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Pirates vs. Astros, 15 August 2010

Jeff Karstens vs. J.A. Happ, 2:05 PM.

Off topic: Just finished watching Alex Rodriguez hit three homers against the Royals in Kansas City. I liked Kaufmann Stadium, but I was pretty glad I wasn't a fan of either team. I rarely have a bad time at the ballpark, but throngs of Yankees fans never improve the experience. There are plenty of nice Yankees fans, but whenever I see someone in Yankees gear, I have to fight the urge to think "probable @#$hole," and a run-in my brother had in the bathroom with some dude in a "Count The Rings" shirt didn't help. Yankees fandom seems to be based more on bratty entitlement than on joy. Of course, Pirates fandom does not seem to be based on joy either, at least not recently, so I guess it would be fair for Yankees fans to ask questions about us as well.

The Royals' current roster was a complete mystery to me, and it baffles me that they can be constructed so badly. They do have several genuinely good players (Zack Greinke, Joakim Soria and Billy Butler, in particular) but, for example, yesterday they had Jason Kendall batting second. I can't think of anything the Pirates have done recently that is that silly; the whole Ryan Church situation comes the closest, and even that isn't particularly close. The Bucs have had plenty of bad players this season, but all of them have been either young and interesting (Charlie Morton, say), or been in very minor roles (Brian Burres), or have performed at an adequate level relatively recently (Akinori Iwamura, Brendan Donnelly). Kendall hasn't posted an OPS above .651 since 2006 and, as Kansas City's scoreboard helpfully pointed out today, he's leading major league catchers in games played. It's incredible, really.