You know, it’s funny. I looked all over the field and checked both rosters and didn’t see Joey Votto on either team on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, and yet, that’s all Jon Miller and Joe Morgan seemed to talk about.
In between the chatter, there was (technically) a baseball game, though the Royals must have been told the wrong time and date because they didn’t show up.
I’ll give the ESPN team credit at least, they recognized the up and coming minor league prospects before the game. I think a lot of casual fans look at Kansas City and don’t see a future where we have any good players other than one or maybe two. And frankly, usually they’re correct on that front. But Jon Miller posited that the Royals farm system is among the best in the majors and I’m close to agreeing with them (though part of that is because a lot of the prospects in other systems have been called up and are major leaguers now. Still prospects, just not likely to drop back down to the minors.
At any rate, Anthony Lerew took on Joel Pineiro, who has the profile of the type of pitcher the Royals can never produce against. Maybe I just remember the failures but it seems any time there’s a soft-tossing control pitcher against the Royals, Kansas City can’t touch them.
Lerew was alright for 2.2 innings, then Torii Hunter hit a three-run homer to make it 4-0. He left after a single and a walk in the sixth inning after only 80 pitches. He only got 47 over for strikes and gave up six hits. When Kanekoa Texeira relieved Lerew, he gave up a sacrifice fly and a homerun to make it 7-0. Victor Marte and Dusty Hughes came in and gave up two runs apiece and finally the beating was ended. Torii Hunter drove in seven runs and hit two homers.
Ugly. I guess I didn’t know what to expect with a nationally televised game. I thought there might be a chance to show some casual fans that we aren’t just the pushovers we’ve been the last 20 years. Hopefully nobody else was watching.
Though I suppose the Royals did show a little bit of bluster. In the bottom of the first, Lerew hit Bobby Abreu (after a couple of missed attempts) so it was nice to see the Royals retaliate for the two bean balls Billy Butler suffered the night before against Ervin Santana. Trey Hillman wouldn’t have done that. I’m not even one of those in the “you have to retaliate” camp – I just think it’s Ned Yost setting the tone for how a ball club is going to protect its players.
That was pretty much the high point though.