The Royals have played two games. They've lost two games.
In fact, they lost both games in walk-off fashion. Monday it was Yost leaving Shields in and letting the Tigers back into the game. And then, of course, Aaron Crow and "Wad" Davis giving up the game. Wednesday it was an extra-innings affair, with Lorenzo Cain stranded at third after Brad Ausmus and the Tigers challenged an Aoki bunt to get the third out in the top of the tenth. Of course, in the bottom half of the inning, Tim Collins immediately walked two guys and shortly after gave up the winning run.
Those things will happen. They'll happen several times this year. It sucks that the first two games ended this way, but what can you do about it?
The media and fans seem to understand that. Instead, they've latched onto something Ned did in the eighth inning on Wednesday. With the Royals and Tigers tied at one, Salvador Perez hit a leadoff double against Max Scherzer. Yost put in Dyson to pinch-run (a move I agree with, actually), but the Royals fastest runner never made it more than a few feet from the bag. Moustakas and Cain both struck out, so it was up to Alcides Escobar to keep the inning going. That is not a sentence a Royals fan ever wants to read.
You'd think if Yost was smart enough to pinch-run for Perez, he'd be smart enough to pinch-hit for the worst hitter in the league last year when he's facing the best pitcher from last year. Escobar was a disaster at the plate in 2013, though he looked halfway decent this spring. Of course, he was hitless in the regular season when he came up to bat at this point (and, of course, still is).
Yost adamantly defended the move after the game. He said in his best surfer speak, "Pinch-hitting for guys gets in their dome, and you don’t want to get in their dome in the second game." Then he flashed the shocker and chugged a beer.
For a manager who routinely attacks anyone who questions him with what can only be described as bizarre responses, this is near the top for me.
I'm not sure I've ever in my life referred to anyone's head as a "dome," and Ned Yost did it TWICE IN ONE SENTENCE.
My guess is, instead of actually thinking about situational matchups, the Royals manager instead sits in the dugout trying to come up with weird idioms for his post-game interviews because he gets off on seeing them in print.
But then I thought, maybe there's something to this "dome" thing. Maybe he wasn't referring to Escobar's head at all.
Maybe Ned was talking about a Stephen King-esque magical dome that just appears over Escobar during the summer. Maybe that's what prevents our shortstop from getting hits. He gets in that batter's box and the invisible dome descends upon him.
Or maybe "dome" is short for Thunderdome? If that's true, it's a reference to that classic Australian post-apocalyptic film, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Perhaps Escobar saw the movie as a child and it scarred him for life. Seeing a midget in leather or hearing Tina Turner's "We Need Another Hero" causes him to freeze up and put on a six-month display of hitting futility. Maybe Ned thought the same thing would happen in the eighth inning if he made a second move-- Two men enter the game, one man leaves... for good.
That one's a little far-fetched.
Maybe in the offseason, Ned and Alcides like to blaze up a fatty, eat some cheese puffs, and hang out in a geodesic bio-dome. But Yost knows pinch-hitting for Escobar this early in the season will just send his player back to that warm embrace of a quarter ounce of kind bud and an environmentally engineered ecosystem. Ned has to keep Esky out of the dome or his hitting woes (and complexion) will never clear up.
Of course, all of these suggestions are ridiculous.
The reality is that Escobar's bad dome experience happened just a few years ago in the stadium in which the division rival Twins used to play.
That's right, an enormous PED-enchanced Alcides Escobar was directly responsible for the Metrodome's collapse in 2010, and it has haunted him ever since.
Now, whenever Esky gets in a sad place, he disappears into a fugue state, waking up confused in the very place that almost took his life-- his dome-- the Metrodome.
The good news is that keeping him out of the Metrodome shouldn't be that hard this year, as they've finally demolished that monstrosity.
That last one didn't even make sense, did it?
It's almost like I pulled something idiotic out of my ass and then stupidly attempted to justify it.
Sort of like how Ned spouts inane bullshit to the media and holds firm to what he's said, no matter how ridiculous.
I probably should have had someone else write this post. I was afraid if I did, though, that would get into my dome.
Of course, failing to end this post well has put me in my dome anyway.
Funny how that works, isn't it?
Go Royals! 160-2! You're in the Dome!