Why the Royals' Bruce Chen drives opponents crazy

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You can get back to first, but you wont run on Chen.
  • You can get back to first, but you won't run on Chen.
Doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome isn't insanity - it's simply another start for Bruce Chen.

Yahoo has a solid write-up of one of the more entertaining moments in the Royals' 7-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, snapping the team's three-game winning streak. Pitcher Bruce Chen, who didn't make it out of the second inning, threw to first base 10 times during Jamey Carroll's at-bat to check on the speedy Denard Span, who had previously walked.

Span made it to second when Carroll singled, but he did not steal a base. Chen lost the at-bat, but he won the war on the base paths. Now some will say excessive attempts at picking off a runner are what's wrong with baseball. And some might say it would take less than 10 throws to get a Royals' player picked off first. But I admire Chen for his dogged determination to simply out-will his opponents.

He's Keyser Soze with an 88 mph fastball. It's nice to have a player who's unflappable - consider this video message he posted to Twitter in the midst of the Royals' 12-game losing streak. Chen got roughed up Sunday, but he still managed to irk the Twins' hitters because he refuses to change the speed at which he operates.

If the Royals are truly going to change the culture of this baseball team, they need more players willing to grind the other team down. Consistency matters as much as talent in baseball. When players get frustrated, they make mistakes. And it would be nice to see the Royals on the winning end of the scoreboard because of another team's miscues for a change.

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