Royals Beat Tigers, 7-3; No Comedy On The Field

Nice win for the Royals over the Tigers, 7-3. Outside of the mistake that Kyle Farnsworth made that resulted in a 3-run bomb for Detroit, the Royals pitching (both Bruce Chen and the relief corps) performed well. The offensive effort makes me think that if Zack Greinke had half this support, he might 3-4. Maybe? Hmmm, maybe Zack should pitch in disguise and see what happens.

Luckily for Kansas City, the comedy was confined to the third-base dugout suite with several local comedians joined by Will Ferrell at the game. The segments with the comics and Fox Sports Kansas City’s Joel Goldberg were funny, but they bordered on too long. You would hope that if things on the field got really interesting that the FSKC director would get back to Ryan and Frank.

TGIF Links

Royals beat Tigers 7-3 before Sky Show honors 1985 champions

“Take Me Out to the Ballgame” as sung by Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis and Rob Riggle!
http://twitpic.com/1tzw63 (posted on Twitter by @HoltzyKC)
Will Ferrell not pictued because he didn’t sing.

Royals Pleased With Yost
What would you expect Dayton Moore to say?

Noel Arguelles: Arguelles (shoulder) shut down by Royals?
Not good news for the high-profile prospect.


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Attack of the Umpires

This is first and foremost a Royals blog, but I have to comment on the blown call Wednesday in the Indians-Tigers game that cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game.

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland argues with Jim Joyce after the controversial call that prevented a perfect game. (The Associated Press)

Jim Joyce knows that he blew it. All of baseball knows that he blew it. (SEE THE PLAY). What would have been the third perfect game in a month became a 1-hit shutout for a player who had just been called up from the minor leagues when Joyce waved his hands in the air, giving the safe call.

Now, most of the media and some fans are banging the drum for expanded instant replay.

Do we want to go down that road? I say, no.

Royals manager Ned Yost disagrees.

“The umpires should be able to get the call right, ” he told reporters after his game Wednesday night. “If it takes instant replay, that doesn’t bother me.”

Major league baseball currently only reviews select home run calls and a few other instances (DETAILS). The current system does not address plays like the one Joyce missed.

Expanding the system will slow down games. While I love the sport, baseball is a slow game. We don’t need it to get any slower. It will also change how umpires make the calls on the field. You can see that in football’s instant replay system (which also can make football games way too long).

What I would rather see is better umpire training. While it did not happen in the Joyce case, I have seen numerous times where umpires are in the wrong place to make calls or don’t interpret rules correctly. There are also a lot of umpires who are very inconsistent in calling balls and strikes. I would prefer to see a rule-book strike zone, but I would rather get consistency.

Let’s focus on these aspects instead of implementing a time-consuming system that won’t make the umpires better.

Royal starting pitcher Brian Bannister is not in favor of expanding instant replay.

“I think it would slow the game down and take the responsibility out of the umpires’ hands.”

There’s a footnote to the Jim Joyce story. He saw the replay after the game.

“I just cost that kid a perfect game,” he said afterward. “I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay.”

He knew he messed up and he apologized to Galarraga in person. That was classy. Galarraga also deserves some praise for the way he handled the incident as well.

•••

Now, let’s move from a good umpire who made a bad call to a minor league umpire who was filling in and needs to have  a sit-down meeting with an umpire supervisor about his home-plate manner.

Mike Estabrook called the Royals’ 5-4 loss to the Angels Thursday. He wasn’t making either side very happy with his balls and strikes calls. He had already warned Angels manager Mike Scioscia early in the game for griping about the calls.

Later, when he didn’t call a close pitch from Zack Greinke a strike, catcher Jason Kendall looked back as if he was going to make a comment. Then, Estabrook called time and walked in front of Kendall and started to chew him out. Seriously? (VIDEO)

Royals color commentator Frank White was right when he commented that minor league umpires operate differently than their major league counterparts.

“They tell you to shut-up, stay in the dugout,” White said on the Fox Sports Kansas City telecast. “But when you get to this level, you’ve gotta understand that you have to make some changes when you get here.”

It might be one thing for minor league umps to lay down the law for a group of 18-22 year old players in the minors. But, Jason Kendall is a 14-year major league veteran catcher (He broke in to the bigs when I was in college!!). That was no way to act on the umpire’s part. Then Yost complained about the incident and was ejected. But Yost was right to complain. To quote Royals play-by-play announcer Ryan Lefebvre:

“That was brutal.”

Zack’s So Good, Even His Own Team Can’t Hit

A day after piling up 12 runs on 20 hits, the Royals were shutout, 1-0 by Boston.
That means Zack Greinke must have been on the mound for Kansas City.
I’m beginning to think the Royals press when Zack is on the mound. I think he presses sometimes too. After all, 1-6 is no way follow a Cy Young Award win.
That was evident when he was shelled last Sunday. But, Saturday night was no shelling. Sure, he walked four and only lasted six innings, throwing 114 pitches. But, holding the Red Sox to a lone run should get you a better chance at a ‘W.’
Greinke still commands respect, despite the slow start.
“Cy Young, man,” Boston’s David Ortiz told MLB.com. “Cy Young. That’s a guy that has confidence in himself. Even not starting the season like he did last year, you can see that he still makes pitches.”
When other parts of the Royals lineup command a fraction of that respect, then we may have something.
Until then, tough luck Zack.

Off Day Links

The Year Jose Lima Saved
http://trueslant.com/michaelhumphrey/2010/05/24/the-year-jose-lima-saved/
Remember 2003?

The Zack Greinke-Miguel Olivo Saga Continues: Royals Ace Gets Shelled
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/396150-the-greinke-olivo-saga-continues-royals-ace-gets-shelled
So, should the Royals have re-signed Olivo? Is that the source of Zack’s troubles? I’m not convinced.

Royals notebook: Everything Seitzer touches turns to hits
http://www.kansascity.com/2010/05/23/1966155/royals-notebook-everything-seitzer.html#ixzz0orzF2D6e
Kevin’s son, Cam, is a promising hitter at OU.

Sunday Notebook: No More Lima Time

I was saddened to hear about Jose Lima’s death (STORY). I didn’t know much about him outside of his stints here in Kansas City, but by all accounts, he was an extremely fun guy. Age 37 – wow.

• • •

Zack Greinke struggled mightily against the Rockies, giving up seven earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings on the mound. The outing sent his ERA skyrocketing from 2.72 to 3.57.

You don’t see Zack struggle that bad very often. Is he pressing too hard because of the lack of run support? The Royals put up goose eggs while he was in the game, scoring their 7 runs after he left.

You can tell outside of the new manager winning spell the Royals just experienced that this team still has problems.

• • •

The Kansas City Star had a great article by Sam Mellinger (STORY) about the Royals’ prospects in the minor leagues, specifically the group at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Even though the Dayton Moore era hasn’t been any better than the Allard Baird or Herk Robinson era, only time will tell. If these prospects flounder when they wear big league uniforms, we have even more problems.