RC feels unsatisfied
Well, that was certainly an exciting series. It's just too bad that the Royals could only manage a four-game split with the Twins. They certainly played well enough to take three of four. RC was glued to the Official RC Television at RC Headquarters for this weekend's games, and we made several notes:
In the fourth inning, Emil Brown and Mark Teahen led off with back-to-back singles, chasing Joe Mays from the game. At this point the score was tied 4-4, but the Royals were swinging the bats well, and they should have gone for a big inning, ESPECIALLY with Ryan Jensen pitching. Instead, Brown was thrown out trying to steal third base on a double steal. It's not clear whether it was a missed hit-and-run or a straight steal, but regardless, it was an ignorant play that killed the inning.
If that wasn't bad enough, the following inning (with the Royals trailing 6-4), John Buck and David DeJesus both reached base with no outs, and the Royals called for Terrence Long to bunt. At this point, it was clear to RC that six runs would not hold up, so it made absolutely no sense to play for two runs in the fourth inning. Long bunted the ball in the air back to the pitcher, who in a strange play dropped the ball and started a bizarre 1-5-4 double play. But even had Long laid down a successful bunt, it still would have been a miserable call.
In the sixth inning, the Royals again got their first two men on, and this time, it appears Bell learned his lesson. He let Buck swing away, and Buck had a great at bat and drew a walk, setting up a potential $25,000 prize for E.R. Cosby, Saturday's contestant in the Sonic Slam Inning. Unfortunately for Mr. Cosby, the Royals didn't hit a grand slam, but they did push six runs across the plate, taking the lead and control of the game. And it's all because the Royals played for a big inning*.
RC isn't down on Bell, but we just hope we don't see many more of those types of mistakes. Mistakes like that are frustrating to watch, but they really don't mean anything this season, so we'll let him slide for the time being.
When we first heard that Howell was being called up after throwing so few minor league innings, we warned that if he falters, "Baird is going to take alot of heat." Well, he faltered, and RC is prepared to weather a storm of disapproval of Baird from the whining wing of Royals Nation. Frankly, we don't see Howell's struggles as anything to be too worried about. He saw enough to know that he has stuff to get Major League hitters out, now he just needs to go back to the minors to work on location. RC saw enough of Howell to know that he's not the type of guy who's going to get down on himself about his demotion. Baird wouldn't have promoted him in the first place if he thought Howell couldn't handle failure.
Hey, if we can't laugh about infidelity, what can we laugh about?
Second, over the weekend we made a few settings changes, but we're trying not to disturb our format too much. Please bear with us as we make minor changes.
Third, you also may have noticed that we have removed Rob Neyer's link from our website. The move is permanent, and it serves as our response to Neyer's latest effort. Actually, it was Rany who put the final nail in the coffin this time, but RC will no longer endorse their garbage with a link on this site, nor will we ever again mention either's name after the next paragraph.
This makes Neyer's blog the second that has been banished thus far from RC. Fellow bloggers, just be aware that we're watching you closely to make sure you stay in line...You don't want to be Neyered.
And finally, we've added several new products to our Official RC store, including baby merchandise. Due to popular demand, we now offer several products that include the "Circle this, Bert" logo we first published on Saturday. In fact, you can even outfit your infant with a bib that tells Bert exactly what he can circle! Folks, these items are moving fast, so if you want to get in on this summer's hottest styles, you have to act quickly!
*-Full disclosure: RC must admit that we had just said that we wouldn't mind seeing Buck bunt in that situation against a tough RHP. Good thing we're not manager!