Kansas City Royals

Some Royals pass surprise test with flying colors, others…not so much

Most professional athletes don’t care about taking tests or quizzes. They’re professional athletes after all, they don’t get paid the big bucks to ace pop quizzes. Nope, they get paid to act and react in the moment; it’s all about instinct. Unless you happen to play for the Kansas City Royals, then you better have you stuff together.

Royals’ first-base coach Rusty Kuntz has a history of administering tests on outfield play and baserunning techniques and odds are you know as much as some his players.

Not every player on the Royals was given the written quizzes. Among those who were, there was a wide range of success and failure.

“I’d say it was 50-50,” Kuntz said. “Some of them did relatively well. Some did OK. And some had no clue.”…

“These guys are major league players, but they’ve got a couple of years of minor league experience, and before that they were in high school,” Kuntz said. “I’m trying to get them out of the box. I’m trying to feed them bits and pieces so they can apply it once the game starts. Such as, can you have an infield fly rule on a bunt play?”

That’s one most of the Pirates two years ago and most of the Royals this spring got wrong.

“They say you can,” Kuntz said. “The answer is no, you can’t.”

Another one that gives everyone trouble has to do with umpires. If the ball hits an ump on the infield grass, is it alive or dead?

“I had experienced baserunners say it’s live,” Kuntz said. “Well, it’s actually dead. But if the same ball hits an umpire on the outfield grass, then the runners keep running because that’s a live ball.”

A lot of players didn’t know that the proper way to slide feet-first into a base is to have the front foot straight up, or that the sun and the wind should be taken into account as soon as a player leaves the clubhouse before a game. …

So which question was missed most often?

“When you’re waiting on a flyball, what part of the ball do you look at, the top or the bottom?” Kuntz said. “Everybody said the bottom. But you’ve got to concentrate on seeing the top.”

And the easiest question anyone missed?

“The distance between bases,” he said. “It’s 90 feet, of course. Some guys got that wrong.


[]: Royals Coach Tests Players With Baseball Quiz

Kansas City Royals

The Full Count: Bring out the brooms

1. Surprising Sweeps: Multiple teams completed unexpected sweeps on Wednesday. The most shocking was the Royals’ sweep over the Angels, who have the most wins in the majors. KC beat them with pitching, allowing just 7 runs the entire series and none yesterday. Jorge De La Rosa, who came into the game with six straight losses, outdeuled the Angels’ Jered Weaver for a 1-0 win. The majors’ second-best team was swept too as the Mariners dominated the Red Sox. Their 2-1, 11-inning win yesterday was capped off by Jose Lopez’s game-winning RBI double. One of Dice-K’s best starts of the year, an eight-inning, three-hit gem, was blown by the bullpen. The Braves busted out of a slump to crush the awful Nationals for three much-needed victories. They annihilated them on Wednesday 13-0, bringing them to a tie with the Phillies in the process.

2. No Support for the Rocket: Roger Clemens isn’t pitching very well, with a 5.32 ERA through four starts. However, the Yankees’ offense isn’t helping him out much. In his last three starts, all losses, Clemens has received three runs of support from the offense. On Wednesday, Clemens allowed 4 runs in 6 innings, but the Yankees were shut out by the Orioles. Erik Bedard was fantastic, with 7 innings, 2 hits, and 8 strikeouts in the win. With another loss, Clemens was denied his 350th win yet again. The Yanks have now dropped four games in a row.

3. Older is Better: A record-tying six 40-year-old pitchers took the mound on Wednesday. Clemens, Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux, Woody Williams, and Jamie Moyer all took the mound. They went a combined 3-1, with Smoltz, Maddux, and Glavine picking up the victories. For Glavine it was his 297th career win. Maddux pitched seven strong innings to gain career win number 340. Most of these pitchers are having excellent seasons, and perhaps there have never been as many excellent 40-year-old pitchers as there are this year. Kenny Rogers was scheduled to start as well, but the Tigers game was rained out.

Player of the Day: Jack Cust: 2-5, HR (13), 5 RBIs as the A’s beat the Indians 13-7.

