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Rangers 6, Royals 2 (14-42); German and Grimsley

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Mark Teahen solidified his push for an All-Star spot Tuesday night with a 2-4, 2 RsBI performance which included his 3rd home run of the season. Teahen's season line is now .204/.242/.376, featuring the highest slugging percentage he's had since his April 30th homer against Oakland. Sure, Esteban German has hit .353/.436/.412 as a third baseman, but he doesn't have the same leadership flair that Teahen does. Or the Canadian accent.

Back in early May, Royals Review wondered, just who is this German guy? As usual, we didn't uncover too many answers,

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...
Well, now its June 7, and he's hitting .344/.438/.400 with a homer, 2 steals in 3 attempts and 7 RsBI. He's played every position save catcher, first base and right field and has batted in every lineup spot, 1 through 9. In his 10 games as the leadoff man, German hit .412/.474/.529, his best line anywhere. In the weird orthodoxy of Buddy Bell, there's something coherent about having a guy frequently alternate between the leadoff slot and the 9-hole I guess... Still, its an impressive flexibility.

And, despite all the jerking around of German by Bell, he leads the Royals in OBP by nearly .100 points (Minky's in second at .356), which is fairly incredible. And yet, despite his demonstrated ability to hit, German's only seen 107 PAs, well behind Bell's Sacred Cows who torment us every damn day: Emil Brown 209 PAs, Dougie 206 PAs, Berroa 200 and Graffanino at 143 PAs. Check the production of those guys some time. Of the Royal regulars, you can really only say Grudz has earned his time on the field so far, and possibly Costa. Hell, Bell found a way to get Kerry Robinson 65 PAs so lets hope he pencils in German as much as possible. In all seriousness, if we can get him eligible for the Batting Title, then he'll start showing up on the various "leaderboards" that all newspapers print, and he could propel himself to eternal fame and an All Star slot. Thats what this team, and the ASG have jointly degenerated into: honoring some DRay/Royal/Nationals 200 PAs of his life before he disapeers back into oblivion.

In other news, a part of me would love to discuss, dissect and digest the Draft, but the event is so inherently bizarre and random that it sorta discourages any intelligent thought. To say nothing of the fact that all most all these picks are years away from even being near the Royals. JoePo said it best today,

"Meanwhile, in the second round the Royals took a high school outfielder named Jason Taylor, and in the third they got Georgia Tech pitcher Blake Wood. It?s true that Baseball America ? the bible of the baseball draft ? did not have either player in their top 200, but in the fourth round, the Royals got high school outfielder Derrick Robinson, who was ranked 33rd by Baseball America. So there you go.

What does it all mean? That?s the problem. We won?t know that for years, or until I get a new pair of glasses, whichever comes first."

By the way, did you notice that ESPN dispatched Jim Baker to watch the Royals as part of a humorous assignment? Of course, some of us do this every day, for, umm, "fun". Of course, this is what starts to happen when you're historically bad. Baker included this gem:
After last night's beating, the Royals' run differential stands at 201-347. Extrapolated over a 162-game schedule, that reads 614-1,061. Basically, that's what the '62 Mets would have looked like if they could have given away an extra 100 runs. A deficit of 447 runs is unprecedented. Even allowing for some normalization over the rest of the season, the Royals stand an excellent chance of posting the worst raw run deficit ever. [...]

Even taking into account differences in schedule length, the Royals would grab the record at this or a somewhat reduced rate. Consider this: The average American League Central champion of the past decade has had a run differential of about plus-100. For the Royals to get into that kind of shape, they have to execute a 550-run swing."

Nice. Runs are the currency of this game, and the Royals are in debt like only a few teams have ever been. Helloooo '62 Mets!

Lastly, former Royal Jason Grimsley has taken his place in the BALCO scandal. This story should help blow the lid off of many ongoing assumptions that continue to poison the AM-dial's attempt to talk about the so-called "Steroid Era". Apparently, it wasn't only position players used steroids, or that steroids are the only "performance enhancing drug" that deserves to be discussed. As Bob Ryan put it, we now can think of things in terms of the Dead Ball era, the Greenie era and the Steroids era, except that greenies never left.

Grimmy includes this blast, "In a two-hour interview with federal investigators on April 19, Grimsley told investigators until last year, major league clubhouses had coffee pots labeled "leaded" and "unleaded" for the players, indicating coffee with amphetamines and without". So I guess MLB management can't keep playing dumb here...

Ohh the horror!!!! How many Royals relief stats from the last decade have been tarnished? Our national innocence is gone!! Where are you Hank Aaron!! Given the fact that the media has basically called for McGwire's, Raffy's and Bonds' public flogging I expect that Grimmy should be attacked by fans, taunted in public, have needles thrown at him, be the target of organized holier-than-thou protests and signs etc etc.

For some great analysis of the Grimsley story, checkout AZ Snake Pit.

The Royal record for games pitched is tainted!! We can look at Grimmy's 76 game 2003 (when he played a pivotal role on the last good Royal team) the same way again! We have to strike his 2nd highest appearance total ever from the record book! The same goes for his 70 game 2002, which is 9th all-time on the team.