Monday, July 16, 2007

Couple of quickies

1) WHY THE HELL IS EMIL BROWN ON A MAJOR LEAGUE TEAM? If you watched tonight's game, you saw Emil, once again thinking he is a H.O.F. left fielder, half-assedly drop a fly ball while basically standing still. A major league baseball player should NEVER, NEVER EVER not make that play. Most MLB players should be able to freaking make a bare-handed catch of that ball.

2) Joey Gathright was optioned to AAA today. I understand the logic in bringing up Reggie Sanders for a couple weeks to increase his trade value, and then trade him...but Bob Dutton made a good point in his Royals notebook (

The Royals are trying hard to trade Sanders, who has roughly $2 million remaining on his contract, and appear willing to eat the contract and accept little in return. Oddly, they show no inclination at this point to release Sanders, which amounts to much the same thing.

BUT ALTERNATIVELY, HERE'S AN IDEA: DEMOTE EMIL BROWN'S ASS. Gathright has an OBP of .390 over 25 games. Brown's is .297 over 65 games. A nimrod (read: Buddy Bell) might make the argument that Brown is a power-hitter, and Gathright is not. Well, Brown's slugging percentage is .330; Gathright's is .370. That breaks down to an OPS for Brown of .627, and .760 for Gathright. Now the [hopefully temporary] reversion to AAA for Gathright couldn't have unilaterally come from Mr. Bell, but I have a sneaking suspicion he had a role in that. But nonetheless, even if it was completely Dayton Moore's idea (unlikely), a manager with a modicum of intellect would have likely vociferously objected to the Royals' sending Gathright down. But I guess that excludes Mr. Buddy Bell.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Hex

Well, we did it, friend. We officially dropped a hex on the Boys in Blue. That's right, the intrepid Bell-loathing bloggers, B and Blue Wave, ventured to the K on Saturday night to see if the Royals could notch their sixth victory in as many games. The result? Two straight losses and a grand total of two runs in nineteen innings. I wonder how many consecutive losses it would take for Dayton to drop the ax on BB? I'd be willing to sit through fifteen or so to get that dunderhead removed from the dugout.

I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't make a couple of comments on this weekend's Battle for the Basement. And since I'm being paid so well for this, and our readership is so far-reaching and influential, the last thing I want to do is underachieve. Let's begin with the victory on Friday, an 8-1 shellacking in which there was nary a Bell mistake (we should start calling Buddy's gaffes "Bellies" or some such clever term). There was, however, a glaring and tragic lineup hiccup: Shane Costa hit cleanup for the SECOND EFFING TIME THIS SEASON! Care to guess how many home runs Costa has this season? Well, he has one double, one triple, and exactly one fewer HR than either of those categories. He also has an OBP of .210 and a SLG of .250. Buddy, COME ON! I know you don't have A-Rod available, but there are better options, such as, for example, my favorite catcher and yours, Mr. John Buck. Buck, despite being in something of a slump lately, is currently third in baseball in fewest AB per HR, sitting being only A-Rod and Carlos Pena. I wish Bell would just give Buck the starting job and leave him alone, so that we could see what our catcher-of-the-future can really do. At the very least, I wish he would've played him Friday and Saturday this weekend, instead of Friday and Sunday. I guess Buddy figured that letting Bucky (as he calls him) establish any sort of rhythm at the plate would've been much too logical.

Okay, one more gripe and I'll leave it for tonight. What was Octavio Dotel doing in the ballgame Saturday night? In case you didn't see the game, the Royals and White Sox were knotted in a 1-1 tie heading into the top of the tenth, when BB decided to go to his closer, who presently surrendered two runs, thus effectively ending the baseball game. I'm not even going to get into my view on closers; it's long, unconventional, and not too much fun. And I understand that Buddy is an old baseball guy (read: knot head) who will always go to a "closer" with the game on the line in the ninth. But this was a non-save situation, and Buddy never uses Dotie (as he calls him) for more than one inning. So, had Dotie made it through the tenth, who did he play to go to after that? What if he had needed a "closer" in, say, the top of the thirteenth? But, I'll leave you with a more important question, Why didn't he simply stay with Soria, who had cruised through the ninth and appeared to have his best stuff? I'll expect satisfactory answers to these questions within the next 24 hours.

