Thursday, April 26, 2007

Dear Buddy Bell:

I grow tired of watching Royals games. You are the cause. The team's ineptitude is magnified by your ineptitude. I agree with all the points of my previous poster; especially the starters and catchers argument.

First of all, the starters have a 3-4 ERA, pretty fantastic for this team. The bullpen has a 6+ ERA. The Royals have a 4-2 lead going into the 7th. Perez has a pitch count of 79 and you pull him. Not surprisingly, the bullpen does what Perez could have done, which was given up the leadoff double. But instead of using up the starter's reps, you used a massive amount of our bullpen to get 2 outs, and then Soria, our closer had to come in and save your ass.

Here's the thing, yes, maybe pitch count for some guys is important (Prior and his magical year when he was awesome, but Dusty used him for counts of 100-140 per start, and look at him now), but there is also something to be said that Perez is practically free, won't be with this team next year, and isn't a very good player anymore. Why waste bullpen time on a guy we might as well use up? Even if we lost, we would have blamed Perez, not you Buddy.

Brandx's position on the catcher's speak for itself. Buck is younger, Buck is actually hitting this year, and though it probably won't last, he's already matched some career totals...

I do (semi) oppose the stance of Sweeney and Grudz. Both have been injured, one has a history of injuries so sitting them to get the most out of them seems like a decent idea. That being said, Sweens looks like shit and you may as well put him out there b/c he's hitting the ball when he starts as much as he's hitting the ball on the bench. Grudz you can make an argument for b/c we have Estey at 2B who needs reps. But, on any given day, I'd rather have a professional like Grudz in the lineup than the German super-sub (any one think he's the next Desi Relaford; i.e., a one-year wonder? I do).

Now the real issue with Buddy; and yes, I haven't liked Bell for the past season or so, but Brandx did manage to convince me to give him a shot with better players, which he has this season. And granted, we shouldn't have a winning record, but we also shouldn't be 7-14. I think Bell's new Micromanaging for Baseball strategy is horsesquabble. In the past few games, I have seen him micromanage the bullpen more this year than he ever did last year. What the heck is up with all these L-L matchups, pulling starters with low pitch counts pitching well, and WHAT IS UP WITH THE CONTINUED USE OF JO-MUTHA Fing-EL PERALTA'S PLAYING TIME?

Peralta is a crutch of Bell's that is made of rotting wood. It's about to break and possibly kill Buddy. And I think Peralta is a useful reliever, but my god, if I was Peralta I'd be pissed. He should see 50-60IP per year, he's almost got that in April. His effectiveness is severely limited b/c he's an average player playing against superb hitting. He can get great hitters out, but the more he's seen, the less he'll be successful.

Also, Neal Musser, great addition to the pen, what the hell are you doing putting him out there in 3-2 situations? As a rookie, what happened to exposure to the bigs in games that you are a) being blown out or b) blowing out the opposition? You want a guy to fail, then manage the rooks like you do Buddy.

And why are you suddenly doing this L-L bullshit? You put Riske in, leave him in for an inning. You know why Gobble can't get consistent? B/c you keep putting him in L-L matchups for .1 inning. Gobs was a starter, he has proven that lefties hit him pretty well. Quit following logic and follow some trends. He's better when he pitches an inning or two an appearance. He may give up a walk or hit, but usually manages to get out of it with little to no damage.

Buddy, you don't have the bullpen to continue pitching guys for .1, .2 per inning. Leave guys out there to succeed or not. Granted, you want the best possible matchup going into the inning, but with this team, and the lack of bullpen talent (until Dotel comes back, why are people so excited about Bale?), just let guys go out there and throw; and let's be honest, Soria has starter stuff and awesome talent, and probably will be a starter anyway (endurance). You want to win a game or two... put Soria out there in the 8th. Obviously, this wouldn't work all year, he'll wear down, get hurt, whatever. Luckily, he only has to do it for another 3-4 weeks and should be able to deal with the wear and tear until then -OR- when you have a 2 to 3 run lead against a weaker team, bring in Ducky or Riske or Braun (who needs the experience anyway) to give Soria the night off.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

You have lost a powerful ally, and gained a powerful enemy...

Dear Buddy Bell,

I know you don't know me and probably don't give a hoot about my opinions of your managerial skills... but I have been an avid defender of you over the past year and a half. When others were calling for your head, I preached patience. I felt that given a decent team you could perform quite well and get good results. Since you had yet to manage a team with any trace of talent I felt you deserved a chance. Yet, you repay me with this?!? I understand that my beloved Royals still fall short of being one of the more talented teams in the league, but you are only stagnating any talent we have. I can forgive you for the bullpen woes... injuries happen and you have been forced to use players more than would be liked by anyone. However, Braun has done alright, and Soria has been lights out (aside from last night), so why have we used them so little?

My bigger issue with you and your lack of management, however, has been your use of our starters, and our lineup. My complaints are as follows:

1. Pitch Count - This is the most worthless stat/consideration in the history of sports. Guys used to throw 400 innings a year, even back to back complete games, why can't they do that now? What do you think their pitch count got up to? The fact is that you pull a pitcher when it is obvious he is getting too tired to be effective or he is just ineffective all together. In other words, when Greinke pitches 6 or 7 masterful innings let him keep going, why would you pull him because his pitch count is getting close to 100? Especially when the bullpen has basically been playing for the other team. Let the starters play... our ERA for starters is among the best in the AL - I believe we're 4th or 5th. Seems to me like the longer our starters pitch the better our chances for winning.

