"I've had some ups and downs the past six years," he said, "but I know what I am capable of doing. I know the potential I have."But some of his loudest critics paint a different picture. "I read some of the things people said after I signed the contract and people have their opinions," Meche said. "It didn't make me mad as much as it made me more determined to do well. I know what I'm capable of doing, and although I haven't done it consistently over six months, I've pitched some good games in the past. Hopefully this year I will stay consistent."
Anything less would be a step in the wrong direction."We don't expect him to go 30-0," Bell said. "There are going to be some periods when he's out of sync at some point. "I expect Gil to do well and just to be Gil Meche. As long as he goes out there and does his best every start, he'll be just fine. We expect him to be well, but as far as putting numbers on him, I won't do that." Meche says his primary mission is to help lead the Royals out of the franchise's recent doldrums. The team has lost at least 100 games the past three seasons and finished last in the AL Central each year. "I hope to get off to a good start and have it rub off on other guys in the rotation," he said. "I want to help get this team off in the right direction and prove to the front office that they made a good decision in going out there, getting me, and putting some of their faith in my hands to help this team win." Rafael Chaves, the Mariners pitching coach who worked with Meche at the Major and Minor League levels, says a change-of-address could be beneficial. "Who knows what will happen, but Gil has the tools to be one of the good ones," Chaves said. "To me, all he needs is to improve on his consistency." Those are the magic words. Well, those and $55 million.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.