Moments 39-30 on our tour through the suck-fest of Royals worst moments is sponsored! That’s right. Grant Richter of Richter Legal Services does estate planning, business and tax law, and is an all around awesome dude. He is on the Twitter @g_richter. Give him some business. Great dude.
In 50 years of Royals history, there are certainly hundreds of moments to celebrate. Championships. Comeback wins. Records. All of it is interwoven into the fabric of the Royals crown. What is also woven in the crevices are stupefyingly dumb moments where you really wonder if any club has been so hapless in Major League history. One such moment happened in August, 2008.The ’08 Royals was a team of transition. Christmas vocalist, Trey Hillman was the new skipper. Kauffman Stadium was being renovated for much of the year, and the Royals were looking to stop a skid of four straight 93+ loss seasons. By August, the Royals were hovering within spitting distance of .500, but ended up going 7-20 on the month, effectively plunging them into the bottom of the AL Central (but hey, they finished fourth!)
The Royals were led by youngsters who would eventually be the cornerstone of the franchise. Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, and Mitch Maier were steady, but there were plenty of holes including clubhouse cancer Jose Guillen, and AAAA players Kila Ka’aihue and Joey Gathright.
On the pitching side, the Royals were incredibly young. Zack Greinke was one year from winning the Cy Young, Brian Bannister and Gil Meche were the “veterans” and names like Luke Hochevar and Kyle Davies were four letter words in Kansas City. Their bullpen was awful (sound familiar?) and the Royals bullpen is the subject of today’s post. On August 14, 2008, the Royals were trying to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Chicago White Sox in Chicago. Kyle Davies took the mound against Lance Broadway (porn star or pitcher?) Heading in to the sixth, the Royals were trailing 3-2. Davies was pulled in favor of Joel Peralta in his third, and final year as a Royal. Peralta hadn’t yet become the pitcher he would later be with the Rays, and was still prone to the big inning. Boy howdy was he prone.
The inning began with Orlando Cabrera grounding out to shortstop Mike Aviles. Then Peralta issued a walk to Ken Griffey Jr. (yes, that Ken Griffey, Jr. He issued a second straight walk to Carlos Quentin and actually got Jermaine Dye to pop up. Two outs. Two on. Then up walked Jim Fucking Thome to the plate. Now, Royals fans knew exactly what was going to happen at that moment. The newly minted Hall of Famer hit more than his fair share of dongs against the Royals. Among the 30 clubs, he more homers against the Royals (49) than any other team except the Tigers (66), and Twins (61.) You could’ve thrown the ball into the third deck, and on this night, Fucking Thome was going to flatten it. And he did.
To paraphrase Denny Matthews. “Deep Right Field. [Fucking] Thome. Gone.”
A 3-2 game is now a 6-2 game and Fucking Thome gets one dong closer to Cooperstown.
Oh. You thought we were done? No, bitch. We’re just getting started. Because then Peralta gave up a dinger to another noted Royal killer, Paul Konerko. He went deep, this time down the left field line. 7-2. At this point, You’d think the rally would’ve been killed by all these homers, right? Nope. Peralta gave up his third consecutive blast to Alexei Ramirez to the power alley in left-center. Back-to-back-to-back dongs. Joel Peralta, pretending he’s Tom Emanski.
At this point, Trey Hillman woke up from his slumber and pulled Peralta from the game. Seems like a good time after a triple dong-fest, right? Well, he puts in Rob Tejada. No, I don’t know who that is, either even though he played the next three years with the Royals.
Hey, guess what? He gave up a FOURTH STRAIGHT DONG. This time to Juan Uribe. Back to back to back to back trips to Dong Town for the ChiSox and the Royals are looking at their eventual final score, 9-2. It was one of the low points in August that let the Royals swirl the rest of the way down the drain. It’s enough to give Hawk Harrelson an orgasm. It was only the sixth time in MLB history it had been done. (It has since been done three more times, the most recent of which was the Nationals v. Brewers in 2017.
Lance Broadway took the W, although he was sent to the minors after the game. The Royals would go on to have a very Royals season, finishing 75-87. Womp. Womp. Womp.