Saturday, May 08, 2004

The nightmare continues

Red Sox 7 Royals 6
W-Timlin (2-1) L-MacDougal (0-1)
Royals Season Record: 8-19

I keep expecting Alice Cooper to walk on to the field after a loss like this one and say, "Welcome to my nightmare." We could breathe a sigh of relief and get back to reality. The reality that says this team is more talented than last season—even though their record is flip-flopped from last season.

Affeldt looked tough again, but he ran out of steam late in the game. Grimsley did a good job in relief. Then MacDougal got squeezed with Damon at the plate. He should have had strike three, but instead Damon walked. Bellhorn drilled a HR and the game was tied. Sullivan got squeezed a couple of times before Varitek hit a ball down the first base line in the bottom of the ninth.

With Manny Ramirez lugging around from first base, he decided to try to score. The camera zoomed to Juan Gonzalez who seemed to be thinking more about getting back to the hotel than about sticking around for extra innings. He gingerly approached the ball in the corner and by the time he got there, it was too late. He hit Relaford, who fired the ball home to just barely miss throwing Ramirez out—who didn't even slide.

Royals lose. Again. A lot could be said about what the Royals did wrong last night. Santiago letting another ball go between his legs early in the game. Gonzalez's nonchalant attitude. The Royals failure to capitalize on Wakefield who struggled early.

I keep waiting for somebody to throw a water cooler or slam a glove into dugout. Anything to show that we care. One thing I don't want to see is Pena's goofy smile. Enough of that already. A good attitude only goes so far. It matters, but too much of it feels syrupy. Too fake. Too sickening.

I should say that I'm not a Tony Pena fan. I never have been. Give me Tony Muser any day over Tony Pena. Players don't need to be coddled. They need to be managed. When guys are not playing hard, they need to be removed from the line up, not patted on the back.

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