It doesn't get much worse than this...

For only the second time in his life, RC Correspondent Chris Ray -- the biggest Royals fanatic of all -- willingly left a game early out of disgust on Sunday afternoon. RC Correspondent Kevin Agee also relayed a sad story from the aftermath of today's game, which concluded with the Royals' ninth straight loss and a sweep at the hands of the hated Cardinals:

"When I went after some BBQ at this great place called Bandana's, the lady at the pick-up counter saw my KC hat, looked at me with pitiful eyes, and said, 'Oh ... So I guess you saw the game today...'

"Usually, fans of crappy teams get mocked. We get apologized to."

Bandana's BBQ: Refusing to mock Royals fans since 2006.

Yes, it was an ugly, frustrating, and embarrassing weekend for Royals Nation. In fact, RC had a similar incident of our own today, even though we were separated from the Missouri Massacre by over 1000 miles of flyover land. We were at a minor league game on Sunday afternoon, and the Trenton Thunder's (Yankees AA affiliate) announcer started giving us some grief about the slaughter.

"Yeah, well the Cardinals are just catching us at the right time," RC retorted.

"What's that? 2006?" he asked.

Yeah...2006. We set ourselves up for that, but he's absolutely right. This is just a bad team mired in what very well might be the worst season in Royals' history. Hell, at the rate they're presently going, this just could ultimately be the worst season in Major League history.

After today's game, Scott Elarton blew his top and called out his teammates, although he refused to name names.

"We're just terrible. There's no two ways about it," Elarton told the AP. "We're pretty much bad every facet of the game...

"I'm talking about the guys in this room. If it doesn't burn you when you lose, then you're not going to get any better."

Scott Elarton is fed up.

Have some of the players in the clubhouse given up? We sure hope not. Will Elarton's comments help motivate the team into playing better baseball? We seriously doubt it. The Royals are playing as though they're just waiting to lose. They know they stink right now, and Elarton going off on his teammates probably isn't going to help anything. It reminded Kevin of a similarly pointless exchange from the Naked Gun trilogy:

Frank Drebin: Cigarette?

Tanya Peters: Yes, I know.

Maybe Buddy Bell should throw a Hal McRae-style tirade (along with a couple of phones and ashtrays), but fun as it would be to see, even that probably wouldn't help. All we know is that something definitely needs to change, and we all have opinions about what that change should entail. There's certainly no immediate cure-all, but it sure would help if there was. Right now, all phases of the Royals game are pretty terrible.

"If that continues," said Elarton, "it's going to be a long season. And if nobody in here cares about it, it's going to get worse."



At 5/22/2006 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Scott Elarton, Chris Ray and RC...

It's not like they are good players playing badly, they are just bad players playing they way they should be. The writing was on the wall in December and January when Baird signed these rejects.
There is no more point in waiting, just get some guys like Middleton, Maier, Gordon up here and see what they can do. Release the vets!

At 5/22/2006 10:40 AM, Anonymous Alex said...

Yes, the Royals are bad. No, they are not THIS bad. Ignore our record for a minute - there's no way this year's team could truly be worse than last year's is there?

My favorite quote was this one from Mientkiewicz who thought his teammates were more concerned with their personal numbers: "It’s not about you hitting .300, you striking the guy out, you driving in 100. It’s about you winning games.”

Too bad the Royals can't do any of those things.

At 5/22/2006 12:48 PM, Blogger Max said...

Ha! Nice Naked Gun reference. Now we just need to brainwash Angel Berroa to assasinate the Queen of England.

The Royals are this bad, but they are also missing some key players - DeJesus, Sweeney, Greinke and MacDougal. That's enough to make a 95 loss team look like a 115 loss team.

I'd also argue there is a point of waiting. Why call up Maier and Gordon if they're not ready? Just to create some excitement this year? We're going to lose anyway, and I think Gordon's not that far off, but I'd rather be sure. Plus if we call either up before June, we start his arb clock a year too soon.

At 5/22/2006 1:00 PM, Blogger muskie63 said...

It's about time somebody on this team showed some anger about how we are playing. I applaude Elarton for at least showing he's sick of losing. It's not a coincidence the first players to speak up about our pitiful play have to come from outside the organization. The core of players on the Royals who have been here a few years all seem to "accept" losing. Maybe Muser's "milk and Cookie" comments weren't too far off the mark. This whole team should be "ticked off" about our play but I'm not sure that is the case.

