OTC: Fired Frank White Verbally Trashes Royals In Interview W/ 610’s Nick Wright

“I’m not going to miss going to the ball park and having guys look at me with one eye. Guys who don’t want to come up and talk to you. And then when they do, they smile and say, ‘How you doing today!’ Then they go behind your back and then they talk about other stuff. I don’t like that. I don’t like people that lie.”
Frank White, in a live interview with Nick Wright Friday during the 5:00 hour, discussing his firing from the Royals television broadcast booth, 610 AM
GH: Wright broke the story about White’s firing on Twitter Thursday night. The news very well could have come directly from White. He and Wright appear to have formed a friendship that goes beyond a professional relationship. I believe this is why White chose to come on Wright’s show, less than 24 hours after being canned by the organization he began his baseball career with as a teenager. Read on.

“I feel like Frank was very honest. I feel like Frank was very candid. I feel like I want to cry.”
Nick Wright, following his interview with the Royals legend, 610 AM

“I’ve heard from a lot of my friends and everybody’s pretty much shocked by this [firing]. But I’m not shocked. This is just typical of the Royals. It’s pretty much how they’ve done business.”
Frank White, 610 AM
GH: White sounded in control but he was obviously hurt. He did not attempt to hide his disdain for the Royals organization. He didn’t raise his voice or become audibly enraged. He didn’t have to. His words said it all.

“Frank White’s conversation with [Nick Wright] right now is the most candid I’ve ever heard him…even off the record.”
Robert Ford, Royals Radio pre- and postgame host, Twitter

“I think based on this – based on the fact that no one in the office picked up the phone and called me and told me what’s going on. No one from the front office came to me during the season and said to me, ‘Look, now why did you say this?’ or ‘Why’d you say that?’ They just smile in your face and give you the appearance that you’re doing a great job. And in the end they let you go because they think you’ve been too negative.”
Frank White, 610 AM
GH: White gave credence to the rumor that he had been canned because the Royals thought his work as a TV analyst was too negative toward the Royals. While that may be true, I believe there was more to this firing. I never considered Frank a very negative voice on the Royals network. Sure, next to Ryan Lefebvre he was Satan in blue. But there wasn’t anyone in the Royals organization the past 20 years who was more critical of the players, front office and coaching staff than Paul Splittorff. I think there is more to the reason why White was canned than his tough commentary.

“I just don’t have any confidence anymore in baseball. I just think that if your own team can’t see your value, if your own team can’t utilize you in a way that you’ve always been utilized, in the public speaking positively about the club… I just don’t want the fans here to think that Frank White is the most negative guy in the world and that’s why the Royals let him go. That’s not the case. That’s not even close to being the case!”
Frank White, 610 AM
GH: I would be shocked if the Royals have been inundated with complaints from fans about White being too rough on the home team.

“I think you reach a point where you try so hard and you always put your best foot forward and you always carry yourself in a professional manner with a lot of integrity. You try so hard to get the people you work for [to understand] you are an asset to this organization. And it just doesn’t compute to those guys.”
Frank White, 610 AM
GH: White came off sounding like most guys who have just been fired. It wasn’t him it was them. He made a point to mention that he was not a “malcontent.” There were times during this interview that I thought he sure sounded like he might resemble one.

“I was making too much money – even though they weren’t paying! That’s when they wanted to cut my salary. Paul got sick and I did 135 games – and I’m making too much money. Even though they weren’t paying it!”
Frank White, 610 AM
GH: White didn’t dwell on this point but he did play the too-much-money card. I don’t feel sorry for White. I know many Royals fans do. The Royals and MLB allowed him to live an incredible and privileged life. I’m not so sure they owed him any more than he got.

“Me trying so hard to try and stay out of people’s way, trying to do my job. I’ve only asked the Royals to do one thing for me in all the time I’ve been with them. That was back in January when I said, ‘Look, I really think my job is public relations. I have no clue where this TV thing is going to go, because Paul [Splittorff] was still in the picture. All I want for you guys to do for me is let me stay in my role at my salary in public relations for the next five years. Then I’ll retire and everything will be great.’ And they said no. Everything’s kind of been a spiral from then.”
Frank White, 610 AM
GH: This was great radio in that White was hurt and looking to inflict damage on the Royals. It was not great radio in that it never attempted to tell this story from the Royals side. Who cares, you say? You should. It is always dangerous to view the interior of a house from only one window.

