Thursday, June 02, 2005

How's It Going?

Jason Whitlock hates it.

Joe Posnanski hates it.

Dan Fox is questioning it.

My friends and co-workers have been asking me what I think of it.

What is it? The hiring this week of Buddy Bell as the new Royals manager.

Before this week, I had never heard of Buddy Bell. I’m too young to remember him as a player, (18 years in the majors as a third baseman) and I’ve never followed the two teams he’s managed (Colorado and Detroit).

So, I don’t know what to think of him. Royals GM Allard Baird seems to like him. In the various interviews I’ve heard, Baird had referred to Bell’s selection as an All-Star at the age of 21. Baird believes this makes him qualified to help the young players on this team grow and develop, since he himself has experienced success at the major league level at a fairly young age.

Bell so far is 2-0 in his tenure in Kansas City. Both games were extremely well played, close games against the struggling Yankees. Who knows what effect Bell has had on the team in his short time here, but the team is playing much more fundamentally sound baseball than in earlier games this season.

Bell has also stuck with Mike MacDougal as his closer. I have always maintained that Mac the Ninth should be the closer and Affeldt should either start or be traded. Until Mac proves he’s not capable of closing (without fighting injury), leave him in that role.

Tonight, the Royals will go for a sweep of the Yankees. They haven’t swept a series since 2003 and a sweep against the Bronx Bombers in Bell’s first series will surely ease the minds of the local newspaper columnists.

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