Royals Losing Wearing on Zack Greinke

If there’s anything Royals fans have to look forward to it’s two things: watching games in the picturesque Kauffman Stadium and days when Zack Greinke starts. While Kauffman Stadium may be around the rest of the century, Greinke is only under contract with the team through 2012. Making matters worse for Royals fans, Greinke has made it clear that he’s sick of the losing and constant “rebuilding” going on within the organization that has put together just one winning season since 1993. Check out the strong words from last year’s AL Cy Young winner courtesy of The Kansas City Star:

“It’s not real exciting to have to go through it again,” he said. “It’s been six years with me, and most people (who are Royals fans) have been through a lot more than I have. But for me, it’s the third complete re-start/rebuilding phase.”

“I like Kansas City,” Greinke said. “It’s a town that fits me pretty well. But I don’t know…at least put a team together that has a fighting chance (to win).”

It’s a tough situation for Greinke. He probably would love to remain loyal to the only organization he’s known, but consistent losing sucks. As a pitcher, half your stats are based on the team around you; it’s difficult to get wins when your team doesn’t hit. Should Greinke choose to pursue free agency when his deal is up in 2012 (or request a trade), nobody will blame him. Greinke has been more than fair to the organization and even expressed confidence in the franchise by signing an extension. At this point everyone is hoping that the organization puts out a competitive team before too long. We all know the fans deserve it at the least.

Greinke doubts Royals’ rebuilding plan will bear fruit soon [The Kansas City Star]

Spiderman Lives … And Plays Center Field for the Hiroshima Carp

We’ve seen our share of amazing plays in the sports world and we’ve even seen Ichiro try to climb a wall and make a spiderman catch before. But damn, this video of Masato Akamatsu’s amazing catch for the Hiroshima Carp in Japan is so good that Jimmy Traina linked to it two days in a row on Hot Clicks. This is easily one of the best catches you will see on a baseball field and something you can watch over and over. It’s so good you might be convinced it was fake if you didn’t know better. Here is the catch of the season:

Sucks for the fans that thought they had a sure souvenir. That was straight crazy.

Catch Of The Day [SI Hot Clicks]
Video Credit: You Tube user TimeKillingVirals

A-Rod Hits No. 600

Personally, I don’t care one bit. Alex Rodriguez is a steroid user who loves himself, has terrible taste in women, and misses team photos. However, some of you may care and this took me all of 35 seconds to post. So here’s the video of A-Rod’s 600th career home run, courtesy of YouTube user Monisrocks1995:

Video Credit: YouTube user Monisrocks1995

The Real Reason Texas Traded Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Let’s be serious here. No team wants to trade the player with the longest last name in Major League Baseball history.  When a guy has that going for him, he’s going to be someone.  However, when he looks too much like your poster child, you have no choice but to unload him.  We all know the Texas Rangers and the media love Josh Hamilton.  The reason they got rid of Jarrod Saltalamacchia wasn’t to get two minor leaguers from the Red Sox, it was to make sure they avoid any confusion going forward.

Is it just me?  Look at the two pictures.  Trim Salty’s hair up a little and I’d say they’re pretty close to twins.  They couldn’t afford to keep him on their Major League roster in case anyone confused him for Hamilton and Hamilton became upset.  Texas is looking to make a playoff push this year.  They can’t have those types of distractions.  So there you have it.

Torii Hunter: The Ultimate Team Player

When the Angels initially signed Torii Hunter in 2007, I was not a fan of the deal. I thought 5 years and $90 million was way too much and I still believe that his $18 million per year is too high. But when I complained about the contract, I was constantly told that Hunter would be worth the money. One of the main arguments was that Hunter was an excellent clubhouse guy and that value could not be understated. I scoffed at that notion but three years later I see what people meant.

The Angels have been struggling offensively and Juan Rivera in particular has not been making up for his poor defense in left field with his typical production at the plate. The team decided to make a move on Tuesday, promoting prospect Peter Bourjos who was tearing it up at triple-A Salt Lake. The issue was that Bourjos plays center field — the same spot occupied by nine-time Gold Glove winner Torii Hunter. Naturally you would expect the spot to go to the veteran while the rookie earns his place. Not with Hunter. The gracious, ultimate team player put winning first and his ego second:

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A-Rod Misses Yankees Team Picture

OK, simple job for you: find the one non-Yankee player or coach in this photo. Alright, I’ll make it easier — Alex Rodriguez missed the Yankees team picture on Tuesday. Instead, team director of publications Alfred Santasiere III stood in for him and will later be photoshopped out. I have no idea why A-Rod missed it and neither does anyone else. Apparently he’s the only Yankee who can’t spare five minutes to participate in the team photo.

“Captain Kangaroo will probably get Alex for this one,” [Manager Joe] Girardi said. “Players aren’t always the best at reading memos put on their chairs.”

According to the New York Post, A-Rod showed up a half hour late for the photo because he missed the memo.

“I’m going to try to delay kangaroo court as much as possible because I know I’m going to get crushed,” Rodriguez said. “The boys are going to get me good. No excuse. I know one of our front office guys had to play Alex Rodriguez for a couple of minutes. I have to find that guy and shake his hand because it must have been a tough situation.” A-Rod semi makes up for things by going Rickey Henderson on us with that response but I’m sure he’ll get it in kangaroo court. It’s been a long couple of weeks for lucky 13.

A-Rod misses Yankees team photo [New York Post]

Indians and Red Sox Clear Benches

The Boston Red Sox are a pretty frustrated bunch and understandably so.  As if they haven’t already been bitten hard enough by the injury bug this season, they lost Kevin Youkilis on Monday night to a hand injury.  Perhaps it was some of that frustration that prompted the fight that took place between the Red Sox and Indians on Tuesday night when the benches cleared.

Josh Beckett has a tendency to work inside, but the Indians seemed to think it was hardly a coincidence when he hit Shin-Soo Choo on the knee after he’d been hammering the Sox in the series.  That, along with a curveball that slipped out of Beckett’s and soared over the head of Shelley Duncan, inspired Cleveland’s pitchers to start throwing behind the Red Sox hitters, which they did first with David Ortiz and then Adrian Beltre.  The pitch behind Beltre resulted in the benches being cleared.  Check out the Red Sox and Indians team fight video: