Immature Royals Right Back in Survival Mode


Well that didn’t take long.  May, on paper, looked to be the ideal time to close the gap with the Tigers.  The Royals had a wonderful chance to kick-start this important month, starting their “ace”, James Shields, against one of Detroit’s back-end options, Rick Porcello.

Shields pitched on a Friday night at home, against an inferior pitcher, who’s throwing for a team the Royals have to over come.  Shields laid an absolute egg.  As far as May games go, this was a huge one.  He blew the opportunity, plain and simple.

Don’t let Saturday’s 9-2 score fool you.  The Royals lost this game with pathetic hitting, a scoop of lackluster defense, and some stupid base running sprinkled on top.  Danny Duffy consistently flirted with disaster, because he’s a squirrel, and that’s what they do.  That said, he should not have given up a single run in his 4 innings, and probably could have thrown a fifth.  Anyone rooting for KC would have signed up for those results.  Considering how he labored, it was a gift.  A gift returned by Gold Glove winning Alex Gordon.

Alex Gordon‘s mental error allowed, coaxed, and enabled a lumbering Miggy Cabrera to tag on a short line drive to left field for the game’s first run.  Meanwhile the Royals managed no runs and 2 measly hits against another back-end, Tiger option, Drew Smyly.  One of those hits was a single by Danny Valencia that ended in an out when he tried to stretch his lonely single into a double.  Apparently Danny has been drinking Mountain Dew with Eric Hosmer before games.  Nori Aoki  did all he could to turn whispers into screams about his horrendous routes to anything resembling a line drive.  Look for the Royals to sign him to an extension because he’s such a perfect fit ($) for this ball-park.   Justin Maxwell confirmed he’s not a viable center field replacement, and that his spot on the roster has more to do with sentiment, and management’s stubborn immaturity than the team’s needs.

Sunday went exactly how it should have gone.  Horribly.  The Tigers, and their Cy Young winning pitcher, beat down the Royals and their version of a major free agent addition to their rotation.  Again, the game was not as pretty as the 9-4 score looks.  It was 7-0 Tigers in the fifth, the only intrigue being Verlander’s no hit bid that he lost with two outs in the 6th.  Jason Vargas has been good, better than expected, but you don’t expect him to beat Justin Verlander.  It is not reasonable to expect Vargas to put up an All-Star quality performance every time out.

But you do expect the team to compete.  Instead, the Royals laid down, while dropping  a cherry on top of this disgraceful sundae of a series.  Not only did the Tigers sweep the Royals, the Royals failed to even compete with the Tigers.  All of this at home.  This is what happens when a horrendous lineup only gets average starting pitching help from their rotation.  It is hard to say if it’s the talent in this lineup, the attitude of this line up, or the strategic approach employed by this line up that’s making it so horrible.  What’s not hard to say?  As it’s now constructed, as it’s now working, this lineup does not compete for the division, and will be lucky to hang in the Wild Card Race.

We can hope Moose gets better, that Aoki adjusts to the new ball park, that Duffy becomes that fifth starter, and that Escobar stays relevant at the plate.  To a certain extent, that’s all just noise.  None of that matters if Shields, Gordon, Hosmer, and Billy Butler don’t play like men when it counts.  It counts now.  Guys, it’s counted all season.  

It’s time to ask the question.  What the hell is going on with the Royals?  Why haven’t any of their good players become great?  Why are guys like Moose and Duffy still fringe big leaguers?  Most importantly why aren’t these players, and their skipper, furious with losing?  Eric Hosmer blamed the media for making losing streaks happen over the weekend. The KC Star just had a column about the Royals and their relationship with their prickly fan base.  Where do you think that came from guys?  Sounds like Royals leadership isn’t enjoying the weight of reasonable, adult expectations.  Oh ravenous KC Royals fans…be nice to them, please?

The Royals leaders employ a very gentle, coddling culture for the players and themselves, and it has expired in a major way. It’s big boy time.  If the Royals are under .500 on June 1st, it’s time for major changes, starting with their security blanket manager.  It’s time for this team, this entire team, to grow the hell up.  The fan base finally has.  

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Tags: Alex Gordon Billy Butler Eric Hosmer James Shields Kansas City Royals

  • flan50

    Terrific piece. I’ve said this for several years. The problem with the Royals is that they are entitled. There is no accountability. It starts at the top with Dayton and his lapdog Yosty. Excuses don’t cut it in the big leagues and that has been the never-ending theme in KC. Cut the crap boys and play like men!

    • Redblack564

      Exactly no accountability. Why do u think they played better when Brett was hitting coach last year ? He held them accountable for who they were and what they could do. I like Yost but he needs to be managing for his job the next 2 weeks. We already have an inhouse replacement in Jirschele who knows these players very well .

  • The Plaindealer

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Ed. Here we go, 0-4 to start May. The Star printed the Royals May record under GMDM this weekend – it’s not pretty. To have a near-.500 month of May, the Royals now need to go 15-10 the rest of the month. Do you want to put your beer money on that, what with Duffy’s meltdowns, Yost using Holland in blowouts instead of to preserve tight games, and Yost treating the players like temperamental blonde bombshell models who will walk out on the first date over spinach in your teeth? I’m with you – GROW UP!

