Thursday, May 14, 2009

Royals streak has fans jumping off bandwagon

Well, If there is one thing the Royals losing streak has accomplished, it's that the fair weather fans who jumped on board during all the wins have now begun to disperse as the team continues this God-awful losing streak. I think it's kind of funny to see people claiming the sky is falling at Kauffman Stadium. There are some out there who are already writing this team off and penciling in the Twins as the AL Central champs again. It seems that all of the losing in years past has left us expecting the big one. The 10, 12, 14 game losing streak that all but writes the Royals in the cellar for the rest of the season.

It's very possible this Royals team isn't going to be as good as we once thought. It was obvious the pitching staff couldn't hold up the amazing pace they were on to start the year. The team was once on pace to win 105 games ... uh, yeah right. But it's not out of the question that this team winds up winning seven or eight in a row at some point in the year and wins the division by several games. I guess then we'll see those fans jumping back on the wagon.

The difference this year is that while this losing streak continues to build, all you have to do is look at their record to see that they are still currently above .500 and are right in the thick of things in the division. So, while they may or may not reach the playoffs in 2009, there's no doubt this team is better than the one's we've witnessed in a long time. (2003 was indeed a fluke)

Something else caught my attention too, and I wanted to bring it up.

After Mike Jacobs crushed his seventh homer of the season the other night in Oakland, there were cries that he isn't worth the money the team is spending on him. Some people even argued that he only goes yard when the score doesn't matter - and that he strikes out too often with runners in scoring position in tight games. Those last two arguments are fair enough, but to say that he isn't worth the money the team is paying him is ludicrous. Right now, we should be happy that he's still hitting bombs. That means he's seeing the ball well at the plate and at least gives us a hint that he can bust a game open when it's on the line.

Hey, at least he hasn't been what David Ortiz has been for the Red Sox this season. He appears to have totally lost his mojo. At least Jacobs is driving in runs. Plus, he's better than anything we've had in the power category for quite some time. I'll take him in my lineup even though the strikeouts hurt. The fact is we all knew Jacobs strikes out a ton. So there is absolutely no reason for us to gripe and complain that he K's too often. True Royals fans KNEW he would. I guess that's why it's the fair weather fans who are griping about it.

Look, I'm not knocking us true fans who have complaints with this team. There has been plenty to gripe about so far. But with all the gripes, we've also got to be pretty happy that we finally have a team that can go on such losing streaks and still be in the hunt.

Here's some of my gripes...
  1. Trey Hillman has made blunder after blunder managing this team, and it makes one wonder what John Gibbons role actually is on the bench. He's supposed to be Trey's right-hand man. Guess that's why he's a former manager of the Blue Jays.
  2. Mike Aviles can't hit his way out of a wet paper sack. He may spend a few weeks at Omaha soon to see if he can kick-start his offense.
  3. Jose Guillen is killing this team defensively. He lolly gags in right field and has become a liability out there and on the base paths. There's a guy not worth what he's getting paid.
  4. Gil Meche appears to be hurt and hasn't been the same guy since injuring his back three starts ago.
  5. The offense remains punchless against no-name pitchers without great minor league track records.

You guys chime in on these subjects. Tell me your concerns. Let me know if you see things differently. Fair weather fans need not to respond. Only serious fans here please.


Mark LaFlamme said...

Anyone who wants to dump the Royals now, during this admittedly nasty skid, is showing a complete lack of character and should not be allowed at our secret fan meetings (sorry I brought light beer last time, Tug. Won't happen again.)
It IS frustrating as hell, no doubt about it. I've broken a few things around the house and I'm inventing new cuss words all the time. Such a low followed by such a lingering high. We've got to end it immediately, before it turns into one of those epic slides like we've seen in recent years.
Bugging me: Mark Teahan. His moments of greatness are getting farther apart all the time. He hits just enough to get us to stop thinking about his long droughts. I mean, this dude can be a real rally killer. Two double plays tonight?
Willie Bloomquist. Why is he on the bench more often than not? His bat was hot. Singles, singles, singles and then a few of those extra base hits he was never supposed to get. Give Aviles a sit and get Bloomquist out there.
Billy Butler: why can't he bat two, even three times in the lineup? He could bat say, third, fifth and ninth. Get him a fake mustache or something.
But now, of course, I'm ranting.

Levi "Tug" Payton said...

Mark, I took down one of your golden stars for bringing the light beer last time. You're right, it won't happen again.
As for Butler, I'm sure Bobby Valentine can set him up with one of those fake mustache disguises. Maybe he could get a Manny wig and slap some chops on there too.
Oh, and I'd like to compare some of those new cuss words to mine. Ya know, see if we can start a new trend here at everythingroyals.

cinco8 said...

It is obvious to everybody we are missing that big RBI guy. I know its early in the season, but who do you think will be available to us via trade? Who do we trade? Who would to sit? I know Gordon is coming back, but do you really feel he is the answer? I don't...I love for him to be me.

cinco8 said...

But that is not a gripe but questions. I don't like the outfield rotation. I think Hillman's use of the bullpen is criminal. And, I want the this team to create a national identity...some personality.

Levi "Tug" Payton said...

Cinco, at this point it's hard to see the Royals making a very big splash in the trade market. I am completely with you on this one however...the Royals are certainly lacking that one guy in the lineup that other teams fear. Teams don't fear Jose Guillen or Mike Jacobs, though both players could be helped greatly by a big-bopper between them in the order.
At this point, I'm having a hard time thinking about Alex Gordon returning to replace Mark Teahen at third. Teahen is playing great at the hot corner and just earned offensive player of the month for the team. I'll make a post about potential trade bait in the next few days.