PDA

View Full Version : Royals Rany banned from the Royals.


Sure-Oz
07-02-2009, 12:38 PM
Wow!

http://www.ranyontheroyals.com/2009/07/banned.html

Thursday, July 2, 2009
Banned!
Whew.


As those of you who follow me on twitter (@jazayerli) know, the Royals are PISSED OFF at me right now. Letís just say you wonít hear anyone from the front office on my radio show anytime soon.


I confess to being surprised that after years of being critical of the Royals when criticism was warranted Ė which, as their win-loss record shows, is most of the time Ė my last post should have set them off like that. I must have overlooked the rules of decorum that go with evaluating the record of Supreme Court Justice Nick Swartz. Criticize a player, liken the managerís intelligence with that of a farm animal, call for the GMís head: these are all acceptable things. But suggest that the trainer might need to be upgraded after 19 years Ė well, thatís beyond the pale.


I empathize with the teamís frustration at the fact that Iím not present at the stadium to be held accountable for what I write. Iím as surprised as anyone that 13 years after I started writing professionally, and six years after I settled in Chicago with my family, Iíve suddenly become an established part of the Kansas City sports media scene. Iíd be more than happy to show my face at the stadium regularly if it were at all practical Ė believe me, I have no intention of becoming the (Jay) Mariotti on the Missouri. (Fortunately, Iíve got a long way to go on that front. By now Mariotti Ė from the comfort of his home Ė would have accused Bob Dutton of being spineless for not asking the tough questions in the clubhouse.)


But just because Iím not at Kauffman Stadium is no reason to take your frustrations out on other people Ė in front of half the local media, no less. If youíve got a problem with something I wrote, by all means, contact me Ė Iím not hard to get ahold of. Iím a big boy; I can handle it.


I was, in fact, planning to show my face at the ballpark in two weeks. We had been working behind the scenes for the past several weeks to put together a Baseball Prospectus night at Kauffman Stadium Ė an event that we have held with much success at a number of major league parks around the country. We even had the date tentatively set for July 17th, we were lining up guests from Kansas City and around the country, and I was just a few days away from announcing the details to all of you fine readers. Unfortunately, that event is now on indefinite hiatus. I guess the Royals have no interest in selling 100+ tickets to their Hall of Fame Suites at $80 a pop.


Having already cleared the weekend on my schedule, Iím still planning to come to town that weekend, so maybe Iíll get the chance to face the heat. Or maybe not: I was just informed last night that Iíve been blacklisted by the team. Thatís right: Iíve been banned by the Royals! The way this team is playing, Iím not sure if the Royals are trying to punish me or reward me.


But enough about me. Thatís one of the regrettable things about all this: that Iíve become part of the story, which is something I never wanted. The sad reality, though, is that there was no way to avoid becoming part of this story without reporting on the story in the first place. And I wouldnít have been doing my job if I didnít comment on an issue that was on the minds of Royals fans everywhere.


The post Ė and the Royalsí reaction to it Ė has earned me a ton of feedback from people who are much closer to the situation than I am. That feedback has been pretty unanimous: the training/medical staff, as a whole, is an embarrassment, and a significant detriment to the Royals when compared to that of other teams. There has been considerably less unanimity on the subject of Nick Swartz: some people feel he is the problem, some people feel he is merely the face of a much larger problem. No one, I should stress, feels he is part of the solution.


If thereís one thing I wish I had done differently with my last column, itís that I wish I had taken out a shotgun instead of a laser-guided sniper rifle. It seemed to me Ė and still seems to me Ė that when 1) the medical care of your players has been substandard for close to two decades and 2) youíve had the same trainer for those same two decades, that you ought to replace the trainer. But I was wrong when I said that ďEVERY SINGLE person involved with baseball operations has been replaced in that span Ė why should Swartz be the exception?Ē It turns out that there is one other exception. Iím hesitant to even mention this, so here Ė Iíll just quote directly from the Royalsí website:


ďDr. Steve Joyce begins his 31st year as a Team Physician and 23rd as the Head Team Physician for the Royals. Dr. Joyce is an orthopedic surgeon at Dickson-Dively Midwest Orthopedic Clinic and Kansas City Orthopedic Institute, which was established in 1999. He was the President of the Major League Baseball Physicians Association in 1994 and 1995.Ē


Yeah, itís probably best that I leave it at that.


Contrary to what the Royals might think, I donít have a vendetta against Swartz. I donít have an agenda here Ė unless you count ďI want to see the Royals winĒ as an agenda. But sports is the ultimate results-based industry. In the short run, excuses are fine. In the long run, well, it doesnít matter how good your reasons are for missing the playoffs year after year Ė all that matters is that you miss the playoffs year after year. If youíre not successful, you lose your job and someone else gets the opportunity to see if they can be successful. If theyíre not, the wheel turns yet again. Such is life.


