The fall of Jose Lima

On the radio pre-game show today, Royals GM Allard Baird was asked what would happen if Jose Lima had another bad start. Baird's response was that Lima "knows the ramifications" of another poor outing.

I think we're going to find out what those ramifications are. Upon being spotted yet another four-run lead, Lima went out in the third inning and immediately gave all four runs back, courtesty of homeruns by Rod Barahas and Alfonso Soriano (on a belt-high 90 mph meatball), sandwiched around back-to-back doubles by Mark Teixeira and Hank Blalock. The damage could have been worse, had RCB favorite David DeJesus not robbed a potential HR off the bat of Kevin Mench to end the inning.

Coming back out for the fourth inning, Lima immediately set to work doing more damage, giving up a walk and two singles, which gave the Rangers the lead, 5-4. Sensing that things were about to get much worse, Manager of the Year candidate Buddy Bell summoned Steve Stemle from the bullpen. Stemle got out of the jam without any further damage.

Lima's line: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 5 ER (current ERA - 8.39), 2 BB, 2 HR

That should do it. Stay tuned.

Does life imitate art?

Four games. Four wins. I'm not one to make snap judgements, but something strange is going on in Kansas City. After 50 games of pretty terrible baseball, the Royals have begun to resemble a major league team. Good defense, superb pitching, and timely -- if not exactly spectacular -- hitting. In the span of three days, the Royals won their first two games of the season when scoring three or fewer runs...against two of the best offenses in baseball. And OH, that bullpen:

(last 4 games)
14.0 IP, 9 H, 1 R (0.64 ERA), 7 BB, 9 K, 4 saves

So is Buddy Bell the miracle worker behind this supposed transformation? Is he a real life Lou Brown? Did he tell Burgos to forget the curveball and give them the heater? Did he figure out that MacDougal needed glasses? Did he pee on Angel Berroa's contract?

Most likely not. In the Star today, Bell even admitted that he's really had little to do with, well, anything:
“I really haven’t done a whole lot,” Bell said. “Just watch. I really haven’t done a whole lot. Maybe they like a smile on my face every once in a while.”

Hmmm, that doesn't sound a whole lot like Lou Brown. It sounds like Bell really hasn't done a whole lot. And I don't know the secret to our recent success, but I'm pretty sure smiling doesn't have a whole lot to do with it. All I know is that in Buddy Bell's first four games as manager, the Royals had their finest four-game stretch since September 2003. So I'm not going to try to figure it out. I'm just going to enjoy it while it lasts, and the overwhelming odds are that it won't last very long. Jose Lima starts today.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a guy on the other line asking about some white walls.


Wo ist Billy Butler?

For the third night in a row, Billy Butler does not appear in the High Desert box score. Of course, High Desert's website provides no news on his condition, although the Mavs do promise a "brand new and improved" website. Wonderful.

In the meantime, count me as mildly concerned.

EDIT -- I just found this:

"INF Billy Butler, one of the Royals’ top minor league prospects, got hit on the hand by a pitch at Class A High Desert and will be out at least two weeks."

Kind of a bummer. But at least we know it isn't too serious.

And so it begins...


I guess first posts are supposed to introduce the blogger (me) to the public (you fools). Anyway, if you want to know who I am, I just spent five minutes on my profile, so check it out. Most of that stuff is even true.

As for this blog, I'd like to cover a wide swath of Royal issues. I watch or listen to nearly every game, courtesy of MLB Extra Innings,, and XM Radio (which is pretty-much the greatest thing ever created), and I keep close watch over the minor leagues. My analysis is generally pretty objective, but I can't manage to kick the optimism out of my system -- I think optimism is the best part about being a fan. Thus, I am a stat head who generally gets disgusted with other stat heads. Particularly Royals stat heads like Rob Neyer. But more on him some other time.

I hope you enjoy the blog. I promise it will be fun.