Leftridge: Royals’ June Recap


What a difference a career makes

Sometimes, when you hope and dream about something long enough, it can come true. A mysterious boil on your privates retracts, allowing you to sleep a little easier. The utility company made a mistake and they owe YOU some money instead, chief. The stink that had you contemplating the cost of an exterminator? That was just your daughter’s hamster decaying softly behind the bookshelf.

And one morning you wake up, and the Kansas City Royals made all the moves you wanted them to make.


Jeff Francoeur, jettisoned.

Chris Getz in Omaha.

Kelvin Herrera, ditto.

All is right with the world except for the fact that the team is still maddeningly inconsistent and, despite an early June flurry of success, no closer to being a true contender than before.

The punchless offense remains ever innocuous, even under the tutelage of George Brett. Wade Davis still sucks. Luis Mendoza still struggles on the regular. Tim Collins, well… what in the hell happened to Tim Collins?

But I digress. It wasn’t all shitcakes out at the K in June. There were some bright spots, provided you knew where to look. Take, for example, Eric Hosmer.

Eric+Hosmer+Kansas+City+Royals+Photo+Day+zDhVXefY616xBe it the Billy Butler inspired BBQ sauce or adjustments suggested by Brett and co-hitting coach Pedro Grifol, the Hosmer of June was more like the Hosmer of 2011 and a lot less like the Hosmer that we all grew to despise during the entirety of last year and parts of this.

Rightfully named Royals offense player of the monthfor June, he hit .303 with six home runs and 17 RBI, all while scoring 21 runs. In an absolutely inspired assault against Minnesota pitching on June 28th, young Eric hit two—TWO—home runs in a game for only the second time in his career. (The Royals hit four home runs total in that game, which was only 10 less than they hit in THE ENTIRE MONTH OF MAY.)

It’s still too early to pretend that all of his lingering woes are gone, but seeing prolonged success—meaning at least a month of achievement—is certainly encouraging.

(Now maybe he can give some tips to Mike Moustakas who, despite a decent June average-wise [he’s all the way up to .211 on the season, folks!], is still exhibiting all the power of a crippled Victorian orphan.)

But what’s all this offense without pitching, right? And while Jeremy Guthrie blew his share of goats in the month, and again, WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH TIM COLLINS? the true Master of the Mound was Greg Fucking Holland, an almost assured shoe-in for the Royals All Star requirement.

Dirty South,” as I’ve heard him called by like, three people, quit screwing around with his nauseating tight-rope shit he’d been perpetuating earlier in the year and reaffirmed his status as Most Bad-Ass Major Leaguer with a Patchy Beard That Most Closely Resembles Mine. He was virtually unhittable in June (okay, if five hits in 13 innings constitutes “unhittable”) going nine for fucking nine in save opportunities, holding opponents to a .119 average and striking out 24 while only walking three.

Now That’s What I Call Dominance, Volume #56!

Is it too late to try and turn him into a starter, I wonder? Or teach him how to play third base and hit for power? I mean, closers are cool and all, but why bother masturbating if you’re only going to finish every fourth or fifth time?

Salvador Perez, Greg Holland

This could easily be the basis for a sitcom

In any case—and as previously mentioned—he’ll likely be representing the Royals at this year’s All Star game, following in the footsteps of other great former KC closers like Mike MacDougal, and, well, Mike MacDougal. (Okay, okay, I know… AND Joakim Soria, AND Jeff Montgomery. But MacDougal—still one of my all-time favorite pitchers, by the way—was an All Star. A FUCKING ALL STAR! I have an authentic MacDougal jersey AND I was friends with him on MySpace, so beat that.)

So congrats in advance to “Dirty South,” even though I don’t like your nickname.

And so the season waltzes on, sluggishly, through the haze of a thousand spent bottle rockets and paper plates piled high with chunks of gristle from discounted steaks your brother in law bought from the back of some Mexican guy’s Ford Festiva.

I offer one final bit of encouragement, pilfered directly from Grantland contributor, Royals fanatic and Chicago dermatologist Rany Jazayerli: “It’s July 2, and the Royals are 4.5 games out of first. Since 2003, they hadn’t been within 5 games of first on ANY day from July 1 on.”

It may be a tug-job from a cousin, but as a fan of perennial disappointment, you learn to make do.


Find me on Twitter, @StanfordWhistle

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19 Responses to Leftridge: Royals’ June Recap

  1. CG says:

    Good report. In May I wrote they were one of the worst teams in the majors, again. Now they proving to be close to average. Big step up. We heard all year that if the hitting could just pick up, our BEST STARTING PITCHING IN BASEBALL would get us to the top. I don’t see that. I believe when a team has no history of winning, and we don’t for decades, it will continue to struggle. If the hitting gets better, and how can it not, the starting pitching will fade. It will all balance to be just OK at best. Hey hope I’m wrong, nobody is running away with this division so far…

    Right now we have a line-up of all average hitters. There is no scary hitter on this team, none, zip, zero, nobody. If Hosmer continues then maybe he will be the one ‘good’ hitter. Gordon, Butler,Cain and Moose have been anywhere from poor to decent. Gordon is almost solid but not a scary hitter at all. I’ve seen far too many times all these guys are up with a chance to drive in runs or win it or tie and it usually NOTHING. It is better but not good yet.

