Alright, this one’s from the hip. I’ve done no research on this, and, as usual, apologies if this has been well-covered by the discerning eye of RoyalsReview Nation (a subcult of the only-slightly-better-known Royals Nation). Here’s what I’ve been chewing on for the last couple days: Soria is going to pitch for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Now, Mexico has plenty of good players, I would bet that Mexico’s team will be far from the worst in the tournament. Nonetheless, I would also bet that the Mexicutioner is among the two or three best players on the team, and along with Yovani Gallardo (if he plays), one of the two best pitchers. Tell me now, oh manager of the Mexican team, are you going to put Joakim in the bullpen when your national pride is on the line?
I didn’t think so.
What that means, then, is that Soria might very well START on a world stage—I would even say he’s likely to start, on that stage in front of everyone. In front of the Discerning Eye of RRNation, in front of Joe Posnanski and Rany Jazayerli and Dayton Moore. Not to mention Davis Glass, for whatever that’s worth.
In light of this delightful possibility, I’d like throw out a little hypothetical. What happens if, say, he dominates? What happens if he whiffs Alex Rodriguez on three pitches...in the 7th inning? What would happen if he were to throw a 100-pitch complete game?
I’m not saying this is likely to happen, I’m just throwing out the most interesting scenario. I could write a few thousand words expanding this scenario and looking at the hypotheticals, but I’ll keep this one short. I’m operating under the premise that Moore, even in the above scenario, would keep him in the closer’s role. Moore is a resolute guy, he doesn’t cow to fan pressure, or media pressure, or probably even ownership pressure. Someone once compared him to Don Corleone (Royals Authority, I think) and I think that’s about right. I’m not suggesting he’s a bad guy or anything, on the contrary, he’s a man of strong moral fiber. But he operates by his own rules.
But imagine the clamor if Soria dominates. I’m thinking he won’t just be getting pressure from the fans and the media, he might get a little from various corners of the front office. Regardless (Craig Brown, or is it Clark, stop staying “irregardless” already. I know the dictionary may say it’s legitimate, but come on, “regardless” is so much cleaner, neater, eloquent). Regardless, I can’t wait to see what happens.