Till then, fight the good fight, and pray that one day, hopefully sooner rather than later, Dayton will FIRE BUDDY-FREAKING-BELL!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

Yeah, the Gathright call was surreal. But at least Joey is playing, and we've been clamoring for that for some time. Last night was like a Gathright exhibition; he really showed what he brings to the team. And, in today's game, he just bunted for a single, promptly stole second, and scored on Teahen's single. I really like this guy. I especially like the way he dealt with his demotion to AAA. A lot of guys would've acted like prima donnas, but Gathright worked on his approach at the plate and genuinely improved his game. His OBP is impressive, and he's so much more disciplined at the plate than he used to be. If he continues to get on base at his current clip, he is going to be a very dangerous player.

I agree with your comments on last night's lineup. Conversely, Monday night's lineup infuriated me. I was sort of hoping that Elarton's departure from the rotation would mean more playing time for John Buck (I should've known better), but of course Buddy had LaRue catching the new guy, John Thomson. Buck then caught Meche last night (and hit a bomb, by the way) and LaRue is catching De La Rosa today. Buck typically catches JDLR, but since catchers never play in day games after night games, we're stuck with a 33 year old catcher who is hitting under .200 with an OBP of .247. Have I mentioned how much I hate this catching platoon? It is criminally insane to sit a catcher with 14 HR in 170 AB for two of the three games in a series.

In case you didn't get my e-mail, it was reported on that Joe Girardi would be interested in the Royals job because he really likes Dayton Moore. Dayton, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Does BB's heart actually beat?

In the top of the 6th inning in tonight's game versus the Angels, Emil Brown flew out to right field (surprise, surprise) with the bases loaded for the second out of the inning. Joey Gathright tagged up from third base, testing Vlad Guerrero's arm. The throw met Gathright at home at the plate, but wasn't caught by Molina. HOWEVER, the Angels appeal at third base, and numbnuts umpire Bob Davidson (see ) said Gathright left before Guerrero caught the ball, and was therefore out. Replays shown after the commercial break showed that Gathright was DEFINITELY still on the base when Guerrero caught the ball, and should have been safe.

Now, Buddy might have come out to argue during the commercial break, but there was no mention of this by the RSTN announcers when they returned for the bottom-half of the inning. So maybe he came out, maybe he didn't. I don't really know (but I doubt he came out). Nonetheless, in my opinion, he should have made a freaking scene and gotten thrown out of the damn game -- HEY BUDDY, MAKE A SCENE, GET THROWN OUT, SHOW YOUR TEAM YOU ACTUALLY GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THEM. They were up 7-2 at this point, so getting thrown out would probably not have affected the outcome of the game in any negative way...errrr, wait a minute, I'm not sure it's possible that Buddy Bell's ceasing to manage during a game could do anything except help his team out. Hell, I'm pretty sure a neandertal could do a better job managing a baseball team than Buddy Bell.

In a rare moment, I am going to now speak positively (relatively) about something relating to Buddy Bell's managing of the Royals. His lineup tonight is one of the best I've seen for the Royals this season (with hitting stats through 7 innings):

Kansas City
D. DeJesus CF 1-2
E. German 2B 1-2
M. Teahen 1B 2-3
E. Brown RF 0-4
A. Gordon 3B 1-4
B. Butler DH 1-4
J. Buck C 1-2
T. Pena Jr. SS 1-3
J. Gathright LF 1-1

Although notice the only player without a hit: Emil Brown. While I did fail to mention, in my last post, that Brown had been on a "hot streak" for a short period of time before that post (where I ripped him), I think his recent 5 for 22 hitting "regression" (with one walk and one sacrifice fly) shows the real Emil Brown.

Whadda ya know, Joey Gathright just got another hit, as I typed that last paragraph. And one of the announcers just said "it has been three weeks since Gathright has stolen a base" -- and with that prompt, Gathright steals second.

And before I can get this post completed, Gathright just stole third and then came home on the wide throw.


Friday, June 22, 2007

A one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest?

