Rare is the athlete who offers candid analysis of his performance when things aren’t going well. This is a bit of a surprise, considering the trenches that doubt can carve through an athlete’s psyche, and perhaps this has an unintended consequence. If athletes more freely acknowledged disappointment and failure, would fans be so quick to rush to negativity? Or is the mere acknowledgment of subpar performance so tantamount to its acceptance that it’s, well, not acceptable?
But we digress; we’re five steps ahead in a two-step conversation. Let’s get back to the topic at hand: Jose Guillen, yet another disastrous free agent signing by the Kansas City Royals. He’s making $36 million over three years, a definite curiosity considering his tepid-at-best production. Jose, tell us, how’s your year going?
Via the KANSAS CITY STAR:
“I hate making excuses,” he said. “If I suck, then I suck. And I suck. That’s the way I’m playing. If you suck, you suck. You have to take responsibility in this game. Right now, that’s the way I feel.
“Yes, I suck.”
The beauty in the last quote is its Descartes-like simplicity and profundity. It’s at once an affirmation and a self-deprecation. He’s positive about his negativity. Yes; he sucks.
Guillen also says he’s embarrassed at the type of money he makes, which isn’t really fair; it’s not his fault that the Royals’ front office is filled with beagles with checkbooks. I could walk in to their GM’s office with a squeaky toy and walk out with a 4-year deal worth $20 million… for the squeaky toy (I couldn’t accept it for myself; I have moral standards against theft, you see).
No, as JOE POSNANSKI said recently, the Royals are just terrible at making personnel moves, and the numbers bear this theory out:
I could be misreading the numbers. I could be looking at the wrong numbers. And I would never write off the possibility that the Royals (who have much more information and have spent much more time studying the matter) are entirely right and I’m entirely wrong. In fact, I hope that’s true. I have always hoped for that.
But it gets us back to the point: Either the Royals are right or the numbers (as I look at them here) are right. For years now, Kansas City fans have been stuck rooting for the Royals to beat the numbers. And, for years now, the numbers have been kicking the Royals butts.
Upon reading the news, the Royals offered Posnanski a spot as a middle reliever for a trillion dollars. His agent has yet to accept the offer, as he has yet to stop crying.