Sunday, April 19, 2009

Another Injury To Overcome.

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it appears that having already lost the services of Alex Gordon for half the season, the Royals have suffered another blow to their playoff hopes. Joakim Soria is out indefinitely with an apparent inability to pitch.

I say “apparent” because there has no been no confirmation from the Royals on the subject. I hesitate to say that Soria is injured, because there is no evidence of an actual injury.

Nonetheless, it appears quite certain that the Mexicutioner is suffering from an ailment that prevents him from pitching. That is because the alternative explanation is that Trey Hillman has the IQ of a barnyard animal, and I think we can all agree that barnyard animals possess neither the intellect nor the communication skills necessary to obtain a job as major league manager in the first place.

See, after pitching (and picking up saves) in four of the Royals’ first seven games, Soria had not pitched in the last four – his last outing came on April 13th. He’s fully rested, and more, the Royals have an off-day tomorrow. If ever there was a game where Soria ought to be pitching, it was this one. Even if the game was a blowout, he ought to come in. Hillman said so himself. “We’ll get Jack some work somehow,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said before Sunday's game.

So clearly, Soria is suffering from an inability to pitch. If he were able to pitch, I’m certain we would have seen him to start the eighth inning this afternoon, this being the perfect time to give Soria a two-inning save opportunity with the Royals leading by a pair of runs.

Or, after Ron Mahay gave up a double to Andruw Jones that bounced out of David DeJesus’s glove, and then after Mike Jacobs performed that weird interpretive dance he loves to do, “Waltz With Baseball”, that allowed Hank Blalock to reach base safely, then Soria would have come in. Certainly, Hillman would not have caused the bottom to fall out of my stomach when the bullpen door opened to reveal Jamey Wright to pitch with none out and the tying run at first base. Not unless Soria was suffering from AITP.

And when Wright got a slow dribbler for the first out, and a flyout from David Murphy for the second, and then Chris Davis pinch-hit for Taylor Teagarden with two outs and the tying runner in scoring position – I mean, there’s no way Hillman would have left Soria in the bullpen at that moment if he hadn’t been suffering from AITP. The fact that Soria was briefly shown lightly warming up in the bullpen alongside Kyle Farnsworth at the time was no doubt a clever ruse by Hillman, whose intellect clearly works on a plane that us mere baseball fans can not understand.

And after Wright got out of the inning (but not before surrendering the game-tying single to Davis), and the Royals went quietly in the top of the ninth inning, and the Royals had to choose between Farnsworth and Soria to pitch the bottom of the ninth inning of a tie game, surely there’s no way a sentient and bipedal primate would look at those two options and choose Captain Goodnight* – not unless Soria was suffering from AITP. (And evidently, Robinson Tejeda may have a mild case of AITP as well – our sources are looking into it.)

*: There was a computer game that I remember playing in the late 1980s, when I was about 13 years old, called “Captain Goodnight”. All I remember about the game was that you were a hero that had 24 hours to save the world and get the girl, or something like that. I also remember that the game was very, very difficult to complete in time, and after weeks of trying to finish it, I finally had a game in which I hit every button in perfect synchronicity, got to the finish line with hours to spare – and then the game crashed and I was never able to play it again. Anyway, I see those aviator goggles that Farnsworth wears, and the fact that when he comes into the game you can turn off your TV and go to bed, and I think I’m going to call him Captain Goodnight from now on. (And yes, I know some of you think I’m too obsessed with nicknames. For your sake – for all our sakes – I hope I don’t have to use it very often.)

I know today’s game was a crushing loss. I know that it has ruined my day. I know it has ruined my appetite to write the Zack Greinke column that I want to write and you want to read. I know that the final two innings completely wasted a start from Kyle Davies that in its own way was every bit as impressive as the ones his big brothers made on Friday and Saturday. (After walking four batters and throwing 22 balls in 37 pitches in the first inning, Davies responded by allowing just two hits and a walk over the next five. Davies now has 21 strikeouts in 18.2 innings – and he’s our #3 starter.) I know it kept the Royals from taking over sole possession of first place. I know that it’s the second game the Royals have lost this year that they were leading after seven innings.

But please, don’t blame Hillman for this. Rest assured that there’s no way someone could spend a quarter-century playing, coaching, and managing in professional baseball, and ascend to the highest rank of his profession before he turned 45, and make the decisions that Hillman appeared to make today. It’s simply not possible that Hillman would not use Soria to protect a tight lead, even as the inning was falling apart, just because it was the eighth inning instead of the ninth. It’s not possible that instead of Soria in the ninth, he would call upon KYLE FREAKING FARNSWORTH, who now has more losses (3) than the rest of the team combined (2) in exactly 3.1 innings of work, just because it was a tie game instead of a save situation. Trey Hillman is not that stupid. No one is that stupid.

Maybe we’ll get some confirmation from the Royals on this soon. Or maybe Soria’s AITP will clear up by Tuesday, he’ll be back on the mound, and the Royals will pretend it never existed. I don’t know much about AITP – it was never listed in any of the books I read in medical school – but I suspect that it’s a very brief affliction, sort of like the 24-hour flu. After all, it didn’t exist last night, when Soria was one batter away from coming in to close out Greinke’s masterpiece. And rumor has it that Soria had AITP on Opening Day, but it cleared up in time for him to close out the game the following day.