In the short run, maybe no oneís to blame for the fact that Coco Crisp tried to play through an injury that ultimately ended his season. In the long run, when there are stories like Coco Crispís year after year after 19 freaking years Ė someone needs to be held accountable. It is astonishing to me that not only do the Royals not see that, but that they would take offense at anyone who might dare to suggest that the same rules that apply to players and coaches and managers should also apply to trainers.


Look, if the Royals want me to concede that Iím not completely sure that Swartz is the problem: fine, Iíll happily concede that. Without access to medical records - which I will not and should not have access to - I can't be completely sure. Just as I wasnít completely sure that Buddy Bell was a bad hire, or that Tony Pena couldnít hit, or that spending $1.8 million on Horacio Ramirez was a waste of money.


But I am certain Ė as certain as Iíve been of anything related to the Royals since the day they traded Jermaine Dye for Neifi Perez Ė that THERE IS A PROBLEM. If the Royals donít think that Swartz is the problem, then by all means, keep him Ė but figure out what the problem is.


If it means firing Swartz, then fire Swartz. If it means keeping Swartz but firing the rest of your training staff, or finding new team doctors, or conducting full-body MRIs of every player on a weekly basis Ė then do it. The only thing the Royals canít do is deny reality. They canít hide from the fact that, for a time period that stretches well into the last century, the team has lost way too many players to injuries that, if not preventable, were at least manageable.


There have been too many Crisps, too many Affeldts, too many Rosados, too many Jim Pittsleys. (Even more than Rosado, Pittsley Ė one of the best pitching prospects the team ever had before he hurt his elbow Ė was poorly-served by the teamís medical staff.) Thereís just too much damn evidence. Itís time to fix the problem, but the Royals canít fix the problem if they donít identify the problem. And they canít identify the problem if they wonít admit thereís a problem.


Or, hey, they can just circle the wagons and ban some blogger in Chicago for having the temerity to write on-the-record what everyone in the KC media has been saying off-the-record for years. (A blogger, mind you, who is notorious for being stupidly optimistic about the Royals. I mean, I wrote this less than two months ago.)


Better still, they can have the chutzpah to do that the day after Trey Hillman goes out of his way during his pre-game comments to complement ďNick and his crewĒ for the work theyíve been doing Ė and then THE VERY NEXT DAY announce that another everyday player who was allowed to play after being diagnosed with an injury is now out for the season. (By the way, gotta love this quote from Mike Aviles yesterday (emphasis mine): ďItís definitely disappointing,Ē Aviles said, ďbut I know somethingís wrong there because it wasnít getting any better. When I got a second opinion, thatís when we found the tear.Ē)


Itís your choice, guys. Just know that the hallmark of good organizations is that they donít shoot the messenger.


Thatís what has upset me most about all this. Ever since Dayton Moore was hired, I have largely taken the position that the Royals Ė while not yet a good team Ė were a good organization. That is very much in question now. Good organizations donít make excuses for injuries at the same time that theyíre using those injuries as an excuse. Good organizations donít whine about the media in one of the smallest and most accommodating media markets in the country. Good organizations realize that when theyíve won 15 of their last 48 games, they have more important things to worry about than what the media is saying. Good organizations donít use Luis Hernandez as a pinch-hitter. And God Almighty, good organizations donít treat one of their most valuable players the way the Royals treated Gil Meche yesterday.


Youíre better than this, guys. Stop trying to match the arrogance and the secrecy of the Pioli family across the street. (Trust me: you canít. No one can. Itís not possible.) Stop worrying about the criticism that youíre getting from people like me Ė what, are you guys going to ban Posnanski now too? Ė and start looking at your organization with a critical eye yourselves. The defining hallmark of good organizations is that they are more critical of themselves than any outsider would be. And God knows thereís an awful lot to be critical about.




Posted by Rany at Thursday, July 02, 2009

DeezNutz
07-02-2009, 12:46 PM
The only thing the Royals canít do is deny reality.


Why not? It's worked for years. Remember, we need 4M fans to raise payroll to 73M because we're a poor, small-market franchise. /David Glass/

Deberg_1990
07-02-2009, 12:47 PM
heh. Wow. i was wondering why he hadnt posted in awhile.

petegz28
07-02-2009, 12:47 PM
The Royals are quickly moving me to not re-newing my tickets next year.

jidar
07-02-2009, 12:49 PM
Banning Rany is such a stupid thing to do

Sure-Oz
07-02-2009, 12:51 PM
I guess technically he doesn't have any press credentials/pass, so there is no real way of 'banning' him if you think about it unless they don't let him in the park to watch a game.

wild1
07-02-2009, 12:51 PM
In what way has he been "blacklisted"?

