Sunday, July 19, 2009

Breaking News About Soria.

(Evidently, the Royals have made it difficult to distinguish between satire and reality. So to set the record straight: the following is fiction. Some of the quotes are real, but the story is not.)

KANSAS CITY (RotR) – In a stunning and unconventional move, the Royals announced today that closer Joakim Soria had been sent home and would not pitch the remainder of the season.

“He’s too rested to pitch,” manager Trey Hillman announced prior to Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. “If he’s too rested to pitch today, then obviously we can’t pitch him today. And if he doesn’t pitch today, then he’ll be even more rested tomorrow, so he can’t pitch then either. After sitting down and doing the math, we realized that if you extend this line of reasoning into the future, that Soria will be too rested to pitch for every game the rest of the season. So we felt it was best to send Soria home and have him rest up for next year.”

Hillman indicated that the problem with Soria began on Friday night, when he was available to get three outs, but too rested to get four outs. Then on Saturday, Soria was available to get four outs, but too rested to get five outs. Hillman defended the apparent contradiction, saying, “I’m not going to bang my head against the wall defending things I do or do not do in trying to educate the masses about things that, quite frankly, I can’t educate. There’s just too much.”

By today, with Soria’s rest having extended to seven full days, the Royals acknowledged that even using him for one inning would be dangerous. “I’m not going to push our closer,” Hillman explained. “I have to save that for Gil Meche.”

When asked to clarify, Hillman said, “I’m not going to sell my soul to the devil for a guy who has already had two major arm injuries (in his career). Now, a guy who missed two entire seasons with a shoulder injury, and who has had back problems all year – that’s okay. It’s a scientific fact that high pitch counts are the best treatment for back problems – I got that straight from my medical staff. But you can’t ask a guy who had Tommy John surgery five years ago to get five outs in a game.”

“Well,” Hillman continued, “unless the game is in Minnesota and he hasn’t pitched in ten days and he was just complaining of a sore shoulder a few days before. But this time, Soria said his arm feels great. Obviously, we can’t take any chances with that.”

“I’m as frustrated as any fan that we have,” Hillman added. “We’re all frustrated. The bottom line is somebody has to get the job done in crunch time so our closer doesn’t have to go out there and get five or six outs. Or, really, go out there at all.”

Soria has returned to his native Mexico, where he will rest his arm in anticipation for spring training. “Don’t worry,” general manager Dayton Moore reassured. “We’re going to work day and night over the next seven months on a way out of this paradox, so that we can find a way for Soria to pitch for us next year. I’ve got two sabermetricians on staff working on this right now.”

Hillman ended on a positive note. “I think we’ll hardly miss not having Soria around to pitch the ninth,” he said. “The way our bullpen has been pitching, it’s not like there are going to be any ninth-inning leads to protect anyway.”

93 comments:

KCSportsPodcast.com said...

I see the point of this article and I'm all cracking jokes, but it's not as funny when the Royals blow 2 consecutive leads in the late innings to start the second half. It's pretty sad if you think about it. Maybe you need a Royals time out?

Mike said...

Funny mog post (mock blog post) Rany... I hope Tom Watson wins this golf tournament.

What is the dermatology equivalent of leading the British Open after three rounds 2 months short of turning 60?

Sneaky Pete said...

This is the side of you that I don't really like. You tried to be funny and it just didn't work.

Just as you are ready to give up on the Royals, I am ready to give up on you. Your posts have until recently been informative and fairly objective. Your spat with the Royals has affected your writing and I just don't find it enjoyable.

I consider myself to be a true Royals fan. I will never even consider quitting on this team like you have. No one individual--GM, manager, SS, owner--is bigger than the team.

P.S. Note to Royals fans. Please don't boo Yuniesky Betancourt. He is an innocent victim of this backlash. He did nothing other than get traded. He is simply doing what he can control, which is play baseball. If he pulls a TPJ and sucks, boo away. But please don't take out your frustrations on the wrong person.

Anonymous said...

Sneaky Pete, if you can't take the heat then get out of the kitchen. If you can't see the humor in the situation and the obvious ineptitude in Trey Hillman's bullpen management then the only person with a problem is you.

gbewing said...

It's pisses me off that clearly the Royals are spinning now (in political sense) and there is a memo somewhere saying, "Blame the injuries...w/o blaming the injuruies" From Glass-Moore-Hillman and lackey Ryan Lefebvre they all this week blamed the injures (always adding "not to make an excuse" then make an excuse"

Are the Angels blaming the injuries when their entire rotation went down? How does Jacobs and Guillen and HoRam and Ponson et all have to do with injuries and yes boys how much have they helped create the injuries? Still hasn't been answered. Do not let these clowns get away with this excuse.

Say no to Faith based managing and free Kila!

Brad said...