But he clearly had AITP today. I’m sure that it’s merely a coincidence that yesterday’s game constituted a Ninth Inning Save Situation – I capitalize those words out of respect for such an august institution – and today’s game never did.

It’s tough to lose a game because Soria came down with AITP at an inopportune time. But in a way it’s a relief to know that the reason the Royals lost yet another game that they had in the bag was simply because of AITP. I mean, if Soria doesn’t have AITP, that means the Royals lost today’s game because their manager is a complete and utter moron. AITP is curable, but I’m afraid there may be no cure for imbecilic bullpen management.

Fortunately we don’t have to worry about that. Hillman’s a brilliant manager – Dayton Moore said so himself. Let’s just hope that Hillman…I mean Soria…finds a cure for his AITP soon. The Royals can’t afford to lose any more games this season because of it. I’m not sure they could afford to lose the games they already have.

95 comments:

Anonymous said...

They can't afford to lose the games they already have. Every loss now is one they will have to pick up in August, or July, when the rotation is tired and the bats of the other teams are in full force. Despite getting phenomenal pitching through 12 games, we are in a 3 way tie for first place. And you can blame it all on Trey Hillman.

Perhaps the Royals most potential laden season, down the tubes - not for lack of talent, or lack of luck, but for lack of managerial common sense.

bobinkc said...

As I have said previously...the problem with Hillman is that you can't fix stupid. No amount of managerial experience will fix it. I was literally screaming at the TV today. It is days like today that make it hard to believe that the Royals will eventually be in the playoffs again. If they do make it this year, it will be in spite of Hillman not because of him.

bobinkc said...

I don't know what is harder. Knowing at the beginning of the season that you have no chance at the playoffs or knowing that you have a chance but that you won't make it because you have an idiot for a manager.

Will said...

In geosynchronous orbit above the earth, is yet another satellite launched by our favorite company. Solar Flare by Farnsworth.

That's three in 10 days. Much better than the N.Koreans.

Will

Mac said...

What a crushing defeat. I mean...crushing...

Old Man Duggan said...

And it's not just his mishandling of the bullpen here, either. He also failed to fix their defensive issues when he made the TPJ switch. They've got a lead. Sub in Bloomquist, move Teahen to first and Aviles to third. It's certainly a better alignment than the abysmal right side of the IF alignment, he saw fit to run with.

Dennis said...

The only way Farnsworth should ever pitch with the game on the line is if we're in the 15th inning and everyone else is used up.

Anonymous said...

Rany, now that you are on 810 in KC you owe it to all of us to legitimately start calling for a change at manager. I agree with the other comments. These are games we must pick up and Tray has cost us 2 of them. If we mist the division by 2, I will have a meltdown you can see from the DriDuck seats.

Carolina Beach Bill said...

Maybe Tony Muser wants his job back. I'd like to see what can be worse than this.

Sam said...

I don't know if I've got anything new here, but I don't think anything new is needed.

Home run pitcher in a home run park against a man who can hit home runs...

...or Joakim Soria. A rested Joakim Soria.


Farnsworth is better than he has shown, and maybe (maybe) even better than we give him credit for.


But no matter how this man is pitching, that was an egregious, uncalled for, unnecessary error.

KowboyKoop said...

Boy, you gotta be a special kind of stupid to make the series of moves he has made so far this season. Keep watching, Trey Hillman is actively costing us a spot in the playoffs. It's actually happening Royals fans, when we lose this division by five or less games.......oh boy, things could get really ugly.

Will said...

I'd also like to know if it's correct that in the post game, Hillman mantioned the names of the players who committed the fielding blunders? That's a good way to lose the clubhouse.

He could have affected that by making a few simple moves. My dislike for Hillman is in the same orbit as Solar Flare Farnsworth's April HR's.

Will

Anonymous said...

Yes. He specifically called out Callaspo and DDJ, didn't mention Jacobs til the reporter brought it up. Blamed the loss on the defense, not pitching.

Unknown Royals Fan said...

Rany, you're more eloquent and kind than I am. I do, in fact, believe that Hillman might have the IQ of a barnyard animal - and in my anger after the loss, I said so on my page. Several hours later, I still don't regret it. Hillman is still managing in Little League mode, rather than "win every game" mode. Sadly enough, the Royals could easily be 11-1 with the right managerial calls. Next piece of Hillman's moronathon - giving the rotation a "rest day" so he can give Horacio Ramirez another start.

Larry said...

