OTC: Petro Joins The Royals Vigilantes And Calls Out The Royals For Choking Down The Stretch

“Sal Perez (not tagging up) was a play that father’s at 3&2 (little league baseball) would have lost their minds! It’s (reminiscent of) the most bush-league 2004 Royals. And if that doesn’t define the word choke I don’t know what does. What is that if it isn’t a choke? They better pull their heads out! I’m disgusted but I expected this team to play like a real playoff team. They are playing bush-league not-even-interleague-squad baseball. Somebody better wake this team up! … I hope we get treated to some real baseball this final week.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Petro has been playing kissy face with Ned Yost and the Royals for most of this pennant race. He has been quick to smack down those who would criticize Yost or the progress the franchise has made this season. This is pretty much the same approach Kevin Kietzman has parlayed, calling Yost the best manager the Royals have employed the last 20 years. All that changed for Petro with this past weekend’s series with the Tigers. The Royals looked like anything but a pennant contender and Petro sounded like the rest of us. Read on.

“But to state the obvious: yes, what (Sal) Perez did was inexcusable. It was an incredibly stupid mental error, and it probably cost the Royals a two-game swing in the standings, likely the AL Central title, and possible a playoff spot entirely.”
Rany Jazayerli, ranyontheroyals.com

“Yes, it looks like the umpires did not follow the rulebook correctly in allowing the use of replay to determine whether Salvador Perez tagged at third base or not. But I can’t get that worked up about it, because my position on the use of instant replay has always been simple: get the call right. That’s it. Get it right. Major League Baseball is still fumbling its way through the procedural aspects of this, but they’re using replay to correct mistakes in a way that was unimaginable just a decade ago.”
Rany Jazayerli, ranyontheroyals.com GH: Listening to Steve Physioc whine incessantly over the umpire’s using replay to overturn this call on Saturday’s radio broadcast and never once criticize Sal Perez for not tagging up was one-sided broadcasting at its worse. And any member of the Royals organization or fan who is going to get worked up over the umps getting a call correct should be sentenced to watch game six of the 1985 World Series with a room full of Cardinals fans.

“I have not been one of those calling for Ned’s job but if this kind of bush-league play continues, he should be terminated. At some point, step up and play when it counts! They lost six in a row when it was crunch time, they spit the bit six times in a row and they tried to do it Sunday! … Accountability! At some point somebody has to be held accountable!” Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: How about some accountability for those in the media like Petro and KK who have been soft on Yost all along? So now, with the final week of the regular season looming, Petro wants to scream fire Ned Yost? I am fine with that. But there are a lot of us out here who have been singing that tune even when this club was winning despite Yost’s bunting, small-ball and small-minded ways.

“For the second straight year, the biggest at-bat of the season (final results pending) was given to a player who had been released by another team earlier in this season. ON PURPOSE. You remember the Carlos Pena debacle last year, don’t you? Well, I present to you the Raul Ibanez decision. … Yost called upon the player with the lowest batting average in the major leagues among players with 275 plate appearances.”
Rany Jazayerli, ranyontheroyals.com
GH: How Dayton Moore allowed this to happen without leaping from the press box onto the field is a mystery to me. Maybe he feared causing himself bodily harm – because I am sure he wanted to make this leap. But the fact that Moore allowed Yost to retain his job following Saturday’s debacle is an indictment on Moore, the Glass family and this Royals organization. This was very possible simply the worst decision made by a manager in Royals history. Fire Ned Yost.

“There’s a lot of things going on that nobody really knows about. What I mean by a ‘professional at-bat,’ was a guy that’s been there, done it . . . Billy’s in a funk right now. And Billy has no idea what he’s doing wrong. You see what I’m saying? He’s working really hard at it. It was absolutely no slight against Billy. People that think I’m slighting Billy, they’re off base.”
Ned Yost, attempting to explain why he called wanting Ibanez for a “professional at bat” over Butler in Saturday’s game, Kansas City Star
GH: When Billy Butler stroked a line-drive single on the first pitch he saw Sunday, he appeared to glare back into the Royals’ dugout and mouth the words, “professional at bat.” This might be my KK radar going off but I so want to believe this occurred. I do believe there are “a lot of things going on that nobody really knows about,” inside this Royals team. And Yost appears to be punching all the wrong buttons here during Heimlich season.

“If they don’t make the playoffs it’s a choke job.”
Josh Vernier, 610 AM

& @greghall24


About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.

