If this had been the first issue with Hillman, I'd have passed it off already. Unfortunately, he has been doing it since day one. I have never seen the fan base against a manager as much as I am seeing this year. Not with Muser, not with Bell, not with any of our previous managers. I really wonder whether or not DM will be forced to rethink his position with Hillman and fire him at the end of the season. I truly don't see Hillman changing his ways so much as to become an adequate manager.

Anonymous said...

I read Hillman's comments (and saw the box score with "Gload") just before going in to teach my history class. I think I may have projected my bad mood onto the couple of students who wandered in I was just SO ticked off. It gave me the same feeling I got so often when contemplating Buddy Bell.....and Tony Muser....

Anonymous said...

I live too close to a Sonic.

The new Angus burger is pretty decent, running a close second to Hardees, but way ahead of Burger King's. However, it's expensive, for fast food. The Onion rings aren't bad, and their Blizzard knock-off (the Blast) is OK, though inconsistent. The thing it has going for it is that it is relatively cheap. All-in-all, it's probably better than most chain fast food, which is damning with faint praise.

Anonymous said...

Not to pile on, KCDC, but I have to agree with a lot of the other responses here. Given the fact that Hillman is the same f*cktard that admitted to the media that he was busy squeezing out a greaser (taking a crap, for those that can't keep up) when Guillen had another outburst here recently, I have difficulty believing his quote is misframed or taken out of context at all. In fact, his quotes are essentially representative of his managing ability, which is laughable, at best. Kind of like the Royals in general, anymore.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Sonic is very tasty. Never was a limeade drinker, so I can't comment on them. Oh, and the Sonic Blast has really let me down for the last few years because they stopped putting hardly any candy in it. It's basically just ice cream in a cup with a little bit of Butterfinger sprinkled on top now, whereas they used to really mix that stuff in. It's kinda funny, though, that that's the first one in Chicago. Now that I think about it, I guess I didn't see one in Viagra Triangle when I was in Chicago back in May for a Cubs game...but you don't really go there looking for fast food, do you?

Anonymous said...

Rany, I can give you two guys that came from Double A mid-year and had a huge impact... Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. Without those two guys the Florida Marlins don't win the 2003 World Series.

Trey Hillman is in over his head. I am convinced that one of the best things that could happen this year is for him to resign.

Anonymous said...

Unless you are ordering a cherry limeade stay away from Sonic. I always feel sick after going there. I would stick to Portillos if I lived up there.

Ryan said...

More Jason Smith.

Nathan W said...

Sonic is good and their commericials feature a lot of actors that live in Chicago and perform over at Second City.

Zach said...

Sonic is awesome! Sonic and the Royals are my Friday night favorites (aside from high school football)

Anonymous said...

Sonic is horrible.
The best thing about Sonic is the happy hour, half price drinks. It's the best Cherry Vanilla Coke ever. They were doing the Vanilla Coke before Coke was.
You can go crazy with the mix ins too...Chocolate Coke isn't good.

The food is terrible. The fries are the worst I ever had. If you want good fast food, stay away from Sonic and go to Hardees or Burger King.

Anonymous said...

Rany - I couldn't agree more regarding Ka'aihue. When they called up both Shealy and KK, I (just like everybody else) assumed we wouldn't see Gload the rest of the season. What a joke!

Sonic used to be better. They used to have more variety in the menu (the Italian Steak Sandwich was great!), but now they just focus on coneys and burgers.

The cream pie shakes are great, as are the fountain drinks. Get yer burger elsewhere, and get yer drink at Sonic!

Anonymous said...

I've never cared for Sonic burgers but I like the chili-cheese coneys (a.k.a. extra long hot dogs). You need a fork to eat them. My wife and her best friend love their fountain drinks.

kcghost said...

As Bugs Bunny would say about someone Like Trey Bellman "He's a maroon". He is totally under his head.

God forbid we do anything that would please what little fan base that's left.

Maybe he is waiting for Kila to get more instruction from Mike Barnett so that he can do something about that pesky walk rate and be more aggressive at the plate. And I am sure that Barney will want to instruct him in the finer points of abandoning a power stroke and concentrating on hitting grounders up the middle.

