Thursday, June 02, 2005

Royals....Defending Their Buddy

Kansas City hires Buddy Bell and the sky is falling! I do not recall another managerial hire that has received the amount of bad publicity as the hiring of Buddy Bell. I am as guilty of bashing Bell as anyone, but doesn't it just make sense that the Royals go out and win the first two games against the Yankees after he gets the job? Obviously, Bell has not done anything in two days to change this team, but his presence might have been enough to wake some of these players up.

This is a team that by most accounts had become extremely comfortable. Maybe Buddy Bell sitting in the bullpen has been the proverbial pea under the mattress. It is hard to quantify effort, but there sure have been a number of nice defensive plays in these two games against New York. Are the players actually getting dirtier now that Bell has been hired? Where is the stat for that? As much as I would like to attribute this to Bell's managerial skills, any new manager would probably have the same effect.

Maybe the players read the Star yesterday, heard the less than glowing reports on TV and the radio and decided to fight back. Brian Anderson made it more than clear that he wasn't please with articles by Whitlock (his complaint was about the lenght of the deal, get a life) and Posnanski. Maybe the players are tired of the bad press, the team's reputation as a loser, and it has gotten them to give more effort on the field. It is alot harder to be critical of players when you can tell that they are giving everything they have.

Hopefully, the Royals will be bringing that same effort tonight against the Yankees. They will need it with Ryan Jensen facing Carl Pavano. Of course, last night DJ Carrasco pulled off a victory against Randy Johnson. That's the thing with baseball, for just one game anything can happen. I know I'll be watching to find out. I bet a bunch of other people will be as well.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Managers, Prospects, and Yanks

Yesterday was quite a day for the Royals. They disappointed most of their fans by hiring Buddy Bell. They called up yet another prospect in Shane Costa. Perhaps lost in the hoopla over Bell's hiring, they beat the Yankees.

There has been time to digest the Bell hiring now. After reading reactions from almost every source possible, I have found that there are not many differing reactions. The virtually universal prevailing view is that Kansas City *bleeped* this hiring up in the worst way. The national media has yet another reason to pile on to Kansas City, as if they needed more ammunition. After my search for the silver lining, the only thing that I have been able to come up with is that Bell is a no nonsense kind of guy who wants players to do things the right way. With all of the news coming out of Kauffman lately, it is apparent that some of these players to put them in their place. It isn't very shiney, but that is the silver lining that I found. There were guys who could do that AND manage a game who could have been hired, Terry Collins comes to mind.

I was hoping to see Shane Costa play last night, but he should be in the lineup tonight. I am not sure that Costa is ready, but he is 23 and should be able to deal with the struggles that are probably headed his way. Don't expect a lot of power from Costa, but he could end up a solid player. The best thing he has done to date is replace Marrero. It was time for Marrero to go, now how long does Lima have?

Kansas City beat the Yankees! On any other day, that would have been plenty to put smiles on the faces of the team's fans. Greinke finally got to replace that zero in the win column, even though he did not pitch exceptionally well. Mike Wood, Andy Sisco, and Mike MacDougal came in from the bullpen and pitched 4 scoreless innings combined. In the field, DeJesus made a couple nice plays, the leaping catch at the wall to start the game set a good tone. It was just one game, but I'll take a win against the Yankees anytime.

  • How about Juan Gonzalez? Back in the bigs and can't make it through 1 game? -insert punchline here_