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The Bleacher Bums: April 26, 2007 Archive

A Royal pain.

Posted at 10:58 AM on April 26, 2007 by Tom Scheck

The Royals have taken three of four from the Twins this season. Maybe a little daytime ball is what the Twins need.

Royals pitcher Zack Grienke is on the hill for the KC. Boof is on the mound for the Twins. Grienke is an interesting cat. He left the Royals for personal reasons last year as a result of social anxiety disorder. He's back this year. I saw him pitch at Kaufmann Stadium in Dice-K's first game earlier this year. Grienke looked pretty good even though he got the loss.

What's the problem with the Twins? Well, it seems like I'm not the only one who's at a loss for words.

Kansas City...They've gone about as far as they can go

Posted at 11:44 AM on April 26, 2007 by Chris Dall

Think Royals fans are excited about their team this year? Maybe not, but at least they have 14 more games against the Twins.

It’s sad to see what’s happened to the Royals. They were such a fixture in the late 1970s and 1980s, with players like George Brett, Willie Wilson, Dan Quisenberry, Amos Otis, and my personal favorite, U.L. Washington, the man who always had a toothpick in his mouth. They also had that cool waterfall behind the centerfield fence.

I was a fan of the Royals from afar, and was crushed by their loss to the Phillies in the 1980 World Series. You might also remember that as the series where George Brett had to leave a game due to hemorrhoid pain.

Give the state of the current team, I’m sure Royals fans remember the hemorrhoids incident with great fondness.

Cirillo on his new team, the DL & more....

Posted at 2:27 PM on April 26, 2007 by David Zingler

It’s about 5:40 pm on Wednesday night; I am in the Twins clubhouse patiently waiting for Jeff Cirillo to finish his snack of baby carrots, broccoli and some sort of dip. When the veteran infielder finishes, I approach him at his locker in the far corner of the clubhouse near the big screen TV. Luis Castillo and Jason Tyner are nearby watching video of Odalis Perez, tonight’s starter for the visiting Royals.

ME: First off – you’re probably tired of answering this – how do you feel right now?

CIRILLO: I feel good, real good. It’s been two weeks and I feel like I am almost there to tell you the truth. Obviously the speed of the game is faster out there – sudden movements, body control – that’s probably my only fear. I’ve been taking grounders and feel fine…I am probably running about 50, 60% right now.

ME: Having just joined a new team, is it hard to find your identity – feel like you are part of the team – when you are not playing?

CIRILLO: No, I think it is important for me to be here and I show up to all of the games sit down on the bench and root for the guys. Gardy does a really good job – other teams, when you are on the DL, you kind of feel left out of the games – Gardy keeps a watchful eye, asks you how things are going and really makes you feel part of it.

ME: You are the longest tenured player...

CIRILLO: I know.

ME:...to not reach the postseason – that’s kind of a mouthful – did that factor in your decision to sign with the Twins as a free agent?

CIRILLO: Yes and no. Obviously the Twins (are annual contenders and) provided me the best opportunity to play. I could play a little more extensively than some of the other teams (that were interested).

ME: Before you re-joined the Brewers, you had a couple of rough years. Were you ever wondering if you were going to get back to the big leagues?

CIRILLO: Yeah. There was a huge mechanical flaw that was prohibiting me from hitting. There’s been a story about it and I don’t like to talk about it too much. You can go back and read it, it’s on-line.

(Note: I have been unable to locate that story, if anyone out there can find it, please let me know.)

ME: Fair enough. Do you see yourself as an everyday player or are you more comfortable on the bench?

CIRILLO: Whatever the manager asks me to do, I will do. I am the employee and he’s the manager.

ME: Coming into this year, you had a .298 career average, is it important to you to end your career at .300?

CIRILLO: It is more important to me to make the playoffs at this point.

ME: You played on the Brewers during the 1990s when there was a greater rivalry with the Twins, has it changed? Do you have any thoughts on that?

CIRILLO: Whenever we played the Twins, either here or Milwaukee, there was definitely more of a buzz in the air...the last few years it was tough to beat them, so when you can’t beat ‘em, you join ‘em.

I conclude our chat with a handshake. We exchange pleasantries and I begin to walk away, but not before a tin of Copenhagen tumbles out of Cirillo’s pocket and onto the floor. Always a gentleman, I instinctively retrieve it for the 37-year-old.

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