That being said, he definitely raises legitimate concerns about the state of the team's training staff. The way they handle injuries is ridiculous.

Oops... hope this was worth $10,000-12,000 in revenue or more to the team... (re: the baseball prospectus weekend)

DeezNutz
07-02-2009, 12:51 PM
Same old Royals. Same organization that pulled press credentials from some radio folks a couple of years ago for asking "inappropriate" questions at the Moore introductory presser.

wild1
07-02-2009, 12:52 PM
Same old Royals. Same organization that pulled press credentials from some radio folks a couple of years ago for asking "inappropriate" questions at the Moore introductory presser.

They were being disruptive a*sholes, and should have been kicked out of the room and off the premises. I would have had security escort them out for what they were doing, acting like toddlers.

The fact that neither of those clowns are working in KC anymore is a blessing.

DeezNutz
07-02-2009, 12:56 PM
They were being disruptive a*sholes, and should have been kicked out of the room and off the premises. I would have had security escort them out for what they were doing, acting like toddlers.

The fact that neither of those clowns are working in KC anymore is a blessing.

Why? For asking about the handling of the Baird firing?

If ML front office folks can't handle the KC media, it's best just to stay in Arkansas. Oh, wait.

KCUnited
07-02-2009, 12:58 PM
Its time for the media in this city to take its diapers off and starting treating these teams, from the owners down to the vendors, like they deserve to be treated. Christ. Blacklisting a fan/media member for an unpopular takes is crazy. Time knock these fools down a notch.

wild1
07-02-2009, 01:04 PM
Why? For asking about the handling of the Baird firing?

If ML front office folks can't handle the KC media, it's best just to stay in Arkansas. Oh, wait.

:rolleyes: they were not banned for asking questions, they were banned for exhibiting a complete lack of decorum and continually being disruptive at that event.

Ultra Peanut
07-02-2009, 01:12 PM
rany owns
royals suck

Ebolapox
07-02-2009, 01:13 PM
jesus, what a joke the royals have become.

DeezNutz
07-02-2009, 01:15 PM
:rolleyes: they were not banned for asking questions, they were banned for exhibiting a complete lack of decorum and continually being disruptive at that event.

Like what? Be specific.

That's why I began my posts with questions.

I heard nothing that showed a lack of professionalism. I heard questions that made Glass and co. uncomfortable. Big deal. This organization has forced all of us to deal with an uncomfortable product for the last 15 years.

Reaper16
07-02-2009, 01:22 PM
As if the Royals organization wasn't a big enough joke already. Sheesh.

ChiTown
07-02-2009, 01:48 PM
rany owns
royals suck

+1

Ari Chi3fs
07-02-2009, 01:50 PM
The only times I will watch moving forward are when Greinke on the mound. Fuck this team.

Mr. Krab
07-02-2009, 01:52 PM
Banning Rany is such a stupid thing to do
yep

Demonpenz
07-02-2009, 01:52 PM
the stupid thing is they should be kissing everyones ass for even following them still, even writing about them

Ari Chi3fs
07-02-2009, 01:58 PM
Oh I see that Rany lives in Naperville Illinois... same as Frazod... cool.

gblowfish
07-02-2009, 02:01 PM
The Royals have a guy who follows them religiously for years of crappy baseball, and they dump on him.

They better hold on tight to those fans who still actually give a rat's ass...
Not many of them left.

Dartgod
07-02-2009, 02:13 PM
When did Carl Peterson take over the Royals?

Mr. Krab
07-02-2009, 02:19 PM
Has Dayton Moore drafted and develop a quality major league player yet?

Reaper16
07-02-2009, 02:23 PM
Has Dayton Moore drafted and develop a quality major league player yet?
Few are the Zimmermans, Lincecums, Longorias of the world that get to the majors really fast. Dayton hasn't been around for many drafts yet. His classes are still in the lower minors.

Ebolapox
07-02-2009, 02:24 PM
Has Dayton Moore drafted and develop a quality major league player yet?

as critical as I am of the royals from time to time, that's not as easy to levy on a baseball GM as it is of a football GM. baseball's draft is MUCH more unpredictable than the nfl draft. whereas in a BAD year you'll have a 5-10 MINIMUM productive starters in a first round (decreasing in subsequent rounds), it's even worse in baseball's first round... the failure rate for baseball players (especially with as many high-schoolers drafted) is such that you'd be lucky to get more than a few quality major league players in a single round of the baseball draft.

DeezNutz
07-02-2009, 02:31 PM
Has Dayton Moore drafted and develop a quality major league player yet?

Hochevar is his only selection with the big club.