Let's say you're a major league baseball manager. You have two players whose batting statistics compare like this for the current season:

Player A: 43/174 (.247 BA) in 52 games, 2 HR, .305 OBP; Player A thinks he is the second coming of Barry Bonds circa 1996 (when Bonds' head was actually smaller than a decent-sized watermelon) in left field; however, in reality, Player A lazily meanders toward most balls and plays a below-average left field -- and it doesn't take much to be an average left fielder.

Player B: 11/34 (.324 BA) in 12 games, 0 HR, .425 OBP; Player B is likely one of the top 5-10 fastest players in major league baseball at the moment.

Well, if your name is David "Buddy" Gus Bell, you start and play Player A in most of the last 5 of 6 games, and play Player B on a limited basis. For the two or three people who are reading this' enlightenment, Player A is Emil Brown, and Player B is Joey Gathright (a recent minor league call-up). And not only does DGB play Emil Brown consistently, he has batted him cleanup in 3 of the last 4 games (including tonight's game). Emil Brown sucks. Emil Brown will likely always suck. Joey Gathright has been getting on a lot recently (granted, more than in the past, but he is utilizing his speed by bunting somewhat frequently recently), and being one of the fastest guys in baseball, HE HAS A PRETTY GOOD CHANCE TO STEAL SECOND BASE MOST OF THE TIME. Emil Brown has 43 stolen bases in 558 career games before tonight. Joey Gathright stole 41 bases last season in 134 games.

I don't think it takes freaking Bill James to realize that a player whose OBP is currently 120 points higher than another player's and who is about 83 times (that's an unscientific guesstimate) more likely to steal second should be playing over the other guy for at least the time being.

And another Buddy Bell super managerial move tonight: it's the top of the 6th inning and the pitcher's spot is up. Jorge De La Rosa has given up 6 earned runs on 10 hits, and has thrown probably about 90+ pitches. De La Rosa is a career 0 for 13 hitter. Why the ____ doesn't Bell pinch-hit for him? It's pretty much etched in stone that De La Rosa won't make it through another inning. Here's an idea: send up the aforementioned Gathright to hit and try to get him on base with no outs and the top of the lineup coming up. Or just guarantee an out with De La Rosa hitting, and then pull him after facing 2 hitters and getting nobody out in the bottom of the 6th and make the choice to have him hit in the top of the sixth look even more sage.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Buddy Bell: Baseball Genius?

Did you happen to catch JoPo's article in the Star this morning? If not, it was something of an ode to Buddy Bell, asserting that Bell had won a, get this, "battle of wits" over presiding baseball genius Tony LaRussa in last night's ballgame. It's a little more complicated than this, but basically JoPo suggests that BB outwitted TLR by bringing in right hander Joel Peralta to pitch to righty Ryan Ludwick in the ninth, after closer Octavio Dotel had already blown the Royals one-run lead. The checkmate was made all the more brilliant by the fact that LaRussa had just pinch hit Ludwick for Skip Schumacher, a lefty, in order to set up a righty-lefty matchup with pitcher Jimmy Gobble, whom BB promptly replaced with Peralta. Long story short, the matchup worked out, a marathon baseball game ensued, and the Royals eventually lost on a HR in the bottom of the fourteenth to none other than...Ryan Ludwick (JoPo had finished his column before this came to fruition).

I love Joe Posnanski, and I truly believe he is the best baseball writer in America. That being said, he really missed the boat on this one, and I'm beginning to wonder if he's on a personal mission to save BB's job. See, BB always goes with that righty-righty, lefty-lefty BS, and it fails just as often, and perhaps more often, than it succeeds. He is a robot that way, as is genius-in-residence TLR. In fact, baseball managers in general overdo that crap, and it's one of my many problems with baseball managers. Last night BB's mechanical approach to the game happened to work for a while, and TLR's happened to fail for a while. Next time, it could just as easily reverse.

