Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Greek Tragedy

I very much liked Vin Scully's comparison of Baseball to Greek tragedy. At first, I enjoyed it as the kind of nostalgic glee that only a true baseball fan can experience. But after further consideration, it occurs to me how much the comparison hits home...as a Royals fan.

Did you ever notice that every Greek tragedy seems to be a lesson of sorts of what not to do? Oedipus: don't kill pops and shack up with mom. Medea: don't kill the kids now. And from another perspective, don't bring home some strange chick from a foreign land, marry her, and then promptly leave her for a wife that best fits your family's desires based on social prominence that she (the first wife) has no awareness of or affiliation with; she'll kill the kids dude.

It seems that the last 20+ years of Royals baseball have been a constant lesson of what not to do, doesn't it? I mean, fill in your example of choice here _______ (just please spare me the words: BELTRAN or DAMON, unless you're talking about value in return). We're one constant predicament after another, and every turn demonstrates a tragedy to learn from, so many that we're left a little confused of exactly what we're learning at all: wait...offer money to...the nice guy...Mike Sweeney or... the disruptive Jose Guillen? I can't remember...nobody likes...either one...and neither player seems to work out in any one's perspective...at least not that guy's...but then he didn't like either player...and wait, does that player hurt the team when he's playing hurt...or by saying hurtful things about them...or is it worse to always be hurt...what should I do...what should I think? On that one, at least for now, I'll stick with Guillen.

And our most recent example of lessons taught by our Greek tragedies at the K: don't bunt with Billy Butler. Actually, don't draft Billy Butler altogether. It's almost like Billy Butler is that wife we brought in from some foreign baseball universe, where slow doesn't matter, defense matters even less, and hitting is at a premium, but certainly not hitting for power. Nobody saw that pick coming because nobody would know what to do with a player like that. And if we sought to trade him today, I doubt we'd get much value for him because I doubt anyone would know what to do with him now. He's clearly got some upside just like that exotic woman from another world, but at what expense? He's killing the kids dude.

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