Through The Eyes Of A Beat Writer - Chronicling The Royals Horrific Road Trip

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 26: Starting pitcher Luis Mendoza #39 of the Kansas City Royals waits on the mound as manager Ned Yost approaches to remove him from the game in the sixth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on July 26, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

We are Royals fans. A sorry lot, but fans nonetheless.

When miserable crap happens to our team - like a bend-over-and-grab-your-ankles type of just completed West Coast road trip - we are mercifully at a distance. Connected by the TV, internet or radio. At home on our couches or in our basements, we can drift in and (more likely) out. Our level of focus is dependent on our interest, distraction and overall blood alcohol content. When the going gets tough, we can flip over to synchronized diving.

We are lucky.

Bob Dutton isn't so fortunate.

I'm certain you know, but Bob Dutton is the Kansas City Star beat writer for this team. I don't know how long he's been in this position, but it seems like forever. To him, it must feel like several lifetimes. He's our Phil the Weatherman... Doomed to repeat the same day season... Over and over and over and over. Dutton doesn't get the opportunity to channel surf or veg out on Twitter. He travels with the team and has a job to do.

Imagine the front row seat he has possessed as the Royals have stumbled to loss after loss... Year after year. The horrific baseball he has witnessed. Baserunning blunders. Inept fundamentals. Starting pitching. He is forced to watch this... The guy probably books his vacations for Guantanimo so he can relax.

It should kill a lesser man.

Luckily for us, Dutton does his job so very, very well.

Dutton's wonderful recap of the road trip, following the jump...

July 23
Angels 6, Royals 3

Somebody say uncle.

Brilliant... Dutton set the tone for the entire West Coast trip. But my favorite quote was later in his story:

(Note to self: Check with the folks at Elias to see whether they track how often a team allows a stolen base because its pitcher simply ignores the runner. If so, ask how far the second-worst team trails the Royals.) This occasion meant the Royals had to shorten their infield because the go-ahead run was now on third with less than two outs. Izturis took advantage by blooping a single into right over that shortened infield for an RBI single and a 3-2 lead.


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/07/23/3719874/royals-keep-sliding-in-6-3-loss.html#storylink=cpy

July 25
Angels 11, Royals 6

This was a fiasco — at least until it no longer mattered. Sure, that 11-6 final score is bad enough, but it’s like a snapshot of a train wreck after everything stops moving and the noise quiets.


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/07/25/3723645/royals-bury-themselves-early-in.html#storylink=cpy

July 26
Mariners 4, Royals 1

The Royals’ rotation is like living through tornado weather, where you’re either ducking for cover or bracing for the sirens to go off.


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/07/26/3725951/royals-go-quietly-in-4-1-loss.html#storylink=cpy

July 27
Mariners 6, Royals 1

Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie – and, no, that acquisition isn’t yet working out – served up a three-run homer in the first inning to John Jaso. That came after a mental error by first baseman Eric Hosmer ignited the rally. The bugler could have played taps at that point.


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/07/27/3728014/royals-fall-into-share-of-last.html#storylink=cpy

July 28
Mariners 4, Royals 3

Now take a few steps back, refocus … and whoa! How did the Royals get here? In just four weeks, they’ve gone from the cusp of postseason contention to an uncompetitive, soul-crushing mess.


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/07/28/3729152/royals-slide-continues-in-4-3.html#storylink=c

July 29
Mariners 7, Royals 6

Were losing an art form — and, hey, maybe it is — the Louvre might be clearing a wall for the Royals after Sunday’s crushing 7-6 loss to the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

Thank you, Bob. Stay safe. I hope the Star is able to give you combat pay.


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/07/29/3730829/swept-in-seattle-royals-lose-7.html#storylink=cp
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