This Week In Royaltown
I return from my two-week hiatus during which I wrote an in depth account of the making of the Tears for Fears album The Hurting. It’s been a rough two weeks, but I’m only going to focus on the last week because there’s plenty of disappointment in it to go around.
The Royals are 2-5 over the last week against some tough competition, and it’s the same story different chapter on their inability to score runs. For the week, they receive a D-, and in this case, unlike real school, D’s do not get degrees.
May 30, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur (21) sits on some quick dry bags during a rain delay against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Kansas City defeated St. Louis 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Panic in the dugout
I read somewhere a statement from Dayton Moore talking about how the team isn’t going to panic and all that nonsense. Of course, I wondered if that applies to the manager as well because some of his decisions can only be characterized as panicked and desperate. For a few games, he decided to hit Chris Getz leadoff. HUH? What on Earth is that about? He keeps playing Jeff Francoeur and Getz randomly. It looks a little like a platoon for Francoeur, at least, but then just to clarify his unwillingness to do things that make sense, Yost comes out and states that no, this is not a platoon, it’s a methodology more akin to enie-meanie-minie-moe. If this team has fallen off the rails, it starts with the lunacy of Yost. He is acting like a man very panicked. Hopefully, he’s panicked about losing his job, and hopefully that panic is justified.
The perfect storm of suck
I’m trying to not let the emotions of this terrible slide get to me so I can see the situation for what it actually is. Yes, the Royals are playing terribly, but that doesn’t really explain the slide. They’re playing bad, but they’re also being hit with a slump of misfortune. They’re losing close games because they can’t score, but they are still close games. The Royals Pythagorean win-loss prior to Sunday’s games was 26-27. Part of the reason they can’t score is that they aren’t getting hits with runners in scoring position. The Fox Sports broadcasts keep making a big deal of how well they hit with runners in scoring position, but that number slid so far in May. Really, they’ve just hit a perfect storm of poor play and misfortune. They can’t get timely hits. They give up untimely home runs. They can’t catch a break (remember the terrible call on the stolen base?). It’s as if the universe knows the Royals are down and wants to kick them in the ribs for good measure. It’s not an excuse. It’s just the reality, and certainly their poor play adds to their misfortune.
Between the ears
At this point, I feel safe claiming that this slump has very little to do with physical ability and a whole lot to do with mental maturity. This young team has allowed losing a few games or scuffling at the plate to stick with them mentally. Watching Mike Moustakas or Eric Hosmer’s body language is like watching depression Kabuki theater. They’ve always been a team that has bad plate appearances. Now, those appearances are followed by shoulder slumping and throwing helmets and a bunch of pity party nonsense that turns a mole hill into a mountain. I am a firm believer that baseball is played between the ears. Those with mental toughness thrive. Those without flounder. The Royals are floundering.
Just a quick thought on the weird rain delay rules the Royals are encountering. Major League Baseball needs to remove its head from its rectum and change these rules. They’re terrible. If you don’t know, the Royals nearly lost the game Thursday night to the Cardinals after taking the lead in the top of the ninth because of a terrible rule about weather effected games. Earlier in the year, the Royals had a lead wiped out by a postponement instead of the logical suspend play, which would allow the team to keep their lead. Get it right MLB.
That’s all for this week. We’ll see if this movie gets any harder to watch.