Sunday, May 9, 2010

Yuniesky Betancourt should join Alex Gordon in Omaha hotdoggin' pop ups to their hearts' content

I'm In the middle of grading hell,
so this post will be short and not so sweet.

Fining Yuniesky Betancourt for lazily dropping a pop up several days ago is perhaps the dumbest thing the Royals have done -- at least this week.

When Betancourt dropped that ball he committed more than an error. This lackadaisical play was not just the turning point in an early season game. It was the turning point for a season. It demonstrated to the fans, the league, and -- most importantly -- to the rest of the players on the Kansas City Royals' bench what the home team's attitude toward winning would be from here to September.

For the brain trust to write this off as an issue of technique defies logic. Be honest for once. It was lazy. It was careless. It was a clear example of a player who was not engaged in the contest. It demonstrated zero respect for the game of baseball. And it should not have been excused as poor technique.

To levy a fine on a millionaire, is just plain silly. But it also sends a seriously flawed message. 1) It says you can buy your way (cheaply) out of trouble; and 2) Your performance on the field has nothing to do with playing time.

Playing time is the only thing that matters to ballplayers, if anything matters. Yuniesky Betancourt needs to be renamed "Splinters Betancourt" for the time he spends riding the bench. Or, the brain trust needs to admit their mistake and ship him off to Omaha where he and Alex Gordon can drop pop ups off their shoulders until the cows come home.

That's the message they should be sending.


PPS: It's Sunday, by the way, and Splinters Betancourt is in lineup again. And he just struck out swinging with a runner on second to end the second inning.

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