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The Royals are Undefeated

Seriously, That is Not a Typo.

by Timothy McGinnis
April 11, 2003

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The Royals are Undefeated_Timothy McGinnis-Seriously, That is Not a Typo. As it seems to be continually true that I have less and less free time, my various thoughts on baseball have not been extensively thought out or well-researched. But since the webmaster has been telling me that 1) The PO needs some sports writing, 2) he knows I like sports, and 3) he knows where I live, I thought I would throw something together in a haphazard manner in much the same style that I used at this time last year. Thus, below you will find my latest random and usually inconsequential thoughts on baseball’s first few weeks:
  • The Kansas City Royals are the last team to remain undefeated so far this year at 7-0. The Royals are 7-0. They are doing this with their only marquee player, Carlos Beltran, on the disabled list too. The Royals are 7-0. No matter how many times I type it, it still looks weird. The Royals are 7-0.

  • Greg Maddux is 0-3 with an 11.05 ERA after three starts. $14.75 million for numbers that could have been achieved for much less by, well... me. I would stink for league minimum and be happy to do it.

  • Chicago Cub fans were in an uproar that the team did not sign Jim Thome at $14.2 million in the offseason, preferring to go with rookie Hee Seop Choi for the league minimum of $300,000 at first base. Thome has been hot so far, batting .343 with 2 HRs, 9 RBIs, and a 1.067 OPS, but Choi (in splitting time with Eric Karros) has hit .294 with 1 HR, 4 RBIs, and a 1.029 OPS. Is Thome a little better right now? Yes. Is he $13.9 million dollars better? No.

  • How ‘bout them Royals!!

  • The Dodgers pitching has been absolutely fantastic with the comebacks of Kevin Brown and Darren Dreifort adding to a staff that already had Kazuhisa Ishii, Odalis Perez, and Hideo Nomo. Yet they are only 5-5. Upon closer examination, it seems they have been having some troubles scoring runs, and then I saw Fred McGriff and Todd Hundley in their lineup and I understood immediately.

  • The Pittsburgh Pirates are sitting atop the NL Central thanks in large part to Reggie Sanders’ incredible hot streak. We’ll see how they fare when Sanders hits his inevitable cold streak, where he not only makes repeated outs, but he also fails to even put the ball in play consistently. Then he will get hurt.

  • Speaking of getting hurt… three marquee players, Phil Nevin, Derek Jeter, and Ken Griffey, Jr., have all lost significant playing time this season after separating their shoulders while diving for either a ball or a base. Note to Moises Alou: Seeing as you once hurt yourself while simply standing in the outfield, please don’t even think about diving. Ever.

  • Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins’ anti-war views have caused a cancellation of a 15th anniversary celebration of the movie “Bull Durham” at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Meanwhile, the Bowling Hall of Fame in St. Louis, Missouri is planning on banning Michael Moore for life.

  • The Tribune Corporation better be careful as it fights the Mayor (or as I like to call him, Boss Jr.) on the landmark status of Wrigley Field, or they may find giant Xs dug into the infield one day soon.

  • Did I mention that the Royals are 7-0?

  • After watching his “closer by committee” consisting of Alan Embree, Chad Fox, Ramiro Mendoza, and Bob Howry, combine for 2 losses, 2 blown saves in 3 opportunities, 42 runners allowed in 16 innings pitched, and an ERA of 11.25; Theo Epstein, the 29-year old GM of the Boston Red Sox, is learning the hard way that the term “closer by committee” is code for, “these guys are horrible.”

  • Barry Larkin is resisting the Cincinnati Reds’ idea of having him play a bit in centerfield to help replace Ken Griffey, Jr. The team would like to let their shortstop of the future, Felipe Lopez, play more, but Larkin says he is only comfortable playing shortstop. The oft-injured, almost 39-year old Larkin is currently batting .219 with a .567 OPS after batting .245 with a .672 OPS last year. If that is what he hits when he is comfortable, he should feel lucky that the Reds want him to play anywhere on the field at all.

  • Shortly before Sammy Sosa hit his 500th homerun of his career, becoming just the 18th player to ever reach that milestone, Mike Schmidt was quoted as saying that entering the 500 Club shouldn’t be an automatic ticket to Cooperstown anymore since everybody is hitting a ton of homeruns. He also said that as a member of the Veteran’s Committee, he did not vote for any of the Hall of Fame candidates, thus helping to continue the exclusion of former Cub, Ron Santo, stating that if the guys on the ballot were good enough to be in the Hall of Fame, they would have been voted in already by the writers. He may have valid points, but before diminishing a couple of Chicago Cubs’ career accomplishments, he should remember that the Cubs’ pitchers served up a rather large percentage of his 548 career homeruns that catapulted him into the Hall of Fame. Show a little gratitude, dude.

  • The Royals are undefeated!

  • The Tampa Bay Devil Rays signed John Rocker to a minor-league contract hoping that he will be able to help out their beleaguered pitching staff. I have June 7 in the “When Will John Rocker Make a Disparaging Remark About Senior Citizens” pool.

  • The Montreal Expos are the least valuable team in baseball according to Forbes magazine. In the latest rankings of team values, the magazine set the teams value at $113 million. So Alex Rodriguez could buy the Expos twice and still have $26 million left in change.

  • The Detroit Tigers have started at 0-8 after starting last year at 0-11. The last team to start two consecutive seasons with at least 8 straight losses was the 1962-63 New York Mets. No team has ever started two consecutive seasons with at least 9 straight losses. Not even the Cubs.

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