Oh, and one more thing: Dayton, please fire Buddy Bell! I'm available and more than happy to accept the position of manager of the Kansas City Royals. I promise to set and keep a consistent lineup, play the best players available, and not bunt until the eighth inning. Think it over.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Big Fly Scotty

Yes, "Big Fly" Scotty was at it again last night, and the results, as you mentioned, were not pretty. You declined to mention my favorite Elarton statistic, which I believe is the perfect index of his complete incompetence as a major league pitcher: in 35.1 innings of work (over 8 starts, incidentally), Elarton has given up no less than 12 home runs. Twelve! Worse still, he has only struck out 13, while issuing 19 walks. Remind me again, is it good when a pitcher's walks outnumber his K's? Anyway, if all this weren't bad enough, BB is sticking to his catching platoon, which means that Elarton's battery mate last night was once again Jason LaRue, whose BA continues to hover below the Mendoza Line. (On a positive note, his OBP is up to a sparkling .236.) Meanwhile, John Buck continues to do his best Josh Gibson impression, slugging his thirteenth HR of the season Monday night, which I believe ties him for the league lead for catchers. So, instead of having Buck's stick in the lineup when Elarton pitches, we have LaRue's, which is a kind of double whammy for the Royals, assuming they are in fact trying to win baseball games. With BB at the helm, I'm not so sure anymore.

You mentioned Greinke as a possible rotation replacement for Elarton, and he would be my top choice, too. The Royals need to reinsert Greinke into the starting rotation, and, well, LEAVE GREINKE IN THE STARTING ROTATION! He will have nights where he looks nearly as bad as Elarton, but he will also have nights where he looks like Sandy Koufax. But the Royals need to leave him alone, even if he struggles initially. If they're unwilling to do this, they do have a couple of other intriguing possibilities. They could try Soria, the rule 5 pickup who has been a stud in the bullpen. Soria has been a starter his whole career, and he even pitched a perfect game in the Mexican Leagues (granted not the Major Leagues). Still, the Royals envision him as a starter in the future, and I wouldn't be opposed to giving him a shot now. They could also try Billy Buckner, who is big-league ready according to the scouts, albeit his numbers don't really bear this out. What they shouldn't do is rush Hochevar or Lumsden, two rotation prospects who need time to develop in the minors. Considering we're talking about the genius that is Buddy Bell, what will likely happen is Elarton's spot in the rotation will be moved so that he and Odie Perez don't start back-to-back games. That should fix the problem.

To circle back to last night's game, a couple more BB gaffes merit mentioning. First, following DeJesus's double to lead off the first, BB, in his infinite wisdom, asks German to bunt. This wouldn't have made since if DeJesus was on first, but then it would've at least been defensible, as it would've disrupted a potential double play and put a man in scoring position. As it were, with DeJesus on second, it was a piece of sheer lunacy. Also, in two pinch hitting scenarios last night, BB called on Shane Costa and Joey Gathright, respectively, despite the fact that Billy Butler (who could hit 30 homers in the bigs right now...if he only had a position) had just been called up from AAA. Butler will be DHing once the Royals return to AL play and, according to BB, is available to pinch hit for the remainder of interleague play. He was ready on the bench, and yet BB chose to go with his man-crush Costa and the punch-and-judy Gathright. Not that Butler would've been the difference in the game, with "Big Fly" Scotty on the hill.

Okay, Dayton, we've seen enough--Fire Buddy Bell!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Scott Elarton = Worst Pitcher in Baseball this Year?