From espn.com's recap of Saturday night's game:

Royals manager Trey Hillman, drawing increasing fire from fans for the way he uses pitchers, elected for the second night in a row to keep Cruz in the game in the eighth and refused to bring former All-Star closer Joakim Soria into the game before the ninth.

"I want Soria in the game, too. But I'm not going to sell my soul to the devil for a guy [Soria] that's already had two major injuries," he said. "I'm not going run the risk of injuring Soria when the rest of the bullpen on any given day quite frankly has been shaky."

The bullpen has been shaky, so he's not going to bring in his best reliever...with the game on the line?

You couldn't make this stuff up, Rany just took it and ran with it! Good stuff!

Anonymous said...

I wish they had brought in Soria as well. Rany, going today's game as well? I really enjoy your writing on the Royals and appreciate the time you put into it. Wish I could have joined the group.

Greg

D.W. said...

So is Sneaky Pete related to Hillman, Moore, or the Glasses? Or Nick Swartz?

Anonymous said...

I am beginning to grow weary of defending the Moore/Hillman regime. I want to give them time to turn this around, but this season has allowed major doubt to creep in.

As a lifelong Kansas Citian, I'm not going anywhere as long as we've got a team, but Moore better quickly turn this ship around or I fear that things are going to turn real ugly for the future of professional baseball in Kansas City.

Home Run Tony Cogan

sw said...

Hilarious stuff, Rany. Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.

F.W. said...

Rany, keep doing what you do. I enjoy reading you in good times and bad. It's nice to know the world isn't full of idiot sports fans. And it's even nicer to know that one of those non-idiots has a platform to voice their opinion to the masses of mouth breathers.

Anonymous said...

To gbewing - I wouldn't say Ryan Levebre is a 'lackey'. You can tell from his inflection that he is disgusted with the decisions Hillman is making (or not making). My bet is that each day before he goes on the air he has to tell himself;'Keep your mouth shut and keep your job. Keep your mouth shut and keep your job.'

chjohn said...

and now Meche goes on the DL, but it has nothing to do with the excessive pitch counts.

Would have been nice to put him on the DL DURING the all star break, instead of right after it.

IDIOTS

Sneaky Pete said...

I feel like Rany has allowed his emotions to take over his usually outstanding work. I find it unfortunate posts are being written this way because it comes across as petty and juvenile. I say this because I think Rany is better than that.

ChaimMKeller said...

Rany, has twitter threatened to fine you if the "ranyban" channel stays too inactive? Seriously, I appreciate a sarcastic joke as much as anyone, but after actually butting heads with real Royals employees, and then writing an introspective column and re-committing yourself to your budding radio career, this seems like an odd direction for the blog.

chjohn said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this a duplicate post? I seem to remember the same idea in April when the Royals were hiding Soria's injury.

I'm with Sneaky Pete. Lifelong Royals fan. Lets get back to actual baseball. Nothing will make me quit this team. It's a long process, and Moore WILL turn this around. It's been so bad, it's not a 3-4 year fix. Get over it.

Unknown Royals Fan said...

I think it's time to consider the possibility that Trey Hillman is mentally retarded. Mistakes are caused by inexperience; failing to learn from those mistakes is caused by a lack of intelligence. I sympathize. You guys have to remember that Rany came all the way from Chicago to see that abortion last night (I was there too, but didn't get to meet him, sorry), and to watch a perfectly winnable game thrown away by a smug idiot is just too much punishment.

Last night's entry was most likely the last for my own blog until something major changes.

chjohn said...

Somewhere in Kansas City, bloggers and their minions are smarter than major league managers.

Believe it or not, these guys know what they are doing. Look at this roster. Casey Stengel couldn't do much with this bunch.

Until Glass gets serious about baseball, this is what we get. We could have guys like Porcello and Wieters (we need a catcher, dont we?) but were scared off by their demands. If we are serious about the draft, we cannot be scared off by high dollar low risk guys.

Jeremy said...

I had the same thoughts that Rany verbalized when I was watching the game, and especially when reading Hillman's comments on Soria. Hillman seems increasingly conflicted about when to ride a guy and when to rest him, that he just can't make up his mind anymore.

Before the Rays opener, I would've been behind Hillman using Cruz in the 8th to protect a lead. After blowing the first game, there's no defending leaving Soria in the pen last night.

I think Hillman was trying to be accountable for that, but he's not sure how to say it.

If Hillman had said he was trying to build confidence in Cruz by letting him finish the 8th, I would've been on board. But waffling whether Soria can handle one extra out doesn't make any sense at all.

AxDxMx said...

chjohn: They backdated Meche on the DL to the last time he pitched. That is possible to do. The fact that they waited til after the All Star break just meant they weren't sure it was needed, and/or they didn't need to make a move.

