Saturday, April 11, 2009

Latest KC Giveaway: 1st Two Home Games

Patience. I keep trying to remind myself that it's crazy to get bent out of shape for losing the first two home games of the season. After all, the old cliche -- that this is a marathon, and not a sprint -- is so true in baseball. It's a long season, and there are still 157 regular season games left.

So it seems a little ridiculous for me to get mad about a pair of losses to the New York Yankees, but I'm simmering.

Like many Royals fans, I'm mad because Sidney Ponson and Horacio Ramirez started the first two games at the beautifully-renovated Kauffman Stadium. In my mind, that was like handing New York the first two games on a platter. Would Luke Hochevar and Brian Bannister have done better? We can only guess at what might have happened, but it probably wouldn't have been any worse.

Hochevar seemed primed for his second season with the team, and he pitched well in Spring Training, with a 1-0 record and a 3.86 ERA in 16.1 innings. The former first overall pick of the Royals should be in the rotation this season.

Bannister did not pitch well in Spring Training, and was coming off a rough 2008 season. It's understandable that he's starting the season in Omaha, but it makes Kansas City fans roll their eyes when they see Horacio Ramirez get rocked for six runs in less than five innings, and then think back to the Bannister we all grew to appreciate in 2007.

I understand the reason Ponson started the home opener. He had a clause in the Minor League contract he signed that gave him an out with the Royals if he didn't make Kansas City's roster by May 1. That clause is no longer a factor, so I say give him one more start at the Major League level, and if he doesn't pitch well enough for the Royals to win, he should be sent to Omaha. By doing that, Ponson could get some regular starts, work out his kinks, and prove whether or not he deserves another chance.

And I didn't think the team's offense would be something that I'd be mad about at this point, but it's been non-existent. Sure, the team has faced some of the better starters in the American League in the five games to date, but I didn't envision the possibility of scoring just eight runs through five games. That's dismal, and I hope Kevin Seitzer can get some of these guys turned around in a hurry.

Kansas City has three solid starters at the top of its rotation, and hopefully Gil Meche can put a stop to this short two-game tailspin tomorrow afternoon. I'm tired of simmering inside.


Anonymous said...

Ponson and HoRam vs Banny and Hoch?
Scoring 1 run per game would not have won the game for any of those starters.

Michael A. Molde said...

You're probably right, Anonymous. But the only argument I'd make to the contrary is that allowing two or more first-inning runs to a team like the Yankees can really mess with a team's confidence and mindset.

Again, there's no way of knowing whather Hochevar and Bannister wouldn't have done the same thing, or worse. But you have to think that Hochevar could have done better.

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