Jim Thome’s 3-run HR in the 8th inning off reliever Kyle Farnsworth was the crucial blow in the White Sox’ 4-2 victory against Kansas City yesterday, and while the Star’s Joe Posnaski encountered a somewhat testy Trey Hillman afterwards (œI thought you wanted to ask me something else”), Rainly On The Royals has lost all patience with Farnsworth and his skipper.
There is no fathomable reason to think that Kyle Farnsworth is a better pitcher than Juan Cruz. None. And any reason that Hillman might proffer serves only to denigrate the intellect of the man proffering it. Before today™s game, I had been told that Hillman decided on Farnsworth in part because he pitched better during the final week of spring training. That excuse “ and I hesitate to sully the fine name of the term œexcuse by associating it with Hillman™s thought process here “ is both inexplicable and totally absurd. Which is to say, it makes as much sense as any other excuse that Hillman could have offered for his decision.
And it actually makes more sense than the other possible reason Hillman might have had: that Hillman arranged his bullpen hierarchy not based on performance, but based on salary. It™s a fact that Farnsworth was signed for more money than Cruz. It™s also completely meaningless, unless you™re using that information to evaluate Dayton Moore™s skills as a GM. If Hillman decided that he needed to justify the fact that one reliever is making $4.5 million a year and the other one is making $3 million a year “ or if Moore is forcing Hillman to make that decision “ as far as I™m concerned, that™s a fireable offense.
Juan Cruz has been the better reliever for at least three years. Dayton Moore signed him, at the cost of a draft pick, precisely because he was an upgrade on what the Royals had in terms of a bridge to Joakim Soria. How Hillman could have settled on Farnsworth to be his eighth-inning guy and decided that Cruz œcould default to the sixth if we needed that defies explanation.
Does Hillman even know that Farnsworth, whatever his assets are, is incredibly vulnerable to the home run? Does he know that U.S. Cellular Field is one of the best home run parks in baseball? Does he know anything?