The Royals optioned Gordon to Class AAA Omaha prior to Tuesday’s game against the Chicago White at U.S. Cellular Field. The move cleared space for reliever Kyle Farnsworth’s return from the disabled list.
This is what it means to be a fan of a poorly-run team. Any mundane roster move on a mundane Tuesday night can suddenly take a bizarre turn. I can only speculate, but I imagine that part of the fun of following a well-run team is that, after awhile, you get it. You see the thinking behind each move, you see the plan. You see the plot unfolding. They might be bold, but they're never baffling. Even when they surprise you, they don't surprise you.
When was the last time a Dayton Moore move was like that? When was the last time the Royals did something that everybody just immediately understood? Following the Royals is not the quickest way towards achieving those subtle pleasures we get when we discover that we're following along with a great artist. I'd say it's more like listening to a petulant teenager lecturing you in Klingon.
Trust the process. Through every bizarre zig and zag that we've seen during the Dayton Moore era, and for those yet to come, it's our ethical responsibility to bring up those infamous words because with each passing day it gets more and more difficult to make out what the process is. The results however... well, they've been more consistent.
Mind you one of the sweetest ironies of this whole affair is that Gordon is being sent down to make room for Kyle Farnsworth on the roster. Call it the circle of Moore. It's the latest version of the Royals' failed baseball alchemy: if we have enough of these terrible relievers around, maybe it'll magically work. Well, now the Royals have an absurd thirteen member staff. And at least eight of them cannot pitch.
It's like the Royals are eagerly anticipating a series of major rules changes that reward teams for carrying catchers, utilitymen and bad middle relievers.
Yes, Alex Gordon is slumping or going through a rough patch. His timing may be off. The timeline the Royals are pushing doesn't make much sense however, given that Gordon actually hit ok when he initially came back. During his first nine games back with the Royals he hit .321/.457/.321. I guess he had his timing, then he remembered he was injured or recovering from an injury, so his timing went off again. Strange.
The Royals put themselves in this position, which is what badly run teams do. After being drafted in 2005, the Royals made Gordon a fulltime starter on Opening Day 2007, after one season in AA. Throughout 2007 they did not think that any time at AAA would benefit him, even when he was clearly struggling. Same for 2008. It would have been perfectly acceptable in baseball ethics for the Royals to have had Gordon start the 2007 season in Omaha and promote him after two months. They chose not to do so. It would have been perfectly acceptable to have demoted Gordon at about six different points during his rookie season, given that Gordon didn't get his batting average above .200 until June 14th. The Royals chose not to do so. The argument then was that there was only one way he could learn: see Major League pitching.
But now, because the guy has had a bad two weeks, suddenly he needs the AAA time he didn't need three years ago? Here's the non-stunner of the night: the Royals "development" of Alex Gordon doesn't make any sense.
Look, I know many people have been disappointed in Gordon. I'm one of them. Really though, that's a different argument. He's utterly and unquestionably one of the team's better position players and without a doubt makes the 2009 Royals better. But this is the Royals, who are trying desperately to WIN NOW, except when they sometimes aren't. Hey, Gil Meche made another completely pointless start tonight. Fun!
The Gordon-hating faction, which likely includes portions of management, needs to get their story straight. If he sucks, then I don't think we should worry about what he'll make in arbitration or that he might be leaving us a year early. Which is it?
Frankly, this is petty. Embarrassingly petty. Amazingly, the Royals have found a way to look even smaller than their playoff chances.
Now warming up in the bullpen, Kyle Farnsworth and Roman Colon.