Paul Byrd makes another return to the Metro today as the hated Indians battle our precious Royals at sundown. We all have fond memories of Byrd's magical 2002 with the Royals (17-11, 7 complete games, 2 shutouts, 3.90 ERA in 33 starts). I even remember reading about how Allard flew a group of guys known as the Byrd's Nest to a game in Toronto or Minnesota or somewhere that Byrd was pitching.
Update [2006-4-22 18:47:40 by royalsreview]: Royals Review reader Ben McCarthy informs me that the locale was Detroit actually, and that Byrd also treated the gang to dinner (Japanese).
Where have you gone Paul Byrd?
This season Byrd's struggling a bit (2-1, 7.02 ERA), but nothing cures pitching ills quite like a dose of Royale with Cheese at the K.
The Royals send Joe Mays (0-2, 11.68 ERA) to the mound. For some reason, I feel good about this game. No MLB team has ever finished 2-160, and you have to figure that illusive 3rd win will come. Plus, we're at home, and showed some signs of life last night: hell, there haven't even been many close losses this year.
At least Joe Po finally changed his tune (remember his infamous "this team will be competent" declaration after an Opening Day loss), describing the scene as few can. As silly at it sounds, the city dearly needs JoePo and Whitlock to bang the drum for some accountability this summer. Posnanski writes,
I think the general feeling around Kauffman Stadium during the offseason was that the Royals would pick up some solid veteran players and buy a few wins, get some momentum going. It sounded reasonable enough at the time.Keep up the good work Mr. Posnanski, we need you.
The trouble is, you don?t win that way. A good baseball team has to be about something. There has to be a purpose. It?s not enough to say, ?We?ve got a few good players, let?s go win games.? No, you have to go into a game saying: ?We?re going to win tonight by getting more guys on base? or ?We?ve got the more dominating pitcher,? or ?We have superior speed and defense? or ?we will crush them with the long ball.? You have to be better than the other team at something to win with any regularity.
And the Royals, for all their efforts, have never been able to develop any purpose, any sort of winning personality. They?re just not very good at anything. They don?t have power, but they don?t have speed, but they don?t play especially good defense, but their pitchers don?t get a lot of strikeouts, but they don?t have great control, but the hitters don?t draw a lot of walks, but ?
The Royals just are. And because of that, they are losing a lot of games in a row again.