OTC: Royals’ GM Calls His Critics “Idiotic” In Sam Mellinger’s KC Star Column / It’s What Fuels Sports Talk Radio

“The impact of this [Danny Duffy] injury cannot be overstated, the team’s best starting pitcher joining its centerpiece offseason acquisition, closer, center fielder and catcher on the disabled list. And with the possible exception of Sal Perez being out until July or so, Duffy’s injury is the most devastating yet in a season in which the Royals remain competitive despite a head-shaking string of awful breaks.”
Sam Mellinger, after the Royals announced on Tuesday that their young left-handed starter would need to undergo Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, Kansas City Star
GH: Royals fans, bend over and grab your ankles. Reality is here to spend its annual summer vacation at your place.  

“[Dayton] Moore admits to only ‘frustration’ about all of this but did have strong words about criticism of the team not ordering an MRI when Duffy missed a start a few weeks ago because of elbow tightness.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Mellinger is a good writer who has been saddled with the unenviable task of following in the prodigious wake Jason Whitlock and Joe Posnanski, two of the most celebrated writers The Kansas City Star has ever birthed. Mellinger’s sports column has yet to become a must-read destination for Kansas City sports fans. His personality is more sheepish than wolf. But his Duffy/Dayton column is the stuff that turns heads, fuels sports talk radio and sells newspapers. Read on.

“That’s idiotic. That’s really, really looking at things with a critical spirit.”
Dayton Moore, responding to Mellinger’s question about those who would be critical of the Royals for not having and MRI ordered for Duffy weeks ago when his elbow tightness first surfaced, Kansas City Star
GH: Steven St. John of 810’s Border Patrol was the first radio host I heard quote from Mellinger’s column early Tuesday morning. As I listened throughout the morning, I haven’t heard a host yet who hasn’t commented on Moore’s comments in The Star. This is what a columnist is paid to do. This is what we need to see more of from Mellinger if we are to accept him as a reasonable facsimile to his predecessors.

“To me, anytime you have a problem with the elbow I would be overly protective. So clearly for questioning how the Royals handled Danny Duffy, I’m an idiot. So, anybody who thought that the Royals should have had an MRI done on Danny Duffy is an idiot.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM

“I’m questioning the Royals’ handling of Danny Duffy. I know it is at least a legitimate question to ask why the Royals did not get Danny Duffy an MRI. I don’t think the question is idiotic.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM

“When you have been so embarrassingly unsuccessful in developing young pitchers, you haven’t been able to develop one! He hasn’t developed a starting pitcher in six years!”
Steven St. John, on Moore’s lack of success in drafting and developing starting pitchers for the Royals, 810 AM
GH: Moore appears to me to either have thin skin or a poor understanding of the kind of heat his job title yields. Calling his critics “idiotic” and blaming them for being enveloped in a “critical spirit” is almost laughable when you consider these comments are coming from the GM of one of professional sports most consistently floundering franchises. What “spirit” does Moore expect from his fans and critics? Maybe Jacob Marley needs to schedule a late-night visit to Dan Glass.

“He’s not calling you an idiot. He’s just saying what you said is idiotic.”
Nate Bukaty, in his best attempt to play the Royals’ company man, 810 AM
GH: It was Bukaty who said he received a phone call at home Sunday night from Dayton Moore to answer some questions. As Bukaty discussed his cell-phone conversation with Moore, I got the feeling Nate was more enamored with letting his listeners know that Moore had phoned him at 10:45 PM than the content of the conversation. Read on.

“Well, I don’t know what the conversation was like between Dayton and Sam. I don’t know exactly what Dayton was trying to say. So I don’t know exactly what [Moore] said.”
Nate Bukaty, attempting to exonerate Moore from him calling fans idiotic, 810 AM
GH: The Royals have made it very clear that they do not suffer criticism from those who work under their watchful eye. Frank White’s dismissal was a very public example of that fact. All you have to do is listen to the defensive words of Bukaty, Joel Goldberg, Steve Physioc or the insufferably cheery Rex Hudler to get an idea of how the Royals want their broadcasters to present the team to the public. It is amateurish and insulting. You might even call it idiotic.

