Monday, April 03, 2006

...The More They Stay The Same

First, the positive. I'll give Scott Elarton credit; he pitched a pretty good game. If not for Chris Shelton being out of his mind (and officially making it to my Pesky Bastard list), Elarton wouldn't have given up a run in almost six innings. And only another solo homer given up by Andy Sisco kept the bullpen from being perfect. Good, solid outing for the staff all around, a nice sign.

Let me also take a moment to give credit to the Royals' promotions staff, who put on a first class group of pre-game festivities. Any time you get an Oscar winner (Chris Cooper) to throw out the first pitch, and both a bald eagle and a B-2 bomber to simultaneously hit their cues exactly on time as The Star Spangled Banner ended, it looks really, really good. Throw in Buck O'Neil as honorary manager, perfect weather, and the usual stellar work of the Royals' grounds crew to make the field look gorgeous, and all signs pointed to victory.

Alas, the same old Royals hitters showed up, and that's never a good thing. One extra-base hit and one walk. That, ladies and germs, is a recipe for disaster, and sure enough, the team managed only one run. I'll give them a minor pass this time because Kenny Rogers is a crafty S.O.B. unless he's dealing with cameramen, and rookie Joel Zumaya was downright filthy. But the Royals have got to be more patient and show more punch or this season is over before it started.

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