Anonymous said...

I figured we would see a lot of KK once right handers pitched but instead we got the pop fly specialist because of his "success" off of Slowey...disgusting. He should start against every right hander and even a few left handers. I like everyone else have lost faith in Hillman as a manager.

Onto the important stuff...Sonics is a fast food place nothing else. However, the limeades are good, but I would try the strawberry one instead of cherry. Lots of strawberries, to the point they can clog the straw but very good, especially at half price.

Benjamin said...

I think the Royals should leave Aviles at SS and Moore should pursue Weeks from the Brewers. It is a high risk move but with Weeks potential it could be a great deal for us.

Anonymous said...

I honestly think Hillman should be fired for the "on the toilet when Guillen blew up" comment alone. How can you entrust a major league baseball team to someone who could somehow think that such a response is acceptable or appropriate? How in the hell did someone in the KC media not skewer him when he gave that answer? Come on! I would have been like "What? You were on the toilet? Are you that stupid that you would actually tell us that? And big f'n deal, Trey. No one in your damn dugout told you about it as soon as you got out? Your boy Dave Owen didn't give the downlow? How could they not tell you that your highest paid player tried to attack a fan while you were crapping, as soon as you got out? What do you mean you didn't hear about it until later in the game? And big damn deal that didn't see it -- what is your f'n response to the situation? Is it acceptable to you? Are you cool with it, fool? Does it bother you at all? Don't give me this 'I was on the toilet' crap and think you're going to avoid the question, f'er. Be a man and stand up!"

That answer was unacceptable in so many really pissed me off. I lost all respect for the idiot when I heard. This is an a$$clown that thinks it's ok to publicly berate your players in front of opponents and fans for bad baserunning, but thinks it's ok for players to attack fans and then not show any accountability himself. I was on the toilet. I can just imagine giving that answer to my VP at my job if one of my employees f'd something up. Sorry sir, I was on the toilet when it happened and I didn't hear about it until later. Yeah, that would go over really well.

What a weak, mickey-mouse organization GMDM is running.

Jack Campbell said...

I have a theory on Trey Hillman that explains why he plays Ross Gload and why he not only doesn’t play Ka’aihue, but why he wouldn’t have called him up to the bigs at all if it were his decision. It explains why he was so reluctant to give at bats to Aviles when he first came up. Tell me if you think this has any merit. By all accounts, Hillman works his ass off. He stays up late, puts in extra time, shows up early. He probably figures that whatever his performance is lacking can be solved by simply working harder (sort of like Gunther Cunningham as Chiefs head coach). Hillman spent some time as a minor leaguer. And insofar as you could label any minor leaguer who doesn’t make the big leagues is a failure (I don’t believe that’s true), he wasn’t a successful ballplayer. I imagine he worked his ass off, extra BP, extra tutelage, more reading, more weights, more suicide sprints, and more of whatever else he had to do to make it to the bigs. But he couldn’t avoid the simple fact that he just wasn’t physically gifted enough. It happens. So here comes Gload who doesn’t look particularly physically gifted (although I would disagree with that, too. I’m sure he’s just as strong as, I don’t know, Dustin Pedroia). Anyway, Gload had to work his ass off to get to the bigs and still works his ass off and isn’t flashy (read: not particularly good for his position), but he’s survivor by his work ethic alone. Go over to Royals Review and listen to them laugh about “grit”. Gload is just like Trey. You know who’s nothing like Trey? Kila Ka’aihue (hold on a minute, didn’t get to where he is by working his ass off? You bet). But Kila is big and strong and talented and in Hillman’s eyes, skyrocketed through the system. Hillman, of course, wasn’t around to watch Kila brutally fight and claw his way through the system for the first 4 years. So Hillman, out of jealousy (because in his eyes Kila has all the size and talent Hillman always wanted) refuses to play the guy who he perceives hasn’t yet put his time in.