“The point is, I haven’t sold jewelry so I’m not a baseball expert.”
Steven St. John, referring to the Royals president, Dan Glass, and his former occupation as a jewelry salesman, 810 AM
GH: My favorite line of the week. Point, match and set to SSJ.

“Duffy’s absence is devastating for 2012 — 40 percent of an already weak rotation is on the disabled list — but that’s only the beginning. This is also a killer for next season, at least, because conventional wisdom is that Tommy John survivors aren’t truly healed until their second year back.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Losing a young talent like Duffy is a blow but it should not be devastating. The fact that it is devastating to the Royals falls at the feet of Dayton Moore, who has yet built enough depth in the Royals’ pitching staff to bear these kinds of setbacks.

“An awful year for the Royals turns worse. Danny Duffy, torn UCL, Tommy John. Just an absolute killer for this year and 2013.”
Jeff Passan, @JeffPassan, Twitter
GH: Can the Royals 2012 season already be categorized as “awful” on May 15th? No. It doesn’t look good as they sit with the second worst record in the AL but it has yet to reach awful. Duffy’s injury merely adds some sand to franchise well accustomed to avoiding greased skids.  

“Sometimes guys just get hurt. And in my mind, Danny Duffy just got hurt. Sometimes it’s just inevitable.”
Carrington Harrison, 610 AM
GH: And sometimes you send the guy who gets hurt for an MRI when he first shows signs of a problem. Inevitable can be avoided, even if you’re a Royal.

“The one thing I’m most proud of is that 13 years after the surgery, I came back and never missed a start.”
Tommy John, in an interview with Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: John said he returned from his now famous surgery a year and a day later to pitch seven games in 28 days. As John told Fescoe, “Do the match.”

and Twitter / greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.

22 Responses to OTC: Royals’ GM Calls His Critics “Idiotic” In Sam Mellinger’s KC Star Column / It’s What Fuels Sports Talk Radio

  1. theSportsSnark says:

    Mr. St. John sounds like my girlfriend after I say that something she said is “idiotic.” Oh, so now I’m an idiot?! No, you’re not an idiot, but what you said is idiotic. Lighten up.

  2. rkcal says:

    Instead of belly-aching about the critics………what is Moore doing to address the needs? Incredibly, even with the 12 game skidmark, the season is not lost(yet). Make some calls and make some moves! Seems to me a better use of time than late night calls to your BFF Bukaty.

  3. Smartman says:

    The Royals are like a fine mix of the Kardashians, Jersey Shore and Major League….the first one. With all the chaos and turmoil, 12 game losing streak, injuries, not even close to firing on all cylinders, I must admit that I am extremely impressed with where they are. For now, there is great entertainment value in the Royals. Hell, I’m even starting to feel some empathy. If they get to 500 this season I will end my boycott and go see a game…..maybe.

  4. Paul says:

    I cannot imagine having to deal with the day-to-day changes in expectations that surround so many high-profile jobs, especially in sports. It would seem best to judge Dayton Moore and any GM or manager on their body of work, rather than picking apart each daily decision as they arise. Too often, media types and fans weigh in and pick apart the latest decisions, then disappear when it turns out those in charge were right. If Tommy John were pitching today and returned to pitch 7 games in 28 days, the media would blast Tommy Lasorda. Turns out, Tommy did the right thing.

    We will never know for sure if an earlier MRI would have made a difference. We can guess, throw stones, and criticize, but we are still left guessing.

    I guess my point is this: it’s ok for us to second-guess each and every decision, but we need to remember that people like Moore, Yost, and any other person in similar positions deserve to be judged over the long haul. Fact is, I like where the Royals are much more than I did five years ago, and I am hopeful I’ll like where they are even more in three or five more years.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

  5. Cliffy says:

    Based on what I heard this morning, Duffy has known since 2010 he was going to have to have the Tommy John surgery some day. Did I understand that correctly? It appears to me Moore’s only mistake was choosing to call Mellinger’s question idiotic. I’m not going to hold that against him.