  • nathan82

    It’s too bad that this message will not be received. We have guys like Hosmer and Perez who should be All-Stars for years to come, but who wants to bet on that happening. This is a good team. It’s not a bad team. But because the management and the fans have come to expect a bad team, having a good team seems to be enough for the folks upstairs. I am not sure if the talent is there for this to be a great team, but it would be nice for the players to at least want to be one.

  • flan50

    Unfortunately, I’m not a Yost fan. He was probably the right guy for the job when first hired, as his patience and support helped the young players breaking in. However, the past two years I feel his bristly attitude to all outside sources and protection of his players, who now have experience or are supposed to be major league leaders (like Shields), has been a detriment. Not to mention the handful of games he probably costs a team each season with his old-fashioned, set-in-his-way thinking. The players love him for his support. Well, is it any wonder? I’d love for my boss to constantly stick up for me if my performance sucked too! I’d love to see Jirsch get a shot with this team. Otherwise, bring in someone who will demand these players shut up, put up and do their job like professionals. And that includes shelving the stupid “signing” antics after every freakin base hit when you’re losing a game 9-0 and have a record below .500! This isn’t Little League guys.

  • Ed Connealy

    Thanks guys..we have players that play patty-cake after flair singles while down several runs, a manager that’s gruff w/ the media and says he has “NEVER” made a mistake evaluating young talent, a GM that felt like he won the World Series after a non play off season, and unnamed executives saying they get more love from national pundits than local fans. They do not get it. They are far too pleased and comfortable with mediocrity. Don’t go changen Royals fans…

  • cardsfanatik

    Ed Connealy, I read this, and fell in love with you. :) I could not have written this article better with an entire staff of writers!!!!!

    • Ed Connealy

      you warm my heart. thanks dude

  • cardsfanatik

    Yost is a blight. He is not a smart manager, he’s not even that smart of a guy period. He doesn’t MAKE his players perform. These guys get paid massive amounts of money to play a GOD DAMN GAME. Now while I know that hitting a baseball traveling 90+ MPH, with a bat that has a barrel of approximately 3-4 inches across is not the easiest thing in the world to do, I don’t get to practice it 365 days a year either. And if I sucked at my job as much as these guys suck at theirs, I WOULDN’T HAVE A JOB. I’m tired of the lame ass excuses. I’m tired of having a manager that should be flipping burgers at McDonald’s, (Who the hell ever hired him as a manager to begin with anyway? I’ll have to look that up. He needs throat-punched) We have a GM that either can’t or won’t draft the RIGHT players. And by right, I mean, who gives a shit about what your team needs “right now” because by the time those guys get here, that may not be what you need “right now”. Draft the best OVERALL talent, and don’t be a douche. A team like the Royal’s can’t afford to miss, yet Sale, Trout, etc, are playing elsewhere. And now ownershit, oops, I meant ownership. David Glasshole is a tight ass, self serving pile of shit. The man gives zero shit about baseball, the Royal’s or the fans of those Royal’s. He is a bottom line man, thats all. What the Kansas City Royal’s NEED, is an overhaul, not just manager, and GM, but from Ownershit, all the way down. 1985 guys………….Nuff said.

    • moretrouble

      MLB bats have a maximum barrel of 2 3/4 inches.

  • catfishjohn

    Love the write up. Truth, all of it. Hosmer blaming the media for losing skids really made me angry. What a dumb, copout thing to say to a reporter.

    • Larry Devore

      Maybe if hosmer was more selective at the plate, he seems to swing at anything even remotely close to the plate. He should stop trying to kill the ball, he looks like he is going to fall over the plate on each swing. Ask Hosmer to explain Moose, guess it’s the medias fault that he’s hitting around 150

      stop blaming the media and take on some accountability. Tired of the same lousy play since 1985

  • Larry Devore

    3 people responsible for this bleedin mess. Glass, Moore and Yost. What other manager would leave his pitcher to get clobbered. Vargas should have been pulled from the game. But Yost in his ineptitude decided to leave him in the game

  • moretrouble

    Ed, your column is refreshing to read. I come from a big town where it’s common to rip the teams. Esteemed Chicago journalists Bob Nightengale and Jerome Holtzman commonly ripped the Sox and Cubs. Even the announcers did … one reason Harry was so beloved in Chicago was he told the truth.

    I’m assuming you don’t have press creds for the Royals because if you did, Glass might have them pulled if he read your piece in the Star.

    I don’t agree with your piece today, but I respect it. People are disappointed in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, too. KC is a very good team … they just ran into a very hot Tiger team that’s playing the best ball in the A.L. right now.

    As you well know, the baseball season cannot be approached with the same intensity as a football season … either the players or the fans. So, save some of your ammunition, Ed … it might be needed later in the season, too.

  • Bear Brinkman

    Accountability??? What’s that? Moose should have been sent down LAST May but here he still is…treading water because Yost is underneath holding him up for air.I read a great article about how this team leads the league in ground balls, pop ups and swinging at bad pitches. They are last in line drives.And this goes back 4-5 years.Who lets that keep happening? Who leaves a starting pitcher in until the game is out of reach? Who keeps letting Hosner run the bases like Helen Keller? Why does this team take a base on balls like it’s a toothache? I could go on and on but we all know what needs to happen.

  • themonkeysays

    I just kept waiting to read “time to take the diapers off” a la Dick Vermeil.