July 25, 2006

Goodbye MacDougal, Hello Future Starters

Mike MacDougal, RP Chicago White Sox

I don't have a problem with trading him, and I'll tell you why:

1) Dude was subject to freak injuries.

Remember in 2001 when he came up as a starter? In a game that September, Carlos Beltran swung and missed at a pitch, his bat flew out of his hands and into the dugout, cracking MacDougal's head open. He fractured his skull and lost feeling in his pitching arm for three months.

Then in 2004, he got the flu. Yes, just the flu. And it ruined an entire year of his career. He lost a ton of weight. Considering he was already barely 180 when this happened, his 6' 4" frame was made even weaker, and he lost some major velocity off of his pitches. He couldn't pitch worth a damn that season.

This year, he came into spring training again as the Royals closer, but with only ten days until the season's start, he strained a muscle in his right shoulder and was out for over half the season.

I'm not saying he's injury prone, because he couldn't help the bat to the head and the flu was just weird. But, he's tall and lanky and he has a hurky jerky pitching motion (his hat rarely stays on his head when he's pitching). I would be surprised if he didn't get hurt for one bizarre reason or another in the next couple years with the Sox.

2) He's a good fit for the White Sox.

He'll be the set-up man for Bobby "Bitch Tits" Jenks, making for the first true "Thunder and Lightning" pairing in Major League Baseball history. Good for MacDougal. He'll get on ESPN more regularly, and it won't be just because of his falling hat.

3) His salary is poised to jump a few million next season.

I would assume by then, Burgos (or Sisco or Bautista or somebody) would be the answer in the closer's role. Why spend the coin on the skinny guy who might get injured by a strong gust of wind when you can get someone else to do it on the cheap? MacDougal will be 30 soon and won't fit in as well with a team full of 22-24 year olds. Actually, that's probably not true. I've heard Mikey behaves more like a fourteen-year-old than anyone else on the Royals, so maybe he'd only ever fit in well with the Bad News Bears.

4)His nicknames sucked.

Mac the Ninth? Mac Attack? Mac Tonight? Doogie Howser, McD? McDLT? The Ginger Kid? Royals Pitcher of the Month?

So that's the best anyone can come up with? A pun on a Bobby Darin song that is half a century old? References to crappy McDonald's promos from the 80's? Doogie freakin' Howser?

Lame as hell.

5) The real reason this was a good trade: Kansas City needs starters.

The Royals go from having really no bonafide starting prospects in the minors to having two. Tyler Lumsden projects to be a KC starter in 2007 or 2008 with Daniel Cortes about three years away. And we can only hope that with six days left until the trading deadline, Dayton Moore will have nearly accomplished a complete turnaround of our farm system, adding much more pitching and some more offense to add to the prize pieces of Gordon and Butler.

I'm looking forward to seeing these trades.

Go Royals! You're the Best!

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