Brilliant satire there Rany. I honestly don't think I've ever watched a manager mismanage a bullpen like that in my life. Greinke had just pitched a complete game, so seemingly everyone was available. Everyone would also potentially be available for two innings of work because tomorrow is an off day. So why does our best set-up man come in in the 7th inning? At the point I assumed Cruz was going two innings or we were going to lose the game somehow because Texas can hit and if it didn't go Cruz-Soria I figured Trey would outthink himself like he always does. I would have gone Tejeda, Cruz, Soria to close that game out. I think 99% of Royals fans would have done the same thing. I mean that's the most logical route considering they are currently our three best relievers. But no, with the game on the line Hillman used three of worst relievers at the moment, in the form of Mahay-Wright-Farnsworth. Apparently this AITP spreads like staph infection. Next I plan to hear that Meche and Greinke will be scratched from their next two starts due to the mysterious illness. In their place Horacio Ramirez will be making back-to-back starts.

Matt Berger said...

In the 7th inning I was confident of our chances to win the division. Now I am certain we won't. Trey Hillman you are becoming less popular than nuclear war.

Larry said...

Forgot one thing. I hope the roster move that occurs when Guillen is activated from the DL, is Farnsworth being placed on the DL with ITP. Slightly different from AITP, this is a confirmed inability to pitch. Much more serious. Next Tony Pena can be DLed for ITH, inability to hit.

Little Leage manager said...

When Bob and Steve started talking about Mahay and Farnsworth warming in the 7th, it was lights out. Players didn't make plays, but the manager created bad karma and the result was way too predictable. As bad as today's in-game moves are, it's equally as bad he's moving the rotation back a day so the fifth-best starter, and maybe the worst pitcher on the staff, gets another start. When will Dayton Moore tire of seeing this unbelievably poor decisions?

rey rey said...

dont forget Hillman telling everyone after the opening day loss in Chicago he wouldn't use Mahay as a 'situational lefty' then today he does just that even though his best bullpen arm (outside of Soria)had only pitched to 3 batters and was plenty rested.

Hillman is not a smart person.

Will said...

He mentioned DDJ's drop of fly ball at the wall? What tripe. That would have been a highlight reel play.

I don't blame him for not catching that.

Matt Berger said...

This is such a strange case of manager criticism because its really not hindsight, none of would bring Farnsworth in to throw high fastballs to a legitimate hitter in a hitter's ballpark. I don't care how much he's being paid, if he doesn't have a big league breaking ball don't you can't let him pitch in Texas. Hey you know how Soria has a slow curve, well it seems that and a well located low fastball could be much more effective than the second coming of an even less talented Mike Macdougal. Time to put Farnsworth on the trading block, if anyones willing to give us a book on baseball theory that our friend Trey could read, its a done deal.

Anonymous said...

He said approx: it hit is glove, if he catches it...

Matt Berger said...

P.S. While Farnsworth's inability to pitch is frustrating its not his responsibility to say no when Trey wants him in the game. All of MLB knows who Farnsworth is and what he brings to the mound, its Trey's responsibility to designate him solely for mop up duty. But maybe he deserves a more applicable nickname like the arson, you know the opposite of a fireman.

Will said...

He should have said: After running with his back to homeplate like a burglar from an ADT home alarm, DDJ reached up and got a glove on the ball.

Should he have caught it? Maybe. It would have been a circus catch.

I hope Hillman remembers the taste of Kobe beef. Any more like this and he'll be scaling Mt. Fuji by mid may.

Will

Sultan of Swat said...

What is it with this town and game management. Im fairly certain Herm Edwards is now a white man who manages baseball games.

Calif fan said...

Why pull Cruz? What about Tejeda? Or four outs for Soria? Is he trying to prove some point for the sake of argument? If so, why not gradually work Farnsworth back in, an inning here and there with nothing at stake.

Jared Launius said...

i had watched the entire game up until the top of the ninth. after jamey wright gave up the tying run and got out of the inning, i knew what was coming. i watched farnsworth make his way to the bullpen door. i changed the station to the 76ers-Magic game, texted my friend "well this game is over," and ignored his text to tell me i was right, and ESPN's text sending me the final score.

how pathetic.

KC Star said...

" Hillman said he never considered using All-Star closer Joakim Soria instead of Farnsworth to start the ninth inning because it was a tie game.

"Not on the road," Hillman said. "At home, yes. But not on the road. Just simply because the percentages are against you in that situation."

The Royals entered the Texas ninth knowing they needed, as the road team, at least six outs to get a victory. Hillman said he wasn’t willing to extend Soria beyond "one up and down" because of a lack of work in recent days.

The problem now is Soria hasn’t pitched since April 13. And because of Monday’s open date in the schedule, he will have at least seven days of rest before his next appearance.

That matches his longest down time logged last season, which is something Hillman has said repeatedly that he hoped to avoid."

Anonymous said...

End the insanity. Fire Hillman and hire Frank White.

Trey Hillman's mother.

Steve said...

Baseball is the only game, in fact, the only profession, where the common person apparently knows more than "baseball people". Any of us could have known what to do in this situation, as well as to avoid signing this guy in the off season.

AxDxMx said...

If my mom knows not to use Farnsworth there, how come Trey doesn't?

Not much left to say...

This team can be great, but not with this manager. I'd take John Gibbons over this.

Sam said...

I like Mellinger at the Star - and I know his job isn't to call for someone's head - but he's sticking with the "it's just one game" routine.

Which is true.

But Opening Day was "just one game."

This makes two.

We're on pace for over 30 of these.