Rany, GREAT post! I was thinking the same thing myself. If these situations don't beg for a completely rested Soria, what situation does?

Anonymous said...

pertinent and funny post by Rany. Yet, lost within the cleverness is the general principle that hopefully we have a manager/GM/medical staff that does everything possible to keep every pitcher healthy, including Soria. I can see Hillman's point, totally. Soria is other than a well-conditioned athlete. He just had a break over which he probably did nothing at all, increasing the injury risk from the slightest overuse. Given the other factors I accept Hillman's explanation for refusing to pitch Soria two innnings. That Hillman is unable to conceptualize his bullpen, find a way to effectively use his best reliever, or provide an explanation of what he "is doing with his bull pen" instead of a scattered and nit picky defense, etc. etc. etc. are different matters.

Clint said...

some people don't like this post from you.

i think it's one of your best.

i love the Royals and always will (as an organization)

but lately i keep rooting for them to lose. let's see just how ugly this thing can get.

it's not like i know what rooting for a winning baseball team looks like anyway. I've never been alive when this team made the playoffs.

that is so beyond pathetic it's not funny, so seriously, let's see how bad this team can play!

Steve said...

If you have one of the best relief pitchers in baseball, one with a sub 2 ERA, and the rest of your bullpen is 4.40 and worse, why not use the guy who is good all you can? If he's injured, say so and put him on the DL. The Royals are a Mickey Mouse organization, compared to the rest of baseball. They have Donald Duck as manager, Scrooge McDuck as owner, Goofy as GM, and so on.

Jason said...

Awesome.

Keep fighting the good fight Rany.

For you true blue fans, how long can you let this team spit on your cupcake and tell you it's frosting?

Anonymous said...

Satire is often the best way to expose the truth. The Onion does this on a regular basis. Not sure if you're at that level, but it's a good post. The people who don't get it are too blinded to be objective. It almost seems like victories have to be achieved in spite of the organization's best efforts...Hopefully Zack is able to shrug these off and maintain his excellence. I read the Mellinger article today in the Star in which Dayton confirms that not only is Hillman going to stick around for the rest of this year, but also all of next year. He also likens Hillman to LaRussa, Torre, and Cox. It's almost as if Hillman has blackmail material on Moore at this point. What identifiable evidence does anybody have that the Royals have improved under the Hillman regime? I can't think of one area of the game that we do well, or that we've improved over time (with the possible exception of starting pitching - but given the way Hillman handles the staff, it often seems that this happens in spite of him). Our situational hitting is terrible. Our baserunning is the worst in baseball (by a long shot - Posnanski has referenced this in detail on his blog). Our fielding is awful. Our bullpen is a mess. We don't get on base, we don't hit for power, our best players have been misused and placed on the DL (in some cases, with potential career altering injuries). How, under all of this, can a GM not only give a guarantee of job security to the manager (not just for this year but also for all of NEXT year) but also start comparing his manager to the most successful managers in the game. How stupid does he think the fanbase and local media are?

gbewing said...

Also Hillman needs to be challenged on his statements that Soria is coming off 2 major injuries. Were not Hillman and Moore on record that Soria was not really hurt it was in his mind-something Soria had to work through> Now he's losing and Soria had a MAJOR arm injury. can't have it both ways and now revisionist fans can argue that Soria was seriously hurt because if that's the truth a lot of people owe Rany an apology. Another situation were mainstream media are asleep and not asking hard questions challenging remarks like this.
So Sabr Trey
Were you lying then or are you lying now? (and brainiac you used Soria for a 8th ing save before the AS break and you had a 4 out save situation Friday night-pay attention)

RickMcKC said...

I'm ok with not wanting to use Soria for more than a 4-out save. But if our best pitcher has only four outs in him at a time, how about applying that energy to the most critical outs to that point in the game: leading in the 8th inning with a man or two on base?

Then, if you must, take him out with one out or two in the 9th.

The strategy we consistently employ with our best reliever is one of a team with a half-way decent bullpen. We don't have that, therefore, we cannot use the same strategy.

Anonymous said...

5 outs to go and don't bring out your well-rested closer to avoid the sweep and stop the 5 game skid. Must type this fast before Bale and whoever else melts down and gives away the game.

Anonymous said...

Soria = Hillmanese for "Use only in event of 9th inning lead."

Todd said...

Just in case Rany needed another example of the non use of Soria, Wright and Bale just combined to blow another lead in the 8th.

Seriously Rany, did the send Soria home?

D said...

Soria is/was as rested as he has been all year and there were two games in a row where it would have been of great help to have him go 4 or 5 outs. If he can't go more than an inning now when he is as rested as he will ever be this season then Hillman should just tell us that Soria cannot go more than 3 outs - ever.

Then we won't have to speculate and Hillman will be allowed to mismanage his bullpen without us having to worry about when Soria can come into the game.

