Monday, June 4, 2007

Just the salve needed for the weekend

The title speaks for myself and the Royals, but we'll talk about the team first, as befits the purpose of this blog. The weekend in Tampa Bay saw them win two of three, snapping a seven-game losing streak during which fans were ejecting themselves from the bandwagon left and right. How'd they do it? A great performance out of Brian Bannister on Friday against Devils Ray ace Scott Kazmir (though he's been outpitched by Jamie Shields this year) and your typical five-inning, four-run outing from Odalis Perez on Saturday (at least you know what to expect) against the worst starter in baseball, Edwin Jackson (doesn't it feel good to know the worst starter no longer plays for your team? No more fifth-day stress, no more "I just didn't have my stuff" sound bites, no more anger-driven, multi-exclamation-marked posts out of helpless bloggers. Ah...).

On Sunday, the typical four-run outing from Scott Elarton resulted in a loss against former Royals' top pick J.P. Howl. Oops, that's Howell, not the Ginsberg poem... though watching him pitch well for the enemy does make me want to go on peyote-induced rants about civilization. I TOO SAW THE BEST MINDS OF MY GENERATION DESTROYED BY MADNESS! AGHHHHHH!!!

Try Royals Authority for a more detailed weekend recap.

What caused the turnaround? A day at Adventure Island? A ride on the South's fastest roller coaster in Busch Gardens? A stroll through Dinosaur World? Or was it more personal? Perhaps motivation from the Happy Heckler, who I'm betting can't be too happy that his mild-mannered, intelligent, family-friendly jests are fairly consistently drowned out by the voices of opposing fans jeering this guy. It's on, dawg! You dead, dawg! You know what ... the reasons don't matter. As Red Sox fans were fond of saying when their World Series-less streak finally ended, now we can all just go back to being normal fans without this specter hanging over our heads. Another day, another game, as it should be -- especially when it's your ace up against the Devil Rays again.

A few more notes:
  • The Royals had lost seven straight at Tropicana Field. What?
  • Tony Pena Jr. had an 11-game hitting streak snapped on Sunday. Hitting streak? What?
  • Perez won for the first time since late April. Late April? Wha... actually, you know, I'm really not all that surprised by this one.
EDITOR'S NOTE: My salve came in the form of a college Ultimate Frisbee reunion, which meant a lot of drinking and not much else. This was a much-needed break for me from the daily grind of blogging (though I love it) and the stress of everything worldly that causes stress -- not necessarily a lot of things, but enough, like traffic jams and the humiliating prospect of growing old (next cosmic blink and we'll be watching Old Man Doubt move in with the gray). I'll try to return to the one-a-day posts shortly.

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