43 Responses to OTC: Petro Joins The Royals Vigilantes And Calls Out The Royals For Choking Down The Stretch

  1. Gavin says:

    Well, it certainly FEELS like all the air is rushing out. Even if they hang on to win a playoff spot, does anyone think they’ll play well? I mean, it’s possible, but there’s no reason to think that they’ll do anything but gag that away as well.

    • Kyle says:

      Honestly making the playoffs would be such an accomplishment for this franchise, I would not even care. Just MAKE IT!

      • Say What? says:

        If the Royals fall into that Wild Card game, they will most likely be facing the A’s and Jon Lester, who absolutely OWNS the Royals.

        • Java Man says:

          Usually a trap to say anyone in baseball owns anyone. Shields can shut down the A’s just as well.

        • david says:

          And who’ll you be rooting for? Sounds like you’ve given up.

          Would you rather face King Felix? Here’s a newsflash, getting to the playoff means you face aces and #2′s pretty much every time out.

          Who had Michael Wacha going 2-0 last year in the NLCS against Clayton Kershaw? Should’ve fired Ned for that too…

  2. Phaedrus says:

    Ned Yost has been doing this shit all year (sac bunting, babying Moustakas & Hosmer, only using Davis in the 8th, etc), so if Petro was happy with it in June & July, I don’t know how he can bitch about it now.

    How about having Aoki sac bunt when he was hitting damn near .500 for the homestand? How about having Escobar sac bunt yesterday (it was karma that he popped out to the pitcher) when he already had a couple of hits in the game? How about not using Billy as a pinch hitter in the 9th (because he’s “in a funk”), but then playing him for a full game the next day?

    • david says:

      Aoki moves the runners to 2nd and 3rd with one out and your 3-4-5 guys coming up and you call that a bad move? Especially against Scherzer ?

      Don’t let your hatred of Ned cloud your brain.

      • Phaedrus says:

        Well, we’re talking about the Royals’ 3-4-5 guys here. Every team HAS to have 3-4-5 hitters….it doesn’t mean that they are any good.

        How many times have the Royals had a man on 3rd, less than 2 outs, and failed to score a run?

        • david says:

          A bunch. So, since the players can’t hit a fly ball with a man on third and 1 out. Let’s fire the manager.

          After 155 games, you’re 2 games behind a team with $75 million more in payroll. Let’s fire the manager.

          You’ve got a team returning next year that’ll be 90%+ the same players. Let’s fire the manager.

          The A’s and Tigers made huge moves at the trade deadline and are 19-28 and 27-22 since. Our GM didn’t make any changes and the team is 28-18 since. Let’s fire the GM and the manager.

          What it really comes down to…. Ned’s not a likable guy and there’s tons of better managers out there (?). Let’s fire the manager.

          • Phaedrus says:

            “So, since the players can’t hit a fly ball with a man on third and 1 out. Let’s fire the manager.”

            No. Let’s fire the manager because he continually bunts to put a man on 3rd with 1 out even though the Royals can’t hit fly balls to score the runner.

            The point about the Tigers payroll is irrelevant. If they went out tomorrow and signed Bob Hamelin to a 1-year $100 million contract, would you feel better because we’re 2 games behind a team with $175 million more in payroll? Maybe the Tigers spent their money poorly…what’s that have to do with the Royals, and more importantly, Ned Yost?

            Who cares what the Tigers and A’s records are after the trade deadline. What’s that have to do with Ned’s terrible decisions?

            I mentioned a week or so ago that Ned likes to act like he’s the smartest guy in the room. That’s all well and good, but it can be a bitch when you do that and then make stupid decisions.

            • david says:

              Those other teams, filled with guys who the sabre-geeks love, are struggling worse than the Royals.

              So if you’re DM who is your manager next year? And whaddaya tell him and your team after you fired the guy who went 10+ games over .500 the previous year?

              • Phaedrus says:

                I tell him not to bunt so much. I also tell him that it’s ok to use your best reliever in the 6th inning. Oh yeah, and don’t use a guy hitting .150 as a pinch hitter with 2 outs in the 9th of a must win game.

                I’d also tell him not to come across as a jackass.

                • KV says:

                  Of course, someone could also ask DM why so many of the Royals hitters are hacking away at so many pitches out of the strike zone or why they’ve only developed two starting pitchers 8 and a half years into his tenure. And maybe someone could ask the Wal-Mart Boys what they plan to do the with the extra money the fans of this town handed them this year. But that would reek of accountability, that’s obviously not the Royal way. Oh, and the Tigers have a billionaire owner.