D said...

Check that - 3 games in a row.

Marmot said...

In March you told us all our bullpen problems were solved with Juan Cruz. That we now had one of the best bullpens in baseball...kind of a Jim Cramer moment for you Rany.

When one of the best bullpens in baseball can't get anyone out, of course the manager looks dumb. Soria can't get every stinking out after the 6th inning. You've got to make realistic assessments of how many outs/pitches the man has in him and you surely have to stick with that pre-game assessment. You don't go risking his long term health in order to win 66 games vice 65.

The real issue here is that the Royals like every team in baseball need a pitcher or pitchers to bridge from the starter to their closer. They, unlike the rest of MLB appear to have no one remotely capable of doing that. Extending Soria solves that issue for 1 day only.

Bob McWilliams said...

Terrific post, Rany. Satire at its best.

Rob said...

Hilarious. Watching the Royals lose close games is easier to take when there's good reading like this to look forward to.

Rany, I think that I probably would have stopped paying attention to the Royals already if it weren't for you and other Royals bloggers. I will always be a Royals fan even though the front office makes me sick and Hillman is a moron. Thanks for your great writing during these tough times.

Brad said...

Basically it comes down to this: If Soria is healthy, you use him. If he is hurt to the extent that Trey Hillman is reluctant to put him in the situations that Soria is supposed to be pitching in, you come out and say he's hurt and place him on the Disabled List. If the Royals are being careful with him, come out and say we're being careful with him and will only pitch him an inning at a time for the forseeable future. Whatever the case may be, he's sitting, well-rested, in the bullpen while the Royals blow a slim lead in the 8th inning in THREE STRAIGHT GAMES. The fans see that and wonder why their best relief pitcher is not being used in the situations that he's supposed to be used in and they, we!, get very discouraged. I think we have a good bullpen, Cruz is in a slump lately and clearly the others aren't picking up that slack right now and Soria isn't being used at all.

skeptic said...

Hillman's troubling traits:

1. Fails to recognize his mistakes.

2. Defends obviously flawed thinking instead of taking responsibility.

3. Contradicts himself when asked about his reasoning.

4. Always looking to play it safe.

Casper said...

More interesting to me nowadays than the latest Royals folly is the emerging divergence within the fanbase this season. Half of the fanbase seems to be more "critical thinking" types - very critical (sometimes constructively, sometimes now), and analytical - and the other half seems to be more "faith-based" types - fans so loyal to the Royals that get up in arms over the slightest criticism from the other side of the aisle; they're of the mindset that you don't criticize something you love - you support it unconditionally and without question. I see value in both sides, and I think that both sides are necessary, for various reasons. But it looks like we could end up more divided than united if the two sides don't at least ATTEMPT to see value in the other side. Right now, it's Rany and his cronies ripping things apart with satire and number crunching, and then it's Sneak Pete and the like who become Betancourts biggest fan merely for the sake of donning Royals blue (very odd to me, btw - but also very very admirable; I mean, now THAT'S being a fan). Anyway, no real point, just kind of wondering if anyone else has noticed how we're fighting for the same thing but that we're also fighting with each other on how to do it.

Casper said...

Left a couple typing errors in there, sorry.

Chris said...

The thing that I hate is the whole idea about how many outs a reliever can get. Wouldn't it be more important to track the NUMBER of pitches thrown than how many outs they are trying to get. One pitcher may get four outs and only throw 20 pitches while another gets three outs but throws 40 pitches. Which is potentially more hurtful to the arm? If they want to keep Soria to a strict pitch count I can see it but to not put him in at all because the number of outs he is trying to get is so stupid its beyond belief.

Hillman needs to go soon but he wont.

Calif Fan said...

I have been following baseball in KC since I was five years old in 1950, and I think today is the most frustrated I have ever been. How ANYONE with an IQ over 75 could have failed, in light of the games Friday and Sat., to put in Soria --with two on and one out in the eighth -- for a potential five out save today is simply beyond me. How many train wrecks do you have to witness before bringing in a decent engineer? Also, the total incompetence of the bullpen (to say nothing of Chen, Ponson, Guillen, Jacobs, Olivo, Buck, and the like) is literally beyond belief. There has to be some way to express that this is unacceptable: maybe a day when the fans just say no and don't show up to watch this joke of a franchise. There is a point at which being a fan is not "fun" in the least, and the Royals are well past it.

Will said...

This season just keeps getting better. May Hillman & Moore run this team for all time!

jonfmorse said...

Here's the thing I don't comprehend, and I don't see enough people -- even analytical types -- pointing it out, at least not in clear terms anyone should be able to understand.