Anonymous said...

Mellinger won't be saying it's only 1 game when we finish 2nd in the division... by 1 or 2 games.

Carl Willingham said...

As I've said a million times, the man is more worried about appeasing his players than winning games. He needs to go coach little league where everyone gets to play. Moore is responsible for putting Buddy Bell and Trey Hillman in charge of his baseball team. He is also paying Ramirez, Farnsworth, Bloomquist and Guillen about 20 million dollars this year. It's his ship, and he's chose to let a fool run it.

Anonymous said...

I loved the way Hillman gave Greinke a chance to finish it last night. That good feeling is completely out the window now. The way Greinke was pitching last night it was unlikely that anyone in the bullpen, even the best closer in the game, had a better chance than Greinke to record the final out.

Apparently Saturday's ninth inning trip to the mound spent all of Hillman's unconventional thought for the season. How do you go through four relievers in a little more than two innings of a close game and not use Soria? How about worrying about winning some games instead of saving Soria for a save situation.

King Fitz said...

Soria not pitching when he's sat for 5 days? Pena for Aviles instead of Bloomquist for Callaspo? Mahay in the 7th in the very situation that he didn't use him on Opening Day (that time in the 8th)? I would rather have had Cruz face Hamilton with a 2-run lead than have Mahay pitch to Andruw Jones to lead off the 8th. What is Hillman thinking?

Callaway Dan said...

Don't blog angry.

That being said Farnsworth can't pitch with the game on the line. He just can't. And though it won't be popular I'll go ahead and say Hillman will realize that and we'll see a shift in how he's used. Trey may be stubborn, but he does eventually get it.

Now back to the populist rage.

skeptic said...

I'd feel a lot better about Hillman if he would say, "Put this loss on me, I had the opportunity to bring in Soria and didn't do it. Farnsworth is struggling right now and I need to find a way to use him in less critical situations until he gets himself straightened out."

Instead Hillman attempts to rationalize moves that can't be justified. I'm rooting for Hillman to get it together, but I'm quickly losing faith in his ability to manage a game.

pjbronco said...

Seriously Rany, why would you want to send in a guy with a firehose to put out a fire when you can send in a guy who will pour gasoline on it to put it out. That's it! Hillman in a baseball pyro.

pjbronco said...

"The only way Farnsworth should ever pitch with the game on the line is if we're in the 15th inning and everyone else is used up."

Actually, that seems like a better scenario for Tony Pena, Jr. than Farnsworth!

Anonymous said...

The decision to carry 12 pitchers on the roster contributed greatly to today's mess. Seven relievers provides too much of a temptation for a manager like Hillman to give pick the wrong pitcher. The one thing 12 pitchers is guaranteed to do is reduce the percentage of critical innings that are pitched by your best pitchers.

12 pitchers also means the team has almost no depth for late inning changes. Why was Jacobs playing first late in the game? If he fielded a very routine play Farnsworth wouldn't have had the chance to lose the game.

I wish Hillman would start playing every game like it mattered. I'm not calling for Meche and Greinke to start throwing 140 pitches per game, but how about using defensive replacements at first base late in the game? How about using your best relief pitcher in the 9th inning of a tie game so you have a chance to tie the game? Better yet, how about using him in the 8th inning so you have a chance to win the game. How about starting your 5th starter only when you play at least five days in a row? How about not having Ramirez be your fifth starter?

The team always seems to be holding back something for tomorrow's game, but tomorrow hasn't come around here for 24 years.

Paul White said...

I was driving home from a very nice family party at my sister's house when I heard on the radio that Farnsworth was entering the game. I immediately announced, "We just lost", and said to my wife, "It's like being thirty feet away when you see a little kid reaching for a light socket. You know exactly what's about to happen and are powerless to do anything about it."

About 60 seconds later, Kyle Farnsworth made me a prophet. I'm guessing he made a lot of people prophets today, which means that Kyle Farnsworth is, in fact, God. In other words, we're all doomed for taking his name in vain this afternoon. Repeatedly.

jonfmorse said...

I mentioned in a comment on RR last week that I think Hillman's problem is very simple, and very obvious: if a situation calling for a managerial decision isn't "stressful" then he actually shows creativity and makes good moves.

If the game's on the line and we're either desperately seeking runs or desperately trying to stop allowing baserunners? He completely loses his grip.

Brosiusjb said...

I don't think Hillman should have used Soria in the 8th, but I do think Cruz should have been allowed to pitch the 8th as well as the 7th. Over the past 2 seasons Soria has gotten used to the routine of throwing one inning. I know he was previously a starter and has completed games before, but all hs conditioning has geared toward the 3 our sprint. Its high time Hillman gets the clue that he has only 1 setup man, and that is Juan Cruz. Cruz should have been in for the 8th, hand the ball to Soria for the 9th and we skate out of town with a sweep, what could have been our third sweep of the year. Our bullpen has become suddenly less solid.

Isaac said...

I would feel so much better about today if there was at the very least some microscopic piece of logic for the moves made from the seventh inning on. I look at the moves he has made to date and really don't understand why he is still our manager. Hillman will not let Soria go 2 innings but he will let him rot on the bench for a week.

