Friday, April 11, 2008

Guillen can play

Not only can Jose Guillen play baseball, he's being allowed to as well.. Thank you, I'll be here all week.

I, like others before me, am pleased that he isn't required to serve his suspension. Had he been accused of purchasing HGH by any means that could be held up in court, I would have no problem if Selig made Guillen and others serve suspensions. But since courts aren't too fond of he said/she said "evidence" of malfeasance, it would set a dangerous precedence if those suspensions were upheld.

It is safe to say that Bud Selig has made some unwise decisions as commissioner, but to commute suspensions related to the Mitchell Report is the right call, all the way. If something more substantial appears later that implicates Guillen or anyone else in the use/purchase of illegal PEDs, suspend them at that time. In the meantime we have bigger things to worry about, like whether Guillen will start to hit $36 million worth of baseballs.

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In case you missed it, the KC Star wrote about my cousin Chris* this week, and the large, shiny, high-definition toy he now operates. I thought it was cool of Mellinger to give people an idea of what it takes to make something as ambitious as Crown Vision work (here's the video that accompanied the story).

*Chris, by the way, gives Mike Sweeney a run for his money in the quest for the "Nicest Man in the World" title. True story.

The team's start, which has been described as "red-hot" by the Baseball Tonight folks (yes, them. Let me mention some East Coast baseball to make up for their mentioning someone further inland: Yankees! Red Sox! Tonight!), combined with the splendor of Crown Vision, are exactly what needed to happen in the first part of this season. It's unfortunate that the opening home series was shat upon by Mother Nature, but I imagine that this weekend's series against Minnesota -- particularly with the giveaway of those incredible Butler powder blues -- will bring a lot of first-time or long-absent Kansas Citians into the stadium, and the team's continued rise from despair to mediocrity to success will bring them back.

By the way, in case you wondered, Crown Vision apparently isn't too much of a distraction to the players. And is anyone else unsurprised that Joey Gathright enjoys watching replays of himself on it?

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Play has started for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, and despite their terrifying mascot, people in the area seem to be excited about the team. That's good.

...but I'm still scared of that mascot.

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David DeJesus is still out with that ankle injury, which is great news for Joey Gathright, but might be better news for whoever has to figure out where to put Gathright after DDJ gets back. I'm not sure if that's tonight* against the Twins or later still, but I don't blame DeJesus for being cautious.

I can not believe all the attention Joey's base stealing has gotten on ESPN since the season started. It's especially startling considering how poor of a thief he has been until this spring.

*On that note, tonight's game time can not come soon enough. I woke up from a nap at 4:00, and the overcast skies outside made my internal clock certain that it was later than that. Therefore, game time is taking even more excruciatingly long to get here than usual.

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Something to ponder -- Craig Brown makes a case for Tony Pena, Jr. being taken out of the lineup in favor of Alberto Callaspo, comparing Pena's current situation to the one KC faced with Angel Berroa last spring.

Think about the Pena trade last spring. Berroa had to go. He was a disaster offensively and defensively. Enter Pena. At the time, I said it wasn’t a big upgrade because with the bat, Pena and Berroa are essentially the same player. But Pena is better defensively. So the move is a net benefit for the team.

But now the Royals are continuing to improve and it’s time for GMDM to find a solution. Is it Callaspo? While all signs point to him at second base, from what I’ve seen of him he’s good enough defensively at short. I’m thinking the offensive edge that Callaspo would bring to the lineup is greater than the defensive edge the Royals would have from Pena. In other words, Callaspo’s bat is more valuable than Pena’s glove.

But Sam Mellinger disagrees somewhat:

Pena can't continue to hit .037, obviously. And he won't. He was actually better than expected at the plate last year, and I can't believe he just forgot how to hit over an offseason.

He's in a bad slump, it just looks worse because it's at the beginning of the season. It's also easier to deal with when the Royals are winning.

That being said, he does need to produce offensively, and I think that's obvious. You can look at it as another sign of the Royals' progress. Pena was terrific last year in part because he wasn't Angel Berroa. That's no longer good enough.

2 comments:

RoyalinLenexa said...

Great blog, Minda. Love the discussion.

Minda said...

Thank you, RiL. I'll try and keep it up :-)

Oh, and update: My brother Ryan, who is often a source of unbridled awesomeness, had this observation about the Naturals' mascot:
"[It] is a cross between Chewbacca and the Burger King."