Kansas City Royals

July 24 in Sports History: The Pine Tar Incident

In 1983: George Brett of the Kansas City Royals hit a two-run homerun off Goose Gossage of the New York Yankees in the top of the ninth at Yankee Stadium to take a 5-4 lead. Yankees third baseman Graig Nettles alerted manager Billy Martin that the pine tar on Brett’s bat was a little too high, and Martin argued. Umpire Tim McClelland recalled the obscure rule 1.10(b), which stated that “a bat may not be covered by such a substance more than 18 inches from the handle.” Brett’s bat apparently was covered up to 20 inches. He walked to the dugout and signaled that Brett was out. Brett erupted out of the dugout in one of the most famous tirades in history and had to be restrained by teammates; and the Yankees were awarded a 4-3 victory. The Royals protested, and A.L. President Lee MacPhail ordered the home run to stand. The protested game was finished on August 18, with the Royals holding on to win, 5-4 — 25 days after the game had started. Brett, who up to that point had been best known for almost missing the 1980 World Series because of hemorrhoids, would now be famous for the time he went all Jack Nicholson in The Shining on an umpire.

In 2004: The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry reached a fever pitch (sorry, folks) with a bench-clearing brawl at Fenway Park. In the top of the third inning, Boston’s Bronson Arroyo hit Alex Rodriguez with a pitch. As A-Rod stared Arroyo down, Sox catcher Jason Varitek stepped in and told the $250 million dollar slugger, “We don’t throw at .260 hitters. Get your ass down to first base.” After a few more pleasantries, Varitek shoved Rodriguez and the benches cleared. Varitek and A-Rod were ejected, along with Boston’s Gabe Kapler and New York’s Kenny Lofton and Tanyon Sturtze. A handful of players were also fined and suspended. The ending was also memorable, as the Red Sox rallied off Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning to win on a Bill Mueller homerun, 11-10. Many felt that this game helped turn the Red Sox season around, and they eventually won the World Series.

Kansas City Royals

June 21 in Sports History: Swing like Bo Jax

In 1986: Bo Jackson became the last celebrated player to willingly sign with the Kansas City Royals. Jackson, a two-sport star and Heisman Trophy winner out of Auburn, was drafted first overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in April. Not wanting to play for the sad-sack Bucs, he opted to play minor league baseball instead. He would play 25 games for the Royals in 1986 and join the Los Angeles Raiders in 1987 as a hobby (his words). Jackson would star with both the Royals (he started in centerfield in the 1989 all-star game and homered) and Raiders until a serious hip injury in a 1991 playoff game with the Raiders would end his football career. He attempted a comeback in 1992 with the Chicago White Sox and retired for good in 1994. Many consider Jackson to be the greatest athlete of his generation.

Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals: adding insult to insult

It’s not easy being in the Royals front office these days. First, a longtime fan sells his Royals fandom for $278 and now a minor league team thinks they can win more games than you. Oh, and the fact that your team is 9-22.

The Brockton Rox of the Canadian American Association thinks they can win more games than the Royals despite playing only 92 games compared to the Royals 162 games. The Rox president contacted the Royals to set a bet — $500 vs $5,000 to be donated to the local YMCA. The Royals VP of communications said he had no response to that.

Sure, it’s a publicity stunt but it’s still insulting.

[Kansas City Star]: Independent team throws down gauntlet

Kansas City Royals

Royals loyalty is worth $278.47

It’s sad that 25 years of being a fan to the laughingstock of the league is worth less than an uneaten hotdog from the Seahawks-Panthers championship game. But we guess that’s why Chad Carroll was so willing to part with his KC Royals fandom.

The auction stated:

I am sick and tired of being mathematically eliminated from playoff contention on or about April 7 of each year. So I am selling all rights to my loyalty to this organization. With your purchase you will accept all of the responsibilities of a true Royals fan. You will tell people (in public) that you actually like the Royals. You will tell them that we “won’t be as bad this year as we were last year”.

I will also include a Royals jersey with a 1985 World Series patch. There is no name on the back of the jersey, however. This will save you the money that I have wasted over the years on my Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye and Carlos Beltran jerseys. I will also include a letter of authenticity from my brother (certified Royals fan and Yankees hater) certifying my “fan status” and a letter of intent from myself to never again watch another Royals game, to remove all Royals memorabilia from my home, and to never divulge to another living soul that I am, or ever was, a KC follower.

You will also have exclusive rights to my new era of pain. You can choose my new team…the only team that is off limits is the New York Yankees.

A bunch of his friends won the auction but still haven’t decided his new team. If it were up to us, we’d pick the Philadelphia Phillies. 1) They’re one of the losingest franchises in the history of sports. 2) They beat the Royals for their last World Series title. That, my friends, is a lesson on how to be cruel.

[Kansas City Star]: Maryland man auctions off 25 years of loyalty to the Royals
[eBay]: My loyalty to the Kansas City Royals (jersey included)
Thanks to Fark for the story.