Reaper16
07-02-2009, 02:35 PM
Hochevar is his only selection with the big club.
Technically not, as you well know. We'd have to be naive to think that he didn't have a say in that draft, but technically that wasn't his selection.

ChiTown
07-02-2009, 02:35 PM
Hochevar is his only selection with the big club.

If you listen to Dayton, Hochevar was NOT his pick.

DeezNutz
07-02-2009, 02:37 PM
Technically not, as you well know. We'd have to be naive to think that he didn't have a say in that draft, but technically that wasn't his selection.

If you listen to Dayton, Hochevar was NOT his pick.

I think we all know better.

He either selected him, or he was stupid enough to allow this to be the selection; it's on him either way. No free passes, Dayton. Sorry.

petegz28
07-02-2009, 02:57 PM
I don't give a fuck about whether Hochy was Moore's pick or not. What I do give a fuck about is going forward what Moore plans to do to fix this embarrasment we call a baseball team. I've seen better fundamentals on a little league team.

Short Leash Hootie
07-02-2009, 03:00 PM
It's not like Hochevar is THAT bad...

GoHuge
07-02-2009, 03:34 PM
What a weak ass f**king move. Ban the guy with a great blog and radio show that is all about the Royals. I say without a doubt Rany is one of the most credible source as far as opinion on MLB. The guy works for Baseball Prospectus not some clown outfit like WPI!! If a physician can't have an opinion about the clubs medical practice then who the hell can? I'd like to see the Royals try and dispute anything Rany said in his blog. If they did try they'd end up looking like bigger fools. I mean even Rany said he's not at the ballpark reporting, but it doesn't take a doctor to figure out there is a problem. Look at the evidence and it is glaring! Does David Glass think this is Iran and what..... he's the new Ayatollah? Perhaps if he spent a little more time in Kansas city rather than Arkansas he'd see some of these things. Instead he'd rather pass judgements down from his throne like anybody gives a f***. Does he think he's going to quiet Rany down? Please.......Glass is a clown in this town and actions like this just cements that into peoples minds.

Sure-Oz
07-02-2009, 03:36 PM
It's not like Hochevar is THAT bad...

Imagine Lincecum and Greinke pitching back to back nights, with meche as the #3 starter

SPchief
07-02-2009, 03:39 PM
What a dumb move by the royals

Deberg_1990
07-02-2009, 03:47 PM
Imagine Lincecum and Greinke pitching back to back nights, with meche as the #3 starter

Chen on the mound tonight!

Sure-Oz
07-02-2009, 03:52 PM
Chen on the mound tonight!

Jeff Montgomery said he was almost traded for Chen back in the day

DeezNutz
07-02-2009, 03:53 PM
It's not like Hochevar is THAT bad...

No, he's likely going to be a serviceable pitcher, a #4-5, which is ok. I guess...

As the #1 overall selection, however, it was and is a joke. It hurts a little more that Longoria was the consensus top position player, and we were never even linked to him. Miller, whom I wanted, was a great trade commodity for Detroit, love to have that return, and we know all about Lincecum.

Frazod
07-02-2009, 03:55 PM
Oh I see that Rany lives in Naperville Illinois... same as Frazod... cool.

I should see if he wants to have a beer sometime. Sounds like we could engage in some quality ranting. :D

Deberg_1990
07-02-2009, 03:58 PM
Has Dayton Moore drafted and develop a quality major league player yet?

Butlers avg is inching ever closer to .300

I still think he should be hitting with more power though.

Sure-Oz
07-02-2009, 03:58 PM
Butlers avg is inching ever closer to .300

I still think he should be hitting with more power though.

It usually develops later, i like that he is hitting for gap power atleast and hitting a high avg. I bet he becomes a 40dbl 20-25 hr guy, as long as he can drive in runs there is no reason he can't be edgar martinez 2.

DeezNutz
07-02-2009, 04:02 PM
Butlers avg is inching ever closer to .300

I still think he should be hitting with more power though.

Also not a Moore acquisition, and I'm not sure how much credit to give for his development or lack thereof, whatever the case may be.

Sure-Oz
07-02-2009, 04:05 PM
Jo Poe's turn...

Stupid is …
Posted: July 2nd, 2009

http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2009/07/02/stupid-is/




More Kansas City Royals. I keep meaning to write about some other teams … but the Royals just keep doing amazing things. Amazing things.


Here’s the thing — and, I’ll admit, this might be a bit of a flaw — but I tend to believe that there aren’t many stupid people running sports teams. Maybe it’s because I see how hard they work. Maybe it’s because I know how much they went through to get to their jobs. Maybe it’s because I do get to talk to many of them, and in the comfort of conversation most people in sports sound reasonable and most explanations are at least plausible. Maybe it’s because — probably it is largely because — I want to see the best in people. I hope that is my personality.