At 5/22/2006 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you and your arbitration clock....that just illustrated my point about how pathetic this franchise is if you have to worry about the aribtration 3 or 4 years from now....if they call up Gordon, and wont pay him when it comes time to pay him, then they dont deserve to be a franchise.
And if Maier isnt any good, then they wont need to worry about it.
You bring the kids up to see what you have so you can move forward.
Stop wasting time, money and fans patience on crap players.

At 5/22/2006 4:40 PM, Blogger Dave said...

I wouldn't mind seeing Gordon promoted relatively soon. Fans are going to need a reason to keep coming to the ballpark, and Gordon is probably more than capable of holding his own at the big league level right now. I too don't think his arbitration clock should have a big effect on when he's called, but I also don't think it's a factor that should be completely ignored. If the Royals aren't sure or close to sure about his ML readiness, then it would be irresponsible to just throw away what could me millions of dollars three years from now.

Maier and Middleton are completely different cases. Maier could become a quality Major Leaguer someday, but I don't think anyone in the organization would be terribly confident in his ability to be productive right now -- his arbitration clock has NOTHING to do with his presence in Wichita. Nobody is projecting Maier to be a star in the Majors, so the financial implications of him reaching arbitration a year sooner than he otherwise would figure to have minimal consequences.

And Middleton...ehhh...Frankly, I'd be surprised if Middleton ever wears a Royals uniform outside of Surprise, AZ. He throws an awfully straight fastball, and he's gotten hit very hard ever since he left the friendly Carolina League.

At 5/22/2006 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thats what i am trying to get at dave. we all know royals are 0-7 in redman starts, so why not see what someone else has. if not middleton, how about bass?
lets see if these guys have anything, if they dont we can move on. its working for all the other small market teams, and for some of the other "losers" like arizona, colorado, detroit, etc

At 5/22/2006 5:18 PM, Blogger Max said...

you and your arbitration clock....that just illustrated my point about how pathetic this franchise is if you have to worry about the aribtration 3 or 4 years from now....if they call up Gordon, and wont pay him when it comes time to pay him, then they dont deserve to be a franchise.

No, the shortsightedness of not taking into account arbirtation down the road is why this organization is stuck in the mud. We have a "plan" but then we don't stick to it and we panic and sign crappy free agents to appease fans or win an election.

It isn't that I don't think they'll pay Alex Gordon his money. Its that if they have to pay Alex Gordon an extra $2-3 million because of his arbitration status, that $2-3 million they probably can't spend on a pitcher. Like it or not, we're going to have to stay on a budget.

I mean c'mon, its ten days til June. Can't you wait til then to see Gordon? Its not like its going to cost us the pennant. Personally, I don't want him exposed too much to these losers.

I think Maier will be a decent fourth outfielder - Reed Johnson type so I'm not concerned as much about his arb clock. He'll never be a big money player IMO. Plus he's starting to get on the old side so it would be nice to see what he can do. He did have a nice walk off grand salami this weekend, but he forgot to run after first base so it was ruled a single!

At 5/22/2006 5:21 PM, Blogger Max said...

Brian Bass was just demoted after a 7.59 ERA in Omaha, so I'd say he's probably not going to be pitching in KC anytime soon.

I agree with Dave on Middleton. He's likely not going to amount to much.

Kyle Snyder is pitching competently at Omaha (4 walks in 40.1 IP). It would be nice to see what he has as he is getting on the old side.

At 5/22/2006 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If someone asks Dick Kaegel one more stupid question...check out this weeks "mailbag".

1. What's an eephus pitch?
2. How is playing on the road different than playing at home?

3. How far do you have your head stuck up Buddy Bell's arse?

At 5/22/2006 10:34 PM, Blogger DL said...

Dave, do you know anything about Matt Tupman's defensive ability? A guy with a .477 OBP and a very clear understanding of how to handle the bat has to be taken seriously as major leaguer, even if he's never going to hit with a lot of pop. Seems to me that Tupman is as ready as he's going to be - he's not a kid (26) and he's not going to accomplish much more in the minors (esp. the way the Royals use AAA).

