I'll throw in my two pesos on it -- I'm in alignment with that 2nd "here" above, which is David Spears over at the Daily Lancer. It just doesn't seem that I can nail Bell's track record with any certainty; tenures with the Rockies and Tigers sound like things that can make a manager look bad, right? Well, that's just what Bell looked, but that's what I think any manager would've looked in those situations. Allow me to show the fallibility of blasting the Bell hire this early on...
Tell me something, Royals fans. If the opportunity to hire Lou Piniella was there, would you have wanted Allard Baird to go for it?
I'll assume the answer would be yes for most of you (it would actually be "HELL YEAH!" for me), but then, answer this question: how has Piniella looked in Tampa Bay? Have the Devil Rays been better under his tenure? You could argue the answer to that is yes as well, but are the Devil Rays still a bad team?
"But he's had success!", they'll say. Hm. His success with the Yankees? Who hasn't had some success managing the Yankees? Success with the Reds in the early 90's that led to a World Series title? Sorry, last I checked, that Reds team was stacked with talent. The Mariners? Yeah, does Ken Griffey, Jr. in his prime and Alex Rodriguez and Edgar Martinez in his hitting prime make a recipe for poor teams (hint: the answer rhymes with cargo)? Yet Piniella wasn't successful every year there, either.
So, all that was to say, things aren't always as they seem on the surface. I don't see how Baird can be thought of as intelligent in one area and stupid in another -- many admire his skills in scouting and acquiring talent from unexpected place, but then seem to think that Baird's brain all of a sudden turned off in his quest for a new manager.
I doubt that, seriously.
Onto on-the-field stuff:
- Hm. D.J. Carrasco, eh? Really? Nah. Not at least until he runs more k/9 (k's per 9 innings) than 2.66, and runs more than a 1:1 k/bb ratio. But he's shut down the Angels, Yankees, and Devil Rays, so I can't knock his hustle right now -- I'll just enjoy the ride while it lasts.
- And we welcome to the .800 (OPS) club our newest member (for now), Emil Brown. His stats aren't looking too bad now, are they? With the jettisonning of Eli Marrero, there is now only one more overpaid Royals outfielder left: Terrence "You've already been here too" Long. Do it, Allard, do it now.
- After sending Marrero packing, the Royals have brought up Shane Costa, a 23 year old outfielder with some decent numbers at AA Wichita. Go to Craig and he can tell you more about Costa, like how he's better than Marrero the instant he steps to the batter's box the first time this season.
- Matt Diaz starting to wake up a bit with the bat -- and whaddya know? He started doing it as soon as he got regular playing time! Imagine that! One could almost think that would've been the answer all along, instead of yo-yo-ing the guy back and forth from Omaha (AAA) to the big club.
- What is with this team and spectacular debuts from their bullpen callups? First it was Ambiorix Burgos (who since has been a bit beat up), then Leo Nunez (who was just as spectacular as Burgos in his first bunch of games, then hit the same nasty speedbump), and now it's Steve Stemle, who has yet to allow a run. Yep. Good ol' Stemle.
So, the Buddy Bell Era has started off 2-0 with convincing wins over the Yankees...the March to Not Lose 120 Games has begun.