Royals Rumblings - News for May 30, 2014
As assembled by Royals Review staff:
In case you hadn't heard, the Royals changed hitting coaches again, reassembling the chairs on their sinking ship. Dale Sveum is hitting coach, Pedro Grifol becomes "catching instructor" which is supposedly a real thing, and "Major League Coach" (yes, that really was his title) Mike Jirschele becomes third base coach. Dale Sveum is familiar with the challenges of being a hitting coach.
Sveum's immediate take on the Royals is they're not feasting enough on high pitches, instead going after too many low in the zone.
"It's not rocket science," Sveum said. "If you don't get a good pitch up in the zone, you're not going to be very successful. That's basically the bottom line. We have very talented hitters that have done it in the big leagues and have had good years in the big leagues so sometimes it's as simple as pitch selection, sometimes it's as simple as maybe a mechanical flaw."
"It's nothing Petey [Grifol] hasn't been preaching and talking about," Sveum said. "It's relaxing in situations, it's understanding that sometimes you maybe have to exaggerate eyesight -- not just up, but armpit high."
So preaching the same message through a different voice is the answer? Okay.
Ned Yost is frustrated and has few answers. He cites a leadership void on the team. If only the team could hire someone to like, manage this team. They could call the position "director of on-field leadership."
Yost candidly clarified his frustration, pointedly suggested the team is suffering from a leadership void among its hitters and conceded it’s time to grow up....
"We’ve got James Shields (as) your ‘Type A’ personality that really is a group leader for the pitchers," he said. "And our group leader for our hitters is a real quiet guy, Alex Gordon. He’s not the kind of guy who’s going to get in your face unless he really loses it, right?"
To some extent, second baseman Omar Infante has provided that for Latin players.
"But Omar does it in a different part of the world," Yost said, evidently referring to language barriers.
It’s clear that Yost believes Gordon, Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler are the most natural candidates to emerge. When he meets with players, he said, generally it’s with those three.
"And we talk about things that they can do to become better leaders …," he said. "But … you are who you are."
There are a lot of good quotes in there from Ned, and you sense is frustration that nothing is working. He sounds like a man at the end of his rope who knows his time as manager may be in its last days.
Ned also talked to Jeffrey Flanagan and again, provided little in the way of answers.
I asked him after Wednesday's game what he thought snapped his 2013 team out of the same funk that is strangling his troops right now.
"Good question. I don't know," Yost said. "We just snapped out of it. There was nothing that was said, nothing that was done. We just came back from the All-Star break and snapped out of it. We came back from a four-day break and we were a different team."
"I don't know." I'm getting flashbacks to Romeo Crennel.
Nori Aoki's season in one animated gif.
Tim Kurkjian has a really good piece on the confusing, contradictory, and arbitrary nature of MLB's unwritten rules - rules like "don't showboat", "don't dawdle in the box", and "don't hit home runs if you're the Royals."
The internet in real time. I don't see Royals Review on there.
Former Microsoft CEO and new Clippers owner Steve Ballmer goes bonkers.
Our sister site Vox.com has wall-to-wall Spelling Bee coverage. We spell redemption: S-V-E-U-M.
AMC's new show "Halt and Catch Fire" looks promising.
In honor of the reassignment of Dale Sveum as hitting coach, today's song is OK Go's "Here It Goes Again."