(Note from Howard: This is the last of three posts from frequent commenter Jason, who spent the weekend in Kansas City and guest blogged about the Twins three-game sweep of the Royals. Thanks to him for handling this space so gracefully.)
Baseball is sport that uses a lot of acronyms. RBI, ERA, and OPS have become pretty common, but on a true Sunday in every sense of the word at Kauffman stadium, a less common baseball acronym came into play: SPF. I know what you’re thinking, but this isn’t about suntan lotion (Although we needed that, too). No, SPF stands for Silly Plays on the Field, and the Royals once again didn’t disappoint any of the 18,680 in attendance looking for a few powder blue SPFs to go with the sunshine.
The official scorer would have you believe a different story, but the Royals once again reminded us why whoever ends up winning the AL Central this year should contact Torii Hunter about how to ship a case or two of dom perignon to the Kansas City clubhouse. It started when the Twins scored the first run of the game in the top of the third thanks to botched play by Royals third baseman Mark Teahan, allowing Orlando Cabrera to reach base and Denard Span to score. It was scored as an earned run even with the error, but Teahan could’ve either turned an inning-ending double play on the ball (Cabrera isn’t exactly immune to DPs) or he could’ve cutoff Span at home and the inning would’ve ended harmlessly with a Joe Mauer fly ball in the next at-bat. Next we saw one of the worst baserunning plays of the year when David DeJesus inexplicably failed to move from second to third on a sacrifice bunt by Brayan Pena in the bottom of the sixth after DeJesus led off the inning with a double. Yes, DeJesus later scored anyway, but it still went down as a classic Royals SPF.
But if those two plays weren’t bad enough, Josh Anderson would not be upstaged in the SPF department on this weekend. Wedged between two Michael Cuddyer homeruns in the seventh inning that still haven’t landed, Anderson completed his personal SPF sweep by going jelly fingers on a baseball moving at the speed of a 2-foot putt, allowing Denard Span to reach third standing as three runners scored. The play was ruled a triple, but just as was the case Friday night, only an official scorer found on the family trees of both Span and Anderson would pretend the blunder had nothing to do with Span reaching third.
Add up all of the Royals’ SPFs and combine them with Cuddyer’s moonshots and by the end of the inning you had a Twins lead that even our bullpen couldn’t relinquish. Kudos to Gardy for helping that cause by leaving Pavano in after he loaded the bases in the seventh.
After the game, the boys and I reflected on a weekend filled with SPF by spending a few minutes on the newly remodeled outfield concourse next to a statue of Royals greats George Brett and Frank White (An 8-time Gold Glove winner). Clearly, those days are long gone in KC. By the way, TV does not do Kauffman’s remodeling justice–you have to experience it for yourself.
Thanks to Howard for letting me guest post and thanks to Charlie, Brett, Neil, and the other Jason for a great weekend of fun. A sweep, lots of sunrays, and plenty of SPF ended up making for a fantastic late summer weekend. We left the ballpark with big smiles on our faces asking one question: When do we play the Royals again?