by John Viril—
Internet wags clobbered Kansas City Royals GM Dayton Moore when he decided to keep pitcher Luke Hochevar for a 1-year $4.5 contract this off-season. I must confess that I was among their number. In my own defense, I blasted the move because I was convinced that the Royals would simply put him in the same situation in which he had failed so many times before—a rotation spot.
I—and many others—continued screaming even after the Royals moved Luke Hochevar to the pen. When manager Ned Yost brought everyone’s favorite whipping boy into an April 12 game against the Blue Jays with runners on base, my worst fears seemed realized. The Royals were again going to misuse Hochevar.
In a still-winnable 6-4 game, Luke promptly allowed a single to score both runners. Hochevar went single, wild pitch, walk, and finally a foul-tip strikeout to end the inning. The single, however, put the game out of reach at 8-4. Luke followed up that rough start by whiffing 4 hitters over the next two...