Monday, June 27, 2005

Buddy's First Nadir

Moving day went surprisingly well for Mr. and Ms. Lancer. Its the first time I actually hired movers, and I guarantee you that it won't be the last.

As I surmised on Friday, the Royals struggled in Colorado and were swept aside by the team formerly known as the worst in major league baseball. That unfortunate distinction has now been smacked to the back to the Royals, who now stand at 25-49.

No more pleasant goodnights for Buddy Bell, I'm afraid. They've lost 6 straight and 8 of 9. Overall, the Royals are now 12-12 since Buddy was hired. I've stated elsewhere that I think Buddy has already earned his stripes with the Royals media and fan base for his Terrific Turnaround and will not suffer any ill will if the Royals are mediocre for the rest of the season, unless they go in the tank as a .350 ballclub the rest of the season. I don't think that's going to be the case; the Royals are better than they were a month ago even taking into consideration the last three series. It always hurts to lose 8 of 9, but consider they faced two great pitchers against Houston, an AL Central juggernaut on the road and had to play three games in the weirdest place to play baseball. So I'm willing to give Buddy and the Royals a break for now. If they were swept again by Tampa Bay, I'd be more concerned.

It won't get any easier the next three days in Minnesota. If the Royals can manage to take 1 out of 3, I'll be satisfied. Tonight would be the night to do it, with Greinke going up against highly-hittable Joe Mays.

-- I think the Royals' most tradable commodity right now might be -- gasp -- Mike MacDougal. I'd have laughed at myself for suggesting that at the beginning of the year, but it ain't so silly right now. He's pitched very well over the 2 months and has shown signs of finally harnessing control of that great stuff of his. And he's still cheap. There are plenty of contending teams (Atlanta, Boston, Florida, Arizona, Los Angeles) who could use a solid back-end arm at the deadline and MacDougal has done enough to merit consideration by those teams. I'd trade MacDougal in a second for a decent prospect or player of any sort, because I just don't trust him to remain effective or healthy over the long haul. But his arm and recent success must be attractive to needy teams, and since I don't think MacDougal fits into the long term plans of the Royals anyway (he's already 28), they owe it to themselves to explore the Mike Market.

-- I received a few comments defending Mark Teahen's defensive prowess. I don't watch the Royals play very often; I mostly rely on the radio broadcasts, recaps and statistics, and I fully admit that there are no good defensive statistics available. So I'm willing to cede the point to those who do get to watch him everyday. I'm happy to be wrong in this case.

-- Buddy Bell on Mike Sweeney:
“He’s not making the kind of progress that we’d hoped,” Bell acknowledged. “He hasn’t really done a whole lot. So anything that he does is probably going to cause a little discomfort.”
Does anyone else get the feeling that Mike "I'll Be Fine in a Few Days" Sweeney is going to miss a long, long time with this injury?

7 Comments:

At 5:30 PM, Anonymous FuriousB said...

I'm sure Mike will be out until the middle of August. On the bright side at least it isn't his back this time.

 
At 6:14 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Dude, I don't know if you noticed any spikes in your traffic, but I saw a direct plug to your site by David Pinto of Baseballmusings.com

It's an entry all by itself, so it oughta generate some traffic.

I'm not worried about the Royals struggles -- it's no more than I expected, as like you said, they're going against either quality teams and/or quality pitchers...or poor playing environments (Coors).

Stings to be losing almost every game, but these streaks have to be expected -- the Royals just don't have the players to stop it right now. Hope they don't stop playing the youngsters, though...Huber needs more at-bats.

 
At 7:56 PM, Blogger bruce said...

Word is Mike Sweeney will return Friday. I will see it before I believe it.

 
At 12:47 AM, Blogger Garth said...

this type of injury is different from his oblique/back spasm thing from last year (and some this year) -- hurting his wrist isn't a lack of leadership or something stupid like that, but a baserunner running illegally inside the paths.

 
At 9:25 AM, Blogger DL said...

You're right that this injury was not Sweeney's fault. Its just that Sweeeney tends to declare himself ready to go before he really is, so I don't expect him back on Friday.

 
At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Brian S. said...

Why in the world would you want to deal MacDougal when he appears to have finally put it all together? Can't the Royals have an effective power closer for a change?

Think about it outside of a season of effective closing by Steve Farr, when was the last time we had a closer who was successful and could strike guys out with the game on the line?

 
At 6:32 PM, Blogger DL said...

I just don't trust MacDougal to achieve any sustained success over the long run, so I'd rather deal him from a position of strength than hope that he's actually putting it all together.

 

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