Posted at 12:18 PM on August 10, 2005
by Bob Collins
I've been watching baseball for about 45 years and I've seen some bad baseball, but seldom have I felt such sympathy for a Major League Baseball manager as I did last night for Buddy Bell; to the point where I wouldn't be offended to learn that the Royals' marketing department is working on a public execution night.
There is bad baseball (see Twins, Minnesota) and then there is embarrassing baseball. The former happens. The latter shouldn't; at least more than once.
The Royals last night entered the 9th inning with a 7-2 lead over the always-play-to-the-level-of-the-competition Cleveland Indians and their closer, Mike MacDougal. Now Mac isn't that good. But he's not that bad either.
No matter. The Royals are.
Now this message. Keep in mind here that the official scorer is a Kansas City boy. Keep in mind also that the Missouri Legislature did not pass a law preventing anyone from warming up when your closer is on the mound.
Get the picture? That's 5, actually 6 outs. But we're not done yet.
Jimmy Gobble replaces MacDougal and the turkey gives up a walk, single (2 runs score), homer to Peralta (two runs score), and finally Travis Hafner flies out.
The total damage. 11 runs. 11 RUNS on something like 6 hits. Four Kansas City errors in the game.
And the Royals have now lost 11 in a row. And in 5 of them -- 5 of them -- they blew late-inning leads of at least 5 runs.
So no matter how bad things are at the Metrodome, they're not Kansas City bad.
Not yet anyway.
After the game, Buddy Bell said, "to see a game like that is really unheard of. I'm sure it's happened before but I just haven't seen it. I hope I don't see it again, either."
Not going to be at tonight's game, Buddy?