There's a reason Rob Neyer doesn't archive his blog...
I'd like to start by paying as little attention to today's 8-1 beating as possible. The defense was poor, the offense was poor, and Zack Greinke just didn't have "it." In fact, the only thing even remotely entertaining in the game was the 53 mph curveball that Greinke threw at one point. I believe that was his slowest one yet -- at least, it's the slowest I remember him throwing.
Anyhow, once I realized the value of statistical analysis, Neyer began to make a lot of sense to me. We even enjoyed a fairly harmonious 2004, as my disagreements with him were very rare. Perhaps it was because I, like Neyer, remembered that I had not disagreed with a single move the Royals made prior to the 2004 season. The free agent signings made sense, they were all short-term, and the Royals looked poised to improve upon a 2003 record that was, for lack of a better term, pure luck.
Of course, we all know what happened. 104 losses. A new record for futility. It was a miserable season, but through it and the run-up to this season, I felt that Neyer remained a fair critic of Royals management.
But then something happened. Neyer began to turn against RC's Official Hero, Allard Baird. And in the process, Neyer began to ignore that he had, in fact, agreed with at least some of the moves that Baird made prior to the 2005 season -- moves that he now criticizes. For instance, on Neyer's blog right now, you can read the following:
Rob: Joe [Posnanski] really is a master of the form -- as much as it hurts to admit this, he’s twice the columnist I’ll ever be [RC interjection: only twice???] -- and I found his concluding sentence particularly masterful: “It doesn’t sound like much of a plan.”
As you and maybe a few readers might remember, I was just bemoaning the ineffectiveness of “the plan” a week or two ago. Was paying $2.5 million to Jose Lima a part of the plan? Were Terrence Long and Eli Marrero a part of the plan? The plan’s got little chance of working because the plan doesn’t include much money spent on baseball players. But for the plan to have any chance of working, it’s got to be executed almost flawlessly. And brother, don’t get me started on the flaws.
Are we to now believe that Rob Neyer disagreed with the Terrence Long acquisition? I distinctly remember Neyer expressing quite a bit of excitement over the deal shortly after Baird acquired Long and Dennis Tankersley in exchange for the overpaid Darrell May. Of course, it's difficult to prove, since Neyer doesn't archive his Rob & Rany discussions.
But alas, I found an e-mail exchange I had with Rob in the hours after the trade. And while it's a bit short on details, it offers tangible proof that Neyer is a bozo:
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 2:21 PM
To: Neyer, Rob
Subject: robneyer.com contact form
What are your thoughts on the Long/May
My thinking is this: the Royals missed an
opportunity. The focus should have been on
getting rid of May's salary, NOT on getting
something in return for May. So now, instead
of paying a lousy left-handed pitcher $3.225
million, we're paying a lousy outfield $3.225
million. And it's much easier to get rid of
a lousy pitcher than a lousy outfielder.
I guess my logic is dependent upon the belief
that it was possible to dump May's salary.
Was it possible? Or do you think that regardless
ofwhat the Royals did, they were going to
wind up having to pay a lousy player $3.225
million? If that's the case, I would much rather
have paid May.
Neyer, Rob (firstname.lastname@example.org) to me
I'll have something on the site later today, but
I'm happy. -rob
There you have it. If I remember correctly, Neyer's approval of the trade had more to do with Tankersley's acquistion than Long's, but the point is that before our putrid start, Neyer was perfectly comfortable with Long on the roster. Needless to say, Neyer is being incredibly dishonest. Hindsight really is 20/20, huh Rob?
Anyhow, Neyer now appears to be nearing the end of his rope with regard to the Royals. He assails Royals management at every turn, and the hiring of Buddy Bell seems to have finished him off (I vehemently disagree with his "analysis" of the Bell hiring -- which unbelievably includes the minor league managerial records of the candidates Neyer believes would have been more successful than Bell -- but Kevin did a great job with that issue earlier today, so I have nothing to add). In Neyer's ESPN column (subscription required), Neyer concludes with the following:
This season marks my 30th as a fan of the Kansas City Royals, and columns like this one are painful for me (which is why I rarely write them). It's been a pretty good run, and I'm grateful for each of those 30 seasons (yes, even this one).
But it's been a dozen years since I lived within easy driving distance of Royals Stadium, and perhaps the distance allows me the perspective to write the following: Maybe it's time to give up...
The Royals have become a laughingstock, and maybe it's time to find them a new home, where the laughs might someday be outnumbered by the cheers.
Frankly, I don't believe him, but if he's really done with the Royals, then I say so long. I just hope he's careful not to let the door hit him in the ass on the way out. And maybe in a couple years, when Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, and Justin Huber are hitting in the middle of the KC order, those of us who stuck around will let him back into Royals Nation. Maybe.