The 2009 Kansas City Royals held first place in the AL Central for 32 days this year. They are now 14 games off the pace of the division leader. Things can change quickly in baseball, especially for the Royals. Or, have they changed at all? For reference, lets go back to this piece written by Bob Dutton last September. A few quotes:
It’s September and, once again, the Royals are light-years from playing meaningful games. So what now?
General manager Dayton Moore is as mad as anyone.
In short, Moore has seen enough. The current mix of players isn’t working. His solution is to make another major push this winter in the free-agent market while escalating efforts to revamp the roster through trades.
Once again, the Royals are heading for another September way out of contention. 2009 didn't work out, it happens in baseball. The 2008 Tigers didn't work out, many baseball folk predicted 1,000 runs out of the Tigers last year. Shit happens. What shouldn't happen is doing nothing at all while it hits the fan. Moore and company may be "burning the midnight oil" working as hard as they can to change things, I don't know. What I do know is that the Royals just went through a 10 game losing streak. A streak that was snapped by a GREAT performance from Luke Hochevar and closed out by Joakim Soria for 2 innings. Oh, the Royals also had a 3 run lead. Things are so bad in the bullpen, the closer is being called on for 2 inning saves with a 3 run lead.
If the bullpen is in that bad of shape, why is Carlos Rosa and Disco Hayes still in Omaha (even Yabuta)? Do we really need to see Jamey Wright, Roman Colon, Juan Cruz, or John Bale come in and blow games? Come up with a phantom injury if you have to, but a couple of these guys need a break. While we're at it, why is Mike Jacobs still on this team? He can't play 1st base and I guess he can't even DH against a right-handed pitcher. Why not call up Kila and see if this guy is for real? His average isn't great this year (.265), but he's still getting on base (.398).
The truth is all of this will probably happen as soon as the trade deadline passes, the front office has to be looking to ship some of these guys for peanuts. Once they don't get any of them traded, they can be DFA'd. If this fanpost is still relevant on August 15, it will be a shame.
"Ultimately, it’s my responsibility to put the best team we can on the field. That’s what we’re going to do."
I feel like I've seen this movie before.
They are an absolute mess with no apparent strength.
The Royals rank 13th among the 14 AL teams in runs and on-base percentage; and last in homers and walks. They rank 12th in ERA. Five AL teams have made more errors, but the Royals are charging toward the bottom with 24 in their last 23 games.
"There have been times, there have been games, when it’s been very frustrating," Moore said. "But I’m not going to make excuses for anything that we do. I’m not going to say, ‘Well, they’re young. They’re just inexperienced.’ I’m not making any excuses."