Evidently, I picked the wrong target last week in suggesting that the Royals fire general manager Dayton Moore. If I wanted attention, I should have instead recommended the dismissal of trainer Nick Swartz. That's what Baseball Prospectus writer and huge Royals fan Rany Jazayerli did recently. As a result, he's been banned by the team:
"Just to be clear here, since I think everyone's taking my words a little too literally: I don't think I've been "banned" in the sense that they're going to have security guards outside the stadium making sure that I don't buy a ticket. It does mean that the Royals have cut off any access I may have from the team for my radio show, and - this is critical - have intimated that any other radio show which has me on as a guest faces the same penalty."
Obviously, that last part is very nasty business if true. Regardless, Jazayerli's column was well reasoned and not at all inflammatory; that the Royals are going after him is truly bizarre. Jazayerli's piece, which was published on his own blog and not Baseball Prospectus, was going to be overlooked by most. Now it'll be the talk of our little corner of the Internet, and one can expect ESPN.com's Rob Neyer and SI's Joe Posnanski to present their takes.
A lot of us Gen-Xers who grew up reading Bill James and later Neyer and BP should have soft spots for the Royals. That we don't, or at least I don't, is the result of an amazing run of incompetence still going strong today. That they've turned on the one writer who has expressed more Royals optimism on the Internet that anyone else over the last 10 years or so is just the latest embarrassing act.