But every so often I see something that seems so blindingly stupid that, in all honestly, I find myself wondering if I’m wrong about all that, wondering if it is possible that, yes, the people who make sports decisions can simply lose their bleepin’ minds.

This was the thought going through my mind as I watched the sixth inning Wednesday between the Royals and Twins. Of course, a day earlier I wrote here about the sheer wonder I had felt watching Royals manager Trey Hillman pinch hit Luis Hernandez for Tony Pena and then Tug Hulett for Luis Hernandez. A couple of brilliant readers pointed out that the trio at this point is slugging .370 COMBINED, which might be the most remarkable statistic in the history of the world. I didn’t understand the deck-chairs-on-the-Titanic pinch-hitting strategy and it felt silly, but I thought it was mostly harmless fun by a manager who frankly doesn’t seem to have any idea what to do anymore.

Wednesday’s jaw-dropper, though, was much more ominous. Start here: If you’re a Royals fan, you have probably read Rany Jazayerli’s screed about Royals trainer Nick Swartz. It’s pretty strong — I don’t happen to believe Swartz is the problem, I believe that at the end of the day the trainer only advises and it’s the team decision makers that make calls. But I would not argue with Rany’s basic points … or his three main examples:

1. Joakim Soria apparently had some shoulder trouble. The Royals decided to keep it quiet — no, more than quiet, manager Trey Hillman decided to LIE about it — to gain some sort of illusive competitive advantage that, frankly, I never understood. They didn’t pitch him in a couple of key games, which made HIllman look like he had no idea what he was doing, and then the Royals pitched him, and then they admitted Soria was hurt and rested him, and then they pitched him AGAIN and THEN they put him on the DL. And this is one of the Royals’ CORNERSTONE PLAYERS. Bad, bad, bad.

2. Shortstop Mike Aviles was apparently hurting, the Royals kept that quiet too. He was preposterously bad, and then they admitted he might be hurt, and then they rested him, and then they played him, and then they put him on the DL and now it appears his right elbow is destroyed. He needs Tommy John surgery, which — let’s be honest — puts his whole career at risk.

3. Coco Crisp’s shoulder was apparently hurting, the Royals kept downplaying it. That’s a key word here: Downplay. You know, most baseball players will downplay their own injuries … it has been that way for a hundred years. Teams have to take responsibility. Crisp said his shoulder was fine and the Royals said his shoulder was fine but there was room for doubt. Even during spring training, some of Crisp’s throws were so preposterously weak that, as we often said, he made Johnny Damon look like Roberto Clemente. Seriously, he was four hopping cutoff men on SLOW ROLLERS UP THE MIDDLE. It was absolutely clear that he could throw the ball farther with his left arm … he HAD to be hurt. But then he would uncork a merely way-below-average throw and you thought, “OK, well, maybe he’s not hurt too bad, maybe he’s just getting his arm warmed up for the season.”

I tend to think now that Crisp was badly hurt all year. People point out that he was playing quite well in the first month, but I think that’s kind of revisionist history. He was pretty effective but it was mostly because he was (surprisingly) walking quite a bit. His batting average was still lousy. He was chasing down fly balls brilliantly but his arm was a huge liability. He was using his speed better — stealing bases more effectively — but let’s not go making him out to be Rickey Henderson. I think his shoulder was hurt all along. But whatever the case, the shoulder apparently kept getting worse and worse and Crisp started playing worse and worse. The Royals (are you catching the trend?) would rest him for a little bit, put him back in, say things were OK, rest him a bit more, say he couldn’t bat left-handed and finally they put him on the DL where they found (voila!) that he had a torn labrum. Out for the year. Rany suggests that there was some SERIOUS malfeasance here … and it’s hard to argue the point.

So that’s where we are … this organization has shown a consistent pattern this year of the “rub some dirt on it” medical approach. In a certain book that is coming out on 09/09/09, I write at length about a pitcher, Gary Nolan, who was a GREAT young pitcher. He started feeling terrible pain in his arm, and he told the Reds about it, and the Reds management did not believe he was hurt. They believed he was soft. They believed he should toughen up. Not to stray too far off track here, but at one point the Reds actually sent him to a DENTIST to have an tooth removed — they said this would relieve the pain in Nolan’s shoulder. This was the sort of witch doctor medicine of 1975. Nolan missed almost two full years and eventually he went to Dr. Frank Jobe — right around the same time that Tommy John went to see Jobe — and they found there was a one inch bone spur in his shoulder. Jobe said that he could not even imagine how much pain Nolan had to be going through to pitch with that thing in his shoulder.

That’s how it was in 1975. And the Royals seem to be from the 1975 school of medicine.

