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Slant Thoughts on an Off-Night

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Editor's Note: Apparently your humble scribe thought Mays was a two-year signee, alas, only one year. (His relationship with Allard and Buddy was so strong though!) Sincerest apologies.

Its been a weird week on the Starship Enterprise. We've seen the lowest of lows in Chicago, a series so bad that Glass actually feigned interest in the on-field product and threatened major changes. Rumors of Baird's demise spread quickly, only to see the team sweep Cleveland. Given this franchises's propensity to make rash decisions based on insufficient data, Glass has probably decided that Baird deserves a reprieve. Remember, these are the same guys that quit on Calvin Pickering after two weeks, demoted Mays (who admittedly sucked) after 6 starts and just sent down Teahen. If Mays is/was that shaky, then why was he signed to a two year one year deal? Did he come with a free t-shirt?

And so we sit at 10-22, the proud owners of a .313 winning percentage and the longest active winning streak in the American League. According to BP's Playoff Odds Report, this is something like a 66 win team. I still find that number incredible. The fact is, the Royals have been incredible inconsistent, mixing weeks of truly awful pitching beside weeks of damn near adequacy. The lineup is routinely a threat to be "perfect gamed", but also hit 10 back-to-back nights this very week. What a long strange trip its gonna be...

-By the way, who the hell is Esteban German? He's now the owner of 52 PAs this season, and sports a .370/.453/.391 line. Only the Royals could feature a lineup's best hitter, who also manages to SLG below .400. German grabbed 64 PAs with Oakland in '04, before playing in 5 games with the Rangers last season. Still, he's most famous for getting hit in the face with a flyball...

-Good to see the Royal reputation for stupidity is still intact... Check out Kevin Goldstein's piece at BP today on the Royals possible Draft plans. Its entitled, hauntingly, "A Royal Blunder"...

At this point, everybody knows the rumor: The Royals, picking first in next months draft, will allegedly bypass Andrew Miller, the lefthander from North Carolina, and instead go in a northwesterly direction to select University of Washington righthander Tim Lincecum.

This is a potentially tremendous mistake.


More likely is that General Manager Allard Baird is playing a game of self-preservation. Lincecum could be up this year for the Royals, and would likely pay some immediate dividends, while Miller will likely have an ETA more like late-2007. While there is a legitimate chance that Baird won't even hold his post anymore come draft time, odds are even longer that he'll still be there to see Miller's major league debut. But as somebody who could be looking for a job soon, how should Baird want his resume to end? With a cover-your-ass move? Or with a gutsy call that is difficult on both a team and budgetary level, yet is in the best long-term interests of the franchise?

The answer seems pretty obvious to me.

Not good.

But hey, the Texans were getting lonely at the Table of Public Scorn.

-While we're all here, I'd like to ask: What exactly was the point of the Teahen demotion? Sure, he was terrible, but after playing him all last season, it seems silly to toss him aside after 20 games this season. As with all things Royal, we must begin and end the discussion with a kind of disclaimer of nihilism: there are no stakes here, none of these decisions likely matter in even the long term, and probably the Front Office will be completely different by the time they do. Still, Gordon is on the team (yet) and even if he was (which itself is a decision of only the slightest benefit) Teahen's roster spot seems more useful than, say, Paul Bako's.

-Ditto for the purging of Joe Mays. If you're that disgusted with him after 6 starts, then how in the hell did you think he was worth a two-year one-year engagement? Sure, its a sunk cost, one of about, ohh, 25 on the roster, but I don't see how this is an acceptable solution. Its always about the drama with these guys, never about prudence. How about swapping Mays and Gobble for a month and seeing what happens? Its not like we're the White Sox, or even the Reds, with regards to our pitching staff.

The Royals head to Baltimore for a weekend series that promises to captivate the nation. We'll be in touch...

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