Buddy Bell is one of the best managers of his generation. The numbers prove that. The players bleed for his leadership. The media revere him. And last night in Northern California, the Buddy Bell magic continued, wrapping up win #400 of his career.
Thank God the Royals have this guy. Without Buddy, there's no way the Royals would have 4 wins on the road (in 26 games).
Honestly, it was one of the best played games of the season for the Royals: nearly everyone pitched, and pitched well, holding the A's down to 4 runs. Who added the unheralded and unloved (and weirdly named) Seth Etherton to their fantasy roster in time for the game?? Etherton made it through 5 innings, allowing just 2R on 6Hs, before handing off to Wood, Gooble, Peralta (which is like now the second most common name in the Majors) and Burgos. On a clear night, the Royal bullpen almost looks functional, and we didn't even get a dose of Elmer, either. Hey, even Burgos didn't melt down, well, at least not completely. The Royal pitchers only got 3 strikeouts, but with a little luck only allowed 8 hits, helping to keep the damage down. Good stuff. Peralta now has a 3.43 ERA by the way.
Moreover, might we actually, honestly, whole-heartedly, credit Buddy Bell with something? (pause... looks around) Yea, I think so. Say what you want about their "superiors" in the starting rotation, or about the mindset that has created this farcical situation -- "Your Team, Your Town" might be the cruelest ad slogan ever -- but Buddy Bell has milked nearly 60 good innings out of the Wood-Gobble combination this season. I'm not sure what else Wood has to do to at least merit a spot start, but he is where he is and is managing to be mildly effective. Gobble, for what its worth, is alot closer to a AA pitcher than he is a AL one, yet has skated through 25.3 IP with a functional 4.62 ERA, with no unearned runs saving him. Famous for having one of the lowest K-rates of all-time just a few seasons ago, Gobble's even striking out 8.17 per 9, which might be the most amazing (positive) stat of the season.
Offensively, Grudzielanek, Mientkiewicz and Brown actually resembled the 2-3-4 section of a big league lineup, going a combined 7-14 with a walk (Brown) a double (Minky) and a stolen base (Grduz). Sure, its singles based, but its not all bad. I wholeheartedly believe that Dougie will eventually get his batting average over .260, all part of his miracle run towards a .700 OPS.
DeJesus had another tough evening (0-5) on the road back to being the face of the franchise, but the rest of the lineup banged out enough seeing eye singles to carry him, and his doppelganger Shane Costa added two doubles to the cause...
And we still don?t know whether Teahen can be a productive major-league player. Makes you wonder whether the Oakland A?s knew all along what they were doing when they dealt Teahen. But A?s general manager Billy Beane still believes in Teahen. ?I felt at the time that we would not have made the trade if we hadn?t had Eric Chavez signed to a long-term deal,? Beane said by phone. ?We thought very highly of Mark. And to be honest, I still had my reservations about dealing (Teahen).? Teahen hit just .246 with seven homers during his rookie season with the Royals last year. And he was struggling mightily at .195 this season before being shipped back to the minors.Does he realize that Royals Review is pushing hard for Teahen to be voted onto the All-Star team? Doubt it.
Is Beane surprised that Teahen hasn?t solidified a spot in the major leagues yet?
?I think all GMs would like to have their prospects take time and develop,? Beane said. ?I don?t know that we had a set time frame for when we thought Mark would get to the big leagues.
?I do know that we had him projected to be a very good major-league player and an excellent defensive third baseman.?
Meanwhile, JoePo tackles the Poor Baird angle, writing
What would you do? Quit? Coast? Publicly call out your bosses? Allard Baird could no sooner do any of those things than land the plane safely. He may have lost too many games as general manager, but that did not have anything to do with his character. Baird is loyal to his core, which is why in these agonizing weeks, you have not heard him pop off. His employees stay quiet because he asked them to.So I guess Baird hasn't accepted any pay or benefits from Mr. Glass either? We've realized this for years of course, that Glass was meddling with an eye towards the bottom line, and that Baird was hindered. Still, its hard to say that he did his job well, in fact its impossible.
It?s also why for the last five years you have not heard about the meddling of the Glass family. Stories leak out now ? stories that Baird still refuses to confirm ? stories about sensible Baird trades killed, players high on the draft board ignored because of their price range and exciting long-term deals shattered over a few hundred-thousand dollars.
When you hear enough stories like this, you realize that while Baird has made critical mistakes, he never had a chance. No one ? not Billy Beane or Branch Rickey ? can win with a meddling owner unwilling to spend money. Friends have told Baird to make these things public. Lash back. He will not.
Ohh well. Lastly, just to play the Devil's Advocate, if its so bad for Allard, why doesn't he resign with dignity? Could it be that him and Glass are locked in a beggar's standoff over the final financial terms of Baird's exit??
Don't look now true Royal fan Michelle Petersen but the Royals are only five games behind the Pirates for the Second Worst Record in Baseball.
I'm the greatest manager in the world!