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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dueling Suck: Angels 8, Royals 5

Was anybody else surprised to see Yuniesky Betancourt in a Royals uniform? I sure was. Betancourt used to be the Mariners' shortstop of the future when he signed a long-term extension. Dave Cameron once upon a time called him "the Rolls Royce of defensive shortstops", but by the time he was traded to the Royals, the only sound you heard coming from Seattle was applause:
Seriously, this is the trade we’ve been on the other end of for the last 5 years. This is Horacio Ramirez for Rafael Soriano, only we’re getting the guy with the live arm and dumping the worthless guy who makes too much money. Yuniesky Betancourt was one of the biggest problems on the Mariners roster, and the team not only managed to make him go away, they actually got value in return for him. No word on the truth of the report that Zduriencik announced the trade while walking on water, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
Kansas City now owes Betancourt $4M plus an almost-certain-to-be-exercised $2M buyout for 2012 (including the Mariners' buyout of $3M of his remaining salary) thanks to a three year extension the Mariners signed him to back in 2007. Rob Neyer, long a critic of the Royals' front office, was equally underwhelmed with this move, claiming its supporters (including Steve Physioc!) were "simply ignorant and incurious". It's hard to disagree.

That aside, the Angels trailed only briefly in this one, after the Royals made it 5-4 in the fifth after a Billy Butler homer. It wasn't Ervin Santana's best game by a long stretch, and you could argue that giving up five runs to the league's worst offense is about a troubling sign as you'll find. But that said, the bottom of the order got it done for the offense (Chone Figgins going 0-for-5, and everyone else in the top four going 4-for-14 — gack), and in the end, they pulled together for a win. Sir Sidney Ponson was miserable, as expected; six runs in five innings isn't getting it done (all earned, by the way). And Roman Colon? Isn't that something you should see a proctologist for?

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