You've got two on with one out in the 8th. Your choices, on a very basic and simplistic level, are the following:

a) Hope that a lesser pitcher can get out of the jam, so that your best pitcher can come out to face nobody on and nobody out in the 9th, or

b) Use your best pitcher to get out of the jam, and hope that a lesser pitcher can manage to get through the ninth unscathed while, you know, not trying to quell an already-started rally, since he gets to start with nobody on.

Anyone who thinks "a" is the more intelligent option is a moron. It's that situation where you ALREADY have two runners on and need two outs where you need your "closer." This idiotic mindset that you need a Soria to come out and get through a clean inning is just mind-boggling. You need him to shut down the RALLY.

Anonymous said...

Lame. I get the point - I even agree with it, but it's just the same joke over and over. And it's not even that good of a joke to start with. That some people actually consider it "Hilarious satire" goes a long way to explaining how all those shiity sitcoms stay on the air season after season

Anonymous said...

For those that think Rany's attempt at humor fell flat... some of those are direct quotes from Hillman. If you haven't seen the quotes from their original sources yet you might have trouble identifying the real ones from the fake ones. That's how stupid Trey Hillman is.

Anonymous said...

Well done, Rany!

heresaguywithablog said...

.427 winning percentage in two seasons, can't manage a pitching staff to save his life, what's a general manager to do?

Keep'em around for another season. Woo-hoo.

Anonymous said...

Yep we are a sad bunch. It just brings the city down every year to see this. We are hopeful fans who have that taken away from us every year. If we lost but got better over time that would show improvement. We build a stadium a stadium with a small Royals Hall of Fame for a reason. Who else can we put in there. Looks like no one because it's a team sport and we do not have a team. We celebrate great teams with players that made the team amazing. We have one fine pitcher and the rest are people in uniform. I still root for the Royals but donated my season tickets to the United Way after this weeks of poor poor baseball.

Fast Eddie said...

I see the Royals are thinking about bringing Jacobs back because they think this season may just be an off year. This will keep Kila in AAA, or he'll be given away. Also, does anyone think that Chen pitching in the Saturday game means that he won't start Tuesday? Maybe Soria moves to the rotation! (Joke)

Mark said...

Great Blog Rany,

Last night and today(Sunday) seem to me to be about the offense. Billy Butler,the doubles machine, is being wasted. Really I wouldn't mind if they traded Butler, Meche or Soria. A prediction: Meche's contract will go from being expensive to a modest bargain to being expensive again. This has more to do with the economy then his performance or his health but they both could lead to a severe downturn in Meche.Com. Since there is nothing to close, I wouldn't mind sending a search party after Soria and Butler(seen in the vicinity of second base) and finding out what they could bring in the open market. I hope you can get around to looking at more plausible trade deadline moves the Royals can make. The only guy that really stands out to me is Teahen.

Jeffrey said...

You're killing me Rany! You should write for The Onion!

Antonio said...

This weekend was beyond belief. Soria doesn't pitch in any of three consecutive save situations?! I'm torn between total frustration and basically hoping the Royals continue to go down the toilet this year so that maybe Hillman and Moore can at least begin to consider they're not perfect.

In the meantime I'm afraid we'll ultimately lose Greinke. How long can he put up with the constant losing?

Anonymous said...

tired of your whining. thought you were not going to be a royals fan anymore. whiiiiiiiine.

Dave said...

Soria came into the 8th against Boston, right? Literally one series ago.

It's honest to god amazing that nobody even bothers to stop and consider that maybe, just maaaaaybe, Soria said something afterwards. Especially considering he wasn't terribly sharp in his next outing.

And, of course, considering that last time everyone freaked out about Soria not being used, we now know there was a reason for it.

You know what a funny parody post would be? One where someone actually stops and thinks for a change.

Isaac said...

After last night's game, I said one thing was for certain. This thing was that Soria must, regardless of the score, pitch today. Does this seem frighteningly similar to an earlier time this season when Soria went from April 14th to May 2nd appearing in only one game. He was on the DL within a week.

I think that statistics show that the longer a closer has to rest in between outings, the worse he will do in that second outing. It is my belief that a closer should not go any longer than 5 days in between appearances. After this weekend, in which he was needed in each and every game, he has now gone 8 days between appearances which is ridiculous.

Hillman, in a recent article mentioned that the common fan doesn't know everything that goes into the managing of a ballclub and that he doesn't have the time to teach it to everyone.

I don't have a clue about everything that goes into the managing of a team but I do know a couple of things. There are a few things that are included in the basics of a winning team. These are things that not only I, but DM and Hillman agree with as well. These are the ideas of OBP, fundamentals, and some power in the lineup. These are things that DM and Hillman have mentioned many times and yet we are the worst in each area.

What I don't understand is how someone can sit there and tell us that he doesn't have the time to teach us the particulars of managing a ballclub yet, at the same time, appear to have no understanding of some of the most basic elements of a winning ball club.