Paying your dues happens also to be a very Japanese philosophy, hence the reason he was so liked over there. Problem here is, Kila HAS paid his dues. Hillman just refuses to see it. Out of jealousy. Hillman has to stop fighting for the little guy and let the big, talented guys (WHO ALSO WORK HARD) get first dibs. No more little guy that could. The little guy that could simply doesn’t have success in MLB. It’s a cruel world.

Unknown said...

I thought I'd comment on Sonic. First, I think their commercials are as annoying as it gets. Second, I've never eaten at a Sonic in my life.

I did want to say two relevant things though. I live in SoCal and our Hardees is called Carl's Jr. Same place, different name. That's probably the best of the lower tier fast food joints.

There is one place on the west coast here that is far and away, better than any other fast food place I have ever been to. If you ask any other person from SoCal, they would tell you the same thing as it is virtually unanimous out here. That place is In-n-Out Burger. If any of you ever make it as far out as Vegas or Arizona maybe, you have to look for one just for the experience. They aren't on every street corner like the others are so it sometimes requires some asking around. Usually just one per town if you are lucky. They have never screwed up an order ever and the other fast food restaurants can't even be mentioned in the same sentence. And no, I don't own the place.

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine what would happen if Trey had both Ross Gload and Dave McCarty on his team? Trey wouldn't know what to do! Two gamers. Two good gloves at 1st. Neither able to hit enough to justify the position? Trey would short-circuit trying to figure our what to do. I guarantee one of them would be taking grounders every morning at 3rd, so he could get both in the lineup. And, omg, what if we then added Doug Mientsuckvicz to the mix? Oooooooh. Orgasmic. Bring back Scott Pose.

Unknown said...

Is a trial run for Shealy really necessary? Between his short appearances in the majors and considerable body of work in the PCL and his age, he's pretty much a known quantity. What does a handful of at-bats in September tell you that isn't already known?

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU RANY for inserting some sarcasm into your blog when it comes to Trey Hillman. Hillman is REDEFINING stupid. I know it's just his first year, but I've already seen enough. There is NO WAY Hillman pulls his head out of his a** and figures things out. It's just lodged up there too firmly for it to be removed. After all it's pretty hard to grab on to his head to pull it out when it's rammed up there far enough that he can see his own tonsils.

That being said, there's no way in hell that Dayton Moore fired Hillman after one season. He ABSOLUTELY should, but he won't.

Anonymous said...

In-and-Out Burger RULES! I can only hope that they'll get in in KC someday. What-a-Burger is pretty good too. Both of them blow away ANY of the fast food joints, they also put Steak and Shake to shame as well.

Anonymous said...

in n out burger is awful

the royals are awful

i don't want to hear trey hillman say 'slug hit' one more time

somebody should tell trey that baseball is a great, complex game. nobody gets it right every time, and not even trey knows everything. i have heard trey 'tip his hat' to one pitcher all year, the rest of the time, it was lack of quality at bats, lack of concentration, lack of timely ....slug hit. Enough.

the problem is, one year, in a distant galaxy, this team will win, it will even win the world series one year, and nobody will hold any of this against the royals. we will all forget what we were subject to for way too many years.

bth, all time favorite royal? has to be edwardo villacis (?).

whataburger is good

Anonymous said...

Sonic is alright, but it is expensive for fast food and they give you no fries.

And Trey Hillman is a dumbie.

Anonymous said...

Jack Campbell, you sir, have hit the nail on the head. I agree with you wholeheartedly on Hillman's philosophy regarding players like Gload. In fact, Hillman would probably adopt the guy if he could.

I will say, however, that there are times (although I don't think it's the case with Ka'aihue), where sitting a hot young prospect in lieu of a "gritty" veteran can be useful to knock some cockiness or attitude out of them. Ka'aihue doesn't strike me as a guy that's like that, though, which makes Hillman look all the more ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Nickname idea for Kila should he end Ross's reigh of terror at first base: The Gloadal Stop.

I keep going to Sonic for the onion rings--by far the best fast food onion rings, and better than almost any other onion rings I've tasted.

When I was a kid, my local Sonic had a menu item called Pickle-Os. They were breaded, deep fried pickles, adhering to the number one rule of Midwestern cooking (If you can eat it, cook it. If you can cook it, deep fry it. If you can deep fry it, bread it first.). I loved them, but they probably now fall into Posnanski's category of Pixifood.