2. Earned Spots - I know you will think I'm talking about our pitching here... and there's an argument to be made with Odalis Perez, but I'll save that for another time. My actual complaint deals with our outfield. Emil Brown should be the regular left fielder. I know this comes as a shock because he's had a crap April, but you are to blame for this. Emil Brown has proved over the last 2 seasons that he is one of our most consistent producers offensively, yet you have relegated him to back-up/platoon duty. I understand you have several players that need playing time, but this is ridiculous. You have shunned our leading RBI guy and caused him to play angry, and made him feel that he has to prove himself to play on the team. That is not a good mind set for a ball player... maybe it works in football, but baseball is much more subtle. I know you probably haven't figured it out, but baseball is a game of thinking and reacting... that requires a calm, collected player. So thanks for ruining a solid player.

3. Caution - This could fall in the Pitch Count, but I want to talk about position players on this one. Three times we had a chance to win a series to open the season, and on all three occasions you sat out some of our best hitters... how much sense does that make? Gee, I could give my team the best chance to win and give these young guys a boost of confidence, or I can sit Mike Sweeney and Mark Grudzielanek and crush my team's hope of a decent year. Good choice, Buddy. I understand that our hitters have been slow to start, but don't you realize that the best way for proven hitters to get out of a slump is to let them get as many reps as possible. Since these guys can hit (we know this... you should too) they just need to see a lot of pitches and their hits will start falling like a torrential downpour. Instead you have made them sit out every other game or so, and have severely hindered any chance of them getting their rhythm and timing.

4. Catching - You've got two catchers, both are doing well behind the plate, but one is hitting 200 points higher than the other and leading the team in homeruns. Why... WHY, are they still sharing equal playing time?!? Your response has been two-fold: first, that they both play defense well so they both deserve playing time; second, that LaRue needs reps to get his bat going. My argument to the first is this - our offense is killing our great starting pitching, not out catchers' defense. And, if they both play the same defensively how does that help LaRue's case, if anything it helps Buck... he plays defense and he hits?!?!? PLAY HIM THEN! And as for your second argument... refer to my previous complaint and do this with ALL of your players... you freaking hypocrit!

But, I digress. I just want to thank you, Buddy Bell, for killing all the hope we fans have... this season is on your shoulders.

Your faithful enemy,


Monday, April 16, 2007

Royals Fan: Looking for a Team to Root for.

Just kidding, I'm excited by the names on this current Royal's team, just not the current results (bullpen, hitting). Hopefully, this team will find itself to hit on all facets.

Other than being an A's fan, with a now-hurt Rich Harden, I've just become a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates (and I secretly root for the Braves). A team similar to KC, the Pirates are a small market who have sucked for many years, but this story by Kurkjian has inspired me to give the Pirates a try. I like heartwarming stories, like anyone else, and who knew Torres was such a bad-ass person.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

It is rebuilding time...

I realize that it is early to start talking Chiefs....but there have been some major develpments that warrant this talk. Two that are the most glaring: 1) The impending trade of Trent Green and 2) The retirement of Will Shields.

First, Trent Green. It was reported today (4/15/07) that the Dolphins are stepping up attempts to trade for Green. They are looking to release Dante Culpepper, and Cam Cameron is set on Green to lead the team. I can't disagree with him. Yes, he is older. Yes, there are health concerns, but this is a guy who the three seasons prior to this past one, was second to only Peyton Manning in passing yards and overall QB play (which really means he was the best QB as Manning is not a mortal being but other wordly). With the trade of Green that leaves the Chiefs with Damon Huard and Brodie Croyle. Huard did a good job in an even more scaled down offense (which was pretty much non-existant with Herm) and being unscouted as he had hardly ever played. Personally I don't think that that performace will continue this year, or that it even could as teams will know how to play him now. As for Croyle, I am excited about this guy. Young, mobile, big arm, and a pretty accurate thrower. But, come on, can expect this guy to take over and play like a Pro-Bowler from day one?!! Not gonna happen. I do however think he could eventually be a good, if not great QB. However, who ever the QB is, they will be on thier back quite a bit, as the O-Line is going to be pittiful. Which leads me to....

Secondly, Will Shields is retiring. What a man!!! The Chiefs could never have asked for a better player and person to have graced the team. 224 consecutive starts is amazing!!! And if you need any information about this guy, go here

However, with him leaving, along with Jordan Black (not a huge loss but still), an aging Weigmann, Damien McIntosh who is really unproven, and no right tackle. I wouldn't want to be a QB with that line, nor LJ or Bennett, or anyone behind that line. They will be DESTROYED!!

So our defense will be better with Harris and Edwards, and some good drafting, but really can the good fans of KC expect a whole lot next year. Not with all the holes in the line and the regressing of offense thanks to Herm.

The good news? If there is that at least in the NFL it doesn't take decades for a team to rebuild, retool, and comeback. So here is to a few rough years, then hopefully back to prominence.