  6. Rick says:

    Greg in general we’re in the same boat but you missed on a couple with this one. First how often was JoPo quoted on sports talk? Just not a breaking news kind of reporter and he really bombed when he was on radio.

    You being impressed with St. John’s Glass quote. A key to a great line is the audience knowing what you are talking about. While its well known about the Glass Wal-Mart connection its not as mainstream about his days as a jewlery salesman. In fact this is the first I heard about it. So if that quote is the line of the week then its been a slow week.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Rick,
      While JoPo’s column was not a source for sports talk fodder, my point was that his success and many awards as a sportswriter did leave big shoes to fill for Mellinger.

      I like the cleverness of a joke that expects some intelligence from the audience. Some might call it an inside joke but only because they are on the outside. I rarely write for the lowest denominator in my audience. The Star often tried to edit me into explaining every reference in my column. I thought it dumbed down the column. Sure, not everyone always “gets it” but those who do smile in knowing they’re special.

      • donkeypunch says:

        GH sed:
        I rarely write for the lowest denominator in my audience

        Donkeypunch sez:
        Judging from the posters in your threads, you ought to rethink this strategy

  7. Neil says:

    “…I got the feeling Nate was more enamored with letting his listeners know that Moore had phoned him at 10:45 PM than the content of the conversation.”

    This statement is spot-on about Bukaty. I often feel that he is trying to speak down to listeners with his knowledge of sports. I love listening to The Border Patrol, but there are times Nate is just too much for me.

    • kcredsox says:

      The reason I quit listening to the Border Patrol was because of Nate, the rest of the guys are hilarious and great to listen to. I just can’t stand the shit that flows from Nate’s dumbass mouth. Hopefully 610 will be smart and get SSJ and Jake so they can kick KK’s ass out of KC. If they bring along Nate, that will be a disaster.

  8. George Wilson says:

    I sat in the row behind Duffy’s mom the night he made his first start for the Royals. As you would expect, she was just beaming. When I heard the news about his surgery, my first thoughts were about that night. This is certainly not good news for the Royals, but sometimes I think we tend to forget that the athlete isn’t an automaton and that however bad this is for the Royals, it’s affecting Duffy and his family 100 times more. Having sat there and watched the interplay between him and his mom as he came off the mound after each inning ended, I just hope he makes it all the way back and gets to live out his dream.

  9. TangoAlphaLima says:

    Maybe I’m just being an optimist here, but to some extent Duffy’s injury NOW is a good thing. What are the chances Duffy wouldn’t have needed TJ surgery sometime during his Royals career? My guess is not too good.

    With it happening now, we get it out of the way. Hopefully the surgery goes well and he rehabs quickly. Best case scenario, he comes back in June of next year. Realistically we weren’t going to compete for the division this year, but we’ve got a shot next year. And maybe Montgomery or Odorizzi are up in the bigs at that point, and the rotation can be groomed together.

  10. JP says:

    SSJ and Bukaty’s interactions were entertaining. It was as if SSJ and Jake knew Bukaty can’t criticize the home team or lose his precious job as an interviewer. As for Dayton Moore, I will put some of this blame on him. He came to KC in 2006, spouting the phrase “Pitching is the Currency in Baseball”. Yet, as we sit here today May 15, 2012, none of the starters were drafted and developed by Dayton and his staff. Hochevar was drafted prior to DM taking charge, and if you want to count him fine. Dayton’s failure to put together numerous pitching prospects is the blackeye and he deserves all the questioning about that decision. Oh, and I blame Dave and Dan (the Jewelry Salesman) as well, for their ongoing ineptitude with the team.

  11. Java Man says:

    Speaking of Mellinger, his KC Star blog, Don’t Kill the Mellinger, is a mess.

  12. Uncle Dick says:

    Looks like Tommy Boy has turned the diamond at the K into a cubic zirconia set in his old man’s fool’s gold. Maybe WalMart has some cheap pitchers on sale, he should ask Daddy to bring some home from work.

  13. Orville Sandusky says:

    We need to chill for now. The Royals are winning.

  14. Herb says:

    My problem with the SSJ quote is that it wasn’t that funny or clever to begin with.

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