I don't normally like to take mulligans in life; however, trying times like these call for desparate measures. Yesterday was by all means a tragic and completely avoidable catastrophe. It reminded me of how things slow down in the movies during tragic scenes. Luckily, I haven't purchased MLB-TV yet so I didn't have to watch my prediction come true. Yet the graphics of GameDay, probably did the job of crushing my soul well enough. However, not all was bad today, and all is not lost. It is not the End of the World (Or any other R.E.M. song).
I picture that looking somewhat like this:
Trust me, I think humanity being destroyed by evil dancing Cats is the far likelier of the two.
Today was full of positives. The makeshift defense did okay, and DeJesus threw out two runners (albeit one was Pierzynski whose decision making is always brilliant to begin with). If Meche pitches like he did today, I think we will win the majority of those starts. Seitzer is putting in an application for sainthood after JoGui drew a walk, and Teahen and Gordon both hit the ball hard. The Royals also started off the year in usual form, building on their reputation for league leading HBP totals. Now to the bad.
A bad day for the White Power* in the middle of the lineup. Butler and Jacobs won't be this bad all year, but as productive as 0-7 with a HBP is, I doubt they can continue as such a torrid pace. I could list a positive here, but unless you want these guys to suck enough that we have to call up Kila, I've got nothing. No they were not alone in the situational hitting funk, but they are precisely in the middle of the lineup to drive in DeJesus and Teahen. However, this hasn't truly been the strength of the Royals. They don't tend to luck into such matchups as Farnsy vs. Thome.
*Sorry just needed a reason to mention Chappelle's Show.
Poor Farnsworth is a victim of circumstance. I'm not going to argue the decision or his effectiveness here. I think the consensus is they are both equally appalling. Or did I misread by the amount of times we said "fuck" in a five minute period? The truth of the decision is perhaps our average manager learns from this, then it is also a positive.* Maybe Trey uses him less in high-pressure situations against left-handed mashers.** If he doesn't, then essentially nothing changed, and we lose ten games on soul crushing home runs. I'm one who like to temper his joy with mind-numbing pain, so that pleases me to no end.
*I used this "negative as a positive" theory, when my girlfriend dumped me while I was at Rolla. I was single, and that's awesome. Then I realized, there are no women in Rolla, so that sucked. I then binge drank for a year, which I think was awesome. On a related note, I know every person in the picture posted for the Waynesville affiliate and sadly that's as good as it gets.
**Does anyone else feel like Trey said this at some point during his interview?
GMDM:Do you feel like you have the experience required to manage on the Major League Level?
The Chin: No, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
So after a winding convoluted intro, here are several methods we can take to rid ourselves of this feeling of despair.
1)Mindwipes- But only if it involves showers with Eliza Dushku.
2)Insanity or Overzealous Hatred- Or as I like to call it, "the Neyer"
Last year, Kyle Farnsworth gave up 15 home runs in 60 innings. In his career, Farnsworth has allowed a .441 slugging percentage to left-handed hitters.
Jim Thome is a left-handed hitter with 541 career home runs.
Over the past three seasons, Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field has been the most homer-prone ballpark in the American League, both generally and for left-handed hitters specifically.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning and two White Sox on base, the Royals held a 2-1 lead. Thome was coming up. If there's a single pitcher in the majors who shouldn't be facing Thome in that situation, it just might be Farnsworth.
Yet, face him he did. Threw Thome a fastball down the middle, he did. Gave up a long, three-run, (eventually) game-losing home run, he also did.
And Royals manager Trey Hillman? He sat on his hands and watched it happen. That's what he did.
Does he seriously get paid for such brilliant analysis? All of us saw this coming, and have seen such awful things happen. Do we get to vent our feelings on the ESPN site without mentioning the whole story? We have said countless times that managers win or lose three ballgames a year on average. Most just go on hunches, and don't over think the situation.* Sure, they are two different batters, but Farnsworth did just strike out Quentin. I'm guessing half of the managers in the league stick with him after that. For as much as we hate intangibles/unchartable qualities, knowing someone else has confidence in you is beneficial to top-level performance. Unless of course, it results in you being crushed, i.e. Gobble Syndrome.
*He's a big fan of idea number three
3)Drinking-Tony's and my preferred choice. How about a new drinking game for watching a game? One drink for every runner stranded. A shot for every game winning Home Run surrendered. A mojito for every time JoGui walks. A celebratory chug for every Gordon/Butler/Teahen home run. Some fine scotch for every time Trey makes a "sound" managerial decision.
Still down, read this.
See there is good news.
4)Reason-Ummm, Farnsworth at max can only blow fifty or sixty games. In reality, if this would have happened two weeks from now the rage would have been much less.
Or Posnanski's take:
I thanked him for the extra explanation. Look: A baseball manager has a hundred decisions to make every game, and he knows countless things about the team that the rest of us don’t know. No, I didn’t think that it made much sense to have Farnsworth pitch to Thome — you probably don’t either — but at the end of the day, we might want to listen to the wisdom of White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, who was asked why he thought Hillman pitched Farnsworth there.
Guillen said: "I’m not the manager of the Kansas City Royals. Everybody has their way to do it. It’s not fair for me to judge anyone else."
Ok, maybe the statement "wisdom of White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, does not evoke reason to you.
This will never happen again, so why should we worry?
6)The Costanza Method
We have gotten a little worked up for something we saw coming yesterday, and knew it was going to happen. Foresight is not always a bad thing, and I think it was good we got this off our chests to start. Then, when it happens again this weekend we will be prepared. So for tomorrow, Tabula Rasa is in effect (except for the standings). Greinke is on the hill, and we can hope for a better performance from our bats. As much as I hate the Cardinals, I look to their performance today for inspiration on overcoming such a tragic beginning. As of now, we have as many wins as half the teams in baseball, which is also a bright side.
So here we are, tied for second-place, but bitterly defeated by this first game. As hard as it may be, we have to put that fastball behind us and look forward to...wtf, Ponson and Ramirez against the Yankees. Fuck my life.