1) THE DRAFT
I think Ladnier did a great job with the draft. #1 overall pick Luke Hochevar was considered the second best pitcher in the draft last year, a draft class that was infinitely better than this year's crop. Cool Hand Luke has been playing in an indie league with wood bats this season, and should be able to easily make the transition to the minors. We could see him in KC as soon as September this year.
Now, the "consensus" guy the Royals were supposed to take, Andrew Miller, only has TWO PITCHES. And his last several outings have been a bit lackluster. He fell all the way to the Tigers with the sixth pick. We'll see who's better in a few years when KC and Detroit are battling for the division title, but right now, I'd go with Hochevar over Miller every time.
If you throw Brad Lincoln into the mix... well, let's not think about that right now.
2) THE DRUGS
Keeping with the prison theme started with the Cool Hand Luke reference, let's discuss Jason Grimsley. He played for the Royals for three and a half seasons, from '01 to '04. He admitted he was using steroids and amphetamines during that time. And when he was caught getting some Human Growth Hormone in the mail this past April, he found himself up shit creek with a turd for a paddle.
So what did he do? He ratted out a bunch of his former teammates. The Yankees (Giambi, et al), Orioles, (Palmeiro, et al) and the Royals (????) are the primary teams that are implicated in this. I'm not going to speculate **cough, cough** Mark Quinn Benito Santiago Donnie Sadler Sluggerrr **cough cough** about who those users on the Royals may have been. But, Grimsley specifically mentioned "Latin players" as being a source of amphetamines. And I know one terrible shortstop I wouldn't mind seeing lose some playing time because of a suspension.
A horrible thing to say?
But I didn't say it.
I typed it in a blog.
3) THE DUMBBELL
Buddy needs to go. That's that.
Bobby Keppel's masterful performance last night was flushed down the can when Bell decided that Burgos hadn't blown enough games for KC this year. Just to make this clear, he'd already blown SIX saves. But what the hell, right Buddy? Bring on Ambiorix and his bloated 7 and a half ERA.
Needless to say, he blew his seventh save. Take those seven losses, add them back into our win total, and the Royals are just a a plain old run of the mill bad team, and not the historically bad team we are lucky enough to watch on a nightly basis. Do I blame Burgos? No. I don't. I blame Bell for consistently choosing the wrong guys to play. Would you have put Burgos in last night? Because I sure as hell wouldn't have. And the fans at the game wouldn't have either, as they booed the Budster when he did bring in Burgos.
And it isn't just bullpen mismanagement. It's putting Dougie in the three hole every night. It's starting Tony Graffanino over Esteban German whenever he gets the chance. It's playing Paul Bako nearly every other game. It's a lot of things. And it's getting very, very old.
Luckily, I've got a good friend at Mattel. I've convinced him to issue a new version of the My Buddy doll.
This time... with voodoo capabilities.
4) THE DAYTON
Dear God, please let him fix things.
Go Royals! You're the Best!