I find it incredibly ironic in the worst of ways that the reason that Hillman does not use Soria more than an inning now is because he didn't use him enough before and that this new philosophy of non-use with Soria may just send him to the DL once again.

The Husband said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Husband said...

Why is everyone so caught up with how many "outs" and "innings" Soria is able work - as if said variables directly correlate to X NUMBER OF PITCHES THROWN? It is entirely possible for Soria to get 2 outs on 8-15 pitches. Would it not be easier for Hillman to insert Soria in a high-risk situation in the 8th with a 20-30 pitch cap to run out the game? I don't recall a rule that actually requires your "closer" to get the last out of the game!!! Middle Reliever X could close out the game if need be after Soria's cap had been met. To summarize: PUT YOUR BEST AVAILABLE PITCHER IN THE RISKIEST SITUATION TO GET THE OUTS NEEDED!!!
DAMN!!!

Anonymous said...

right on, rany

Anonymous said...

We have alot of nice likeable guys... Could use some more talent, though.

Anonymous said...

Do you think Zack has already talked to either his agent or a priest to see if he can have his contract extension annulled?

rey rey said...

rumors flying via Twitter about something 'big' coming. JoPo and Teahan both metnioned it tonight...fyi

Stephen said...

I'm kinda on the fence with the latest post. I had a laugh about it originally but then thought a bit and decided this one may be beyond the pale.

It could also be that I don't like things thrown into my face.

Or maybe, can't face the truth.

I finally came to the conclusion that the royals management is on crisis control right now.

The Bettancourt aquisition is unexcusable but I think they felt the had to do "something".

The kid had serous talent but he got the money injury. He got a lot of it early and caught the fat and happy bug.

Can that be turned around, maybe.. but it's a stretch...

I'm not so rough on the Soria treatment. I do think we may have won two of three from tampa this weekend if he would have pitched but also think it's a product of that crisis control I mentioned earlier.

If they blow up his arm.. the sacking of Rome would look serene comapared to the backlash.

Charles said...

Wow!

Went to the game Friday with my step-father (the man who really turned me on to baseball) and my nephew (the kid I took to more Royals games than anyone until I got my son).

My nephew quit being a Royals fan about when Rob Neyer did. My stepdad is a fan but he no longer gets upset (he just laughs). Last week I posted an "I QUIT" in reaction to the Betancourt acquisition.

I am bald, which is good, because Friday would have left me that way. I have never agreed with the one-inning closer rule - but when LaRussa went to it in 1988 the A's had tons of 9th inning leads and the Eck would pitch about 65 times a year. Rivera pitched about 70 times a year for the Yankees... It's understandable (if still probably wrong) in these situations. But the Royals? I mean we have maybe 20 1-run leads in the 8th all year - so we get them all weekend and Hillman never learns....

By Sunday I was no longer watching any of this - but I laughed my ASS off when I heard. I laughed even harder when I heard Hillman would be back next year.

There is NO POINT in being a fan of this team. They hate their fans. I could never root for another (as my nephew and son have); I was here during the 70s and 80s - and I never knew how freaking good I had it.

Take the Royals as comedy. You just can't fix stupid!

Heath said...

Fire Dayton! Fire Trey!

Anonymous said...

For those that thought Kila from Omaha was a good one to bring up, he is hitting around 260 with 13 HRs and about 70 Ks in 300 ABs. I don't think that will translate into anything magnificent at the major league level. I would love him to regain his power of last year but so far, it hasn't happened.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts -

1. Hillman = Bob Boone with a dryer personality?

2. Moore = Baird with a bigger budget?

Hillman seems like a classic over-thinker/tinkerer (we need Flanagan back with a Trey-dometer).

Moore seems to be cut from the same uber-scouting cloth as Baird, but has a bigger/better organization at his disposal.

Anyway, it just seems like we are reliving the past with different names/faces.

And, speaking of Baird, I wish somebody would get an interview in print or on the radio and let him talk about Greinke and some of his other players... I met him once, and he was amazingly nice, and it would be nice to hear him talk about some of his successes and challenges in KC... maybe I've just missed it, but this would seem right up Petro's alley.

Fast Eddie said...

Ka'aihue also has 69 walks. The Royals leader is still Crisp with 29.

Sneaky Pete said...

(I got that it was satire. I still didn't think it was funny.)

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that everyone is forgetting one possible cause of Soria's injury this year....

His pitching (or lack thereof) in the World Baseball Classic. Soria did not get hurt because he pitched too much. He got hurt because instead of his normal Spring Training routine, he pitched something like 2 innings in 20 days. By the time the season started he was not prepared to face the rigors of trying to close in the big leagues.

I don't bring this up to bash the WBC, rather, I want to point out that the overuse of Soria is not what hurt him. The Mexicutioner now seemingly is back and fully healthy. I don't think there's much of a risk here in stretching him. And to bring up the Tommy John surgery that happened seven years ago as an excuse is ridiculous.

