Once upon a time (2007), I had this passionate, burning hatred for Emil Brown. I don't know how it started, or why it ran so deep. I know that a skilled wordsmith could point out how irrational it was for me to hate Brown, but I hated him all the same. One of my most joyous moments of the offseason was the Day of the Non-Tender. I was thrilled that KC was moving beyond Brown and his 62 RBI. (Seriously, I hated the argument that the team needed to retain Emil because he led them in RBI. That's just pathetic. No team should be led by a guy who only knocks in 62. Besides, RBI is flawed; go find a new argumentative stat.)
I don't think I was exactly jumping for joy (or, in the infamous words of my dad, "doing handsprings down the hallway") when the Royals signed Jose Guillen, but the more the season goes on, the more I'm finding myself liking Guillen. I bring this up now because Guillen's game-winning RBI was his 61st of the season, so he's pretty much done what Brown did in a whole season, but he got it done before the All-Boring Break. Oh, and since RBI is a stupid basis for an argument, have a host of other stats:
Guillen has the upper hand in pretty much everything, except walks. (Although Brown only has 14 of those; it's not like he's a BB machine. Well, not that kind of BB. Someone at Royals Review asked tonight if Guillen should receive Brown's pellet gun as a "passing the torch" symbol. I voted YES.)
I don't care that Guillen has been running his mouth. Not at all. I was pretty peeved about his casual jog up the first base line on Wednesday night. I thought someone who is so quick to call out his teammates for not playing The Right Way should be busting his ass so his words have some meaning. I also think he made too many excuses for his horrid April.
But I still like him. I like that the Royals have someone who gets fired up about something. (I love Miguel Olivo for the same reason.)Like Craig said at Royals Authority, if the offensive production is there, I will take the tirades, the name-calling, even the occasional jog on a ground ball. That last part goes against everything I've always held dear and tried to teach the little ones about baseball; I've always been a "run hard on everything" kind of person. But if Guillen was being truthful about having groin and hip problems...well shoot, I'm willing to forgive. I like the kind of intensity that makes a man play through injuries, and I'm willing to cut him slack for that.
And for the record, I don't care what he says about the fans. Not all ballplayers love fans. I get that. I appreciate the players who are great with fans, but I no longer expect it because I know that Guillen isn't the only one who doesn't give a rat's ass about fans. Guillen might be one of the only ones to come out and say it, but he's not the only one who feels that way.
The All-Boring Break next week should provide a nice rest for those injuries (since it lasts approximately 8 years), and Jose can spend the 2nd half of the season talking all he wants, as long as his bat talks as loudly as his mouth, and as long as both of those are louder than Emil.
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