Leftridge: May Royals’ Recap: Come to Suck

Jeff FrancoeurWhat a difference a month makes.

At the end of April, the Royals were 14-10. They were a game out of first place and everything was coming up daffodils. The pitching was invincible and the offense—while still not pounding out a ton of runs—was serviceable and wonderfully reliable in the clutch.

May started off with three straight victories—looking good, lads!—and then the bottom fell out. Hard.

Consecutive losses to the Baltimore Orioles. A masterful Jeremy Guthrie pitching performance that resulted in a win. Whoa!

And then, the rest.

Swept by the New York Yankees. Swept by the Oakland Athletics. Two losses against the lowly Houston Astros. Swept by the Angels. Swept by the Cardinals in KC.

Eight straight losses. Eight.

Eight wins and nineteen losses on the month.

Boom. Last place. Again. For the millionth time.

At first, I was frustrated.

What happened to the April guys, I wondered to myself on multiple occasions? How did it get so bad, so fast?

Well, walk-off victories don’t last forever. The mask that hid a grotesque offense’s deficiencies was cruelly ripped off, leaving a miserable, unlovable, deformed monster staring back.

mousA third baseman who doesn’t deserve to be in the big leagues. A right-fielder who doesn’t deserve to be a starter. A roving cast of second basemen who wouldn’t be everyday players on any other major league team. A first baseman with power not unlike that of a girl’s rotational league softball player.  A hitting coach who doesn’t think it’s important to teach the finer art of hitting a fucking ball over the wall once in a while*. A manager who has tried and failed over and over again in his professional managing career.

(*and obviously, this has been addressed. George Brett was named interim hitting coach following the demotions of Jack Maloof and Andre David. There’s a lot that can be said about this– and I might do that at a later date– but for now, I’ll just submit the following: blah blah blah, the Titanic’s deck-chairs. Royals blogger/Grantland contributor/dermatologist Rany Jazayerli said it perfectly on Twitter: @jazayerli: I’m glad the Royals recognized their hitting coaches weren’t doing their job. But this is cosmetic. The problems go much higher than this.)

The blame is pervasive and equitable. With almost NO exceptions, this team has reverted to its natural state of “absolute embarrassment.” They’re used to it, and we are too, so I’m not really sure why this feels any different, really.

I said many times throughout their Cactus League dominance and into the foreign success of the early season that this team would NOT win the AL Central. I never expected that. Ever. I did, however, expect that the pitching would be strong enough (it is) and the offense would be just enough (it isn’t) to finish over .500 for the first time since 2003.

And while this *ahem* “achievement” is still a possibility, the odds grow longer with each first pitch swing-and-a-miss taken by the terrible, no-good, very bad right fielder. Each time the Royals try to manufacture their way to a win—in the process, allowing the opposing team’s starting pitcher to cruise through 7 innings of two-hit ball on a measly 80 or so pitches—another nail gets driven into the cellar door.

So maybe that’s why all of this comes as such an unfriendly cock-punch. Because for a little while, at least, Royals fans could pretend that things were different this time around. The pitching was new and fresh. The team was supposed to be young and exciting. A cautious sense of optimism hung in the air like the ghost of a thousand Gates BBQ baked bean farts.

But these are the Royals, and this is Kansas City, and anyone who has been subjected to the perennial disappointment of KC sports for any measurable length of time shouldn’t be surprised by anything, ever. (Well, except for that evasive thing known as “success.” THAT would be shocking.)

gordonhosmerI usually spend this month-end wrap column highlighting the players who have performed exceedingly well for the past four weeks. Even when the Royals are their usual, shit-tastic self, there are typically a few salvageable bananas in the bunch. The thing is, nearly all of this month’s banana shipment is rotten and decayed. It’s teeming with maggots and infested with furry spiders and we’d probably all be a little better off if the goddamned banana boat just sank.

In any case, oh, let’s say Alex Gordon is doing a great job. At this juncture—and with the occasional bright-spot from the starting pitching staff—Gordon is the only legitimate threat on a day-to-day basis. He’s great at the plate and amazing in the field, and someday, I hope he wins a championship somewhere.

It certainly won’t be here, though.


