OBP is life, life is OBP. As Grimsleyfan has been pointing out in the diaries, the Royals are regularly trotting out lineups filled with out-making machines. Not surprisingly, the team's On-Base Percentage is an awful .319, tied for 12th "best" in the American League. The Royals don't hit for average (.260) or power either (.391), creating a perfect storm of impotence that makes hit difficult to score runs in bunches. For all the ire directed at Dougie this season, at least he's having a decent 6 week run and taking his walks. On my more positive days -- or is it the opposite? -- I can stare at the lineup long enough and his continued existence as the 3-hitter is almost defensible. Considering his .284/.367/.395 line he's not a horrible choice as a leadoff man, or as a two-hitter. Its even possible that some kind of 1-2-3 punch with Grudz, Minky and DeJesus might actually be halfway decent. The best possible thing that could happen in the next two weeks is that Mientkiewicz gets to .300 and Moore trades him off as some kind of "John Olerud with even less power but more defense" player who might help a team off the bench. Honestly, he's the perfect Cub, but unfortunately their own brand of logic has already doomed their season to the point where we can't hope for that blue and white Hendrified solution.
Meanwhile, the Royals wrap up matters with the Devil Rays today at the K, as well as the current homestand. Today's game also stands as our last Rays-Royals matchup of the season, a series which the Rays have already won with 4 victories in the first 5 meetings.
Our Royals send Scott Elarton (1-7, 5.09 ERA) to the mound for his 14th start as a Royal. Elarton's posted a 5.40 ERA at the K this season, and has shown a continued inability to strike guys out. He's currently working on an ugly 34 walk, 32 strikeout season stat line. This makes him, more or less, the pitching version of Reggie Sanders and his amazing hole-filled bat (10 walks, 46 strikeouts).
I'm tempted to write something about Sander's entrance into the 300-300 club, but am unsure what to say. He banked the steals early, more or less, and has just plugged away with 22-25 homers a season from 1992 on. To his credit, he hasn't been reckless on the bases (I'm looking at you David), going 14 of 15 in 2005 with the Cardinals. Well, perhaps until this year he wasn't over-aggressive (5 steals, 3 caughts), but alas... A weird bookkeeping stat made interesting by the nice round numbers. He's a corner outfielder with a .267/.343/.490 line, he has his whole "travelin' man" thing going on (9 teams) and he's also known for his bizarre, Saberhagen-esque "good season/bad season" alternating jive thing.
So yea, congrats Reggie. I'm very happy for you, and doubly happy that you were able to accomplish this feat during Sluggapalooza/ Slugger's Birthday. Now lets work on being a productive player and helping the Royals not be the worst team ever.
Lastly, there's this. Check out the KC Media Blog for this, umm, interpretation of Harry Caray describing the 1985 Royals.
Lets beat those evil Devil Rays!! Lastly, there's this. Check