The Royals have found a lot of different ways to suck this season. And here’s one more. According to the Kansas City Star, the team is on pace to set a modern record for most wild pitches in a season:

The Royals have thrown 27 wild pitches in 36 games, which puts them on pace to finish with 122. That would be 26 more than the post-1900 record of 96 by the 2000 Cincinnati Reds. And those Reds are the only team to have more than 91 since 1970, although the 1973 Indians own the modern American League record with 87. No other American League team entered Tuesday with more than 17 wild pitches; the league average was 13.

Now I don’t know much about pitching, or mechanics, or any of that stuff. But I do know that 27 wild pitches in 36 games is pretty bad. And, if you’re a Royals fan, it’s hard to find a silver lining in all this.

But maybe Royals fans can take heart in the fact that there is a certain symmetry to choosing this year as the year to break the record for most wild pitches in a season. Because, 2006 is the 100th anniversary of the invention of the knuckleball — the hardest pitch to catch. Bob Euker once famously suggested that the best way to catch a knuckleball was to wait for it to stop rolling, then pick it up. Of course, there would be even more symmetry if the Royals had a knuckleballer on their roster. But they don’t.

6 Responses to “Royals getting wild”

  1. Hey kids, here’s a fun game! Try and name who will represent the Royals this year at the All Star Game!

  2. Hmm…that’s a good question, Paul. I honestly don’t know. My fallback answer is usually Mike Sweeney, but his bulging disk will prevent that. I honestly don’t know.

    Also, who will represent the Pirates? The All-Star game is in Pittsburgh this year, but the only player on that team even worth looking at is Jack Wilson. And does he make it over Edgar Renteria? Jimmy Rollins? Jose Reyes?

  3. Danny O says:

    Maybe not symmetry, but it is kind of weird that…Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh used to be an employee of the Kansas City Royals. An off-the-field employee, mind you. Limbaugh’s boorish and overbearing style is very similar to that of his colleague Bill O’Reilly. O’Reilly’s show on FOX (ahem) News is called the No-Spin Zone.

    Okay, a bit of a stretch, but I need to stretch from time to time. Keeps the mind flexible and open to wacky new ideas.

  4. Coley, I don’t buy the Jack Wilson argument. And they do have a great player in Jason Bay. He’s not off to a great start, but he’s too good to be this mediocre for very long. His OBP is .422 and has a split of almost .150 between the OBP and AVG. He still strikes out too much but he’s not getting worse (his contact rate is slightly better this year than last). And he makes up for it with his great K/BB ratio. I think the power numbers will come back soon.

    But then again, if baseball just dropped this stupid “every team needs to be represented rule” (what the hell is this, little league?), we wouldn’t have this problem at all. I’d also like to drop the “manager getting to choose his bench” rule. It’s inane.

  5. dan eberle says:

    This was one of the most outstanding posts I’ve ever had the pleasure to read on a fantasy baseball site. It highlights the analysis every fan makes when their favorite team makes a trade. Our good friend Paul is one of the more objective Mets fans I’ve ever known, and this post is good evidence of that. There’s no way I would have made this particular deal.

    That said, El Duque might come out and win 9 in a row like he did after returning to the Yankees two seasons ago. But I’m not holding my breath. Age has finally caught up with this guy, I’m convinced. I’d never give up a power bulpen arm like Julio unless I’m getting a YOUNG 4th starter in return. This is only a temporary solution to the pitching problem the Mets have. The Benson deal is looking worse and worse by the minute.

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