Royals Swept Aside in Tampa Bay

So Joe Posnanski, where's that precious competence you promised after Opening Day? We're less than two weeks into the season, and if anything the Royals look worse than ever, a pitching staff in shambles, a bizarre and punchless lineup, wholly arrogant ownership and curious (at best) daily decisions by Allard and Buddisimo.

Your Team, Your Town. You're Payin' For It.

Make that 2-9, and 0-6 on the roadie. Despite the return of David DeJesus, and some good play from Mark Teahen and Shane Costa, the Royals fell again to Tampa, 9-5. Still, the lineup isn't functioning right now, with Sweeney posting another 1-4, Minky throwing down an O'fer in the middle of the lineup, and Buddisimo Bell continuing to blackball Matt Stairs damn near out of baseball.

Even worse, the Royals ruined the season debut of Mark Redman, who was decent through 5 IP, allowing only 3 ER. Steve Stemle came in and quickly blew up the game, turning a 4-3 lead into an 8-4 def' before 11,853 thrilled fans in Florida.

The Royals have scored 45 runs this season, good for 28th "best" in baseball (although with one more Giants run tonight against the Dodgers the Royals could drop further). The team's cumulative batting line is .240/.291/.401, which includes the worst team OBP in baseball. (Amazingly, there are quite a few NL teams that are slugging less than our Royals.)

Shockingly, the offense isn't even the biggest problem. The Royals team ERA stands at an incredible 7.45 which stands a full run higher than any other team in baseball (take that Pittsburgh). The Royals are allowing the highest OPS in baseball (.906 ... think about that for a second, against the Royals, every player is an All-Star), with the second worst K/BB ratio to go along with all the hits, a pathetic 1.19.

Take a look at some individual stats from the pitching staff:

Anchoring the bullpen is Jimmy Gobble's 19.64 ERA, along with Andy Sisco's at 12.60, and Steve Stemle's 15.00. By those standards, Luke Hudson's 6.14 ERA and Mike Wood's 6.48 are acceptable.

No sarcasm can mask my appreciation for Elmer Dessens 1.17 ERA however, however fluky it may be.

From the starters, we've been treated to some good work from Scott Elarton, a 3.60 ERA in 20 IP and some "competent" performances from Bautista, who's now on the DL. Still, we've also been horrified by Joe Mays' ungodly 12.86 and Jeremy Affeldt's 14.73.

At the plate, we've watched a similarly well-distributed range of awfulness. Sweeney's struggles are well-documented, and he's currently at .125/.282/.250. Still, Doug Mientkiewicz was voluntarily brought in to play for us, and he's not much better at .235/.289/.324... an OBP under .300 is an OBP under .300.

Which brings us to about half the lineup. Angel Berroa's established quite a standard of failure the last two seasons, and is right where he belongs in '06: .282/.300/.333. Mark Teahen is at .235/.270/.382 while Tony Graffanino (who's been DHing and playing first) is at .154/.154/.385.

On the positive side, we have indeed gotten good work from Reggie Sanders, who's sitting at .282/.300/.564; and Emil Brown's been familiarly OK, at .237/.356/.421. (At least someone in the lineup is getting some walks.) The lovable Mark Grudzielanek is at .279/.319/.395, which isn't terribly good, and belies the overall impression that he's played well early. Lastly, John Buck has been John Buck, although we're still waiting for his first home run.

And, as I become increasingly obsessed with, Matt Stairs has been granted 6 PAs this season, which is three less than Paul Bako and 31 less than Minky. I just don't get it.

Since the Royals are now officially taxpayer funded, don't we deserve to ask, "where's the competence Mr. Glass?"

The Good Ole Days...

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