02 February 2007

Royal legacy #38 -- the 2005 Royals (56-106)

It might be hard to pick a least favorite season since 1994, but 2005 put itself out there as the obvious choice as KC's lowest point. Let's skim over the big points: 56-106 for the franchise-low .346 winning percentage; three managers, bookended by "Mr. Rah Rah" Tony Pena and, in a stomach punch for Royals fans, Buddy Bell, with nondescript Bob Schaefer sandwiched in-between; a 22-59 road record; a 19-game losing streak in July-August; 10 shutout losses; and a 13-37 record in blowout games decided by 5 or more runs.

I think I could rest my case there, but lets keep picking at the scab. One player at .300 or more in BA -
- Mr. DL Mike Sweeney, who sat right at .300 and hit 21 homers but only played in 122 games -- and the leading ERA was Zach Headcase Greinke's 5.80 in 183 IP. The '05 Royals can also lay claim to the worst starter of all time as Jose "Lima Time" Lima posted a 6.99 ERA in 168 IP as the Royals let him rack up a couple incentive clauses down the stretch. Another nugget of wisdom from the team of Baird and Glass. The team defied statistical predictions by finishing 4 games worse than expected by runs scored and allowed, aka "pythagorean W-L". The team was bad midway through the season but slid to "piss poor" after going 5-21 in August. But, somehow, over the season this team swept both the Dodgers, Yankees and a Tigers team one year away from a World Series run. Other than the '04 ALCS, that's probably a bottom-5 moment in Evil Empire franchise history. The year also did give Royals fans the continued emergence of OF David DeJesus as a promising young player and Emil Brown as a passable OF, but I'm grasping for silver linings there. Amazingly, only 13 of that team's 46 players are still with the franchise two years later, and I can only guarantee a little more than half will be with the major league club. That's called house cleaning.

On top of all this, Pena resigned amid the team's suckitude and questions of his involvement in a
neighbor couple's divorce (when he should have been fired after the '04 debacle anyway), Schaefer failed to generate the confidence to guide the team for the rest of the season, and the ensuing managerial hire wasn't Art Howe or Jim Leyland or Larry Dierker but....Buddy Bell. I can still recall the nausea I felt when I heard the news that was the Royals new manager. Good times. All this great atmosphere generated attendance figures of 1.37 million, which was good for 13th in the AL. For some reason, I went to two games, but that was more to see Pujols and the Cardinals and Manny, Big Papi and the Red Sox.

2005 Pipeline Royals MVP: David DeJesus, for giving at least one small glimmer of hope.

2005 Pipeline Royals LVP (hard to choose): Jose Lima, thanks for nothing in '05, you herpes-ridden jackass

Here's the '05 Royals Baseball Reference page.

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