We're not going to hang our heads too long after this one. Sometimes you get whipped, and though it's hard to watch, you just have to accept it and move on.
It was close for six innings, even though Brian Bannister wasn't very sharp, and then it was over. Four runs in the bottom of the 6th after a string of base-hits, then eight runs in the 8th. In that inning, Yasuhiko Yabuta walked four straight, then Hideo Nomo was called in and you pretty much knew all hope was lost. With the bases loaded, he did induce what appeared to be an inning-ending pop-up to shallow left -- off the bat of Emil Brown, if that isn't ironic enough -- but Tony Pena Jr., drifting back, decided at the last moment to not try to catch the ball, apparently because he thought he heard Mark Teahen call him off, even though Teahen was nowhere near the ball. We didn't think screaming "I got it!" from the stands actually ever worked. Does sound carry just that well in McAfee Coliseum?
We don't mean to pick on Yabuta and Nomo -- and we would never even think about pulling a Cubs fan -- but the two of them have allowed 15 earned runs, while the rest of the bullpen has allowed three (Ron Mahay, 2; Brett Tomko, 1).
Anyway, like we said, we're not going to hang on this for too long. It's the weekend, after all.
But there is one last thing: the interview we were all waiting for. After the game, FSN KC found Mike Sweeney in the tunnel, and what followed was a bit hard to watch without feeling a tinge of remorse. Here was a guy, after all, who plainly loved Kansas City and playing for the Royals, the team that drafted him and the team he represented five times as an All-Star. It's easy to forget, but here was a guy who posted consecutive 29-HR seasons. Here was, in 2002, a .340/.417/.563 hitter. Here was a clubhouse leader and bona fide Royals captain -- and now here he was wearing a different uniform.
"In a dream world, I'd still be a Royal," Sweeney said, right before he went on to praise Dayton Moore as one of the best people he knew. Christ. Thanks for trying to make us cry.
The final thing he said: "If the Royals win a world championship, just remember to tell Dayton Moore my P.O. box is in Rancho Camarillo, California. He can send me a World Series ring."
Peanuts. He said he'd re-sign with the Royals for peanuts.