I've just arrived home from tonight's Kansas City Royals vs. Florida Marlins game. I'm definitely not a hardcore Royals fan, but I keep up with the team and attend my fair share of games. They're obviously a young, and not very good, team at this point. As you've probably deduced from the title and website location of this blog, I think Buddy Bell has singlehandedly reduced the Royals' chances of victory on many opportunities.
As I'm walking out of the game with a friend (who is a rather devout Royals fan), we are in awe of the coaching abilities of Mr. Buddy Bell. Seriously, this guy should be managing a Tuesday night co-ed slow-pitch softball league...OK, maybe that's giving him too much credit; tee ball might best allow his inane managerial tactics to flourish. Walking through the parking lot, two random fans come up to us and say: "You two look like you're good fans -- don't you bunt there?" Here's what they were referring to:
Bottom of the ninth; David DeJesus has just hit a triple and has been driven in on a single by Esteban German that Hanley Ramirez couldn't come up with. The score is now 9-8. There are NO OUTS. Mark Teahen comes to the plate. Keep in mind, Teahen is 0 of 3 on the night with a walk. There are a few options that could occur here. One -- you start German at first and try a hit-and-run, so that at least German can avoid getting thrown out at second on a ground ball, starting a double play. Two -- you could have Teahen bunt and get German into scoring position. Three -- you could have your 0 for 3 hitter swing for the fences and completely disregard options one and two. Of course, Mr. Bell decides that there's no need to take the safe bet and get a runner into scoring position with one out (or maybe get him to third on a single by Teahan, by successfully utilizing point "One" referenced above), with the team's fourth and fifth hitters coming up; Teahan shows no signs of bunting, nor does German take off on a hit-and-run. Teahan grounds into a double play. And of course, Mike Sweeney subsequently pops out. GAME OVER.
And for fun, here's a second example of Buddy Bell's inability to function as even a mildly competent Major League Baseball manager:
It's the top of the fifth inning. There are two outs. Miguel Olivo has just doubled in a run, and is on second. The score is 6-3 in favor of the Marlins. Aaron Boone comes to the plate. Manager Bell decides that he is going to intentionally walk Aaron BLEEPING Boone. As I see the catcher John Buck stick his hand out to the right to signify an intentional walk is imminent, I momentarily try to discern whether or not I've time-traveled to 2003, when Aaron Boone might have theoretically instilled more than a nominal amount of fear in an opponent. Yes, Aaron BLEEPING Boone, the guy who is a career .264 hitter. The Aaron BLEEPING Boone who has [metaphorically speaking] had a fork sticking out of his back for a couple years now. So he walks Boone and pitches to Jason Wood (who I agree, sucks, but don't intentionally walk Aaron BLEEPING Boone -- it's the principle of the matter). And Wood hits a single and Olivo scores. (This doesn't even take into consideration the fact that De La Rosa should have been pulled before this point...which of course, he wasn't).
That's all I've got for now. More later on such various and sundry topics as John Buck, Jason LaRue, Scott Elarton, Zack Grienke, et al.