Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Most Pointless Post in HoGstory Grows Wheels, Becomes a Story, Except for Not Really

On Tuesday, I had this bug, an itch to write a post about Kansas City Royals shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, and how meaningless his home runs in 2010 have been. So I did. When I started looking into the thing, I expected to see losses in most, if not all, of the 10 games this season in which Betancourt had homered. In the end, I was a little surprised that Kansas City has actually won four of the contests in which he'd gone yard. But, it didn't bother me. And I kind of forgot about the thing for a minute.

And then, in the fifth inning of that evening's contest, Betancourt came up to the plate against Cleveland's Jeanmar Gomez, who, at the time, was 2-0 in his career. And I'll be damned if he didn't hit a solo shot out of the park to tie the game at one.

I thought two things: 1) A 1-1 game. Anything can happen. Naturally I want the Royals to win, but it would be a little ironic if Betancourt homered in this game and then the Royals won. Not a lot ironic. Just a little. And then, two innings later, noted terrible baseball player Wilson Betemit came up to the plate and put a solo shot over the fence as well, giving the Royals the one-run edge that they'd hold onto for the win. I tweeted about it, decided I'd take interest in his at-bats the next evening, and went to bed.

So Wednesday rolled around, and it's game two of three against the Tribe. By the time I tuned in, I'd kind of forgotten about the previous day's small slice of irony. And then the sixth inning came around, Yuni came up to the plate, and cracked another solo homer. And this got my eye, especially considering that the Royals went on to win 9-7. Betancourt, by the way, went 2-4 with three RsBI in the contest, pulling the Royals to an even 6-6 in games in which he hits a jack. This also put him into the team lead for round-trippers on the season, at least for guys still on the roster. (Editor's Note: Jose Guillen left town with 16 under his belt.)

For the final game of the series against the Indians on Thursday, the Royals took a 3-0 lead, then squandered everything under the sun, losing 7-3, and Betancourt went 0-4, so, ha-ha. That was fun while it lasted.

Friday night, the White Sox were in town, and the game got postponed due to some serious rain, and some wicked-crazy lightning, which meant a double-header for Saturday. In some kind of FOXSports broadcasting conundrum, the first contest was a 6:10 Central pitch, and the Royals found themselves down 5-1 in the seventh. Guess who comes to plate with every bag occupied? Yup. The Kansas City Royals shortstop, who, I think, surprised everyone by clubbing a grand slam, his third of the year, no less. And if that wasn't enough, he hit a walk-off single in the 11th for the game-winning RBI.

My interest was again piqued. Betancourt had gone 3-5 with 5 RsBI. The second contest got underway a few minutes after 10:00 p.m., and it too went into extra innings. In this tilt, our hero of the week went a mere 1-4, but he did have an RBI, and it just so happened to be a game-tier in the bottom of the ninth. Alas, Chicago went on to win by a run in the 10th, but Yuniesky Betancourt had the Twittersphere buzzing.

And in the finale of this series, today, Betancourt was again held hitless, but it should be noted that, Betemit, in his continuing fit of terribleness, homered again today, as well as in the first of the two contests yesterday. And, strangely, this game also went to extra innings.

I suspect that Yuni will revert to sub-mediocrity in the week ahead as the Royals will face Detroit and Cleveland again, both series on the road. The coincidence of examining Betancourt blasts in comparison with Royals wins, proved to be a fascinating exercise, and Kansas City is now a cool 7-6 in games in which there's a Yunibomb sighting. And no, silly, I don't mean Ted Kaczynski. But like I said, folks were a-buzzin' about this overpaid shortstop Dayton Moore acquired from Seattle last season, if only for a few days. Hey, even the big guns had stuff to say today.

(photo courtesy of John Sleezer of The Kansas City Star)