          • Steve says:

            Also, the Royals payroll is $94 million. There are several problems with the bunting – for one, statistics show that it doesn’t really improve your chances to score a run and it absolutely takes away your chances at a big inning – but the biggest thing is what Phaedrus said… you’re taking the bat out of your hottest hitters hands! How can you do that? He’s been hitting the ball hard or finding holes everywhere the last week or so. You can’t give away outs like that. And yes, our 3-4-5 hitters need to bring the run home but that’s been an issue all season. Why play for one run against Scherzer when you have him on the ropes?

            • david says:

              Got it. The only person to hold accountable is Ned. The players all get passes.

              • Steve says:

                Yeah, that’s what I said. Moron. Like I said, the players need to drive the runs in, of course, but the manager also needs to put the players in the best position to be successful. That’s his job. Do you think the best thing for Aoki to do with two runners on base and a red-hot bat was to give an out away? If so, then it sounds like you’d fit right in with the rest of MLB. You probably also think pinch-hitting Ibanez, who had 5 at-bats the entire month of September prior to Saturday’s game, was a great idea.

                Listen, of course the players deserve plenty of blame, but don’t act like Yost doesn’t either.

      • nick says:

        David, c’mon let’s be REAL.

        - Aoki is batting over .600 in the past week.

        - Willingham is NOT a typical #3 hitter. (why Willingham was batting 3rd, I have no freaking idea, but he was. That’s on Ned as well.)

        - Gordon has been unreliable for about 2 weeks.

        - Perez is not swinging like 5-hole hitter.

        Aoki bunting twice early in Saturday’s game with no outs is inexcusable. Saber geeks guess that a manager’s string-pulling may affect 2-4 games over the course of a season. Ned affected Saturday’s game for the worse.

      • Brett says:

        The runner was already in scoring position. A single would have scored him. The hatred of Ned has nothing to do with this. It was a stupid move for anyone to sac bunt.

      • Say What? says:

        Unless you are playing for one run at the end of the game to get it to extra innings, bunting and giving up a free out is stupid decision 99.9% of the time.

      • kchoya says:

        Yes. I saw a stat yesterday that Aoki has the highest batting average (like .435) with runners in scoring position since the All-Star break. Let him hit away.

  3. bs says:

    hey, maybe this team just isn’t that good. they look good to us, since we have set a pretty low bar the past 20+ years. but their run differential is only +16. maybe we are just celebrating a .500 team that has already won more games than they should have.

    • Java Man says:

      Agreed, but…I don’t know if it’s a matter of the Royals not being any good, as much as a matter of the Detroit Tigers are clearly still the better team.

  4. david says:

    Ahh.. the beauty of being a MMQB.

    If you put Billy Butler up in the 9th and he does what Ibanez does, you can be just as outraged. Did you see him on Friday?

    If you come across a situation that
    a) the umpires had never seen before and
    b) neither manager had seen before
    you rail on about firing Yost because their 24 YO All-Star catcher made a bad choice.

    Did I miss somewhere in the article about our MVP caliber LF and his BRUTAL play and ABs in the first two games or is that included in the fire Yost comment?

    Finally, if Yost should be fired, what about Ausmus? He’s got a $75 million dollar payroll advantage over the Royals and after 155 games, just a game and half advantage.

    • Kyle says:

      And the Royals get credit for bouncing back yesterday. Saturday was as demoralizing as it gets, but they were able to salvage a must win game. 2-1 at Cleveland and 2-2 at Chicago may very well land them a wild card spot.

      • Greg says:

        Don’t forget. there are four games in Cleveland…one being a loss unless they tee off on the Cleveland pitcher in the bottom of the 10th this afternoon.

        Also, sometimes you have to let the players swing away. Quite frankly Ned is managing like he wants everyone to say “wow, look at that manager…what a genius he is.”

        Whitey Herzog had the best two quotes about baseball and he had them in the late 70′s while managing the Royals. He said the “problem with baseball is the high price of mediocrity.” (that screams the 2014 Royals) and …

        “Out of the 25 man roster, there are five players who would run through the wall for you, five players who hate your guts and 15 that haven’t made up their mind. The manager’s job is to keep the five guys who hate you away from the 15 who haven’t made up their mind.” Every manager should have that in their office and stop over managing. Over managing is killing the Royals.

        • Kyle says:

          I have counted that one as a loss since it happened. Game doesn’t even exist anymore in my book. Cleveland is currently 2.5 games behind us, so we better take 2 of 3.

  5. Kyle R says:

    Please. The decision to bat Ibanez was inexcusable and completely on Yost. The other stuff you listed is not on him, especially Perez forgetting something you learn in frickin’ t-ball. Ibanez has been brutal and Butler has not, comparatively and especially considering his history with Nathan.

