The Royals are still a Little League team

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Things will be different one of these years, I imagine. It just won’t be this one.

The Royals fell to 3-12 by losing 5-3 to the Blue Jays on Sunday. Toronto got its fifth run on a double-steal with two outs in the top of the eighth. Here’s the video. Humberto Quintero opted to throw to second base with Brett Lawrie on third. Second baseman Yuniesky Betancourt came in a bit to cut the throw off, but he didn’t even come close to nailing the runner at home.

I’m not sure which of the duo deserves more blame. Quintero could have held on to the ball, but J.P. Arencibia would have been a dead duck had the throw gone through. The only question is whether he could have stayed in a rundown long enough for the run to score. Betancourt, for his part, committed too late to have a chance to cut down the speedy Lawrie. He needed to be more aggressive in trying to cut the ball off or in grabbing it and trying to chase down Arencibia.

Regardless, it was bad execution on the part of a team that’s famous for it. And it still wasn’t the ugliest play for the team today. That came a half-inning later, when Jason Bourgeois was picked off and caught stealing… in the bottom of the eighth with the Royals down three runs and the team’s No. 3 batter and hottest hitter (Billy Butler) at the plate.

I mean, duh.

Matt Shepard to be the Tigers new full-time play-by-play guy

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Fox Sports Detroit has named Matt Shepard their new full-time play-by-play guy for Tigers games. Shepard will work with analysts Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson, who will split time.

This is the move in response to former longtime announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen getting suspended and later fired following an in-booth altercation in Chicago last September. The two of them, who weren’t exactly friends, reportedly fought over a chair, with conflicting reports of how serious the fight was. An anonymous witness said Allen put Impemba in a choke hold. Allen recently gave an interview in which he denied that and said it was only some pushing and shoving. Either way, it ended their 16-year team-up for Tigers games.

Shepard has worked for Fox Sports Detroit for nearly 20 years, doing fill-in play-by-play for the Tigers — he replaced Impemba for the last few weeks of last season — and for Detroit Pistons games. Gibson has been a part time analyst for the network for the past couple of seasons, splitting time with Allen. Morris has done Tigers, Blue Jays and Twins games over the years, sometimes even splitting time between the Twins and Tigers, which is rather unusual.

Shepard is pretty good at his job. While Tigers fans liked and were familiar with Impemba, there won’t be a falloff in quality. Gibson makes some good analytical points and has a surprisingly sharp and biting sense of humor about him, but his gruff and monotone delivery is not everyone’s cup of tea. You get used to it. Morris is not my cup of tea — he tends to do a lot of the “back in my day” stuff former players often do — but I’m pretty sure he could recite the dictionary on TV in Detroit and a lot of Tigers fans would tune in. Such is life.