While sweating out August’s dog days of summer, we eagerly anticipate the crisp, pleasant days of fall and the prospect of football season.
In the same vein, while we are currently mired in January’s fog days of winter, we can’t wait for the spring reawakening and the arrival of baseball.
Unless, of course, we are Royals’ fans.
While spring may come on forever, there is really little hope for the Royals. They’re a small-market team with a history of drafting poorly and signing marginal once-weres as stop-gaps to compensate for their ongoing inability to identify young talent.
The latest examples are Jason Kendall and Scott Podsednik.
In fact, the recent free-agent signings of Kendall, a 35-year-old catcher, and Podsednik, a 34-year-old outfielder, prompted an article on fangraphs.com suggesting that baseball’s worst general manager is a toss-up between the Royals’ Dayton Moore and the Mets’ Omar Minaya.
I don’t know about Minaya, but I’m sure every GM in the big leagues has Moore on his speed dial. You have a player you want to get rid of? Call Moore. He’ll take the dead weight off your hands, no questions asked, no vetting necessary.
Mike Jacobs? A one-dimensional home-run hitter. No average, no speed and, worst of all, no glove. Moore gave up Leo Nuñez, a solid young middle reliever, for Jacobs, who was released in December and is still looking for another sucker GM to give him another opportunity.
Yuniesky Betancourt? Yeah, he was the worst every-day shortstop in the big leagues when he was with Seattle. Everyone knew that. He was also — sad but true — better than any shortstop the Royals had.
Kyle Farnsworth? Sure, he can throw hard and looks good in a suit, but this overpaid middle reliever unleashes what may be the straightest fast ball in major league history.
Kendall? No doubt his best days were in the ’90s and that his bat is bamboo, but I have to come to Moore’s defense here because watching Miguel Olivo and John Buck behind the plate for the last couple of years would drive any GM to desperation.
Podsednik? Hey, he’s fast, steals bases and hit over .300 last year, so he must be a leadoff hitter, right? Well, not so much. Podsednik’s on-base percentage isn’t all that spiffy, and he was thrown out 13 times trying to steal. Moreover, he can’t play anywhere but left field, and the Royals already have a decent left fielder in David DeJesus.
Brian Anderson? A good-field, no-hit outfielder the White Sox gave up on. Could platoon with Mitch Maier and give the Royals a center field platoon of immense punchlessness.
Chris Getz and Josh Fields? These were unusual acquisitions in that both are under 30 and can hardly be classified as has-beens. But you have to wonder why the White Sox would surrender two players with potential for Mark Teahen who, while versatile, has long since proven he has little offensive value.
I could throw Coco Crisp and Jose Guillen into this mix, too, but I’ve had my hot-stove fix. Now I can go back to basketball.