This week is one that really separated this Royals team to the completely pathetic 2006 one. After dropping three straight games to the Yankees, our boys have rebounded by winning four straight to preserve a winning week. In that process we blew out(with the exception of Dotel's 9th innning scare on Saturday) Texas in each of the three games this weekend.
The Elarton game coupled with a blowout loss in a Meche start would've sent 2006's squad into a seven to eight game tailspin. This group just has an uncanny knack for driving in runs and turning singles into doubles and doubles into triples. Seems like RISP(runners in scoring position) was an achilles heal for this team up until about mid-May, now it's something that these men do with regularity. Even John "King of the solo home run when the team is up or down by three or more runs" Buck went three-for-three with two RBIs Saturday. And was it not a joy to watch fellow Domincans Leo Nunez and Peralta shut out the hapless Rangers while the bats consistently strung together hits in the double-digit murdering yesterday? I watched until the last out because watching a team who is used to being on the other side of this outcome pound an opponent into submission like this is a definite sign that this is a vastly different team.
Went to the K Friday for free thanks to my buddy Surf's work connections and watched Brian Bannister go seven strong innings of shutout baseball. That man is now just as reliable as Meche with inferior stuff. Billy Butler blasted a three-run shot that I knew would be our only one of the series. One thing we do not do well is hit home runs, which is one of the reasons this team is ignored on SportsCenter or Baseball Tonight. So to finally have a meaningful blast decide the game was very refreshing.
While the on-field action captivated most, the real memorable moment for me came in-between innings. The PA announcer's street-cred(if he had any to begin with) was shot down in a mere second as he made a crucial and hilarious mispronunciation. In the song choice game, choice A was Bonnie and Clyde by Jay-Z and Beyonce but let's just say our subject probably hasn't put on an R&B tune for a while. Instead he chose to utter: Bonnie and Clyde by Jay-Z and Beyonc. The interesting part was the man didn't pause or panic when the name appeared, he just went with his gut and hilarity ensued. Needless to say, the next two tracks I think were Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder, who are probably safely in his comfort zone. Good laugh by the crowd and despite the zero response to hear that Beyonce song(aside from me screaming we want Beyonc! Just so he'd be forced to say it again) the girl picked the new tune. Not surprisingly, the announcer avoided the name this time around. The humiliating gaffe gave his staff enough jokes to last the rest of the season and, if they were true pranksters, they would pencil in some Amerie or Toni Tony Tone or Rihanna for future contests of this sort.
KC actually made national news this week with our beloved leftfielder Emil Brown's pellet gun incident where he shot KMBC reporter Karen Kornacki in the eye. Of course he didn't mean to as he was going for Tony Pena Jr. as Tony was being interviewed(I have no idea why, maybe the no-walk streak.) After wallowing in relative obscurity his whole career, Brown has placed himself on the map.
The trading deadline is less than two days away and the team is still intact. Players I want to see traded: Brown, Sanders, LaRue, Dotel. Though I love Octavio Dotel as he's a quote machine and a pretty stable closer for these parts, he can get us a ML ready OF or a AAA-ML pitcher. I've heard rumblings of Reggie for Wily Mo Pena but I don't think that'll happen. Dotel will go despite wanting to stay here, but maybe there could be a hand-shake agreement and under the table cash exchange between David Glass and Dotel after the season so even though he'd leave, he could re-sign here in five months. Heard of shadier arrangements in my time.
Sanders or Brown have to go. I think Reggie will go somewhere and Emil will stay as he's less attractive to other teams with his .230 average, lack of a glove or home run power and no playoff experience. But if someone were to take him off our hands, most fans would be eternally grateful. LaRue sucks so bad, we're stuck with him most likely.
If Greinke is dealt than I have lost all confidence in this rebuilding job because that man is a future dominator as a closer and has the best stuff on the team. Trading a 23-year-old flame thrower with that much talent is criminal and when I hear the name circulating it induces a bit of panic. He and Soria are our two untouchables. They've completely turned this bullpen around. Maybe the front office doesn't remember how much of a joke it was last year. 53 percent save rate, which means that after the seventh inning, teams had just as likely a shot at beating us with a three-run lead. Maybe they would like some more future Burgos and Sisco's, who currently reside with their clubs' Triple-A affiliates. We have proven young arms and breaking up this would kill the team's momentum this year and set them back for next. Well all this talk is making me angry, here's to four in a row and a fifth in the dome tomorrow.