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Dec 21

Late to the party: A Greinke reaction

Greinke walking away from me...as I weep gently in a basement somewhere.

Note: I have like 30 Zack Greinke-related Firefox tabs open right now. Because of real-life stuff, I haven’t had time to read very many, so I apologize in advance if I repeat anyone else’s points.

Every trade has about a zillion angles. It’s probably a good idea to explore as many of them as possible, especially in a trade that involved a player in whom we’ve invested so much emotion.

In fact, emotion might be a good place to start. If you’re a Royals fan, you’ve probably had happy daydreams about a rotation featuring Greinke, Mike Montgomery, Danny Duffy, John Lamb, and so on. Mission 2012 was creeping ever closer, and it has been fun to dream of all those guys – Greinke included – mowing down every opponent on the way to a parade in the Plaza. And in the meantime, Greinke has been one of the only things to look forward to while we watch Kansas City baseball. Greinke Day was not just a stupid Internet-fan meme; it was a real thing. Games Greinke started always felt different than the rest of the crappy days we slogged through as fans. Remember how long those four days in between his starts always felt? That’s how every day next season might feel. It’s crushing.

What about Zack’s emotions? If you weigh the trade that way, it’s a clear win. Players are people, and that’s something I try to remember in every post here, even when I’m ripping bad moves and hating on The Process. Zack was clearly unhappy in Kansas City. The part of The Process where the Royals actually become a decent team is coming around a year or two too late to make him want to stay. I don’t blame him for losing patience; he has been on board with this club for a very long time, and the team around him has sucked for all of it, except when he was in the playoffs in Wichita. That was four years ago, and no part of that playoff run has made it to the Majors. Zack was in the organization when “BELIEVE” was a t-shirt slogan, and was never given much reason to believe that believing would be fruitful.

Think some undoubtedly deep thoughts.

In Milwaukee, Greinke has a team atmosphere he likes, a few fellow Orlandoans in Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks, and most importantly, the chance to hit. His wife is happy; he’s happy; I’m genuinely happy for them as human beings. I won’t try to deconstruct how this will affect his anxiety disorder, because I have no clue. Nobody does. But if he says he’s happy, he probably is, based on his track record of honesty with the media. And that matters to me.

But this isn’t a site about feelings. It’s about the Royals.

And damn, the Royals are going to be miserable to watch next year. It’s hard to ignore the fact that, even in a “disappointing” season, Greinke was worth 5.2 WAR, and all other Royals starters combined for just 4.8. Luke Hochevar will probably be our Opening Day starter, and right now we don’t even possess a 5th starter.

There’s also the Yuni angle. Without Yuni and the $2 million, would this deal have happened? The Brewers would have

Free shortstop!

a hole at SS, but would certainly not be pursuing Betancourt. With that side of the deal, they were free to give KC Escobar while simultaneously filling that roster hole. And with the $2 million thrown in, Yuni’s services, such as they are, will be basically free to Milwaukee. KC could not have acquired Escobar without paying the Brewers to take Yuni off their hands. Giving away a free shortstop served to strengthen the haul for Zack – but whether that haul was strong enough is a separate issue.

On that, I’ll defer to the usual suspects, because I don’t think I know. The immediate impact will not be enough to make up for Greinke’s absence, but I try not to evaluate moves in a vacuum.

A few other notes:
-I’m not too worried about Jeremy Jeffress’s drug suspension thing. If all his past suspensions were for weed, it’s not a concern because he’s on the 40-man, and therefore protected by a union that has protected its members from marijuana testing. If the minors had any kind of union, we’d never know  Jeffress smoked pot. So now all we have to do is hope he doesn’t fail any other kind of drug testing. Meh.

-Speaking of the 40-man, it’s right at 40. Escobar and Jeffress took Greinke and Betancourt’s spots. Lorenzo Cain took the spot of Joaquin Arias (thanks to Brandon for that correction). It’s kind of nice to not have to figure out what move is coming next.

-What is the proper thing to do with my Zack Greinke shirsey now?

Related posts:

  1. David DeJesus and the tepid reaction from the Face Books
  2. In case you weren’t already astounded enough by Greinke…
  3. ZACK GREINKE – FOUR YEARS! WOOOOOO!

9 comments

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  1. dave

    Right on!

  2. Craig

    I’ve been wondering the same thing about my Greinke Shersey… I’ll probably still wear it underneath sweatshirts, and eventually retire it to a painting shirt… It sucks because since I am so cheap, I bought it as an investment thinking he would be the longest tenured Royal… Instead I got 1.5 seasons out of it… Oh well, guess I should just get a custom made Hosmer one.

    1. Minda Haas

      Maybe I could just make sure to keep a zippered hoodie on, so it just looks like a plain powder blue Royals shirt. I bought mine with the exact same intention. Bummer for us.

      1. India

        I will be putting this dzzainlg insight to good use in no time.

  3. Jeff

    Ummmm I’d keep it. You could always take off the stitching right?

  4. Jeff

    Ummmm I’d keep it. You could always take off the stitching right? Wonder if someone else will take his #23.

    1. Minda Haas

      Sadly, it’s a shirsey, not a jersey, so it’s just screen-printed letters. It is what it is. I usually think people wearing a former player’s name on their back makes them look out-of-touch with the team – for example, I still see Angel Berroa shirts around! What the heck?

  5. obsolete twitter account

    shirseys are fascinating trinkets of fandom. my favorite approach to shirseys is making them hilarious jokes. i bought a jose guillen one personally and wore it all the time–the signing hurt a lot less when i was constantly laughing at it. and the thought of people whispering behind my back that i was an idiot wearing it to the K to see him go 0-4 was funny to me, too; the fans need a target other than GMDM sometimes

    sadly, this one takes on an entirely different meaning, because zack is a much more complicated figure both from a personality perspective and from a place-in-franchise-history perspective. that shirsey can’t just be a punchline.

    having said that, the complexity of zack’s role on this team doesn’t just magically end now that he’s in milwaukee. his success was not only a huge part of our narrative in 2009, but it’s also directly responsible for 3 likely major leaguers on our roster next season. think of wearing the zack shirsey as an expression of the pain that this entire fanbase feels watching the most talented player walk away from the team as well as the hope that ‘zocain and escobar can play key roles from 2012 to beyond. nothing’s going to happen in 2011 that’s more significant than what happened sunday, and wearing the shirsey shows recognition of that [and ironically makes you more in touch with the team than the jackass in the jose guillen shirsey]

  6. Kathleen

    Laundry day and walking the dog. These are when I wear my former-player shirseys. I never get rid of them, but if you ever see my house, you’d realize that I pretty much never get rid of anything.

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