Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dear Trey Hillman: the Shealy edition

I wrote this a few days ago, when a lineup published prior to a game didn't include Shealy. That reported lineup turned out to be wrong - Shealy was in that game - so I figured I didn't need to use this. Lo and behold, I was wrong. I'm starting to think Trey Hillman is just a really terrible manager. Anywho, on with it:

Dear Trey Hillman,
I know you've got a big job - it can't be easy running a team full of egos, babies, underperformers, and glorified AAA players. You're expected to do a lot with a very small amount of talent.I understand you're not in an enviable position, and no matter what you do, some people are going to be upset. That's what happens when you take the helm of a team like this.

HOWEVER, one basic thing that Royals fans should never have to endure from their manager again is the abuse of September callups. We had plenty of that with Buddy Bell, and many of us are in utter, horrified disbelief that you're doing the same thing.

Ross Gload is not an everyday first baseman; let's just get that out of the way right now. That should make it SO much easier to juggle your crowd of bodies at that position. I'll even take it a few steps further for you: Billy Butler isn't exactly a natural at that position either, but he can hit, and Jose Guillen has spent all but 6 weeks of the season hitting like Tony Pena Jr., so he shouldn't be your first choice at DH.

Do you see what I've done for you? You now have just two men for the 1B job. One of them might not fare as well against lefties as the other, so there's another big clue as to how your lineup card should be filled out each night.

Trey, please. You're not stupid (I think), so why are you not seeing how desperately we need to see both Ryan Shealy and Kila Ka'aihue get swings against ML pitchers? Shealy's not exactly young, and he's been "fighting for his life" (his words, not mine) in Omaha for way too long. I could argue that he should have been called up in July, but that's in the past so I'll let it go. But it's September now, and plate appearances are few.

Someone a little closer to the situation has said that you're losing it, Trey. People aren't giving you respect in the clubhouse, a dire managerial situation. Is assembling a lineup which contains neither Shealy nor Ka'aihue the way to get anyone to respect you as a manager? You're keeping Guillen in the lineup at a position for which he's not fit because he'd tear you a new one if you ever dared to bench him. That's no way to pick your DH; it's cowardly. Man up, Trey, and do what's good for your team.

Shealy's not going to be a godlike force with MVP numbers - even I know that. But he's out of time; he has this month to show where he belongs, whether that is in the majors or minors; with the Royals or with a team who won't screw him over and play Ross Gload over him all year.

And if you're not going to give Shealy the PAs he desperately needs to prove himself for next year's roster, why not give Ka'aihue a look? You don't need to platoon the two in a traditional sense; Ka'aihue's evaluation doesn't need to be as urgent. But to leave them both him and Shealy out so you can play Gload at first again? What a waste.

At this point, you're lucky we still care at all. Don't push your luck.
Still a fan (despite your best efforts),

[Ed. note: PS, I'm not dead. But the Royals suck, and I'm in school again, so...homework and crap. Boo!]


Anonymous said...

Shealy - In 148 Career MLB games has a .266 BA with 13 HR and 76 RBI. Not to mention, he has 133 Strikeouts in 148 games! Gload has played 332 more games and struck out only 22 more times in his career. Given neither of these two people are 1st base ML talent but you're backing the wrong pony here.

mike in omaha said...

Anonymous, I couldn't disagree with you more. Let's compare more than just the triple crown numbers and strike outs (strike outs is a non-factor. I'd rather have Ryan Howard than either, and he's going to strike out close to 200 times every year).

Shealy - 28 years old. 162 game average: 70 Runs, 139 hits, 27 Doubles, 14 HRs, 83 RBI, .266/.331/.404 Most ABs in a season, 202 in 2006.

Gload - 32 years old. 162 game average: 48 runs, 115 hits, 22 doubles, 7 HRs, 54 RBI, .286/.327/.408 Most ABs in a season, 382 (and counting) this year.

The big difference is we know exactly what Gload can give us. He has a contract for next year alreaady. Shealy is a few years younger, not locked up next year and has potential to be the stronger player in the long run. Plus, he's never gotten a chance to play everyday. A lot of players improve the more they play. Gload has played a lot this year and put up the numbers of a backup 2nd baseman.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so let's see then among 1st basemen: .266 BA leaves him middle of the pack, 13 HRs leaves him 33rd (32 MLB teams), 70 runs means 27th, 83 RBI leaves him about 22nd.

The lovefest for this guy has to stop. As I said, Gload nor Shealy are legitimate MLB talents. You're both backing the wrong pony. Either let Kila attempt to play, sign a LEGITIMATE 1B in free agency, or continue to apply the chewing gum to the crack in the dam. Shealy is NOT the answer.

mike in omaha said...

Hillman has come out and said that Kila isn't going to get the ABs. I think most Royals fans would like to see an extended Kila audition, but we're not counting on it. If its going to come down to Shealy or Gload, then we need to see what Shealy can do when he plays everyday. His one extended audition looked pretty good a couple of years ago. I want to see if it was a fluke or not.