“Frank is clearly Frank-centered in this interview. Can easily see how he would be disliked if grumpy. But he’s Frank Fucking White. This might be one of the lowest points I’ve ever experienced as a Royals fan. No. I’m not being over dramatic.”
FakeNedYost, Twitter

“They have the right to go any direction that want to go – but go the right way. They’ve got every right to go in any direction they want to go but don’t stain my career just to feel good about what you’re doing.”
Frank White, 610 AM
GH: I believe this is why White came on Wright’s show and allowed Karen Kornacki to interview him for KMBC’s 10 PM newscast. He thinks the Royals stained his career with this firing. He could not be more wrong. The Royals look like incompetent, cheap, public-relations nightmares by dumping one of only two former Royals enshrined at The K by a bronze statue and his number on the stadium’s scoreboard. Whatever the reason for White’s dismissal, the Royals were/are/probably will always be complete fools for allowing this to go down in the manner it did. Whatever they saved in not retaining White in his PR role, they will spend ten times over in trying to repair this gaffe.

“One of my biggest disappointments is that they didn’t recognize my passion. They didn’t recognize how much I love this organization. Because they don’t understand just how I felt about this ball club. And I think they don’t understand it because they never talked to me. They never asked me questions.”
Frank White, 610 AM
GH: This salvo was textbook heartstring stuff from White. Meant to sear the very souls of all Royals fans. I would have loved to see the face of Dayton Moore as he heard White speak these words – and I have no doubt that the Royals GM was listening live.

“Listening to Frank White on 610 right now: heartbreaking. So disappointing. I really am speechless. In regards to what Frank White said on 610, unfortunately, I know exactly what he was talking about.”
Tim Scott, the Royals stadium host since 2008, Twitter

“It may include selling everything here and moving to Arizona.”
Frank White, when asked what his future plans are, 610 AM
GH: Frank played this out like he was directing an episode of Parenthood. I even started to sniffle after this line.

“I think so, Nick.”
Frank White, when asked by Nick Wright if this signals the end of Frank White’s relationship with the Royals, 610 AM
GH: Do not bet on it. Frank and the Royals have been on the outs over the past 20 years more than a few times. They always seem to make up. It might not be Dayton Moore who does the patching but I expect White to one day return to The K to hear his favorite fans’ applause.

“I am not in a position to comment on what was just said. That’s as candid and honest as I can be. What’s also true is that the Royals are a very important broadcast and business partner of this radio station and it would not be in my best interest to give any commentary to what was just said.”
Nick Wright, talking to his audience, shortly after White’s interview, 610 AM
GH: By not saying much, Wright said a lot. He did not have to say what he did. The easy thing would have been to go to commercial, bring on Bill Maas, and spend the final 30 minutes of the show talking Chiefs. I do not remember a radio host talking so candidly about the restrictions he felt he was under in expressing his opinion that might place a sponsor or business partner in a bad light.

“If you want to crush me on that and call me a coward, I get it. I would be doing the same, but I can’t.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Wright could have said whatever he wanted – but he would be risking his job and career. Some will say, His career be damned! He should have spoken from his heart and defended his friend!” Wright is a 27-year-old radio noobie with two kids and a fiancé. He showed some rare maturity this time by keeping quiet.

“I do not feel like I can speak on it.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: These words from Wright say far more about the Royals than they do Wright.

“I apologize. I understand that is not what you expect from a talk show host. I understand that that is not what I necessarily expect from myself. But I also understand it is the honest reality that I’m not going to further comment on what was just said [by Frank White].”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Every member of the Kansas City media should jot these words down and read them back to Dayton Moore at their earliest opportunity. And then ask the Royals GM a simple two-word question – why not? You want to avenge Frank White’s firing? Make sure the Royals never forget we know they can’t take the heat. Let the Royals know we have no love for bullies.

[email protected] 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.
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35 Responses to OTC: Fired Frank White Verbally Trashes Royals In Interview W/ 610’s Nick Wright

  1. Gm says:

    You said they let Lefebvre go. He was looking at going to the Twins, but I don’t remember the Royals letting him go. Are you sure he won’t be back?

    • Greg Hall says:

      I was wrong about Lefebvre, he is back with the Royals. That is an interesting story in itself and one I hope to bring some light to in a future column.

      • Merle Tagladucci says:

        Expand please.

      • GM says:

        The Beav is still on the official website, and Frank White is not.

        http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/team/broadcasters.jsp?c_id=kc

        I’m a bit of a seamhead, so Ryan’s analysis often rubbed me the wrong way, but I like him as a broadcaster and play-by-play guy. I also liked him with Frank, though I think it would be easier to improve on Frank than it would on Ryan. I’ll still hold out hope that your information on Ryan is off.

        If they replace Frank and/or Ryan with someone in their existing stable of broadcasters, then things are going to sound pretty awful. If they replace Frank with Mike Sweeney, well, I don’t know if I can handle that many rainbows and silver linings.

        I’ve listened to a lot of teams’ announcers, and I thought our TV team measured up well. Our radio team does too, at least it does when Bob Davis was off doing a KU football game. The other 150 games or so . . . could somebody PLEASE make him go away?