The misuse of Cruz so far has been beyond belief. Why he would use him for 2 innings in another game and then pull him after three hitters today makes no sense.

This isn't the only thing though. You can look at his playing of Bloomquist and TPJ on the same day. You can look at his putting in Bloomquist in as a defensive replacement in RF and leaving Teahen at second.

At the end of the third inning today, I said to myself, if only Davies can get through the sixth we're in great shape because we have a freshly rested bullpen and would have no problem going with Cruz and Soria to finish off 3 innings. I'm not that smart. Neither is everyone else on every board I've been on today. If it's that obvious, why doesn't Hillman get it? Why hasn't he figured it out even though this is now the third time in a short season that he has made the same mistake?

This isn't all Hillman's fault though. DM shouldn't have picked up a guy who gave up more HRs than Peralta last year for $9mil. TPJ should not be on the roster. We definitely should not have hired a guy to give Hillman advice on the bench who is actually dumber than Hillman which we all saw first hand when he IBB TPJ last year in order to pitch to Dejesus with RISP. That may be the dumbest managerial decision that I have ever seen. JoPo said he would have fired him before the end of the game if he had been the owner of the Blue Jays.

I try not to overreact and I gave him a break in his first year last year but I am now calling for Hillman's head and wont be satisfied until it happens. Due to his moronic excuse for managing, we will now have to finish 3 games in front of every other team in the division to win it. Managers aren't supposed to have that much of an effect on the game.

Will said...

I'd take John Gibbons over this.I'd take Ewell Gibbons.

Anonymous said...

We will all remember this day come Oct. when we lose the decision by 2-4 games.

Anonymous said...

Hillman is going nowhere, not this season or next. He will get three seasons to punish us. Lets hope he LEARNS. Shouldn't McLure be stopping him from these bad calls.

No Frank "Show'em what you got!" White as manager. I could not stand to feel about him, the way I feel about Hillman right now. I love Frank, and want to continue doing so.
I would hate to see my love since I was 7 (always more of a White guy, then a Brett guy) come crashing down, like it did for Mac.

Anonymous said...

I've always loved the saying, I think it is attributed to Tommy Lasorda,and I paraphrase:
"You win 50 games and lose 50 games, a good manager can win you 12 games. It's what the players do with the other 50 that count."
By my count this is 3 that Hillman has lost for us.

I keep telling myself that guys like Torre and Cox were bad the first several years.

mike k said...

I know this is overshadowed by Kyle Farmsworth, but it's amazing how good Billy Butler has become as a first baseman... Sure he might have made SOME improvement from last season, but he's a defensive GOD compared to Jacobs. This man should never touch the field again except for the batters box.

JustinG said...

Just read the kcroyals.com story and get this...Hillman said he didn't want to bring Soria in for more than one inning. Good call since he hasn't pitched in a week and KC has an off day Monday.

Hillman also said he didn't want to bring in Soria in a tie game on the road. He said he would have at home, but not on the road.

Ok, two things. First, someone please take the "book" Hillman is managing by and burn it. Trey, try managing people instead of situations.

Second, not sure how high TH's BS meter goes, but his reasoning for not bringing in Soria is some of the worst garbage I've ever heard. I had a friend in high school who was a pathological liar and always had an excuse. Hillman is starting to make him look like Honest Abe.

Anonymous said...

Several people on here have called for Hillmans firing but we have to remember that GMDM is the moron who paid for Farnsworth. I wonder if GMDM is more to blame not just for the hiring of Farnsworth but maybe he wants Hillman to use Farnsworth>?

Anonymous said...

The torture continues this Wednesday when Hor Ram is going to get a start, when his spot SHOULD BE SKIPPED, and would be by all non-brain dead managers in baseball. So we could go straight to Meche, on regular rest, but Hillman is going to have Hor Ram start? This is just beyond stupifying. Has he seen Hor Ram's last few outings? I just don't get it. And I don't think there's any way Moore will fire him.

What will it take to get Farnsworth out of his current role? What? By the way, this is the cost of the Coco-RamRam deal.

Ryan said...

Farnswooooooorth! Come into my office! Farnsworth, what is this? Accounting just brought to my attention that you're costing this company 9 miiiiiiillion dollars! 9 miiiiiiiillion dollars! FARNSworth, what do you have to say for yourself? Farnsworth? Farnsworth, quit eating your hand. Farnsworth, can you hear me? I want answers Farnsworth. Farnsworth! That's a perfectly good plant!


Good job, Dayton Moore.

Madjoemar said...

i remember a game i went to as a middle school kid... I think i was in eighth grade at the time 7 this was in 1985. the royals had just blown a lead in the seventh inning and this guy a couple rows in front of me kept yelling "Howser's a loser, Howser's a loser, Hoswer's a loser". Over and over and over. It was so loud that everybody in the section was sinking in their chair, obviously uncomfortable with the situation.

I asked my dad as we were leaving "why was that man yelling at the manager".

He explained that the man was unhappy about losing the game and he was taking his frustration out on the manager.

that was 1985.

