Why?!? Thats all I want to know.
While the size and glory of humanity's achievement is still the basic question at the heart of most political, philosophical and theological aporias, our kind has been able to conquer the land, water and sky, populating all corners of the world while occasionally creating random masterworks of incredible complexity and beauty. Behind nearly all of this has been a simple yet remarkably powerful skill: combining instinct, reason and memory to notice the negative effects of things like touching hot stoves. Sure, there have been exceptions -- three centuries of search for the Northwest Passage or each time I turn on Sportscenter come to mind -- but basically, if an action always hurts or fails, eventually we learn our lesson and move on. And it turns out, you can accomplish a lot by simply not being a completely idiotic stumblebum.
Which brings us to the Royals.
Why was Scott Elarton given the ball tonight? I won't even refer back to my own ohh-so-close prediction of the score after two innings because it was so obvious as to be banal. The jokes and complaints about the events tonight actually started at least three days ago, when it became known this odd, suicidal decision had been made. Elarton came into Tuesday's game with a 9.17 ERA against big league hitters in 2007. He's been bad for the last two seasons, and he was bad last week in the minor leagues.
I'm not even being rhetorical or facetious, I legitimately would like to know how the decision was reached to send Scott Elarton into battle tonight against the Yankees. Listening to the game on the radio tonight, you could almost hear in the crowd noise -- filled with boos and derisive, ironic cheers -- a sense of being insulted, of once again being taken for granted. "Hey, we just had probably the most inspiring road trip in four years, beating two legitimate World Series level teams. We're heading home to face the Yankees, always a big event for the fans: lets make sure Elarton starts Tuesday night!"
Elarton + AL lineup = Runs and a Loss
Elarton + Yankees = More Runs and a 2-inning blitz followed by a 7-inning Snooze Fest
This was a box of chocolates on your anniversary moment, with the fans wondering, "really, thats the best you got??".
Every time we start to get excited about this team, every time we start to believe that we can actually trust management to be competent, every time we start to look forward to a game, something like Scott Elarton happens. If he's truly the best the organization's got on a given night, we need to realize just how gigantic our talent gap still is. If not, and yet he's still given the pill, then we need to stop assuming that the Bell/Moore/Glass configuration deserves our trust. Either way, I'm not sure following the Royals in 2007 is exactly a wise use of our time.
The Royals could really build something beautiful if they just learned to stop touching the hot stove.