All of which takes us back (finally) to Wednesday. Gil Meche was pitching, and you may or may not know that Meche has been battling with a balky back and a dead arm this year. Even so, he has made 17 starts — he leads the American League in starts — because he has become what baseball people like to call a warrior.

Unfortunately, the warrior had been terrible his previous two outings — terrible, in fact, ever since Trey Hillman left him in to throw 132 pitches in a shutout against Arizona. I want to make clear here that this is NOT about pitch counts. Bill James and I wrote some about pitch counts already, and we both said that we are skeptical about the way teams use pitch counts now and we’re open to Nolan Ryan’s plan to extend pitchers. You could argue — pretty persuasively, I imagine — that having a pitcher who has been dealing with a stiff back throw 132 pitch might not be the wisest move ever. But hey, Meche is a grown-up, he insisted on staying in there, he finished the job, I would not second guess it.

BUT then that familiar pattern emerged one more time. Meche struggled badly his next start. And he struggled badly again his next time out. His velocity was down. He felt lousy on the mound. The Royals said he had a bit of “dead arm,” which I’m pretty sure is not a modern medical term. To be blunt, that sounds like something John McGraw would have said. You had to wonder if the Royals planned to treat the “dead arm” with leeches and by drowning a witch.

But OK, hey, dead arm, and Meche (who also downplayed things — guy’s a WARRIOR) said that maybe there was a little “built up tendinitis” and some “fatigue.” He decided to take a couple of days off — not even pick up a baseball. Sounded like a wise thing to do. At first, there was some doubt if he would even make his Wednesday start, and frankly I have NO IDEA why the Royals would even let him make his Wednesday start. Skip a start, make sure he’s OK, I mean it’s not like the Royals are in the heat of a pennant race here.

But OK, Meche said he felt good after his two days off. And as Hillman said: “He’ll know with his experience.” Meche said he wanted to go Wednesday … OK, let him go. “No reservations,” Trey Hillman said. Pitching coach Bob McClure, a sensible soul, was a bit more cautious.

“I would say we’ll probably monitor how many pitches we’re going to let him throw,” McClure said.

Well, sure. Of course. I mean, you wouldn’t let a guy with a dead arm and bad back throw a lot of pitches. That’s OBVIOUS, no? Meche went out and, good to see, his stuff looked pretty good. He was throwing in the low-to-mid 90s again. His curveball looked pretty sharp. He did walk five guys in five innings, and he did labor, and he did throw 99 pitches in those five innings which I think is probably a few more than you would want him to throw. But hey, he only allowed one earned run and the Royals were in the game and Meche seemed to be back on track … Mission accomplished.

Only then … Gil Meche walked out the mound to start the sixth inning.

I wanted to rub my eyes, you know, the way they do in the movies when they see a ghost or really beautiful woman. I looked back at my computer — yep, he’d thrown 99 pitches. I retraced my steps: Yes, Meche did say he had a dead arm, yes there was some stiff back issues, yes everyone said the Royals were going to be cautious, yes, check … and then I looked back on the screen and there was Meche, or at least some guy with Meche’s name on his jersey, on the mound. What? Gil Meche has two-and-a-half years left on his $55 million contract. Gil Meche was the Royals opening day starter. Gil Meche is absolutely one of the critical players if the Royals are EVER going to dig out of this hole …

It couldn’t be. Nobody would send Gil Meche out there. Nobody would do that. Nobody would do that. Nobody would do …

On the second pitch of the inning (101st pitch overall) Carlos Gomez cracked a vicious double down the left-field line. Well, in a way, that was good. Carlos Gomez does not hit many vicious doubles … surely now Hillman would come and take Meche out and end this preposterous …

No. Meche stayed out there. He struck out Nick Punto*. He got Denard Span to fly out on the first pitch of an at-bat (yay Denard!). So Meche had 105 pitches and might get out of this without it being a total disaster.

*So, is Nick Punto the new odd/even guy? I mean, Punto is not an especially good offensive player at any point, but in even years he seems to be passable, especially for a versatile guy who can play numerous positions. In odd years, not so much:

2006: .290 average, .352 on-base percentage, 17 stolen bases.
2007: .210 average, .271 slugging, 52 OPS+.
2008: .284 average, 99 OPS+.
2009: .212 average, 51 OPS+.

No sir. Matt Tolbert then worked Meche for an eight-pitch at-bat which led to a walk. Meche was now up to 113 pitches with two of the best lefty hitters in the American League — Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau — coming up. Well, yes, that was a disaster, but at least now Meche would get taken out of the game and …

No. Meche stayed in to face Joe Mauer. It leads to one of the great questions of philosophy: At what point does idiotic become criminal? Jamie Quirk, who was color commentator on television, talked about how Meche wanted to stay out there. Well OF COURSE Meche wanted to stay out there, but that’s why you have a MANAGER, someone who MANAGES to walk out to the mound and say, “Great effort Gil, but you know, I had to be insane to let you pitch the sixth inning in the first place, I have to get you out of here now.”