There's no reason Hillman can't use Soria for 5 outs. Especially since he said he would use him for 4. For a guy like Soria, that diffence could be as small as 3 pitches. Your telling me the reason we lost all three games this weekend is because if Soria pitched 3-10 more pitches he'd blow out his arm? That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. And it's the dumbest excuse possible that Hillman could have come up wtih.

Mario

Anonymous said...

Great blog Rany- keep up the good work!
Hillman and Moore are completely incompetent. When Hillman got hired he said he would stress fundamentals over and over. Yet, after 2 years we are still the worst fundamentally sound team ever.

Anonymous said...

Rany... you've become so very negative lately. I used to enjoy reading your blog. Now it puts me on nerve. This post just makes it that much easier to cut the cord. I used to read your blog to learn about statistical analysis and how it can be used to improve a baseball team. Now all I get from it are mean spirited rants and childish jokes. For nearly 20 years the Royals have been the joke. Now it seems that they've helped turn you into one as well.

Jack Ireland said...

I know my comment is going to fold into the many that are here, but Rany...keep up the good work. For years, I've followed the team that I've grown up with from afar, I haven't been to a game in probably 10+years, being left with the analysis that trickles out of KC to the press at large (which is about as much as trying to describe a beach by analyzing a teaspoon of sand). Dear lord, what has happened to my (our) team?! And when do you see changes coming? Is there any talk about firing Moore or Hillman, or trading Betancourt away for a better/younger player? Doesn't anyone do platooning any longer? It used to be that if you have a player in one position, you had two or three others who were trained to play that position if the first guy took a dive/got injured/etc. See: Casey Stengel (I think in my frame of mind, he was the master of the practice).

So how about a post on how, in your opinion, the Royals can right the ship, and could you take it from the front office all the way down to the lowest position one can hold in the organization? Because if something is failing, it's not just the weakest link, it's the entire machine that is the problem...so how about a post with some solutions?

Cody said...

The incompetence continues, Meche on the dl, gee I wonder why? If you can't use Soria in one of these 3 games when are you going to use him. I could understand not going to him on Friday night and maybe even Saturday but after what happended on those 2 nights there is no excuse for the "Mustache" to not go to him yesterday. Are we trying to win baseball games or not? Was it an illusion or did I see Miguel Olivo walk 3 times in his last 3 games and Mike Jacobs take 3 walks in 1 game (is Seitzer getting to them - I'm sure it was a fluke!!)

Wabbitkiller said...

jonfmorse stated it perfectly. I've NEVER understood why managers save their best bullpen arm for a clean 9th inning as opposed to using them when the team is in a sticky situation. Tony LaRussa is the brainchild that came up with this rediculously stupid idea, and everyone else stupidly and blindly followed suit.

Anonymous said...

Gossage, Sutter, and Fingers used to get three INNING saves. Spahn and Gibson would pitch 12 inning complete games. These players need to grow some nads and get out there and compete. If a pitcher is too fragile to get four outs instead of three, I question either his health or his desire.

kcghost said...

Anybody defending the duo of Dayton Hillman simply has gone off the pollyanna deep end. Yes, some things have went wrong that should have. The bullpen should have been a strength not a disaster. We have had some injuries, but who hasn't??

This duo seems perfectly at home with supplying lip service responses that are factually untrue and they get very offended on the rare occasions when the local media calls them on it.

Of course, it's not Yuniesky's fault here's anymore than it was TPJ's, but it is the only way we have of communicating with an oblivious GM.

chjohn said...

And, speaking of Baird, I wish somebody would get an interview in print or on the radio and let him talk about Greinke and some of his other players... I met him once, and he was amazingly nice, and it would be nice to hear him talk about some of his successes and challenges in KC... maybe I've just missed it, but this would seem right up Petro's alley.
====================
You missed it. He was on 810 two weeks ago. Good interview. St John had him on.

Here is the link.

http://www.stationcaster.com/player.php?s=26&c=374&f=29714

Grain of Salt said...

Top 5 Songs on Hillman's Ipod... or Walkman... or whatever:
5. "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word" - Elton John
4. "Run to the Hills" - Iron Maiden
3. "Lies" - Fleetwood Mac
2. "Being With You" - Smokey Robinson
1. "My Way or the Highway" - Limp Bizkit

FAst Eddie said...

Since they're not using him, maybe the Royals can trade Soria to the Reds for Willy Taveras, who could "solve" their leadoff man and center field problem. Taveras fits right in with KC. His OPS is under .600.

jjf3 said...

Come on, fast eddie, you miss the best part:

he's a "natural-born leadoff hitter" (say it with a southern twang for best effect) with an OBP under .300 last time I looked...

