Royals Nightly
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Killing Me Softly
It looks like it'll be quite a long summer. Following the Royals everyday is becoming a surreal experience- there are really no highs or lows anymore, despite the fact that the team's actually been playing a little better. A win mocks you, you're pleased, but in a way that is fleeting in the face of the overbearing negativity of the season's total failure. A loss is simply another data point, an event thats anticipated and mildly troubling, but not in a solid way. Last season, as the Royals fell from 7 games ahead of the pack to irrelevant, each loss was a dagger. It hurt. Now, nothing.

The impending Beltran denoument doesn't help matters. Truth be told, he hasn't been that awesome this year. He was noticeably absent for most of May, hurting the team most severely at the exact moment that he could have made the season worthwhile. Now, his fate is sealed, as is his team's. The whole thing has become strange... every morning I check the internet, half-expecting to see the trade headline. To this point, the headline hasn't come. Allard won't get robbed- he's proven a baseline competence in the last 18 months- but clearly the Royals won't win this trade. Carlos Beltran v.2004 is the best player that will wear a Royals uniform this season, and it isn't even particularly close. Unless Zach Greinke becomes the Second Coming of Sabes, Carlos Beltran will be better than any player on the 2005 Royals, and probably the 2006 edition as well.

By the way, if you don't see Greinke's inevitable season-ending arm injury coming, lookout, because you're blind. Thats the fate of young pitchers in general, Royal's pitchers in particular, and especially likely for someone who's good enough to keep himself deep into games.

Lastly, let us all honor the dead. The concept of Plate Discipline was never fully welcome in Kansas City, although he did stick around enough to greatly improve the non-returning Prodigal Son named Carlos. The Royals OBP is .318, good for 28th in MLB, ahead of only the hacktastic D-Rays and the historically bad offense currently inhabiting Montreal.


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