    Maybe, just maybe, we will see something happen positive soon. After nearly 3 decades that would be nice.

    Royals fans are unreal. 30 plus thousand at some games to see, uh, nobody. We have not one legit star, no Royal is nationally known, none. Maybe that will change in a year or two. We’ve been saying that for what 30 years. Give the KC fans credit, they just love baseball I guess. 30,000 to watch these guys. Hard to believe, but true.

    Now here come the Chiefs, easy line up of poor teams to beat, new coach, new quarterback and uh, that’s about it, maybe they too will surprise us.

    • Interesting Fact says:

      A Gold Badge Vern Miller Agent named Craig Glazer stopped at a ranch in south central Kansas and talked to an old rancher. He told the rancher, “I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs.” The rancher said, “Okay, but don’t go into that field over there…”, as he pointed out the location. Gold Badge Special Agent Glazer verbally exploded and said, “Look mister, you’re a loser, I am the King of Sting and I have the authority of Vern Miller and myself to do as I please!” Reaching into his rear back pocket, the arrogant agent removed his Super Special Gold Badge and proudly displayed it to the rancher. “See this Gold Badge?! This Gold Badge means I can go wherever I want… On any land! No questions asked, no answers given! Do you understand old man? I am the King of Sting and you will feel my bite you old loser farmer!”

      The rancher kindly nodded, apologized, and went about his chores. Moments later the rancher heard loud screams, he looked up and saw the Gold badge Agent running for his life, being chased by the ranchers big black Angus Bull…… With every step the bull was gaining ground on Glazer the Gold Badge Agent, and it was likely that he’d sure enough get his ass stomped before he reached safety. Craig Glazer the Gold Badge Agent was clearly terrified. The old rancher threw down his tools, ran as fast as he could to the fence, and yelled at the top of his lungs……


    • You’re way off about Gordon, Craig. By most statistical measurements, he’s been the best LF in baseball for the past 2+ years. Granted, 2013 isn’t going as well as last year or the year before, but there isn’t a team in the league who wouldn’t immediately start him in their OF.

  2. smartman says:

    Craig Glazer ladies and gentlemen! Isn’t she funny? Don’t know how our lives wouldn’t be complete without knowing what you think. It’s like Christopher Hitchens never died.

    On ESPN sometimes some articles have over 3000 comments. I wonder if 2000 of them aren’t yours. Your selflessness in sharing your lack of knowledge on all things is becoming legendary. No one has logged more miles blogging this week than you. The buildup to the huge Pitch article, the article itself and then your multiple musings trying to do damage control….where do you find the time?

    And the grace and dignity you showed to the haters, was, well, beneath you.

    I know as the largest media celebrity in the history of KC you could have me rubbed out with minimal effort. The fact that 8 out of 10 people in the metro have no idea who you are ….you don’t do well with normal people, blacks, hispanics, asians and “others…..is no reason to slow down your conquest.

    You are indeed a man for all seasons, supreme in your confidence and manliness that we are not worthy to swim in the excess chicken gravy flavored testosterone that you sweat.

    All hail The King!

  3. chuck says:

    Royals fans are loyal, but THESE fans have to be the very best


    Ref makes a call.

    Player doesn’t like it.

    Ref stabs and kills player.

    Fans tie ref up to a stake, beat him, then behead him and spike his head on said stake in the middle of the field.

    The commissioner is reviewing the film.

    No mention of a forfeit so far.

    • Super Dave says:

      Now that’s a rough crowd

    • mike says:

      They now have no head referee!

    • Bob in Eudora says:

      Does the NFL have a beheading policy?

      And Brandon, I find it sweet that you still care about the boys in blue. Is it genuine interest and affection or did you crank this out because you were bored? At a minimum you should be proud of the validation you to from Craig.

    • I saw the story about the ref getting beheaded on Deadspin and then made the mistake of clicking the link that said, “HERE’S VIDEO FOOTAGE. DO NOT CLICK UNLESS YOU WANT TO SEE VIDEO FOOTAGE OF A REF WHO HAS BEEN DRAWN-AND-QUARTERED AND BEHEADED.” I knew exactly what I was getting into and looked anyway. Now I can’t unseen it. Ugh.

      • mike says:

        To be a good ref, you have to stay cool and not lose your head.

        • the dude says:

          Waka waka.
          You should sign up for open mike night at Galzer’s yuk yuk shack. I heard you get a free line of blow if you get an audience member to laugh at one of your funnies.

          • mike says:

            Thank you, but I will leave the blow for you and Galzer. That stuff can make a person lose their head.

  4. mike says:

    …..and all this time, I thought the Raiders fans were bad!

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