Matt Berger said...

Rany, I'm sure you realize that you will now likely never get a credential, posts like this is what will cause the Royals to hate you. More importantly however, it might embarass the Royals to an extent where their hand is forced. Where they become desperate to get better and maybe even try giving sabermetrics a more prominent place in player development and acquisition. If you realize how unpopular you are becoming with the front office and the powers that be, and continue to right unabashedly, you just might help turn this thing around.

Tony said...

Off topic, but I made a slideshow from the pictures I took at Fridays Old Timers game

http://thesedatedapepics.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/royals-hall-of-fame-classic-old-timers-game/


Some of them turned out pretty good

Shelby said...

Whoa!


Guillen lets loose:

http://www.kansascity.com/sports/royals/story/1336851.html

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the Royals to use the first or second pick on some high school kid no one has heard of, let him spend 6 years in the minors "developing", then bring him up to hit .240 in the majors. It's the Royals' way.

Alan said...

I wish I had read this a little sooner.

On Saturday, after imbibing a couple frosty brews, the 8th inning rolled around and looked eerily similar to friday. I leaned over to my friend and said, "what would you do in this situation . . ." before allowing him to answer I said, "I'd put Cruz back in and see if he can't correct what he did yesterday."

I'm not sure whether or not I was joking, but the fact that Hillman managed to read the mind of beer drinking fan is unsettling. . . .


Also, I loved this post Rany. It reminded me of firejoemorgan.com. Not completely, but it was in the same vein. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it was a great blog which used stats, or logic, or both, to mock as many idiotic sports articles as possible. (also one of the writers of the blog was a writer for the office)

http://www.firejoemorgan.com/2008_02_01_archive.html One of my favorite articles from this blog is in this archive. 2-18-08 "This is what we're up against"

While I don't think you should start the new firejoemorgan site, this was fun to read. Thanks!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. My friend and I also went over to section 246. During the break between the 7th and the 8th, we walked around the section yelling your name. To no avail. It would have been great to meet you. Much love Rany!

PS while I wrote this, the royals just let Aybar hit a 3 run triple . . . oh and now they're getting booed for giving up a double scoring aybar. . . . Royals are about to lose Game 2 of the double-header.

Go Royals!

skeptic said...

Situation: Bases loaded, no outs, down by 1 run in the 7th inning during the second game of a doubleheader.

You've lost 7 in a row and your bullpen is totally ineffective. A bad pitch and you're out of the game. A well pitched inning and you still have a chance. Your best reliever hasn't pitched in over a week and you've already announced that he'll pitch today no matter what.

Isn't that a perfect time to get Soria into the game?

Not according to Trey Hillman. Soria is used in a mop-up roll in the 9th after getting down by 8 runs.

Eric said...

Here's a fun little nugget for y'all - the following players were all released or sent to the minors today:

Emil Brown
Joel Peralta
Brett Tomko

Sounds like three major league teams all improved themselves today.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else notice that Eric Hosmer suddenly has a stat line on the Wilmington Blue Rocks roster? Has he really been promoted from Burlington?

aerobica said...

Last year, a 12 games losing streak begins by being shut-out (no hit) by John Lester.

This year, a WHO KNOWS HOW LONG game losing streak begins by being shut-out by John Lester.

Anonymous said...

yes, hosmer got promoted to wilmington (with moustakas)... he was only hitting .250-ish but hopefully he's ready to move up.

Chance said...

I prefer the spot-on statistical analysis over the satire, but in any event, it was entertaining. What else can Rany do with ths team? Another post on how deluded the Royals management is?

I don't think that anyone would be this upset except that the Royals got off to a hot start, and we had hope for the first time in years. The process of building a winning organization is long and necessarily painful. No one expected the Royals to contend, and they are not. Does it really matter if we lose 85 games or 105? NO IT DOES NOT. Sell out for Greinke starts, let the minor leaguers develop, and bide our time in the cellar. I will continue support GMDM (not so sure about Hillman) and patiently wait for 2011.

Alan said...

Chance. . . .Really? You wouldn't be upset if we hadn't got off to the hot start?

Since the hot start we've had a winning percentage of 27. . . . If we hadn't had that hot start and played the way we've played for the last 64 games, we'd have about 25 wins.

If we didn't have hot start and kept the 27% winning percentage all season, (which I don't see why we wouldn't given their recent ineptitude) we would have 44ish wins. You wouldn't be upset!?!?!?!?!

The only thing keeping us from being completely abysmal was the hot start, and it's going to take a miracle for us not to get to a 100 loss season as it is.. . . .

YOU WOULDN'T BE UPSET!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Who are you?

Rusty said...

In the Royals' last eight games -- all losses -- they've had two blowouts but the other six were winnable...

Soria was only allowed to pitch twice. In the two blowouts.