Ozzie Guillen, Bobby Petrino (plus Pinkel, Snyder and Self), and some Royals
The Kansas City Star
First, the read of the day comes to you from Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, writing about the mess of Ozzie Guillen and forgiveness (Royals Hall of Famer Cookie Rojas makes a cameo, if that helps).
Now, the OTHER major national story is Bobby Petrino taking about as big a fall as a man can take. Wrecks his Harley, lies about it, then has to come out later and admit he was with a very young and very blonde woman with whom he’d had an “inappropriate relationship,” then gets fired with cause in an awesome press conference, and now is married to a woman who presumably must decide whether she wants to be with a cheating and unemployed man who embarrassed her in front of the world.
Mentioned this on Twitter a couple times, but there is all sorts of schadenfreude going on in the NFL right now and if the few text messages and indirect conversations I’ve had are any indication, you or I have a better chance being hired in the NFL than Petrino.
My favorite line comes from Kevin Van Valkenburg:
“It would be kind of funny if Arkansas AD Jeff Long just left Petrino a note in his mailbox, saying he was fired.”
If you don’t know, this is what we’re referring to.
Anyway, the most thought-provoking thing I’ve seen on this whole mess comes from George Schroeder, who points out that Petrino wasn’t bigger than the program and essentially asks if the same is true of your favorite coach.
Locally, I think the line of demarcation is pretty clear. Mizzou football coach Gary Pinkel survived a DWI last year with pretty significant penalties.
Bills Self and Snyder could also take a big hit and coach through it, but the other three — Frank Haith, Charlie Weis and especially Bruce Weber — would be going fishing.
OK, a couple more thoughts…
— Long story, but I did most of this week’s Twitter Tuesday on a plane without an internet connection, so I missed some good questions and if the whole thing read like it was rushed a bit, well, that’s why.
But one question I just forgot about was how much the Royals’ defense will help the pitching staff. The quick answer, at least in my opinion: significantly.
Look around the field. Alex Gordon won the Gold Glove last year, Jeff Francoeur is a good athlete with a very good arm in right, and Lorenzo Cain is an ENORMOUS upgrade defensively from Melky Cabrera in center. Alcides Escobar is as good a defensive shortstop as any in baseball, Eric Hosmer is smooth and athletic and very good at scooping throws at first, Mike Moustakas has lost weight and has a big arm at third, the Royals kept Yuni and Getz at second mostly for defensive reasons, and Humberto Quintero is as good a catch-and-throw guy as most any catcher in baseball. When Sal Perez gets healthy, that only gets better.
That’s a pretty damn good defense to pitching in front of. Just last night, Cain probably saved two runs with that groin-pulling catch against the wall.
I’m not sure how to quantify it, but there’ve been a lot of years where the Royals’ bad pitchers were made to look worse because of the crappy defense behind them. This is, finally, a year where they’ll be made to look at least a little better.
— I’ve been as high on Danny Duffy as most anyone, and, obviously, eight strikeouts, no runs one hit over six innings last night makes me feel good about it.
But I’ll also recognize that Duffy wasn’t quite THAT good last night, when you consider the runs saved by Cain’s play, and a borderline minor league lineup from Oakland — I’m honestly not convinced that group would lead the Pacific League in runs.
Duffy’s pitches had the bite that makes me think he’s got a chance to be the Royals’ best starter this year, but let’s be honest, he also needed 103 pitches to get through six innings and a better lineup gets at least a run or two out of four walks.
So it’s optimistic still, but cautious optimism.