But Meche stayed out there. He got ahead of Mauer 0-2, then threw a ball, then Mauer singled, scoring a run. Meche was up to 117 pitches now. Hillman finally went to the mound. We had driven past the lunacy exit about four miles back … we were now in lawsuit territory. Could there be any explanation — ANY explanation — for pitching your wounded Opening Day starter 117 pitches?

Wait for it.

No, wait for it.

Hillman walked back to the dugout and left Meche in the game to face Morneau.

I don’t know. Maybe at some point, when you’re SO FAR down the wrong road, you just go: “What the hell, might as well keep going and hope we run into something good.” Maybe it would have been more damaging to have Meche throw 117 pitches and then pull him before the inning was done. I don’t know. I really don’t know. We are in such la-la land here, there can be no logical questions … these are like “How would you wash a unicorn?” questions. I do know that Meche threw four more pitches and did get Morneau to fly out to right.

And the final tally: Gil Meche, who four days earlier was not sure he was going to start, who three days earlier was going to be watched closely, who one day earlier was talking about how he hoped he had his velocity back … threw 121 pitches. The explanation afterward seemed to be that Meche wanted to … and his stuff was good. Or something.

And look: Meche may be fine. As my friend Bob Dutton likes to say when he sees something that seems beyond any and all logic — “Well, hey, it COULD work.” Covering the Royals for years will do that to a man.

The weirdest part of all might have been a camera shot of Hillman sitting next to trainer Nick Swartz in the dugout while Meche was on the mound. They were not talking … they were both looking out at the field, manager and trainer, side by side in concentration. I could not help but wonder what they were looking at.

Were they looking out there and thinking, “Hmm, you know, it might not be the world’s best idea to let this guy throw 121 pitches?”

Were they thinking, “Hmm, hey, you know, someone might want to actually count this guy’s pitches so we could know how many he has thrown?”

Were they thinking, “Boy, I hope this works and doctors don’t find out tomorrow that Gil has a serious injury because that would mean both our butts?”

Were they thinking … at all?

KevB
07-02-2009, 04:07 PM
The Royals have a guy who follows them religiously for years of crappy baseball, and they dump on him.

They better hold on tight to those fans who still actually give a rat's ass...
Not many of them left.

Right on the money. Are the Royals this stupid/incompetent? I've been trying very hard to be patient with Dayton. He's trying to beef up the minors to make this a viable organization long-term, and that's the right decision. He's attempted some stop gap solutions at the major league level that haven't worked for the most part, but they were short term risks so I won't kill him for those. But decisions like this are just juvenile and come off as minor league quality.

OmahaChief
07-02-2009, 04:12 PM
I just sent the Royals a scathing email off their site. Screw them. 32 years a fan and they start acting like this. I am done.

Sure-Oz
07-02-2009, 04:14 PM
Update from Rany's blog-

Just to be clear here, since I think everyone’s taking my words a little too literally: I don’t think I’ve been “banned” in the sense that they’re going to have security guards outside the stadium making sure that I don’t buy a ticket. It does mean that the Royals have cut off any access I may have from the team for my radio show, and – this is critical – have intimated that any other radio show which has me on as a guest faces the same penalty.

I see this as the equivalent of having my media credentials taken away, except of course that I don’t have media credentials, and the Royals have made it clear they don’t give media credentials to bloggers.

DeezNutz
07-02-2009, 04:17 PM
JoPo has just been banned.

Everything is great at the new K, folks! Great! Come on out for scrotum Thursdays. The product on the field sucks balls, so why shouldn't you?

Edit: The K informational ministry has banned the poster known as "DeezNutz" from further comment on our wonderful product.

WilliamTheIrish
07-02-2009, 04:19 PM
I guess this means that I'll be getting run for my treatment of Jose Guillen. And I'll do it again too.

DeezNutz
07-02-2009, 04:20 PM
Is the "Don't Ban Me Bro'!"t-shirt going to be handed out this Tuesday?

KCUnited
07-02-2009, 04:30 PM
JoPo: That's what I'm talking about.

Sure-Oz
07-02-2009, 04:32 PM
JoPo has just been banned.

Everything is great at the new K, folks! Great! Come on out for scrotum Thursdays. The product on the field sucks balls, so why shouldn't you?

Edit: The K informational ministry has banned the poster known as "DeezNutz" from further comment on our wonderful product.

ROFL

I definetly want to make a 'don't ban me' tshirt

Sure-Oz
07-02-2009, 04:36 PM
Latest Tweet from Rany-
UPDATE: The Royals and I have resolved our differences amicably. Details to follow on my website shortly.

