Thursday, July 28, 2005

Jason Whitlock

On Sunday morning, on ESPN's show "The Sports Reporters", Jason Whitlock spouted his opinions about a few baseball topics, like who will win the AL East, and Barry Bonds' status. I can think of few columnists with lesser qualifications to offer such opinions than Whitlock.

Though he is supposed to be a general sports columnist, he has steadfastly refused to cover baseball. You remember it, it's that little thing called America's pastime. He works for the only daily newspaper in a city with just two major sports teams, one of which is not currently in season, yet he has managed to write just three columns since May 1st that were related to major league baseball in any way.

He wrote as many about the NFL even though they're not in season. He wrote a whopping seven about the KU basketball program's off-court problems, even though they're not in season either. He wrote a dozen columns about the NBA even though there is no NBA franchise in this city. Hell, he wrote two columns about auto racing, for crying out loud, but could manage just three on the only major sport currently playing.

And of those three, two weren't even really about baseball - one was about players and the media and one was about coaches with off-field problems. That baseball happened to be the straw that stirred Whitlock's thoughts for those columns was happenstance, nothing more than a convenient vehicle for him to use to spout his social commentary.

I'm tired of this buffoon. It's clear he wants to be a national media figure and has little use for KC anymore. It's time he moved on, because his credibility in Kansas City is shot.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Allard Baird

Of the 30 players drafted in the first round of Major League Baseball's June draft, just five remain unsigned. Of these five, two have leverage with their teams because they are in high school and can still choose to go to college, one is a college junior with similar leverage because he can still return to school, and one is represented by Scott Boras, who holds out every client he has. That those four remain unsigned is not surprising.

The fifth remaining unsigned player is the Royals' first pick, Alex Gordon. Despite assurances from the Royals that cost would not be a factor in their draft, they are the lone remaining team with an unsigned draft pick who has limited negotiating leverage. I mean, he was the second pick in the draft. What would he hold out for, number one? It's not like one extra spot higher in the draft would make up for a full year of lost income by returning to college, so Gordon pretty much has to sign or lose a lot of money.

The fourth pick in the draft, another college third baseman, Ryan Zimmerman, signed quickly with the Nationals. The fifth pick, yet another college third baseman, Ryan Braun, signed less than two weeks after the draft with the Brewers. You read that correctly - the small market Brewers and the MLB-owned Nationals both found the money to sign their picks, players also chosen in the top five of the draft who played the same college position as Alex Gordon.

The skin-flint Devil Rays have signed their pick, Wade Townsend, who is represented by the same agents as Alex Gordon. The rudderless Pirates have signed their pick. The disastrous Reds have signed their pick. The poor-mouth Marlins have signed THREE first round picks. The perpetually cash- strapped A's signed their first round pick the day after the draft.

What more do you need, Allard? Cough up the dollars and get this guy onto a minor league roster while there's still some season left. In case you haven't noticed, the team could kinda use the help, and Gordon isn't going to develop very fast if he's playing video games in his parent's basement in Nebraska instead of facing Double A pitching.

Monday, July 11, 2005

David Wells

This one is self-explanatory. Sexual assault? What was he thinking? Or, more appropriately, was he thinking at all?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Jeffrey Flanagan, Round One

I can think of no one more qualified to win the inaugural Damn Fool of the Week Award than Jeffrey Flanagan, a "columnist" for the Kansas City Star.

Jeff, the same guy who wants Ken Harvey to be the Royals' first baseman, feels Jeremy Affeldt has "too much potential to trade".

Here's how trades work, Jeff; You have to give up something in order to get something. Few GMs are going to hand over a top prospect in exchange for a stiff like Terrence Long or Jose Lima. Right now, the Royals need, well, everything, with the possible exception of relievers. We seem to have a lot of those, all of whom are either younger than Affeldt (Leo Nunez, Ambiorix Burgos, Jimmy Gobble), more effective than Affeldt (Mike MacDougal), or both (Jonah Bayliss, Andy Sisco, Mike Wood).

Despite his electric stuff, Affeldt's strikeout rate has dropped almost every year since he was a rookie, while his walk rate has risen. He's been on the DL twice already this year. Lefties are hitting .357 against him this season. He's griped about not being the closer, despite the fact that MacDougal has out-pitched him. And, contrary to your assertion, there are plenty of guys who throw 94 left-handed. The Royals have three besides Affeldt - Sisco, Jamie Cerda and Gobble, who hit 94 on the gun last night. And, to top it all off, Affeldt is the most expensive of this group.

The question isn't why would we trade Affeldt. The real question is, why wouldn't we?