“In 2012, (Billy) Butler hit .313/.373/.510 with 29 home runs, made the All-Star team and won the Silver Slugger. In 2013, he hit for a solid average (.289) and actually improved his on-base percentage by one point, but hit half as many home runs (15) and saw his slugging percentage drop by nearly 100 points. This year, his biggest contribution has been preventing Mike Moustakas from being the most disappointing home grown player on the Royals.”
Cliff Corcoran, MLB writer, SI.com
GH: Wow. I was ready to chalk up Butler’s 2013 season as a fluke and expected him to return to being one of the Al’s best hitters this season. Somehow he got worse – way worse. And he just turned 28 in April. That is just stunning. It is so stunning that I can’t believe he’s lost his swing, eye and bat speed at what should be his peak years as a hitter. He has to come out of this “slump,” right?
“Right now I feel more confident with Dyson at the plate than Billy Butler.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
“Moose is third on our team in RBIs. He’s first in home runs. It’s all going to come. We can make issues over every little thing.”
Ned Yost, on those criticizing Moustakas hitting only .149 after one month of the season, 610 AM
GH: Moose was the number two overall pick in MLB draft seven years ago. It is not a “little thing” that for the second consecutive season in a row he is struggling at the plate in such a disappointing manner that he will likely be platooned this month – or at least should be.
“You heard what Ned said. He wanted more homers. And I knew (the hitting problems) were going to happen if they started focusing on more homers.”
Kevin Seitzer, the former Royals’ hitting coach and current Toronto hitting coach, in an interview with Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
“I would point this out – both Hosmer’s and Moustakas’ highs for home runs (in a season) came when Kevin Seitzer was the hitting coach.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Whether you are a Seitzer fan or not (and there are a plethora of both), the Royals have not been as productive offensively since he was canned by Yost. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.
“There may have been some other things (that contributed to the Royals firing Seitzer). There were rumors that some of the players didn’t see eye to eye with Seitzer. I heard that some players stopped showing up for early batting practice.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
“Honestly, I don’t have any idea.”
Kevin Seitzer, when asked about Mike Moustakas’ hitting woes, 810 AM
GH: Unfortunately, neither does anyone else.
“Look, (Yordano Ventura’s) got the whole package. It will be interesting to see where the innings go from here and how much the Royals sort of hold the reigns in on him. You’ve got to believe that early in the year they’re going to hold him back as much as possible.”
Buster Olney, MLB analyst for ESPN, after Ventura was pulled after only five innings Wednesday night against Toronto, despite throwing a shutout, 810 AM
GH: Ventura was 95 pitches in on a cold, windy night in late April. I have no problem with Ned Yost being a bit protective of a rookie ace who has a chance to be the Royals stopper for the next six or so years. Now this Big Game James guy – go ahead and run that guy’s pitch count up there whenever you need to. He’s here this season only to help win a championship.
“Face it, on a given day what they have with Ventura is a guy who can match up with any pitcher in baseball. He can dominate with anybody! That’s how good his stuff is. I agree with you, I’m running out of words to describe him.”
Buster Olney, 810 AM
GH: Ventura now leads the AL with a 1.50 ERA. Not bad, rookie.
“I don’t know, but if I’m a player I’m sliding into his shin guards.”
Rex Hudler, after Eric Hosmer was called out at the plate after the play was reviewed by the umpire crew Wednesday night, Fox Sports KC
GH: The Royals TV broadcast replayed Hosmer’s slide and Toronto’s Dioner Navarro’s tag from multiple angles at multiple speeds multiple times. Hosmer was dead-to-rights out every time. The question was whether or not Navarro blocked Hosmer’s path to the plate. The umpires reviewed the video and declared he did not. If the overriding factor is whether the catcher places his foot in foul territory or fair, I believe the umps got this one right. Almost no one I follow on Twitter (except for 610’s Danny Parkins) agreed with me. Hudler’s solution to slide into the catcher was kind of what I expected from him, dumb.
“The Royals (TV broadcast) crew received the fewest votes out of any team in a non-West Coast division. Readers really don’t like Rex Hudler, and comments about the rest of the crew ranged from positive to mediocre.”
Awfulannouncing.com, on the Royals TV crew being ranked 18th in their online survey
GH: These online surveys aren’t an accurate gage of the public’s overall opinion but I remain stunned that the Royals think Hudler is anything but awkward comedy relief.
“You talk about a weird swing! Aoki hit that one with what looked like his thumb!”
Denny Matthews, after the Royals’ leadoff hitter sliced a double in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game, Royals Radio
“I’m (at The K) at 3:00 AM. It takes a lot of set up time. The show begins at ten o’clock. There are over 70 people involved in the show. We try to make it fun. We blow a lot of stuff up.”
Mike Thompson, on his morning preparations for his annual School Day at The K show each spring, 610 AM
GH: I have never had the opportunity to attend one of Thompson’s extravagant School Day at The K but it sounds like a labor of love for the Fox 4 weatherman. He also said he starts preparing for the next year’s show the day after his last show – and takes most of the year once the holidays are over to work on all of the intricacies of the show. This year’s School Day at The K is scheduled for Wednesday, May 14th at 10:00 AM.
“Having spent much of the last year getting to know the Turner family – I wish the best of luck to Myles. Great kid and great family.”
Matt Scott, @KUTheShiver, after Turner announced he would be playing college basketball at Texas next season and not Kansas, Twitter
GH: I thought this tweet from Matt Scott, an avid KU fan who operates a very popular KU website, showed some class. Kids chose their schools for a lot or reasons – none that should upset the alumni of the schools they do not choose.
“I’d be stunned if (the Chiefs) take a quarterback in the first two days, with as much money as they have locked up in their quarterbacks.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: I would like to hear Petro and Kietzman have this debate live on Between the Lines.
“We actually get here three, three-and-a-half, to four hours before the show to prepare for each show and do a rundown. Scary isn’t it?”
Danny Parkins, cohost of The Drive with Carrington Harrison, 610 AM
GH: Downright frightening. Who knew it took that long to prepare to discuss last night’s bar scene and today’s prop bets?
[email protected] and Twitter @greghall24