After losing two-of-three in St. Pete the Royals head up the coast to historic Fenway Park for a four game series against the Boston Red Sox. The teams last met May 7-9 at Kauffman Stadium which Kansas City won the series two games to one. This is the Royals only trip to Boston during the 100th season of Fenway.
After losing the series opener KC took the next two games with a comeback win game two and Bruce Chen clinching the series with 6.2 innings pitched. Billy Butlerwent 3-for-7 with a homerun and three RBIs after going hitless in the series opener.
We conducted a Q&A with Derek Stykalo who is the senior editor over at BoSox Injection to see what’s up with Red Sox Nation.
Kings of Kauffman – The Red Sox fired their pitching coach Bob McClure who had been with the Royals until this season, how dysfunctional are things with the team for us outside Boston?
Derek Stykalo – It depends what you want to believe. There have been numerous reports this season stating the clubhouse is in disarray, only to hear from the players like Josh Beckett that this is tightest group of player’s he’s ever been a part of. Personally, I think the clubhouse is a mess and there are a few egos that need to go, NOW! Last September is still being brought up because this club can’t get over the issues that plagued them to that historic collapse. Until they trim the fat with some of the overpaid, lazy, underachieving players, this team will be mediocre at best.
KOK – Follow-up what are fans opinions of how Bobby Valentine this season, since he seemed to be in a no win situation given how beloved Terry Francona was. Do you think given how torn the front office seemed to be on the hire is the reason for this?
DS – At first the fans were against Bobby V, wanting him gone as quickly as he started. Now, the fans realize that this is more on the players and they need to be held accountable for their actions both on and off the field. Bobby’s hands were tied from the moment he signed on in Boston. The owners make too many baseball decisions and granted Bobby didn’t help his cause when he threw Kevin Youkilis under the bus early on this year. That was the start of a huge riff between Bobby and the players, but again, the prisoners are running the asylum here and it starts at the top.
KOK – For Boston they’ve had better pitching and for various reasons that’s failed them this season, do you think it’s just the perfect storm of unfortune that’s hit the staff this season?
DS – I think the Sox pitching woes have more to do with the egos that remain from last year and the inability for some pitchers to break away from that. Specifically, Josh Beckett is the leader of this bunch and his attitude just plain sucks. He’s managed to drag Jon Lester down with him and aside from his last start, Clay Buchholz gave fans some hope that maybe he had broken away from the Beckett influence and would return to his dominant ways. The others, Felix Doubront and Franklin Morales have done a nice job filling in but still need some work before they’re ready to start 30+ games in a season. Aaron Cook and Dice-K are bridge players, holding down a spot until the offseason when the Sox can attempt to patch their rotation with better, more effective solutions.
KOK – A lot has happened since these teams played in May when KC took two-of-three but how would Red Sox Nation take if they lost another series to the Royals?
DS –To be honest, it would be fitting that the Red Sox continue their slide towards misery by losing another series to the Royals. This team is so far gone from turning it around that nothing would surprise me at this point. I may sound negative, but it’s hard not to when you look at the talent on paper this club has and considering they have one of the highest payrolls in baseball, a sub .500 season is just unacceptable. Yes, injuries have been a major story this year with 25 different players on the DL over the course of the season. But there is still too much talent to be this bad.
Probable Starters this week (All Times Central) –
Monday 12:35 pm, Luke Hochevar (7-11, 4.95) v. TBA
Here is the other side of the conversation that took place at BoSox Injections