Injuries, Excuses, and Sucking – Guillen and Meche Quotes


The Royals’ season got a little more bizarre with some of the quotes being thrown out there over the last several days.

First off we learned from Dayton Moore that Trey Hillman would “absolutely” be back for the 2010 season. The dreaded vote of confidence has been cast. Under normal circumstances I would conclude that our manager would not survive the next month, let alone the rest of this season, but when it comes to the Royals, normal circumstances don’t apply. Clearly, based on previous posts, I am hopeful that Trey will be fired before the season is over. Frankly the way the team is playing lately I don’t see any way he survives into the 2010 season because they aren’t getting better anytime soon.

We also learned that Dayton and Trey apparently believe that this team would be competitive were it not for the injuries. I’m not sure if they really believe that or if they are just spinning the convenient excuse to deflect the spotlight from the shoddy roster construction and atrocious on-field management of this team. Either way the injury nonsense is a ton of crap. All teams deal with injuries and the Royals have been extremely lucky with the health of their starting rotation up until they had to DL Gil Meche. I realize that Sidney Ponson went on the DL earlier, but he was already in the bullpen by then and his DL status was probably a positive for this team the way he was pitching. The fact of the matter is that healthy or not, the 2009 Royals had 2 major deficiencies they were going to have to overcome. Their inability to get on base and their lack of team defense has killed this team all year and perfect health was not going to correct either of these issues. It was a flaw in roster construction from the start that was only exacerbated by the injuries they have suffered. Injuries have also exposed the complete lack of depth that this team and organization have to work with and that falls on Dayton Moore as much as anybody. While Trey Hillman may not think Royals fans are smart enough to grasp the nuances of the game of baseball, he and Dayton better realize we see through their screen of excuses.

Fortunately the players aren’t making the same excuses.

Gil Meche had this to say about his injury and his workload;

"“In every game, it’s been (mostly) my decision about how much I pitched. Each time, he’s given me the respect to ask me. So it’s nonsense (to blame Hillman).”"

Hillman allowing Meche to make the decisions means that Trey Hillman is not doing his job. If Trey isn’t doing his job, then he is to blame. He is letting down Dayton Moore, the organization, and the fans by not having a spine. The fact that Trey asks for Gil’s opinion doesn’t bother me, but the fact that he has mostly deferred to Meche in those instances is a problem which probably stems from Trey’s lack of experience as a ML player or manager. So perhaps our esteemed GM should name Gil Meche interim manager. Sure, he may blow his own arm out, but I’m willing to bet we wouldn’t have to put up with BS like having Sidney Ponson on the active roster. I gather that this is the case of a player sticking up for his manager, but statements like this aren’t helping anyone. Speaking up in defense of the manager just draws more light on the fact that there are problems with the team and validates the reasons behind the criticism. While Gil may have been trying to defend his manager, his defense was not well thought out and his comments only make Trey Hillman look even more incompetent.

Jose Guillen, never one to shy away from speaking his mind, had this to say about his performance;

"“I hate making excuses. If I suck, then I suck. And I suck. That’s the way I’m playing. If you suck, you suck. You have to take responsibility in this game. Right now, that’s the way I feel. Yes, I suck. I’m embarrassed by the money that I’m making and playing the way I’ve been playing. I’ll swear that on my kids’ (lives). I feel very embarrassed. Sometimes, I feel I should take money out of my own pocket and buy tickets for every fan. Because you know what? For a $12-million man, these are not the numbers you should be expecting. I admit it. I’m not playing to my potential.”"

Finally someone speaks the truth without trying to hide behind an excuse. My respect for Jose Guillen went up quite a bit when I read the above quotes today. What makes Jose’s quotes even more refreshing is that he keeps the focus on himself and the fact that he has sucked this season. He did not try to defend Trey or anyone else in the statements he made and that is equally refreshing.

As I write this, the Royals are on their way to losing their 8th straight game and will be 2-10 in their last 12. Trey Hillman and Dayton Moore appear to have lost touch with reality, but thankfully Jose Guillen and to a lesser extent Gil Meche have not. What does it say about management when they are front and center making excuses and tossing around votes of confidence when the players themselves are taking the blame for their lack of performance. The 2009 Royals have taken us all to a strange and bizarre alternate world and I just want to go home.