Thursday, April 07, 2005

Ongoing Commentary on Rubber Thursday

It would be amazing if the Royals could capture the first series of the season, even if it is in Detroit. Winning road series is quite an accomplishment for this bunch. The outlook seems quite good, with our ACTUAL ace on the mound today. I'm very much looking forward to watching Greinke's season debut today. The DVR is recording the game as we speak (well, we're not really speaking).

-- True to form, Tony Pena is starting Tony Graffanino. Gotay, starter for all of one game, will surely be buried on the bench for two weeks after Tony G.'s perfect Wednesday. Even worse, why isn't Pickering starting today against the right hander (and Stairs)? I think Pena manages by feel rather than by logic, and since they won yesterday he "feels" like he should ignore his matchup advantages and keep practically the same lineup on the field until proven wrong.

Pena is so predictably ridiculous.

-- I recall that Jason Johnson gave the Royals some trouble last season, so I wouldn't be shocked to see him put together a solid performance today.

-- The Royals discussion board is alive with Johnny Damon condemnations in the wake of the publication of his book. On the surface, he's a very, very easy target - divorces his wife of 11 years (who was his high school sweetheart) after he becomes famous and leaves behindhis young twins to marry a blonde bombshell. Johnny's problem is classlessness - he should not have aired his marital problems publicly in his book. But I'm leery of standing in judgment of the anyone in absentia. People like to think they can understand what's happening with a public figure by cobbling together press clippings and juicy quotes, but I have no idea what drove Damon to leave his wife (well, except that hoards of young, buxom attractive women were beating down his door). Must we ASSUME that Damon is in the wrong here? Maybe being with his ex-wife was hell on earth. The point is no one has any idea.

-- OH S***! GREINKE JUST LEFT THE GAME IN THE THIRD INNING. What happened? I need MLB Audio! All I know is "Injury Delay" and "Nate Field replaces Zack Greinke".

UPDATE: Oh, I see that he took a line drive in the arm. I'm sure that smarts, but at least its not an actual injury. Whew.

-- Without the benefit of audio or video, I'm going to assume that Terrence Long was thrown out on a straight steal so I can rant about it: the Royals could have scored a run on John Buck's double play, rather than it ending the inning, if Long had stayed put. "Staying aggressive" is nothing more than a PR buzzword for a team that can't hit. To hell with that - better to learn the lesson that there ARE consequences to giving away outs by "staying aggressive" and this was a textbook example.

UPDATE: Apparently it was a blown hit and run. Its hard to drive blind!

-- 3:24 pm. Things have come unglued in the 7th, capped by Tony G.'s 2-run error. These are the Royals I've come to hate - they let the game get away from them too often. A managable 3-0 deficit is compounded by an error, leaving an insurmountable 7-0 deficit in its wake.

End transmission.


At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Spike said...

Apparently in Pena's mind four for four is better than a homer. Big Cal homers in three straight (including the last two exhibitions) and sits for the lefty in game 2, Graff goes four-for and plays v. the righty. I was actually for Graff starting against Maroth, keeps him sharp and gets a little of our thin bench involved, but starting today was silly. And where did Cal go? C'mon Tony, if Graffanino's hot, then Pickering's hot too.

At 1:23 AM, Anonymous Spike said...

Okay, according to Dick Kaegel on, Pickering was with his wife for the birth of their child on Thursday. And Matt Stairs was out of line-up with back pain and a tweaked hamstring. So instead of railing on Pena for not playing those guys, I should have been railing on him for carrying twelve pitchers. Apparently on Thursday Gotay and Castillo were the only available bench players.


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