Tuesday

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.

  • How about that Home Run Derby? How about that Bobby Abreu? In case you missed it, Abreu slammed a record 41 homers en route to taking home the Derby title. In the first round alone, he hit an incredible 24 dingers, shattering the previous record by eight. Abreu's longest home run was measured at 517 feet, which is the second longest in HR Derby history. RC has long been a fan of Abreu, not only for his power and speed, but also for his excellent plate discipline, and it would be nice if his performance tonight gets him the national attention he's deserved for a long time.


  • Yesterday's announcement that Rob Neyer's blog will no longer be linked from this page drew some mixed reactions from RC's loyal readers. Some praised the announcement. Some knocked it, and some (well, one actually) pledged to remove RC from his reading list.

    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.
  • 3 Comments:

    At 7/12/2005 2:25 AM, Blogger wadephillips said...

    I agree with the decision to remove Neyer, if I wanted to pay attention to negative people with no insight I would become a Teddy Kennedy fan.

     
    At 7/12/2005 4:49 PM, Blogger Garth said...

    Amen. Amen.

     
    At 7/12/2005 5:58 PM, Anonymous Brendan said...

    - Buddy Bell takes over a team with a .260 winning percentage.
    - He raises that winning percentage by 200 points (Royals are .459 under Bell), despite focusing on development as much winning.
    - Rany concludes that he is a moron and that Baird should be fired for hiring him.

    If a moron can do that, Rany must believe that someone of even average intelligence would have us in the thick of the playoff race, ... and yet I keep reading from Rob that we have no major league talent.

    I don't get it. I guess I'm just as dumb as Buddy Bell.

     

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