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Greinke Ain't Coming Back, and Other Sobering Thoughts

Well, I hope everyone got to properly enjoy the worst day of the Royals' offseason, although it was probably lost in all the gambling and slacking inspired hoopla of the NCAA tournament. In fact, it is likely that the Royals timed it that way, although that would also imply a level of foresight and savvy that we haven't always seen. Then again, releasing the bad news while something else is going on is pretty much remedial level PR, so I wouldn't put it past them.

We might as well start with the obvious: the latest dire news regarding Zack Greinke, namely, the fact that this incredibly stupid meltdown continues unabated.

There remains no prospective return date for pitcher Zack Greinke, Royals general manager Allard Baird said Thursday. Greinke has been absent from camp since Feb. 25, when he returned to his Florida home in an effort to resolve personal matters.

"I do expect him back at some point," Baird said. "Our concern is that the person takes care of these issues, and baseball second."

Greinke, 22, is beyond the point now where he could be ready to start by the beginning of the season.

"I have no time frame for him," Baird said.

As Larkin said, "well, useful to get that learnt". Whats to say at this point? When the insane "Greinke leaves camp" story broke two weeks ago, it seemed likely that the situation sounded worse than it was likely to be: Greinke would be back in four days, we'd get a sanitized explanation from the Front Office, and we'd move on. Well, we've moved past that scenario.

Does anyone know whats going on? Is, as we like to say in quibbles about Iraq, "what is the endgame here?" How does this fight end? Do Bell and Hansen fly down and apologize for their idiotic advice last season - rumored to be "throw only fastballs" - or rather, does Greinke throw back a few beers, kiss his girlfriend and say, "what the hell" and head back to the nest.

It isn't clear what efforts the Royals are making to ameliorate the situation, but lets all hope that its more than sitting back and saying "we just don't know". Ninety-nine times out of one-hundred the franchise is better off trying to mend fences with The Star than playing hardball and feeling like a tough guy and all that hooey. But, then again, Buddisimo's honor is at stake, and he's the key cog in the franchise's dream of contention in 2007. Clearly, we'll need his blame-passing, anti-intellectual post-game quotes to succeed.

Hmm. Maybe theres a reason why we've set a new record for losses in 5 out of the last 7 seasons. Although we are getting better at getting worse.

Still, make no mistake, Royals Review vows to keep you posted during Greinke Watch 2006; when news happens, we'll be there.

In other bad news, we now know that Redman won't be available by Opening Day either, bringing Royals Review favorite Mike Wood back in to the picture for a rotation job.

On the good side, the official Royals Website is calling for the need for renovations for the K in a bizarre editorial from Jim Banks of MLB.com:

The price tag is a three-eighths-percent sales tax increase in Jackson County and a 30-cent per ticket user fee for Royals tickets. The Royals would kick in $25 million and cover cost overruns and would pay for stadium maintenance for the 25-year life of the deal. So there is cost certainty for the taxpayers -- the price of the deal is as stated and will not increase at a later date.

And in a unique show of thanks, the Royals would give two 50-percent-off coupons for Royals tickets to every household in Jackson County every year for the life of the deal -- that's 13 million half-off coupons. The deal would ensure that the Royals, and the Chiefs, would remain in Kansas City through 2031.

Asking for public financing for sports facilities must always be done with caution and consideration of the area's needs, but there are several points that indicate this is the right deal and the right time to strike it.

I love MLB.com and its various team sites. Major League Baseball has done a fantastic job with its web-side of promotion and fan-involvement and has been a model for the NBA and NFL. Still, this is shady and just patently strange: what is the MLB.com executive editor doing editorializing about the upcoming Jackson County vote? Even if you're all about the plan, the KCROYALS.com piece is (well) of a piece with the Seligean anti-promotion extortion regime: you can't win, you can't compete, you can't even keep your team unless you pay for new facilities, let us sell naming rights and in most cases own the facility. In this instance, the K sucks and you must fix it. Then, on the next page... "BUY YOUR ROYAL'S TICKETS NOW!!"

Your Team, Your Town indeed.