Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Free baseball? More like free coronary...

I could focus on Ron Kulpa's inexplicably microscopic strike zone the Royals' pitchers began pitching to in the ninth while the White Sox' pitchers enjoyed generous calls while they were on the mound.

I could wonder what Bill Hohn was looking at when he decided there had been no contact between base runner on first (Alexei Ramirez) and the second baseman fielding a grounder (Esteban German) after Ramirez noticeably winces following their brush up, ignoring what should have been the second out and allowing for the two runs that scored on Pierzynski's warning track sac fly on the very next play where Gathright should have been jogging into the dugout, ball in glove.

I could turn the shower on, sit down on the tile, and put my head on my knees, sobbing uncontrollably

I could do all those things, but why?

My biggest question following the Royals late-inning let-down is what the hell was Trey Hillman doing having Billy Butler trying to bunt Mark Teahen to second with no outs in the bottom of the 12th with the game tied? Billy Butler had bunted something like four times in his professional baseball career. That's counting the minors. And we're talking about Billy Butler here, not an Esteban German-type player. Mark Teahen's a great base runner. Butler has been hitting the ball pretty hard since he returned from Omaha. There are no outs with Masset just having walked Teahen on five pitches, and Butler comes to the plate, squares up to bunt, and puts the ball right back on the grass toward the pitcher for an easy double play. Teahen leads off with a walk, and Hillman has Butler bunt. Seriously.

Of course, Ross Gload singled immediately after the double play. Olivo grounds into a fielder's choice. The cameras track Butler through the dugout, looking confused and hurt. An opportunity is squandered for what one might assume is an attempt at catching the defense off guard, but you've got a guy who has really never had to bunt and already had the lack of confidence vote made by sending him down to AAA, and you decide that you'll have him bunting in a sensitive situation where the bunt really does have to be laid down properly. It doesn't get down, the Royals play themselves out of a chance to win the game against the division leading White Sox, and instead they are left with the taste of defeat in their mouths with no real reason why.


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