No Royals posts for a few weeks. I can’t imagine why that would be the case.
July was the month when my interest finally waned. I listened to bits and pieces of a few games, but rarely tuned in for more than an inning or two. I never fired up MLB.TV.* I even quit paying attention to when Greinke was pitching because chances are I would just get pissed that he could go out and throw 7+ innings of two-run ball and still either lose or pick up an ND at best. I do know Billy Butler is breaking out in a big MFing way. Sadly no one else has joined him this summer.
(Is Split back yet?)
Then Tuesday came perhaps the ultimate insult. Alex Gordon was sent to Omaha. That alone wasn’t so bad. I think it’s time to push the reset button on both this season and Alex’s career. Send him down, take the pressure off, maybe finish up the season strong and be ready for next spring and what should be a make-or-break season for him.
No, the insult was that taking his place on the roster was Kyle Farnsworth.
The next George Brett was sent to AAA to make room for Kyle Mutherfreaking, Homerungivingup, gameblowing, Farnsworth.
If this isn’t the worst, most disappointing season ever, I don’t know what it.
I have tried to keep my baseball interest going, though. I’ve been searching for a team to adopt for the rest of the season. Not to bandwagon, necessarily, but more to pay attention to a team that is playing meaningful games. A team to listen to and/or watch in the evenings and then look to their box score first in the mornings. Something, anything, to help me forget the Yankees are running away with the AL East.
Back in late June I toyed with doing a different team each week in an effort to broaden my MLB knowledge. I must admit aside from the Royals and the big market teams, my understanding of big league rosters isn’t nearly as comprehensive as it was 20 years ago. But each Sunday I would forget to pick a team and Monday morning I would tell myself, “I’ll start next week.” That never happened.
Then I thought about just picking a team to follow through the pennant races. I’ve been listening to Bill Simmons’ podcasts and he keeps raving about going to Dodger Stadium and hinting that if he ever needed to pick a second team, the Dodgers would be a tempting target. So I thought about the Dodgers for a couple weeks. They have Manny. Some good young players, solid pitching. But in the end they seemed too convenient and bandwagony.
So I’ve just been following the races and looking for a team that might have some sex appeal. The Cardinals could be that team, with Pujols, Holliday, and the rejuvenated Carpenter. They shouldn’t be in first but they’re stretching their lead out. Still, I’ve had a long and difficult relationship with the Cards. On the one hand, I admire their history and have enjoyed all my trips to St. Louis to watch a game over the years. But, as a Kansas City native, I have some built-in distrust of the ‘Lou. Much like St. Louis is always trying to measure up to and feels looked down upon by Chicago, there’s a similar vibe between Missouri’s two biggest cities. We Kansas Citians tend to believe that St. Louisians either don’t care about us or are simply patronizing us. Thus the Cardinals are out, although I hope they hang on. Pujols is a KC guy, after all.
A weird candidate has presented itself in recent weeks. The Florida Marlins. They’re in the running for odd reasons. They’re young, talented, and building towards another title run in a couple years. They’re hanging around in the wild card race. And it seems like the MLB Network is always breaking into their games and something interesting happens. But what I like most about the Marlins is that they have to have the smallest fan base in the majors. Here they are, eight games over .500, 4.5 games back in the division, 2.5 back in the wild card, and no one is ever at their games. If I lived in Miami I could always get a great seat to watch one of the youngest, most exciting teams in the league. And there would be something special about being there, knowing the other 13,000 people who made it to the park that night were real fans.* We would be the diehards who could name the third man out of the bullpen and the bats at the end of the bench. It would be like being in an exclusive social club where we all had one thing in common and came together 162 or so times a year to share it.
(Actually less than that. Any crowd shot during a Marlins game will show a healthy number of Yankees and Red Sox hats. You aren’t a real fan until you take off the cap of the team you’re bandwagoning.)
But August is halfway gone and I still haven’t started listening to any Marlins games. Maybe I’ll just get ready for football and wait for the playoffs to roll around so I can root for ABY.*
(Anyone But the Yankees)