As most media types have noted, Zack is disappointed with some of the recent moves and is skeptical of the team's competitiveness before the end of his contract in 2012. He makes very astute observations ("wait, who are these young guys and why have I not met them before?"), and yes, it is never pleasant to hear the face of the franchise lament the state of things. But while some have taken his comments as a sign that he wants out, I did not get that impression. Instead, I read that he really does want to win here, and he has grown sad because the reality is that he might not, despite spending nearly a decade in KC. Is it showing a lack of faith in the young players and the organization? Yes, but who can blame him after his experience? We can't as fans that have seen the team
suck. Does it mean he wants to leave? Not necessarily.
What more could we want than the superstar that wants to stay in KC? We could not ask for much more. But we have Zack, who speaks his mind, revealing what goes on in the
medicated mind of a professional athlete.
We always hear that Zack really is more competitive than he ever lets on or shows on the field. He wants to win, most importantly. Secondly, he wants to win here. But Zack is not a genius, just a mad scientist/pitcher with some of the best skills in his craft. Zack is not trained to put together baseball teams any more than any of us (though playing professionally certainly helps), and certainly isn't trained as much as Dayton Moore (not to shield him from questioning or criticism, but this last two week period has shown that he may actually have a Process and may understand it). Zack has liked veteran players around, and he has vocalized this. Perhaps he and Guillen were crazy best friends?
He mysteriously thought the team would be very competitive prior to 2009 (he certainly followed through on his end of the prediction) and in 2010. Only a delusional bubble of Royals players
and Trey Hillman must have believed this. I thought this collection of talent might be the worst Royals team ever. While they appeared to be that bad at times, they have not turned out quite THAT bad. They are just the same Royals of the last three years. If Zack were a talent evaluator though, judging by his 2009 and 2010 predictions, it seems we might be in worse trouble than we have been under Dayton these last four years.
But stat-heads, scouts, and the media have all seemed to congregate around and worship the core the Royals have in high A ball, AA ball, and drifting into AAA. Dayton Moore must have heard. The first wave of the Process is upon us. We might suck for the remainder of this year, and Sam Mellinger pointed out that "we asked for it." Even in 2011, we NEED to see what our system has before we go diving in. We asked for that. We did, but Zack did not. Zack wants to win more than anything (have I said that enough?), and he may finally get that chance beginning in 2011 (miracle?), with a realistic chance in 2012 if two or more of the prospects have good rookie years. If it is not working out, he is worthy of at least 3 players that can supplement that wave of prospects that he would hypothetically not want to be a part of.
Reiterating my point, Greinke's comments are not necessarily negative. Zack never lies, even when he should (Thanks for this gem Buddy Bell, even if you did nothing else for the Royals). But in this situation, he just reveals what every fan wants to hear. He wants to win, and he wants to win here. He may just have to wait like the rest of us, or he will potentially be the reason our crop of prospects overflows in the event he is traded (add three more pieces to the wave that is already stacked). But be happy Royals fans. Zack is still here, and he's a realist, honest athlete in an era where there aren't many of those.