    • david says:

      So, if Butler grounds out on pitch#1, like he did all night on Friday, you’re praising Ned today?

      • Matt says:

        David, look at it this way: Yost batting Ibanez in that situation is like trying to beat pocket Aces in poker with J2 off suit. Pinch hitting Butler or Cain would have been like having J10 suited….still behind but have a much better shot of winning.

        I guarantee you: If Butler had made out, there would be NO ONE talking after the game about why Yost didn’t use Ibanez.

        Stop your incessant hatred of Butler and realize that Ned Yost is completely hypocritical about how he treats his players.

        • nick says:

          Ned was at it again yesterday.

          Escobar, who’s almost as on fire as Aoki, and who blasted a liner off the wall in his first at bat, was asked to sac bunt with guys on 1st and 2nd with no outs. He popped a bunt to the pitcher for the first out.

          Thankfully, Aoki came up and hit a grounder down the line that got into the corner for a 2-run triple.

          A side point about Ned’s always-changing philosophies: Ned has said lately he likes having speed in the 9 hole, to help jump-start the top of the lineup. Yet Moose batted 9th yesterday.

        • david says:

          I don’t hate Butler at all. But if Butler does get an out, the end is still the same and the 3-4-5 batters still suck with RISP.

      • Say What? says:

        Yes, praise Ned for making a good decision and blame Billy for failing to execute and for not having a plan while at the plate.

  6. Arte says:

    I’d actually like to watch a tape of game six in a room full of Cardinals fans. I’d just sit there, drink a beer and smile.

    • Matt says:

      I’ve put the game 6 conspiracy to bed many times with Cardinal fans. Not only was Orta out at third base two batters later, he was also the only out of the inning.

      But let’s not mention Jack Clark’s dropped foul popup which then turned into a single the next pitch, or Porter’s passed ball.

      The Cardinals simply were not mentally tough. And before Cardinal fans cry about lost momentum, I’ll simply point to the 1975 World Series and it’s winner….hint: it was NOT Carlton Fisk and the Red Sox.

      • dman says:

        I would gladly trade the ’85 WS win for the Cardinals’ postseason success since then. Arguing about game 6 is a waste of time when you look at what has happened to the two franchises since then. Talk about feeling like a little brother. And I’m ready for the gut punch again this year. The Brewers look like geniuses getting rid of Yost in September of their playoff run.

  7. Rouseman says:

    Fier Ned Yost

  8. KV says:

    I like the argument from the Yost/Royals apologists that it is wrong to blame Yost for the team’s failures while simultaneously giving him credit for it’s sucesses. Listen, Yost is really a small part of this organization’s problems. The true problems (horrid player development, cheap absentee ownership, etc.) run much deeper and may be impossible to remedy within the current state of the franchise. And the Royals are still in this thing because the AL is pretty mediocre this year with a lot of bad teams. I agree it’s wrong to single out and completely blame Yost for the team’s losses. But Yost’s main job is to make the right in game decisions/personnel moves to give his team the best chance at success. Is it up to the players to execute? Absolutely. But Ibanez? Really? Forget about Butler, what about Cain? And if you ask a player in an ice cold funk or one who hasn’t hit all year to bunt, then fine. But you simply can’t have your hottest hitters giving themselves up. Aoki (or his interpreter) said the Royals only play for one run. That’s a pretty terrible approach against a team like Detroit. The Twins hung 20 on these guys not long ago and I don’t think they did so by bunting left and right. And of course the “say and do one thing one day and then do the opposite the next day” approach is dubious (i.e. changing the line-up is stupid one day and works the next, Herrera is our 7th inning guy one day and now a multi inning whenever guy the next).

    And by the way, who is making more money this year? Nathan or Holland? Chamberlain or Herrera? Gordon or J.D. Martinez? Verlander or Duffy/Ventura? Also too, Victor Martinez is making 12 million this year. Butler is making 8 million and could make 12.5 next year.

  9. Herb says:

    Yes, thank God the umpires got the call right thanks to the jumbotron. I mean, why even have rules about replay? Why don’t we just let them use the jumbotron to make all the calls?

  10. david says:

    Royals win, Tigers and Seattle lose. Offense sucks, pitching dominates. Fire Ned.

    • nick says:

      Last night is a snap-shot of how the Royals have won this year: great starting pitching, getting out of at least one major jam (no runs allowed after bases loaded and no outs in the 3rd), improbable and important contributions by some combination of Aoki/Escobar/Cain/Infante, and closing the game out with arguably MLB’s best closing threesome in history.

      Wins like last night are Ned-proof. The magic is back. Royals, I’m convinced, WILL make the playoffs.

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