I'd love to see the Royals drop Bako and give Tupman 2 starts a week the rest of the season.

At 5/23/2006 1:37 AM, Blogger Dave said...

Unfortunately, I don't know much about Tupman's D. I saw him play in Wilmington quite a bit, but that was back before he was on my radar (I was busy watching Aviles, Murphy, Costa, and Maier), so I have no recollection of how he looked.

I saw him in the AFL, but I believe he only caught one game while I was there, and it wasn't pretty -- if memory serves, he threw a ball into center field on a steal attempt. Of course, it's impossible to form any kind of conclusion after one game, so it's not even worth mentioning.

Now, as for his offensive production this year, I think it's best to be cautiously optimistic. Remember, this is a 26-year-old with a career OBP under .350 who is repeating AA. Maybe he has turned a corner, but it's equally likely that this is merely a hot streak that won't last. I hope it's the former, but I do think it would be best to take a wait-and-see approach before heralding him as a potential offensive contributor at the ML level.

At 5/23/2006 1:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's good Dave. I have to call you out on this one.

On one hand, you (still) proclaim Allard Baird to be the "Official Hero" (instead of Franchise Killer) of the site, and then on the other, you shirk accountability for him in building what may be the worst team in the history of the game AND THEN suggest he bring up Gordon because "the fans will need a reason to come to the park".

How about that being Baird's problem, and him either resigning or fixing it (check that, that train has left the station) instead of doing a gimmick like calling up the future cornerstone of the organization to be a part of the all-time losingest team?

Look at what Baird has done to us... we're sniping at each other!

At 5/23/2006 2:28 AM, Anonymous KowboyKoop said...

Angel Berroa...gotta go.

Emil Brown...gotta go.

Matt Stairs...gotta go.

Tony Graffanino...gotta go.

Buddy Bell...gotta go.

Redman...gotsta go.

Hernandez....gotsta go.

No value in any of these guys whatsoever.

German needs to start everyday. Blanco needs to start everyday. Huber needs to be DHing here everyday. Guiel needs to start everyday. Trade Sanders for anything, he sucks. Gordon needs to get here soon. Get Snyder in our rotation. Get Keppel in our rotation to see what he can do. Get Butler here at some point. Maier and Lubanski maybe too, if they continue to play well. Noone cares about our record, but for Christ's sake, at least lose with some young players who can/will get better, rather than this miserable group of "veterans" who suck and are getting worse and just don't care.

God I hate Buddy Bell. What an idiot.

At 5/23/2006 4:48 AM, Blogger Dave said...

We all know that the Royals will most likely be under new management soon. The Baird Hero designation remains as a symbol of defiance more than anything -- I'm not going to abandon it simply because he's taking fire from all corners.

As for Gordon, I hoped to make it clear that I'm relatively indifferent as to whether or not he's promoted to KC anytime soon. As a fan, it would certainly make the games more entertaining to watch. But I don't want him here before the Royals brass determines he's ready. When he's ready, he's ready. I'm willing to wait.

At 5/23/2006 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By Mark Simon, ESPN Research
Can it get any worse for the Royals? Only time will tell as Kansas City got pummeled by Detroit, losing its 10th straight game Monday. And this defeat came following a pregame team meeting.
The Royals have been an embarassment this season as they've lost 10 in a row on a pair of occasions, and a third of the season isn't even complete yet.

Kansas City bears more than a passing resemblance to the 1962 New York Mets, who finished 40-120 and were a team filled with over-the-hill veterans that bumbled and stumbled their way through the season.

The Baseball Tonight crew has already begun preparations for the inevitable "Chasing Misery" comparison.

The Lowlights
The 2006 Royals:
• The fourth team since 1920 to post two 10-game losing streaks before its 50th game of the season (first since the 1988 Orioles).
• The starting pitchers are averaging fewer than five innings per start and are 3-22 this season.

• Their power spots in the lineup (the third and fourth place hitters) are hitting a combined .223.

At 5/23/2006 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, Baseball America listed Tupman as the Royals organization's best defensive catcher, in 2004. Even if this year is a hot streak, the more guys willing to take walks the better, and his LH bat would be a nice complement to Buck's RH bat. Surely his offense wouldn't be any worse than Bako's stellar 200/217/200 line (a 417 OPS!), or career line of 238/310/326/636.


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