Friday, May 12, 2006

"Dying Boy Sent to Cheer Up Royals"

Two recent articles by Jeff Passan on the Royals. (Why does he write so much on KC? He used to be the national baseball reporter for the Kansas City Star.) First, discussing the fan who, despairing of the Royals, decided to auction off his loyalty on eBay. This is pretty despicable, I think. Marriage and fandom are for life. This does not stop me from taking a concubine in the Mets, however. You're allowed to have one team in each league is my theory. The second is a penetrating look into the life of a general manager of a team that, simply put, is trying just to avoid losing 100 games each year. Alain Baird has to keep hope up: "If I felt there was no light at the end of this, I wouldn't do it. I have to believe it." Passan mocks the horrendous error of Kerry Robinson against the ChiSox on May 7th: "In the fourth inning, Joe Crede hit a fly ball to deep center field. Robinson climbed the wall to grab it. The ball landed – on the warning track." Manager Buddy Bell's comment: "Never seen that." Baird sees his wife only 30 days a year. He lives for baseball. But he had a 4 and 20 record a week ago. Passan has also savaged the Royals for giving the ball to Jose Lima more than 30 times in 2005, when he set the record for worst ERA of any pitcher with that many starts---6.99.

The Royals have picked up a bit in the last few games---they've won 4 of their last 7, and only lost tonight by one run---but it's unclear what that means. After all, the Royals ripped off a 19-game losing streak last year, which even for a team as bad as KC is statistically improbable. This feat even caused a team of statisticians at UC-Riverside to adopt the Royals as a freakish mascot. Maybe we should let the fan who auctioned his loyalty manage the Royals. The results would probably be the same.

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