Welcome Respite From Real Baseball: Zack Greinke with a Defense Behind Him

Josh DugganCorrespondent IJuly 15, 2009

ST LOUIS, MO - JULY 14:  American League All-Star Zach Greinke of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the 2009 MLB All-Star Game at Busch Stadium on July 14, 2009 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Royals fans breathed a sigh of relief when Zack Greinke took the mound in the All-Star Game. 

That sigh of relief was rooted in the fact that the worst defense in baseball (one that only got worse with the addition of Yuniesky Betancourt this past weekend) wouldn't be backing him up. 

Even the worst defense wouldn't have really affected Greinke's performance tonight. 

He threw 10 pitches, eight of which were strikes. He induced a weak pop fly in foul territory near third off the bat of Raul Ibanez. After disposing of Ibanez with ease, he sent David Wright down looking—painting the outside corner for strike three—and embarrassed Shane Victorino with his killer slider in the dirt. 

Now granted, Wright's been slumping hard, but getting to see Greinke own a perennial MVP candidate and a Hawaiian endowed with the gift of flight on a national stage was comforting. 

While things may have taken a drastic turn for the worse since the Royals sat atop the AL Central at 18-11, at least it would appear that the days of Ken Harvey or Mark Redman being the Royals' sole All-Star representative are in the past. 

There is still a hefty degree of embarrassment that is attached to being a Royals fan, but Greinke has begun to ease the pain of that embarrassment.

Royals Links:

Speaking of embarrassment, here are two articles that draw attention to a certain statement regarding defensive metrics that Dayton Moore made on 810 WHB:

Upon Further Review (Kansas City Star blog) - Explaining the defensive stats to Dayton Moore

FanGraphs - Dayton Moore and Defense

There isn't a lot to say that wasn't covered in those articles. The complete aversion to statistical analysis that is apparent in the current Royals front office is disturbing to say the least.

Speaking of FanGraphs, Royals fans were lucky enough to get a positive article regarding the pitchers of the (distant) future here. One cannot help but wonder where Daniel Cortes would have fit in to this piece...

And, it's a couple of days old, but John Sickels (who named Greinke one of his top five favorite players in baseball) did a scouting report on the Burlington Bees this past week. There are some encouraging things going on in the low minors with these Royals. 

Now if only Selig would go ahead an approve those contracts sitting on his desk for Wil Myers and especially Chris Dwyer, so that they can be welcomed into the fold. Dwyer could even get a little bit of work in...