Expectations weren't exactly high for the Royals entering the 2005 season. Not after the debacle of 2004 when the club was expected to compete and ended up losing 104 games.
On May 10, the Royals record stood at a major league worst 8-25. Manager Tony Pena could take no more.
He walked away.
His decision came less than two weeks after David Glass and Allard Baird gave their manager the "vote of confidence." The straw that seemed to break the manager's back came courtesy of Angel Berroa. The shortstop led off the top of the ninth in a game against Toronto with the Royals trailing 3-1. He doubled, but was subsequently doubled off second base when Mike Sweeney flew out to center.
|David DeJesus CF||3||0||1||0||0||0||.262||.700||9||5||0||1||SH|
|Angel Berroa SS||4||0||1||0||0||1||.230||.612||11||9||0||5||2B|
|Mike Sweeney 1B||4||1||1||1||0||1||.333||1.008||9||6||9||0||HR|
|Matt Stairs DH||4||0||2||0||0||1||.247||.811||14||9|
|Terrence Long LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||.200||.542||9||6||5||0|
|Emil Brown RF||3||0||1||0||0||1||.208||.666||18||10||3||0|
|Mark Teahen 3B||3||0||1||0||0||0||.250||.686||6||5||2||1||2B,GDP|
|John Buck C||3||0||0||0||0||1||.163||.465||13||9||2||0|
|Ruben Gotay 2B||3||0||1||0||0||0||.200||.524||5||4||2||0|
|Zack Greinke P||1||2|
Pena was known in Kansas City for Nostoros Creemos - We Believe. It was the rallying cry of the overachieving 2003 Royals. He was also known for the bizarre. Like taking a shower in full uniform. As if that was going to motivate his players to play fundamentally sound baseball.
Once his team started losing in 2004, it was clear Pena was in over his head. The silliness was a front. He had no answers. To be fair, he didn't have players, either.
In a statement released by the team, Baird said Pena played "a major role in the development of our young players."
Pena won the AL Manager of the Year award in 2003. He finished his tenure in Kansas City with a 198-285 record.
A week later, The Pitch provided an epilogue. And some facts as to why he ran away.
The MLB schedule maker has a sick sense of humor.