Anonymous said...

You probably know this, Rany, but those actors on the Sonic commercials are from Chicago, where they're well-known in the local theater scene. Improv players from Second City? Not sure about that, but seems like I heard that. A couple of them had bit parts in the Will Farrell movie Stranger than Fiction, which was shot in Chicago, although they intentionally tried to make it look like a generic big city.

Anonymous said...

The time for the Royals to start evaluating Ryan Shealy was four to six weeks ago, if not mid-June (not positive on his injury situation through the year). He's probably going to play four times a week and even if he puts up decent numbers it tells us little about his potential to help next year.
Based on DM's comments in the last week, I'm assuming the Royals are not going to enter another season with a giant question mark about run-production at first base. Unless of course we make really solid additions at other premium power spots.
I'm like everyone else, though. I really want to see Kila play! Probably not tonight with Cliff Lee pitching. I'll hold out hope for Saturday.

Ryan said...

I want to reiterate my support of Jason Smith. 31-year-old journeymen aren't just a dime-a-dozen. You need to start them as much as possible.

As for the people act in the Sonic commercials. Most of them, indeed, are from the Chicago improv community. TJ & Pete have been doing it the longest. They both used to be at Second City. Pete now writes for the Colbert Report. TJ plays every Wednesday at 11pm at i.O. by Wrigley Field in a show called TJ & Dave. That's been the best improv show in Chicago for about six years running.

My buddy and I drove through SW Kansas on the way out to Denver a few weeks ago. Neither of us had been to that part of the state. I was amazed that there was a Sonic in literally every town over 500 people. All those guys could travel around the rural Midwest and be big celebrities, which I find to be hilarious.

One more thing: Jason Smith. Jason Smith. Jason Smith.

Anonymous said...

My Royals pipe dream is to someehow get Coco Crisp to play center field and Kelly Shoppach to catch. I assume Victor Martinez will be the starter next year for the Indians and if he appears healthy maybe Shoppach can be had but catching is an expensive commodity

Anonymous said...

If shoppach was the catcher in KC he would only get to play 50 games because he doesn't call as good of a game as buck.

by the way, I think Olivio could have hit 25 homers this year if he played as the starter. I realize that wouldn't make the royals contenders, but it'll take john buck 3 years to amass 25 homers. but at least buck is deadly at throwing out potential base stealers. errr calling a good game errrr. why did he play 100 games this year?

Anonymous said...

Buck. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrgggghhhhhhh. I agree. What the hell is up with him? He's one of the group of "it's amazing to me that they're playing" guys. But, as discussed Hillman has a man crush on the guy like several others.

Anonymous said...

I've been down on Hillman since he left Bannister in mid season for about 130 pitches. He leaves his starters in for more than any other major league manager. He's gotten better as the years progressed. This is young pitching staff and I don't want any of these pitchers to be Jose Rosado. I get sick every day when I see who he starts in the field. Ive been upset about Gathright for the entire season. I don't know if he gets the call to bunt from the third base coach or if he just does it on his own. But he might as well just not swing. If the third baseman knows its coming its an out. Swing away and take his head off. Gload is not a starter at any position. Pena needs to learn how to take a walk. Buck can't throw out any one. He throws so bad I'd let Mike Sweeney and his two bad knees run on him. Big wholes at several positions. The problem guys seem to be guys DM brought in. Pena, Gathright, Gload. The options at triple A would be just as good. Maier, Costa, Kila, and Shealy. It would hurt to play them. So many problems.

Anonymous said...

Jack Campbell: I certainly agree that Hillman has some kind of problem with certain players and insane man crushes on others. However, the theory you propose actually doesn't hold water in terms of Aviles. Under your theory he should have loved to give Aviles the shot because he's a guy that was "never supposed to be there". You know, wrong body, no pedigree, etc. All that stuff and Aviles ONLY made by working hard and hanging in there against all the odds. He should be a Hillman guy but it still seems as though they don't believe it and that Pena is somehow still going to be the guy.