I am not saying Trey Hillman is Dick Howser. Nor am I saying that the Royals are going to win the World Series. What I am saying is that Trey Hillman is not stupid. He's trying to make sense of the players he has at his disposal. I believe that once he figures it out things will change and adjustments will be made. Three games does not make a season.

IF the same mistake is repeated too many times then I will be the first person to stand up and yell "Hillman's a loser". But until then I am going to wear my blue and hope my freaking guts out, that our manager is learning and that he is going to make better decisions as he learns his roster.

Curtis said...

There is a key difference between taking out Aviles for Pena and taking out Jacobs for the Spork or whatever - Aviles had already had his final plate appearance. By letting Jacobs field in the eighth, you get a decent chance at another at bat from him in the top of the ninth, and, while it sucks that he booted the ball, I think going in he is more likely to help the team with the bat than hurt them with the glove.

So I don't have a problem with that. I also don't have a problem with Mahay being in for the three batters he faced. But the failure to use Soria during the eighth inning was absolute bullcrap.

Soria is our one clear cut advantage on every team in our division. We have to use him correctly, and TH has failed miserably again and again.

Curtis said...

Madjoe at 55,

I totally respect your opinion. What I would encourage you to do is go back and read the Star's story about Hillman they published the weekend before opening day. Read about how he understood that he didn't get Soria into games at the right times, almost never used him in the eighth inning, and so on. About the dozen or more games we lost in which we led or tied after seven innings in which Soria never pitched.

And then go back and walk yourself through opening day. Go back and walk through the decisions this afternoon.

We have a really good front of the rotation, and we have some power arms in the pen that can get strikeouts, and those are very good things. But we have a young, unflappable closer who has been sensational, and our manager cannot get him into games when they are on the line. This has happened over and over again, neutralizing our biggest advantage against our opponents.

How many more times can his inability to use his best asset be excused?

This team should be 9-3, and we are 7-5, and we are looking square at being a .500 team after the next two games (I am hoping as much as anyone for Ponson and Ramirez to come through, but let's just say I am not terribly confident.) despite three really awesome starts each from our three best guys. We aren't going to get stretches like this all the time - eventually Greinke is going to give up a run - and if we are .500 when everything is going great, how the hell are we going to be better?

sydhawk said...

I'd take John Gibbons over this. I'd take Ewell Gibbons.I'd take a gibbon.

Anonymous said...

anybody else hear hillman on the radio pre-game sometime last week when he had Aviles at 3B, Bloomquist in Rf, and I think Teahen at 2B??? Talking about the wet grass and backspin and frontspin on ground balls as being the reason he trotted out that ridiculous lineup? i could deal with the guy managing like a boob if he would just not say such stupid things on a daily basis.

nika said...

Is it possible to send both Farnsworth and Hillman to AAA?

1) Cruz should NOT have been taken out with 2 outs in the 7th. He splits better against lefties than righties (Mahay has opposite splits!) and is perfectly capable of going 2 innings (8th inning in this case). Why mess with a good thing, Trey?
2) Cruz, Tejeda OR Soria could've pitched the 8th. Since Cruz had been idiotically removed in the 7th, Hillman should've brought in Tejeda or even Soria. Jamey Wright, really?
3) Trey, you stink. Starting to make sense that you came from the NY STINKEES organization.

Anonymous said...

Most managers adjust their rotation to give an extra start to their best pitcher. Hillman is adjusting his rotation to give a start to his worst pitcher.

Also, Hillman said "the percentages are against you" when you use Soria in a tie game on the road. Really? Exactly what percentages are those? If he has some stats somewhere that say using Farnsworth in a tie game gives you a better chance st winning than using Soria, I'd like to see it.

Unfotunately, our weak defense on the right side of the infield put us into a position to rely on the smarts of the manager to win the game. That is our real weak spot.

Anonymous said...

Our top 3 starters have an ERA of 1.69, have struck out 65 in 58.2 innings, walked 17, and given up only 1 home run. That's pitching.

Craig said...

Rany- and I have no idea if you read all the comments- or even this far down the comment list... But what I want to know: Does DMGM talk with Hillman after a game like this and tell him that was a stupid move (or stupid lack of a move)? Can't the GM tell his manager to use the players in certain ways? Can't somebody w/in the Royals power structure above Hillman tell him to change?

Jack Jester said...

J.J. [posted on behalf GoodTimes7 ontheblack.mlblogs.com]

Before this begins I'd like to say that I don't write this as a fan of the Royals. I am a fan of the Royals and wish for them to do well, but that's not what prompted it. Also, I'm not concerned about what follows as a baseball fan. I love baseball more than anything, but that's not what has me shaken today. I write this as a fan of logic and a fan of the human species. It makes me feel more comfortable to believe that things have a purpose and a reason and that human thought has reached the point where decisions are based on past experience and consequences, even basic cost/benefit principles. I'm concerned, because it seems that none of these things apply in modern baseball management methods. And so, I'd like to share that concern with you.


I just can't take it anymore! I'm going to drive my car through the new K's glass facade with TNT strapped to my chest. Eighth inning, two outs, Royals lead, no Soria. Ninth inning, tie game, no Soria.

