All the talk of the Kansas City Royals being the Tampa Bay Rays of 2009
had already subsided long before Thursday night’s game. Losing eight of
10 and plummeting to the bottom of the AL Central took care of that.
But now the whole idea is officially dead.
The Royals have some nice pitching, including The Great Greinke, and
some young talent. But they’re not the Rays. They’re just the same old
Royals, finding new and interesting ways to lose.
On Thursday, it was a flock of seagulls that gummed up the works, and neither Alfred Hitchcock nor the musical wonder from the 80s had anything to do with it.
No, it was an actual flock of gulls that got in the way of Shin-Soo
Choo’s line drive in the 10th inning, deflecting the ball away from
Royals center fielder Coco Crisp and allowing Cleveland’s Mark DeRosa
to score without a throw.
“It was hit so sharply, I felt like I had a chance,” Crisp said. “You never know what the heck is going to happen.”
You can watch the video here.
Let’s face it, the noodle-armed Crisp probably wasn’t throwing out
DeRosa. The Royals also made two errors, Greinke was merely mortal, and
Kyle Farnsworth was – well – Kyle Farnsworth. But in the end, it was a
wayward bird that ended it.
It was bizarre and crazy, and prompted writer Joe Posnanski to serve up an amazingly comprehensive and amusing list of past Royals miseries.
Lost in all of this is the homefield advantage the Indians have
built up for themselves. Thursday night it was birds. Two years ago in
the playoffs against the Yankees, it was a swarm of bugs that rattled Joba Chamberlain.
And for you conspiracy theorists, the bugs and birds are not unrelated.
The bugs, common near the lakefront in late spring, returned a few
weeks ago, and for the past few weeks, flocks of gulls have flown
around feeding off them, as well as scraps of food tossed by fans.
“I guess the bugs brought the birds with that whole nature thing,” Crisp said. “I’d rather have the birds, to be honest.”
So what’s next in Cleveland? What eats sea gulls? Sharks? Or maybe this guy.