Archive for Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Opinion: Bobcats done, Rickey not

May 28, 2003

I will not tell a lie. I thought I would be on my way to Mulvane, Kan., this weekend. I was prepared to watch the Basehor-Linwood baseball team vie for a state championship.

Looks like I will be headed to Kansas City to watch a Royals-Athletics game instead.

The Bobcats had great potential, but in one game against tradition-rich Bishop Ward, that talent faltered.

I realized well the possibility of a Bobcat loss in the regional tournament. Baseball is the kind of sport where the worst team can beat the best team.

But I never imagined Basehor-Linwood would lose the way they did. They had lost three games by a total of three runs this season before they played Bishop Ward.

They were run-ruled, 10-0, in six innings against Ward.

It was definitely Murphy's Law in action. Basehor-Linwood had bad hops, and at times when they had good hops, they still fumbled the ball.

Defensively, they self-destructed, and they would tell you that. They did not play state caliber defense against Bishop Ward.

On top of that, they never got their bats going, and if this isn't a sign, Chris Maleta's metal bat broke in two. I have never seen a metal bat break that way before.

Sitting in the stands during the game, one parent summarized the game perfectly.

It was a bad ending to a great season.

Now let's face it, the Royals are on the opposite side of the spectrum. They had a good start to a bad season. If they wind up above .500 I'll be surprised.

I love the Royals, but pessimism makes the losing hurt less. Now remember kids, don't practice that philosophy. Setting yourself up for failure will only work when you are talking about Kansas City athletics.

Whether you love or hate the Royals, I have a plan that will make things a little more interesting in K.C.

The Royals should sign Rickey Henderson. I am telling you, the old man has something to give. And at the league minimum, the amount he said he is willing to take, he would be worth it.

I will admit, Henderson has been my favorite player ever since I started watching baseball. I have his autobiography, and his rookie card is the only card I have purchased on Ebay. So, this is a biased opinion.

I just want to watch him play, but it can't hurt the Royals.

And before you scoff, consider this. Despite a low batting average last year for the Red Sox, his .369 on base percentage was better than leadoff men Michael Tucker (.330) and Desi Relaford (.331) for the Royals.

Even more gratifying is the fact that his OBP is better than the hated Yankees' leadoff hitter Alfonso Soriano (.332).

Athletes of the Week

All three track stars that qualified for state, Ryan Robinson, Katie Dukes, and Brian Fish, will be recognized this week.

Robinson (110m hurdles), Dukes (shot put) and Fish (pole vault) will compete at the greatest high school athletic event in Kansas. Competing in Cessna Stadium has a way of pumping you up.

While none of the Bobcats are favorites to win state, the three athletes going into the state competition will fight for sole possession of the award next week.

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