Ryan Sleeper. 30th August, 2005 - 6:26 pm
It is the beginning of June, and there is more to savor in Kansas City than Jack Stack?s Barbeque.
Buddy Bell has taken over for ladies? man, Tony Pena, and has bullied his team into winning their first 11 of 15 games under his guidance.
The first three of those victories came against the $200 million dollar New York Yankees.
The 3-game sweep of the ?Evil Empire? marked the first time the Royals have completed such a feat at ?The K? since sending the ?Bankees? home winless 15 years ago.
Indeed, times are looking brighter for this young-90%-of-the-team-should-be-Triple-A Royals squad, after completing their first sweep in 78 tries.
What difference a summer can make.
Now if you would, please accompany Doc and I on a quick but cramped DeLorean ride back to reality.
In fact, Buddy probably won?t mind if we crash land in the Royals locker room, so long as he gets an excuse to take a couple days off, and seek shelter from the landslide that him, the Royals, and their penny pinching owner have caused.
After finally snapping an embarrassing 19 game losing streak, the longest in franchise history, the Royals seemed to regain some of their footing by taking two of three from the division-leading A?s and Red Sox.
Unfortunately, the Royals officially completed their summer long 180 by having that footing literally swept out from underneath them during their rematch with the Yankees.
Game 1 featured the resurgence of pitcher Randy Johnson (12-8), who captured his first victory in over a month.
Game 2 produced another ninth inning meltdown that Royals fans have come to affectionately know and hate, allowing five runs in the bottom of the ninth after entering the inning leading 7-3.
Game 3 saw Jason Giambi explode out of his 4-38 slump by smashing two home runs and driving in seven runs.
Royals-Yankees Series: The Good - The Bad ? The Ugly
The Good: Mike Sweeney batted .416 over the weekend including his 19th homerun and two more extra base hits. The captain also drove in 5 runs and scored 3 himself, while only striking out once during the 3 game set.
The Bad: Saturday?s game marked the 3rd time this season the Royals have lost a game after entering the 9th inning leading by at least 4 runs.
The Ugly: David Dejesus left New York wearing a sling on his right arm. The injury occurred after making a diving catch in center field. The young Royals? star is expected to miss several games, and Chip Ambres will likely fill in for Dejesus at center.
The Over-Optimistic: With 34 games remaining in the regular season for the Royals, they trail the wildcard leading Yankees by only 30 ? games. Because the top three teams in the wildcard race all have at least 31 games remaining (Cleveland Indians) and because all three teams do not play each other for the remainder of the season, the Royals can still make a run at their first playoff appearance in 20 years!
Sleep soundly Kansas City.