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8 Responses to Leftridge: May Royals’ Recap: Come to Suck

  1. CG says:

    It becomes hard to write about the Royals or Chiefs for that matter. Both franchises are deep, deep into a lack of a winning environment. Culture. I feels like neither team will matter much ever again. Both clubs talk about competing, not winning any championships or getting near one. The terrible thing is that Kansas City fans, left with nothing else, like sheep, fall in line behind the ..”yeah lets be average, lets do it” mentality. Of course the Chiefs will be better than 2-14. I’d led them to that, so would you. Win anything meaningful, highly unlikely. In fact impossible, nearly. READ MY SEVERAL YEARS LIPS ‘THEY DON’T HAVE ANY TALENT TO SPEAK OF…ALMOST NONE’…p.s. THE ROYALS ARE WORSE…NO TALENT…NONE OF ANY GREAT FORCE NONE, a nice pitcher and one decent hitter, that’s all, you said it here. The Chiefs an ok quarterback, a good scat back in Charles, one solid receiver in Bowe, NOBDOY GREAT ON DEFENSE NOBODY, some good players not one great player…LIKE BILL MASS SAID YEARS AGO ‘nobody on either side of the line to scare you.’ Same with the Royals nobody is scary.

    As you did, we both could go on and on…nice to see George out there. Nice. Maybe let him DH one night, he’d like that. Couldn’t hurt. The Royals will finish about the same as last year, they are a minor league team. Again so unfair to Kansas City fans. The Chumps will be average mostly due to a soft group of foe. Our division is terrible, Oakland worst team in the NFL, Chargers also below average so KC could win 7 and finish second…thats likely. Joy.

    • chuck says:

      Glaze, the over under on the Chiefs in Vegas is still 6.5.

      They do suck, but I like the over.

      • CG says:

        Chuck you are one honest guy on here who knows I do KNOW MY SHIT and call the season as it rolls on, at an A level. We can’t call every game. Nobody can. However I see its 7 not 6 1/2 maybe at some joints. But as of today I kinda like the 6 1/2 or 7, its right there. Only due to the softies we play. We have about 4 gimme’s Oakland is gonna have trouble winning two games all year…so thats two right there, SD is terrible so maybe one there and we have some other losers so yeah 6-8wins for this likely below average clown show is possible. Would I bet it, check with me first week September. There likely are better bets, unless Alex Smith goes down then its under.

  2. Orphan of the Road says:

    I’m sorry Lefty, they have to get better to suck.

  3. smartman says:

    Wow Lefty! I’ve waited all day for you to reply to Mr.Faux Jeri Curl and tell him to take his lame ass, state the obvious, opinions about the Royals back to Tony’s Barrio.

    You’ve been blessed with Biblical restraint and the patience of Job.

    Your parents should be proud.

    Please don’t beat the sh#t out of your wife tonight.

    • Haha. What else is there to say, I wonder? CG has been telling us the Royals are garbage for AT LEAST three weeks. He was the FIRST IN KC to break the news. Breaking and exclusive news, you know?

      (please disregard his preseason prediction that they’d win the World Series or whatever.)

      • CG says:

        I never said that. Hearne put that in HIS HEADLINE, not me, I said after preseason they looked like they could compete and maybe, maybe go after a wild card. WHILE THEY WERE OVER .500 I WROTE THEY STINK AGAIN. After that they lost nearly every game. NOBODY ELSE, NOBODY SAID OR WROTE THEY WERE TOAST BUT ME A FACT BUDDY. You didn’t. You can’t fix a horrible team or culture with one pitcher. They didn’t and can’t. Now the chumps will try the same thing, they have a soft sched. so maybe they can win 6-8 with a team just a shade better than last year. Oakland is a joke with no qb, so thats likely two wins right there, SD stinks so maybe one win there and you got three other bad teams like Jacksonville and Buffalo so maybe thats 5 and a couple luck outs, 7. I can see that. Even though they will be below average. Lets see how preseason goes. BUT NO I NEVER SAID ROYALS A SURE POSTSEASON TEAM, I did write week one they could be much better if the young guys worked out, they didn’t so its over.

        • Alfred the butler says:

          Please excuse Mr. Glazer. There has been more month than meds again, I’m afraid.

          Please don’t call him out unless you have an established second and a pre-selected field of honor.

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