Farnsworth ended up giving up the game-losing HR, but you know what they say...Foresight was 20/20 on that decision. Actually more like 20/10 or 20/5 with Farnsworth. Farnsworth has been a Major Leauge pitcher since 1999 and had 616 appearance before yesterday as a track record, but as Jon Stewart once said, "You can't judge a book by its contents."

Damn, it must be because Soria's been used too much lately.

It's Sunday, he hasn't pitched since Monday (that's 5 days rest, more than these pussy starters get). He threw 15 pitches that day. He's healthy. He's the Royals best reliever. He's the Royals most dominant pitcher. He was an All-Star last year. He's one of the top 5 relievers in the American League.

No, the reason he did not enter in the eighth, according to Trey Hillman, Royals manager, allegedly a professional with extensive experience in his field is...HE DIDN'T WANT HIM TO PITCH MORE THAN ONE INNING BECAUSE HE'S HAD TOO MUCH REST! (that is his real answer [really {I'm not joking}]) Hillman thought he'd be less effective since he hasn't pitched in 6 days.

So in case you've lost track, here are the rules for using closers:

Cannot pitch more than one inning
That one inning must not be before the ninth
Cannot pitch in a tie game
Cannot pitch while team is losing
Cannot pitch while team is winning by more than 3
Cannot pitch more than two days in a row
AND cannot pitch if he has rested more than 3 days

I think that means Soria now either has to go to Omaha for a rehab assignment since it's been 6 days off in a row (and the Royals have today off), or he must retire.

This bullshit is too much to take. I can't believe that every manager has so willingly submitted to this ridiculous herd mentality of closer use. Statistical evaluation is now more a part of the game than it's ever been, and yet in spite of statistics that prove these methods of relief pitcher management have no effect at best and are idiotic at worst, they continue to follow the script and piss close or tie games away while "saving" games that are already 98% sure things (3 run leads as per that article I sent you a few weeks ago).

Not every manager is as stupid as Trey Hillman, but for frick's sake, these guys cannot outmanage me. They literally cannot perform their job any better than I could. Except for Texas manager Ron Washington who brought in his closer in a tie game in the ninth. The guy proceded to throw a scoreless inning and celebrate the walk-off HR with his teammates.

Sean said...

Farnsworth should be as much as an option to come in to a close game as TPJ would be to bat cleanup. There's nothing good that will come from it. Farnsworth should pitch Wednesday after HoRam gets killed again. For some reason, GMDM wants to see HoRam toe the rubber one more time to see he is overmatched, overpaid starter. Using Farnsworth in tight games and starting HoRam anytime, are going to be looked at as losses we could have avoided come September when they could have made a difference.

Wabbitkiller said...

Trey Hillman is actually making me miss Bob Boone. As bad as Boone was, even he wasn't stupid enough to allow Farnsworth th lose three games for him, nor would he push the rotation BACK a day to allow not just any 5th starter to pitch, but Ho-Ram to pitch. I wouldn't think it to be humanly possible to be THAT stupid if I weren't witnessing it with my own eyes.

Needless to say I'm calling for Hillman's head, effective immediately. Hell I wouldn't have allowed him to board the plane back to KC.

None of this should be a surprise however. Trey proved to be dumber than a box of rocks last year. Bearing that in mind they hired an experienced bench coach to help him out and the Royals hired...John Gibbons, the SAME John Gibbons that issued an intentional walk to TONY PENA JUNIOR so that he could pitch to David DeJesus. Brilliant move, absolutely BRILLIANT.

Anonymous said...

After a night of reflection and some sleep I've come to the conclusion that....

HILLMAN'S AN IDIOT!!!

At least w/ the screw up I won my fantasy baseball game since my opponent had Davies.

Silver lining to a very, very, very dark cloud.

Chris

Tommy Goodtimes said...

I propose a different nickname for Captain Goodnight (although that is tremendous). I like Stormy Petrel.

Just after ripping off an e-mail this morning attempting to explain the mess that is Trey Hillman's management theory to my non-KC brothers and Dad, I checked my inbox and found the Dictionary.com word of the day.

Today's word (this is true, look it up) is Stormy Petrel:

stormy petrel \STOR-mee-PET-ruhl\, noun:

1. Any of various small sea birds of the family Hydrobatidae, having
dark plumage with paler underparts; also called storm petrel.


2. One who brings discord or strife, or appears at the onset of
trouble.

Definition #2 fits so perfectly that they should make that his biography in the Royals Yearbook.

Outside Observer said...

"Farnsworth should be as much as an option to come in to a close game as TPJ would be to bat cleanup."

Thanks a bunch, Sean, now you've put the idea out there. TPJ bats cleanup before the end of the month, I'll bet...

thessel said...

d realized that if the game went in to extra innings they would miss their flight to Clevland so he brought in Kyle "Chuck and Duck" Farnsworth to make sure they were able to make it on the plane. By the way does anyone remember Kyle's brother Albie "Chuck and Duck" Lopez. When they have brought either of those brothers in they were always trying to keep a schedule.

