And then I will run across a headline, like this one on MLB.com, and realize that all of my spew is actually rim-shot-worthy material just writing itself at tremendous speed. The part I play is actually quite minuscule as I am merely an ebullient conduit for said spew. Any negative repercussions are clearly someone else’s fault (I’m the oldest of seven kids, so I’m an expert at redirecting blame).
But to be perfectly clear, I do not want to be the Matt Drudge of Major League Baseball — one who takes simple news stories with rigid headlines and turns them into bits of sultry, one-sided crap by reconstructing their titles with right wing conservative Christian buzz words in large red font with quotation marks ad nauseum (this is also known as fear mongering). If I may be trite, a news story is what it is.
And the Royals are what they are, with or without my chiding.
So let’s face it: the Royals are an abomination. They may not be on the exact level of abomination as the Pirates, but they are close behind. Just look at the rosters for those two intrasquad teams mentioned in the linked article:
Team 1: Scott Podsednik, LF; Chris Getz, 2B; David DeJesus, RF;
Josh Fields, 3B; Rick Ankiel, CF; Alberto Callaspo, 2B; Wilson Betemit,
DH; Ernesto Mejia, 1B; Brayan Pena, C.
Team 2: Mitch Maier, LF; Jason Kendall, C; Billy Butler, 1B;
Jose Guillen, RF; Alex Gordon, 3B; Scott Thorman, DH; Mike Aviles, 2B;
Brian Anderson, CF; Yuniesky Betancourt, SS.
Now, tell me you aren’t laughing as hard as I am.
Was that a bit harsh?
I don’t know. Isn’t it a bit harsh on the five or six fans left in Kansas City to know that their big offseason acquisitions include an old guy who used to run well, a walking concussion who can’t hit a breaking ball and another old guy who… well, okay, Jason Kendall might teach those kids something… but Wilson Betemit!?! WTF!?!?
All jokes aside, I can tell you this: there was a time when Royals baseball invoked fear in the minds of all opponents. Nowadays the only thing invoked by the Kansas City Royals is a quick change of the channel.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
If I were stranded on a remote island ten years ago and I just now got back to see Rick Ankiel is playing center field for the Kansas City Royals, I would be thoroughly confused. We all know what a tremendous story Rick Ankiel’s career has been up to this point. So let me be clear: as a Cardinals fan, I fully support Ricky and thank him for all he did in a Cards uniform. I wish him the best of luck.
Yet I cannot help but believe all those concussions did a smidgen more than some serious damage to his psyche.
In his welcoming press conference with the Royals last week, Ankiel mentioned that part of why he wanted to come to Kansas City was because he ‘liked the direction’ the team was going.
And we all know it.
The truth is: Rick Ankiel is happy to be with the Royals because he has a job now when it looked like he might not. I can’t blame the guy. I would do the exact same thing… which may or may not include my liking ‘the direction’ of the team.
Because, let’s face it: this team ain’t goin’ anywhere.
Scott Podsednik. Jason Kendall. Billy Butler. Kyle Farnsworth.
These names do not a champion make.
I think the best summary of the Kansas Royals’ direction, under the keen eye of GM Dayton Moore, is represented by a technical glitch which provided wonderment during the press conference.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Kansas City Royals: Team of Infinite Regress:
– – –
Tune in Monday and Tuesday of this week. Ninemen’s Morris is baaaaaaaaaaaaack…
Besides Chinatown flea markets and the out-of-this-world chili at Ramova Grill, the best part about living on the Southside of Chicago is having the White Sox play in my own backyard.
Because as a Cardinals fan far removed from my old Busch Stadium stomping grounds, I know I can always find good, learned, baseball-lovin’ folk at New Comiskey (only newbies and yuppies call it The Cell — so I’m told).
And on Monday night, Southsiders came out to the park in droves. It was hot. It was humid. The rain was coming down hard. But Mark Buehrle was on the mound and it’s no secret that White Sox fans love them some Mark Buehrle. Over 36,000 people came out to see him duel the Royals’ Brian Bannister… yes, 36,000! On a Monday night. With an hour long rain delayed start. Against the Royals.
Now that, dear readers, is some serious dedication.
Perhaps the influx of fans was due to the high hopes of a pitcher’s duel.
Well, we didn’t get it.
‘Cuz when Yuniesky Betancourt goes yard, you know the pitching ain’t so great.
Indeed, it was a back and forth battle throughout, until the Sox broke it open in the 7th inning and appeared to have the game in hand.
But Scott Linebrink seemed focused on tempting the Royals’ scouts, who seem to go after the poorest of performers. Yes, Linebrink’s Kyle Farnsworth impression was brilliantly played by blowing a 3 run lead in the 8th on a Mike Jacobs rocket launch over the right field wall.
Fade to black?
Not so fast. Alex Rios walked to start the bottom of the 8th. Scott Podsednik continued his 2005 renaissance with a go-ahead run-scoring double… and then later Ozzie Guillen brought in the Fat Man to seal the deal.
Sure, it was a great game and all… but the whole time I couldn’t take my eyes off the guy sitting in front of me:
Don’t hate ’em ‘cuz they’re right.
Don’t believe me? Just ask Kevin Gregg.
There are home runs and then there are home runs. When a guy like Ryan Howard hits one off the sweet spot, chances are it’s going to travel a longs ways. However, when someone like Scott Podsednik gets one out of the park, you assume that there must have been a strong gust of wind somewhere around the end of its ride.
Similarly, there are drugs and then there are drugs. Now I don’t want to say that some drugs are all right because it’s true that most have some sort of side effect. But even implying that PED’s and a drug like marijuana have the same kind of effect on sports and the players or that they should be punished the same way is pretty ignorant.
That’s why I’m curious about this Geovany Soto admission. I don’t think it’s any secret that a lot of professional athletes enjoy a little visit with Steve Green every now and again and it has become even more prevalent and less stigmatized among the younger generation. But, MLB under Bud Selig has often shown a tin ear when it comes to these sorts of things. Their response to Soto’s test will show a lot about what direction they plan to head.
If it was up to me, I’d hand out the minimum. A slap on the wrist, some drug counseling or something along those lines. But you never know when and where reefer madness is going to strike and my guess is that they’ll come down disproportionately hard on Soto after screwing the pooch with the PED debacle. Hopefully they’ll see it my way but if it turns out that Soto is also growing a little on the side, maybe even mixed in with the ivy in the outfield, well, then all bets are off.