RC enjoying All-Star break
In honor of the All-Star game, RC is taking a bit of a break. We've got just a couple notes, but be sure to check back tomorrow night as we plan to publish our Royals midseason report card. The grades are in, and you may be surprised who scored well, and who didn't.
But it's all good. The decision stands. The negativity and fickle nature of Rob and Rany's discussions of late have crossed RC's line of acceptable conduct. Criticizing managerial moves is fine -- completely fair game in our book. But how about a little perspective?
For instance, Rany makes his biggest stink about Buddy Bell lifting Andy Sisco when the Royals were leading by a run in the 7th inning of a game against Minnesota. Sisco had just walked two consecutive hitters, and was now set to face the light-hitting Juan Castro. With a bevy of left handed batters sitting on the Twins bench, Rany was outraged that Bell would lift Sisco for Leo Nunez, a right-handed pitcher sporting an ERA over eight. In his Topeka-Capital Journal column, Rany put it this way:
[I]n a key situation in a tight ballgame, Buddy Bell pulled his best reliever for a pitcher with an 8.22 ERA, and gave his opponents the platoon advantage.
Development, Rany. Sisco had just walked two men in a row. Perhaps Rany hasn't watched a whole lot of Sisco this year, but when he struggles, he has a tendency to alter his mechanics. He tries to guide the ball in, rather than rely on his normal, easy delivery, and it causes him to short-arm his pitches while altering his follow through (as Annie Savoy would say, he doesn't bend his back on his follow through). The result is a lack of control.
I don't remember this particular game, but it's quite possible that Sisco was off, and a mechanical adjustment to fix the problem is incredibly difficult to make in the midst of tight game with runners on base -- it's something that needs to be worked out in the bullpen. So it's quite possible that Bell went to the bullpen knowing full well that the "mighty" Michael Ryan would inevitably be brought in to pinch hit. Yes, the move backfired, but would Rany have been more satisfied if Sisco had been left in the game, only to walk the bases full?
Yes, I'm speculating, but so was Rany -- and Rany admitted that he wasn't even watching the game, but instead listening on his XM radio. But rather than search for a possible explanation, Rany instead labels Bell's move "inexcusable," and uses it as evidence for his ultimate conclusion (which was either predetermined the moment Bell was hired, or arrived at a mere 40 games or so into Bell's Royals career) that "Buddy Bell is a moron."
The fact remains that wins still aren't the most important thing for the Royals this season. Improvement is the key, and only a blind man would conclude the Royals haven't improved under Bell. If Bell makes a questionable move, there very well may be an explanation. Or there may not. But regardless, RC feels it's far too early to make any conclusions about Bell (or Baird, for that matter) when the focus for the remainder of this season is on development, rather than wins.
So as we said, RC is done with Rob and Rany. If you have a big problem with that, then that's just something you'll have to deal with. There are plenty of other Royals blogs that do link to his page, several of which are listed on our right hand navigational bar. We're certainly not going to put a dent in Neyer's traffic.
Gee, this post turned out to be longer than we expected, but we now consider the Neyer matter closed. Be sure to check in tomorrow for the Royals Report Card.