Frazod
07-02-2009, 04:38 PM
Latest Tweet from Rany-
UPDATE: The Royals and I have resolved our differences amicably. Details to follow on my website shortly.

Damn. Normally you have to be French to surrender that quickly. ROFL

Demonpenz
07-02-2009, 04:48 PM
The royals remind me of my dad sometimes. yelling the shit out of me if i spilled something then turn around and knock off a pitcher of iced tea

Sure-Oz
07-02-2009, 04:54 PM
The royals remind me of my dad sometimes. yelling the shit out of me if i spilled something then turn around and knock off a pitcher of iced tea

ROFL

Ari Chi3fs
07-02-2009, 04:55 PM
Damn. Normally you have to be French to surrender that quickly. ROFL

No shit. This team is retarded now.

alnorth
07-02-2009, 04:59 PM
Latest Tweet from Rany-
UPDATE: The Royals and I have resolved our differences amicably. Details to follow on my website shortly.

Well, damn. I love Rany's blog and was just about ready to type out my "I'm done with the Royals for a while" rant. Guess I'll just see what happens.

Ari Chi3fs
07-02-2009, 05:02 PM
Rany may be a blogger, but he is one of the most reliable sources of KC Royals news out there.

Sure-Oz
07-02-2009, 11:15 PM
http://www.ranyontheroyals.com/

UPDATE-

Thursday, July 2, 2009
Back to Normal.

Well, it’s sure been an interesting day. I’ve fielded interview requests from national media and inspired a Twitterati revolution, all while seeing 20 patients and conducting a staff meeting at the office. Thank God it’s a holiday weekend.

Thanks to my friends at 810 WHB, it appears that cooler heads have prevailed. The Royals have admitted that their threats to force other radio shows to choose between having me on and having access to the team were made in the heat of the moment.

I freely admit that the Royals are well within their rights to snub my radio show if they don’t like what I’m saying. But there’s a big difference between passively resisting my show and actively trying to sabotage my career. Now that the latter possibility is off the table, we’re cool. I don’t think I’ll be dining with Dayton Moore anytime soon, but I’ll get over my disappointment eventually.

And while the Baseball Prospectus event at the ballpark is probably dead – although you never know – I’m still planning to come to Kansas City that weekend. So those of you who are interested, keep the evening of July 18th open, and hopefully I can meet all of you then – even if it’s something as casual as telling people to meet in front of one of the gates and then we all buy seats in the cheapest section of the ballpark.

So let us hope there will be no need to speak of this again. I’m going to take the long weekend to recover, and look forward to making my usual Monday morning appearance on the Border Patrol. And hopefully I’ll be back here next week with a new post that calls for someone other than Nick Swartz to lose their job. I’m thinking of going after the PA announcer next. Or maybe the guys who set off the fireworks on Friday nights. They suck.

Many thanks to everyone for their support. You never know how many friends you have until you need them, and it turns out I have more than I deserve. And to the Royals: it will take a lot more than this to break my fandom. I wish I knew how to quit you. But I don’t.

Posted by Rany at Thursday, July 02, 2009 13 comments

DeezNutz
07-02-2009, 11:22 PM
Interesting.

I put in a call to the Royals earlier today voicing my displeasure with their embarrassing handling of the situation. Pretty sure this prompted the reconciliation.

sportsman1
07-02-2009, 11:35 PM
Gee wiz.. that has truly been a touching story. Man gets dumped... Man fights with passion... Man learns his passion can carry him through anything! :deevee:

Just Passin' By
07-03-2009, 12:17 AM
Gee wiz.. that has truly been a touching story. Man gets dumped... Man fights with passion... Man learns his passion can carry him through anything! :deevee:

I look at it in a different light:

Man is in an abusive relationship..... Man points out some problems..... Man gets dumped..... Man gets change to stand proud and walk away, but folds and returns to the same abusive relationship when his love offers to take him back.

sportsman1
07-03-2009, 12:30 AM
I could go with that better too. Regardless.. it takes a KC sports franchise to create this kind of drama.

Ari Chi3fs
07-03-2009, 01:34 AM
Interesting.

I put in a call to the Royals earlier today voicing my displeasure with their embarrassing handling of the situation. Pretty sure this prompted the reconciliation.

Oh... I'm pretty sure it was my call... and my email to them... and my tweets, that made them change their minds...

Oh, and my smoke signals... and the snarled lip that I did... all of that.

You are welcome, Rany.

T-post Tom
07-03-2009, 02:49 AM
I haven't given up hope on Moore, but the coaching staff needs to be revamped. Hillman needs to receive his walking papers after this season. I hope that he's replaced by someone who's won some MLB playoff games (as a manager).