Player TEA


451. J Patterson
WSH 1 5 7.47 7 7

452. C Carpenter
STL 0 1 7.50 1 1

453. T Miller
HOU 0 0 7.50 37 0

454. T Williams
BAL 0 2 7.53 14 0

455. C Fossum
TB 4 6 7.58 18 10

456. C Hensley
SD 1 3 7.62 6 6

457. K Millwood
TEX 3 6 7.62 11 11

458. K Igawa
NYY 2 1 7.63 6 5

459. D Hansack
BOS 0 1 7.71 2 1

460. A Lerew
ATL 0 2 7.71 3 3

461. J Koronka
TEX 0 2 7.84 2 2

462. M Thompson
SD 0 1 7.84 5 0

463. E Jackson
TB 0 8 7.85 13 13

464. C Wright
NYY 1 0 7.88 2 2

465. J Westbrook
CLE 1 2 7.90 6 6

466. T Armas
PIT 0 3 8.10 12 7

467. B Prinz
CWS 0 0 8.10 4 0

468. J Seo
TB 3 4 8.13 11 10

469. M McLeary
PIT 0 0 8.22 4 0

470. J Standridge
KC 0 1 8.22 4 0

471. B Falkenborg
STL 0 1 8.31 5 0

472. A Sisco
CWS 0 1 8.36 19 0

473. R Vanden Hurk
FLA 2 2 8.38 7 6

474. L Speigner
WSH 2 3 8.78 19 6

475. C Lewis
OAK 0 2 8.79 12 1

476. C Condrey
PHI 2 0 9.00 12 0

477. R Cormier
CIN 0 0 9.00 6 0

478. M Herges
COL 0 0 9.00 2 0

479. J Johnson
BAL 0 0 9.00 1 0

480. D Kolb
PIT 0 0 9.00 2 0

481. S Randolph
HOU 0 0 9.00 2 0

482. Z Segovia
PHI 0 1 9.00 1 1

483. L Urdaneta
NYM 0 0 9.00 2 0

484. S Elarton
KC 2 3 9.17 8 8

485. S Gallagher
CHC 0 0 9.53 3 0

486. J Johnson
FLA 0 1 9.82 1 1

487. R Ramirez
COL 2 1 10.22 15 0

488. T Wellemeyer
KC 0 1 10.34 12 0

489. J De Jong
TOR 0 0 10.38 3 0

490. K Jimenez
STL 1 0 10.41 20 0

491. W Miller
CHC 0 1 10.54 3 3

492. J Wright
TEX 0 1 10.57 2 2

493. J Weaver
SEA 0 6 10.97 8 8

494. V Zambrano
TOR 0 2 10.97 8 2

495. B Keppel
COL 0 0 11.25 4 0

496. M Smith
PHI 0 0 11.25 9 0

497. M Redman
ATL 0 4 11.63 6 5

498. C Bean
NYY 0 1 12.00 3 0

499. J Rheinecker
TEX 0 0 12.00 1 1

500. F Castro
PHI 0 0 12.27 5 0

Look at this list of pitchers. Notice number 484. Yes, that is the guy with the four hundred eighty-fourth best earned run average in major league baseball this year. That is also the guy with the worst ERA of anyone who has pitched more than 32 innings this year (and the guy who has pitched 32 innings this year and has a worse ERA is Jeff Weaver (10.97)-- and if you have been keeping up with baseball this year, you realize that Jeff Weaver has been astoundingly, tremendously shitty this year).

What is interesting that Mr. Buddy Bell still trotted out Scott Elarton tonight to pitch against the Cardinals. In case you were curious, Elarton's WHIP is 1.937. That would be a little worse than Roger Clemens' ERA of 2005. However, [here's the understatement of the year] it's not good when your WHIP is more than somebody's recent entire season's ERA. But back to tonight. Elarton pitched a spectacular 2 & 2/3 innings tonight, giving up 5 earned runs (raising his ERA from 8.54 to the above-mentioned 9.17, and his WHIP from 1.837 to 1.937). Yes, he had shoulder surgery on August 1, 2006, but he still sucks. Look at his numbers from 2006: 20 games started, 114.7 innings pitched, 5.34 ERA, 1.474 WHIP. He sure as hell wasn't "good" last what does Buddy Bell do??? Make him a starter again this year!!! He hasn't lasted more than 5 & 2/3 innings this year, and in his last two starts he has lasted a combined 4 & 2/3 innings. Oh and here's another stat for you: he has a 13:21 strikeouts-to-walks ratio. That would be good if, for example, I was pitching for the Royals. But it's not me. I'm not sure if Buddy Bell is familiar with a player named Zack Greinke. I'm pretty sure he could outpitch Scott Elarton at this point with a B.A.C. of 0.26. Greinke hits 97 on his fastball. Elarton hits 87-ish. While Greinke admittedly has his ups and downs, Elarton has his...downs. That's it. If his shoulder is supposedly his problem, put him on the DL and let it heal. Although I have a feeling he could spend a couple years "letting it heal" and he wouldn't improve much.

Good job Buddy. Seriously though, you should at least try to give your team a chance to win the game.