"He doesn't like water coolers, how's that? I could have told you that before he got here."
— Brewers manager Ken Macha on Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley. Macha managed Bradley in 2006 with the Oakland Athletics.
* There are several contenders for the title of "worst run major league franchise" — Pittsburgh hasn't sniffed .500 in almost a couple of decades, San Diego appears to be a ball of confusion, and the disgraced Jim Bowden left a mess in Washington.
Then there's Kansas City, which responded to a blogger's lengthy examination of the Royals' longtime trainer's role in the franchise's sorry injury history by declaring the blogger persona non grata. Or something. And then retracting it. Or something.
The blog in question, "Rany on the Royals," is included on my blogroll.
The posting that started the fun is here. Then we have Rany on his banishment here. Then, just to show that this got the attention of mainstream types, we have the Kansas City Star's Joe Posanski on the topic here. (Joe Po offers an exhaustive breakdown of the handling if Gil Meche (photo above) in Wedneday's game against the Twins.) And then we have Rany saying things are back to normal here.
The thing is: Rany Jazayerli is not only a Royals fan, he's the biggest optimist about the Royals you'll find anywhere on the Net. He's a very smart guy, but he really, truly believed the Royals would contend this year.
And to the dunderheads runing the operation, he's a problem.
* The Texas Rangers didn't make payroll. Or they did make payroll, but had to get a multi-million loan from the commissioner's office to do it. Or all the commish is doing is helping them find a new owner. Or something in between.
I'm confident of this: Had the players not been paid, there would be no question about that. Scott Boras has a few clients on that team. If Kevin Millwood misses a paycheck, Boras is going to be screaming from the mountaintops. If anybody didn't get their money, it's the small fry, the ticket sellers and the secretaries and the scouts.
Somewhere in the fog of obscurity is this rock of fact: Tom Hicks is in big financial trouble.
Big enough trouble that it makes everything else about the organization suspect.
*Manny Ramirez returns today from his steroid suspension, as popular as ever. Which just underlines the reality: Fans don't care if their guy is on the juice, they just don't want the other guys to be.