Anonymous said...

relax, remember the old adage "momentum is only as good as the next days starting pitcher"...wait who? Sir Sydney Ponson?..sh*t

BobDD said...

some guys groove on picking the underdog, betting on the long shot, making the decision that no one else would so that when it works they look like a genius

oh my poor aching head, Hillman seems to be that guy

Anonymous said...

Hahaha, is he seriously not using the offday to skip Ho-Ram? Ha ha ha!

That's what kills me about the Royals. Even when one of their crazy decision works out (Meche for 5/$55 mill) works out, they're still too stupid to take advantage of it.

Derek said...

Ok, trying to listen to the show on my laptop, not getting any damn audio, except for the opening spiel about 810whb the power of sports and all that. Anyone else having trouble listening?

Anonymous said...

The last 5 minutes of the podcast cut out for me.

Anonymous said...

The last 5 minutes work for me, you may try downloading it.

Isaac said...

I can understand why they are using HoRam on Wednesday. Our Big 3 are already 3 starts into the season. They would have to be exhausted at this point. The extra day is a Godsend and guaranteeing a loss with HoRam v Lee is a small price to pay so they may be revived.

Hell, I'm surprised those guys are able to make it out to the mound under their own power this far into the season. Thank God we have HoRam because I don't know who we could possibly use that would come from our minor league system. We don't have anyone to bring up to provide that extra day at a time when we desperately need it.

Anonymous said...

HoRam is not starting tomorrow, Bannister is with Ramirez moving to the pen. Waechter is going on the DL.

drewfuss said...

On HoRam/Bannister/Waechter,etc:

Nobody talks up a "plan" (no matter how ill-advised), then abandons the plan after two weeks quite like the Royals!

Hope Banny does well, but if they are calling up a starter to replace Ramirez in the rotation, and letting Ramirez take Waechter's place, hasn't Hochevar earned the promotion???

They must be warming us up for John Buck as starting catcher, Soria to rotation, Jeremy Affeldt traded for and moved to rotation/bullpen/rotation, and TPJ as DH. Ugh! Clearly we still have talent issues on the bottom end of the roster (many of them self-inflicted).

Anonymous said...

And where did you read/hear that Bannister is being recalled and starting? Please don't just post your subjecture as fact without something to support it. Thanks!

Go Royals!!! C-ya, AusSteveW

Anonymous said...

Sorry if I sounded rude because now that I've checked the Royals site... you are spot on about Banny's recall. Thanks!

Go Royals!!! C-ya, AusSteveW

drewfuss said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Farnsworth hits the DL soon with "soreness" or "tightness" or "dead arm," etc.

brad said...

What else can be said? Hillman can't manage his way out of the bathroom or his own house. I have followed the Royals since 1969. Hillman is an embarrassment compared to just about any of the previous managers in 40 years! My God, will someone, anyone, call Dayton and tell him to fire the guy??? This is just plain nuts

Anonymous said...

>>>>>>"I figured Trey would outthink himself like he always does."

I don't know what he is doing but believe me, outthinking himself is not it. There is not much thinking going on.

Anonymous said...

Damnit fat Sidney!

7 point oh-4 ERA.

Banish to buffet.

Derek said...

Yep, didn't see this coming with Ponson at all(sarcasm)

hugh said...

I think that, given that he needs work, soria should have pitched the bottom of the 8th down 1 on the road tonight. It's ben over a week. Instead, cruz gives up 2 and they score 2 in the top of the 9th and lose by one. Not as egregious as sunday, and maybe odd, but after over a week, he should have pitched. Now they will likely toss him even if it's a blowout tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

at least pitching Cruz is an understandable decision, im okay with it, im not going to be a critic of what I consider good decisions, we'd all be whining if Soria came in and gave up the same home run "why does this idiot manager bring the closer in in a non save situation when he hasnt pitched in a week?" something like that

Brad said...

Hey Rany,

First time poster, long time reader.
Just wanted to let you know, I've added the podcast of your show on 810 to iTunes. I just got notification from iTunes that it has been approved and will be available in the next few hours.

I hope this makes it easier for folks to follow your show.

Keep up the great work,

Brad

Brad said...

Oops, here is the link:

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=313527336

Blake said...

Hey Brad if you wouldn't mind emailing me I have a couple questions for you.

uhlenhake@gmail.com

Paul said...

Can we start calling for Hillman's head yet?

He takes out a tiring Meche for Mahay to face Sizemore. Grady is 2-7 with a homer against Mahay. Hmmm... If the mad Texan refuses to use Soria in multi-inning save opportunity, he should go with the hottest hand. Cruz, our second best reliever, or Wright and Tejeda, two current hot hands, should prevail over Mahay, a guy with a 9+ ERA and an awful line in the matchup. Send Hillman's cocky arse back to Japan or Texas. I don't care which.

OsandRoyals said...

Well apparently your words were prescient. Soria's out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.

hugh said...

I smell cover-up. :)

Nathan said...

"Grady is 2-7 with a homer against Mahay."

You really think a 7 AB sample should dictate the choice of reliever here, rather than the platoon matchup?