In 2005 Buddy Bell did the brave and honorable thing for the long-term good of the franchise. Day after day, he put the immortal Terrence Long in the lineup. T-Long got 85 PAs in August of that season, and 105 in September and October. Sadly, it was the last time Long ever played full time again. This was part one of a two-part series RR did honoring T-Long and, in a way, venerable ole Buddy. Part II will be reposted tomorrow.
As the losses piled up and the creeping sense of despair and hopelessness grew, Buddy Bell knew just what to do: he had to keep playing Terrence Long.
Wise move Buddisimo. Mr. Long didn't let you down. Long posted a totally awesome .279/.321/.378 line in 137 games with the Royals. Now that it looks like Long's career with the Royals is over, it is important to get a grasp of his historical place in the Chronicles of Royal baseball. Without understanding our past, we're no better than the animals.
Home Runs: (6) Tied for 104th most all-time. Only just over 100 Royal players have homered more in the KC uniform than Long has. Six home runs from a corner outfielder in 2005 is part a solid recipe for success, if not domination. Long is tied with such luminaries as Benito Santiago, Chuck Knoblauch, and Vince Coleman.
Total Bases: (172) Long's in a dogfight with the immortal Larry Sutton for 103rd all-time. Since 2001 Sutton's appeared in 15 games with Oakland and Florida. Would it be too much to have Allard sign him to a one game contract so he can rip a single and end this deadlock?
Runs Batted In: (53) Wow, this is cool. Our friend T-short is tied for 100th all-time with the immortal run-producer Vince Coleman. Now I'm starting to see why Buddy played him so much: he might be 103 or 104 best in terms of raw hitting stats, but digging deeper, he's 100th as a run-batter-inner.
Stolen Bases: (3) Tied for 123rd all-time with 16 other players. I'm curious to see if Ken Harvey gets another steal as a Royal. If he does, he'll vaunt ahead of Long and further into the record books.
Sacrifice Flies: (4) Tied for 94th with 15 other players. It seems like 4 sac flies over the course of a season isn't that much, but considering the low- OBP of the Royals generally, I guess its not laughably bad. Long's tied with, among others, The Mighty Quinn who appeared in 293 games as a Royal. Remember him? He posted an .830 OPS in 500 ABs in 2000, which is pretty damn good for a dude thats basically out of baseball now.
Games Played: (137) Tied for 142nd all-time with Tony Gwynn. No, wait, not Tony, Chris Gwynn. Mark your calendars Royals fans, sometime next April Mark Teahen should pass Long on the all-time list. I hope ESPN does a live cut in when he makes his first PA on that day. I know I'll be there, standing and applauding in the front row.
In the next installment of Honoring T-Long's Legacy will examine his historical place amoung his contemporaries during the 2005 season.
Until next time, remember fondly this great player and man.