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Rulers Who Neither See, Nor Feel, Nor Know

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Lets make a quick appraisal of the Royals' situation.

-The ongoing rumor is that Allard Baird is out after six years as GM. I've gone through periods of liking Allard and he's had a few good moments (and some bad ones). We'll never really know how many of his moves were "his" and his alone, and how much he was forced/pressured into certain signings, etc. But I can live with his (possible) dismissal. The organization needs major changes. The problem is that the man hiring a new GM is incompetent. Do we really trust Glass to hire someone better than Allard? The KC job isn't an attractive one in any way. Moreover, Glass has no interest in spending any money above the bare minimum. So, in sum, its not like the next GM will necessarily be any better.

-The Royals are managed by Buddy Bell, a bumbling career loser who was largely hired because of his generic "baseball guy" persona, C-list famous name and, ohh yea, low price. In the last two seasons Buddy Bell has done the following: a) offered no plan for success, b) offered no consistent in-game strategy, c) shown no ability to manage the personalities in the clubhouse, d) incorrectly filled out the lineup card and e) shared numerous awe-shucks guffaws with the media. Buddy's always good for a "gosh, we can't win playin' that way" after an 11-2 defeat.

But beyond all this -- which is sadly de rigeur for the 21st century manager -- Buddisimo has consistently put himself before the team.

How very un-old-school.

Afraid to lose his job, Bell has frozen in front of the Royals young "prospects" and instead given us gag-inducing doses of punchless veterans who won't even be active players the next time the Royals win 45% of their games. Thus, we're gifted with 100s of meaningless at-bats from T-Long, Doug Mientikiewicz and their ilk for no good reason. Then again, when those are the org's prized FA signings, maybe its not all his decision.

Congrats to Justin Huber on your weekly appearance in the lineup however.

Buddy Bell is hardly the old-school, fundamental, by-the-book ass kicker that people seem to think he is. He's a craven, me-firster who's hurting the long-term goals of this organization in pursuit of not looking bad in the short-term.

An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying king,
Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow
Through public scorn, -- mud from a muddy spring,
Rulers who neither see, nor feel, nor know,
But leech-like to their fainting country cling

P.B. Shelley, from "England in 1819"

-Beyond a disastrous management schema, the Royals are flailing and failing on the field. The franchise's best player of this decade (well, thats still with us) is on the DL again, and is being pushed to retire by the organization. Because he's a clubhouse cancer? Because he can't hit anymore? No, not really. Just to save money. Is Sweeney an overpaid anchor at this point? Hell yea. Make no mistake however, the Royals don't want that money back so that they can reinvest in the on-field product. And even if they did, do you wanna think about how they'd spend it??

The mind blanks at the glare of endless stupidity.

Lastly of course, theres the matter of the last election. The day after Opening Day (a glorious Royals loss) the voters of Jackson County passed a bond measure giving the Royals roughly $400 million (actually much more if you factor in state and local tax breaks as well, but who's counting) to "save the K". But hey, the Royals are tossing in $25 million, so we can spend the next decade reading about the "joint funded" venture.

Damn, Wal-mart must really be struggling given how much the Glass family needs money to run this team... Someone cue the Alan Jackson...

So to recap. They're grossly incompetent. They spent about $20 million to get $400 million from the taxpayers, which unfortunately money that a) isn't needed and b) won't improve this team. Not now, not ever. Moreover, the ideas they do have are just bad. They're bad ideas, restrained by an overriding sense of greed (the always present inversion of the cheap). The Royals are like a deadbeat Dad who tries to make it up by paying back 40% of what he owes through a pyramid scheme; the gesture sucked from the beginning, and its so profoundly stupid that it can't even achieve its paltry goals.

Your Team, Your Town

Monday Morning Update!! From the esteemed Rob Neyer,

Now I'm writing early Monday morning, and apparently the scuttlebutt around baseball is that Baird will be fired at some point very very soon, perhaps as early as today. Royals fans can hope the next GM is better at his job than the last one. But will Glass & Son really hire somebody who's smart enough and strong enough to do what needs to be done? I've heard through one grapevine that Buddy Bell (!!!) will have a lot of input during the hiring process. And if that doesn't scare you, nothing does...