Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Have the Royals tanked it with a purpose?

I'm getting the vibe there are some Royals fans out there who are pleased to see that the Royals have packed it in these final two months of the season. The reason? Why, the June Amateur Draft, of course.
Unless the insightful Brian Bannister got bored and brain stormed an evil scheme to play mind tricks on the fans instead of hitters. Maybe then they aren't as bad as they look.
I agree, it will be nice to have another year to replenish the farm system by picking in the top 5 each round. However, I don't completely believe the conspiracy theories surrounding all of this losing. I may be in the minority on this one.
To me, it is important for these young guys to finish the season on a good note. Now, none of that will matter if Dayton Moore cleans house as he has vowed to do this winter. Still, there is no way you want your organization to put on this type of show a couple of months before you start wining-and-dining free agents.
You can't play for June '09 in August '08 ... plain and simple. To be honest, I don't think that is what has happened to this team either. Rather, I believe what we are seeing is a roster watered down with minor league talent posing as major leaguers. The core group of guys - the guys that started on opening day - have been so beat up and dragged down that a great deal of playing time has been placed on the shoulders of their backups - the guys who can't play.
Don't get me wrong, I think Mitch Maier can be a serviceable player. He is very similar to Mark Teahen, and probably swings the lumber a little better. It's still too early to tell with him. Yeah, there are guys with potential like Gordon, Butler, Shealy, Ka'aihue and others, but this team seems to be too loaded down at certain positions.
We all know about the logjam at first base. There are very few options that help this team in the middle infield. Aviles has been good and there seems to be some potential there with Callaspo. Still, both of those players may not be regular starters five years from now.
That's the thing. This team is WEAK off the bench.
Ka'aihue is getting little playing time. That's no shock. Shealy and Butler are going to make it hard for him to showcase his talents for obvious reasons. Barring a trade, it appears the Royals will likely stick him in the minors again next year and see how legit this '08 season really was.
Aviles has that dreaded sophomore slump to worry about. Pitchers are going to make adjustments on him this offseason. Can he adjust with them? Gordon has been better at the plate, yet still leaves much to be desired. Butler has heated up since his stint at Omaha.
Dayton Moore is a man with a lot of pride. In no way would he encourage his players and coaching staff to sink the ship for a draft pick.
This team is loaded with a bunch of guys with no heart, though. Yeah, I said it. Josey was right when he called them "crybabies" and basically told them to grow some cajones. He couldn't have described himself any better if he was filling out his profile on
For the most part, he described his teammates pretty well too.
Guys like Grudzielanek are pro's. This thing took a ride on the tobaggan when he went down and has never recovered. This team needs leadership. Right now they have none.
Lost in this rant somewhere is the fact that I just don't believe they are, or should, intentionally tank what's left of the season. Instead, they just plain suck. It won't hurt my feelings if you agree with me.


nickdeck said...

There's no way in hell that they're doing it on purpose. I posted this on another board, but can you imagine the widespread collaboration it would take to actually tank as a group? Can you say Black Sox?

In this day of the internet and media, it would be impossible to cover up anything even resembling a conspiracy.

And, what good would it do the players? Poor performance could only hurt their market value in the immediate future. Hot shot draft picks are at least two or three years away from the bigs, if they make it at all.

Mark LaFlamme said...

I'd like to believe that each player is so competetive and driven to win, he couldn't get on board with a "lose for the good of the team" conspiracy if he earnestly wanted to. Every instinct tells them to hit the ball when they can and to field as though their careers depend on it. Switching that off has to be next to impossible. I agree that it's unlikely a deliberate suck fest. Odds are better that we simply bite.

Tug said...

So Mark, how was your trip? Guess you have finally witnessed Royal beauty with your own two eyes? Tell me you got on Guillen's @$$ at least a little bit while you were there?