I suppose there was something comical about the notion the Royals could play the part of spoilers this weekend against the Indians, but The Kansas City Star’s Joe Posnaski stopped laughing a long time ago (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory).
Here™s the thing: It™s hard to lose 100 games in one baseball season.
The Colorado Rockies have been awful. They™ve never lost 100 games in a season.
The Anaheim/Los Angeles/California Angels don™t have a storied history. They™ve never lost 100.
The Houston Astros have never lost 100.
The Montreal Expos of the last decade were baseball™s joke.
They didn™t lose 100.
The Chicago Cubs, everybody™s favorite losers, have not lost 100 in almost 40 years. They have lost 100 twice in their history.
The Royals are about to lose 100 games for the third time in four years.
This is a series of Royals thoughts and opinions, each exactly 100 words long. The Royals have been so bad for so long they merit their own form of prose. Call these Kansas City Royals haikus or Roykus, if you prefer.
Royals manager Buddy Bell (above) said something frightening the other day. He was talking about shortstop Angel Berroa and his unique talent for swinging at every pitch. Anytime you pitch an idea to a client, for instance, Angel Berroa is swinging a bat somewhere.
Berroa has 22 errors. He has 16 walks.
Here™s what Bell said: œI love plate discipline and on-base percentage. But I just think if you stay aggressive ” if you™re always ready to hit ” then you™ll get on base.
I can™t imagine worse advice.
This is how you end up 28th in on-base percentage and 29th in walks.
Here is what is so infuriating about the Royals: They don™t do a single thing well. They don™t hit for power (28th in slugging percentage, dead last in home runs), and they don™t have any speed (they will steal fewer bases than any Royals team ever).
Their pitchers get smacked around (dead last in batting-average against) but they also have no control (dead last in strikeout-to-walk ratio).
They are a dreadful fielding team (only the Tampa Bay Devil Rays have made more errors).
And they are at their worst in close games (they have the worst one-run record in baseball).
The Royals™ all-encompassing awfulness is what makes you wonder if there™s a plan. If the Royals sent eight Andres Blancos out there ” that is, eight guys who can™t hit but do play superior defense ” that would be a plan. It might be a bad plan, but at least you would be able to say: œOK, the Royals believe in strong defense.
If the Royals had four starters who threw plain 87-mph fastballs but always threw strikes, that would be a plan. You could say, œOK, the Royals believe in control pitchers.
Right now, there™s no telling what they believe in.