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Archive for Monday, May 22, 2006

Royals losing games, patience

Elarton, Mientkiewicz frustrated by losses

May 22, 2006

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— The losing pitcher in Kansas City's ninth-straight loss says many of his teammates don't seem to care that they are getting embarrassed game after game.

"We're just terrible. There's no two ways about it," right-hander Scott Elarton said Sunday. "We're pretty much bad every facet of the game."

Elarton, who signed a free-agent contract this year with Kansas City, saw his record dip to 0-5 as the Cardinals won 10-3 to sweep a three-game interleague series and plunge the woeful Royals to 10-31.

"If we play well offensively and pitching, we don't play defense," Elarton said. "If we don't play defense - it's just a vicious cycle, and we're stuck in it, and it doesn't look like anybody really cares about it. If that continues, it's going to be a long season. And if nobody in here cares about it, it's going to get worse."

For the most part, Elarton has pitched better than his record indicates. But in what has become typical of Kansas City in recent years, the Royals keep finding ways not to win.

The Cardinals were leading only 4-2 in the seventh when relief pitcher Andrew Sisco fielded a bunt with plenty of time to get a force out at third. But he threw wildly, and the Cardinals went on to score five in the inning and beat the Royals for the 10th time in 11 games.

Asked if he was saying specifically that some players do not care if they lose, Elarton replied, "Does it look to you like people care? All right."

Elarton and first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz both declined repeated opportunities to blame owner David Glass or general manager Allard Baird for the Royals' sorry state.

"I'm talking about the guys in this room," Elarton said. "If it doesn't burn you when you lose, then you're not going to get any better."

Said Mientkiewicz, "They're not playing. They've got no say in it. They're not on the field every night. It's not about your GM. It's not about your owners. It's about the guys in this room."

Elarton declined to name names.

"I'm not going to point fingers at anybody," he said. "I don't care if Casey Stengel's our manager and (they have) the greatest general manager in history. If guys aren't willing to put out the effort and do what they're capable of doing, then it's not going to be good anyway."

The Royals have been outscored in their nine-game losing streak 65-33.

"There's got to be some sort of pride factor that goes into this," Mientkiewicz said. "People around here deserve a lot better than we're giving them."

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