BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 25: Kansas City Royal fans watch the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 25, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
What the mainstream media likes to focus on is fundamentals. Baseball is sometimes a game of inches, and sometimes its one play - Derek Jeter tagging Jeremy Giambi out in 2001, Lonnie Smith hesitating rounding second in 1991, Jack Clark dropping a foul pop in 1985 - that can make all the difference. But those are usually when you have two great teams, evenly matched.
Royals fans, sportswriters, coaches and players will talk tonight about fundamentals. How if they executed plays better today, they would have won. And no doubt, the Royals looked silly in the fifth inning, twice picking off a runner at first base, only to have that runner advance to second safely. The Royals committed errors. They failed to move runners over. They were 0-5 with runners in scoring position. Despite a strong emphasis in spring training on fundamentals by Ned Yost (much like Trey Hillman and Buddy Bell and Tony Pena and Tony Muser and...) the Royals stink at fundamentals.
I think it was Rob Neyer that wrote once that it was silly for fans to call in expecting crappy players to somehow be good at fundamentals. Baseball is a skill, and if you're not good at a skilled aspect like hitting a baseball, you're probably also not good at turning a relay or bunting a runner over. These things are not as easy as fans think, and it requires a level of skill, and if you're a crappy player, well, you're a crappy player, and no emphasis of fundamentals in spring training is going to change that.
My friends, I think we're looking at a roster full of crappy players.