  2. smashmouth says:

    I hate to see Frank treated this way, but the reality is that only those 35+ can really remember the great player that Frank was (and I am one of those). If the Royals go out and win a bunch of games and challenge for the AL Central this year no one will remember or care. Outta sight outta mind.

  3. The KC Eye says:

    They let Lefebvre go? I thought the Twins ended up deciding to look elsewhere..?

    You hit it on the head with the Split reference. He was twice as critical of the crap on-field product the last two decades than Frank was last year. Has to be something else to this.

    Personally, I don’t think it would be such a bad idea for the Royals to start distancing themselves from the “glory days”. Making every season a “it’s been this many years since our franchise wasn’t the worst in all of professional sports” anniversary-celebration is just another reminder of how much more wisely I could be spending my time/money.

    Typical Royals, though. Seems like every year there’s a misguided PR move that leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth (except for the oblivious Royals, of course). It shouldn’t have went down like this.

  4. Merle Tagladucci says:

    Steve Stewart and Mike Sweeney.

  5. smartman says:

    “It may be the devil, it may be the Lord, but you gotta serve somebody”. Bob Dylan.

    Welcome to the world of employer, employee relationships Frank. Guess what? Life ain’t fucking fair! In your case it’s probably been more fair to you over the years than 80% of the people that ever set foot on this planet. Your fucking glass is 3/4 full.

    What a whiney ass bitch! Talk about losing your dignity. There’s a reason they say SILENCE IS GOLDEN. He would have been best served by issuing a small statement and letting it hang, BUT NO! He’s gotta go all Herman Cain and play the victim. Just like Herman Cain Frank got hooked up with a “white bitch” aka David Glass with the same results in the end.

    Frank seems to have a sense of entitlement that Split didn’t. His criticism of the Royals always seemed a lot more personal than Splits did. There are right ways and wrong ways to be critical. Splits criticism always seemed about making the team better. Frank’s always came across as you stupid motherfuckers don’t know what you’re doing.

    As for Nick Wright being a pussy, well they say that adversity doesn’t build character, it REVEALS it. Nick has none! It would have been completely appropriate for Nick to bare his soul on his behalf and on behalf of the fans and listeners that give a shit about this whole thing. To not have done that was a swing and a strike at a ball he shoulda’ knocked out of the park.

    This is like the Joplin tornado. In a few months NOBODY will care.

    • Merle Tagladucci says:

      Absolutely. Frank White losing his six figure tv broadcasting job is just like 162 people dying, 7,000 houses and 2,000 buildings being destroyed in Joplin. Well said.

    • Bob Fescoe says:

      Do you have a twitter? If no, please get one ASAP.

      • Iron Sheik says:

        your morning show is worse than the cocksucker Virgil. if i ever go to kansas city i will fuck your ass and make you more humble than dickless Hulk Hogan. fuck Ultimate Warrior.

  6. Red says:

    The worst part for the fans is that Frank was a really good TV color guy. Much better than average.

    I have seen the LeFevbre news reported anywhere.

  7. Siv Adnar says:

    I loved listening to Frank; that was the highlight of the Royals broadcast lately. I learned something new every time I listened. I will miss hearing him for sure. However, this is a new era for the Royals. It’s time to put a new face on the organization to accompany the new enthusiasm and expectations.

    Listening to Frank reminded me of pouring over Royals cards as a kid, living the stats, and acting out the games.

    Maybe it’s time we think of the Royals as they are, an up and coming team with a seemingly bright future, instead of a group of has beens that once were, never to be again. This move is clearly less about Frank and more about a new era for the Royals organization.

    Just another growing pain.

  8. Brian says:

    What are you talking about Greg. They made a point to say that Ryan would be back last year. Are you trying to break a story, or are you just uneducated on this one?

  9. brencado says:

    Good teams don’t have to keep the past alive. They make new history with new faces. I wish Len Dawson would disappear and tke that crazy acartoon character Mitch Holtus with him. By the way…what is the deal with the Channel 9 news team. Len and Larry are both mid-70’s and Karen Kornacki is at least 65. Geez are they trying to appeal to the “one foot in the grave” demographic? If that’s the case they lose about 2-3 audience members a day.

  10. Java Man says:

    Like most other comments on here and the many, many comments on the KC Star site, I’m going to miss Frank White.
    I didn’t hear the interview with Nick Wright, but from the excerpts posted here, the words are so familiar. I was saying the same thing a few years back after being fired from a long time job. A great employee, that for some reason management didn’t appreciate my work. Paranoid thoughts that they all talked behind my back led to mistrust and bitterness. Never publicly, but privately with coworkers I would let those bastards have it.
    Long story short, they were right, I was wrong. All those paranoid, bitter thoughts, were mine to own. It took me a long while to realize the world didn’t revolve around me, or Frank.
    Getting fired from the unhealthy job turned out to be a wonderful blessing. Maybe not financially, but from an emotional maturity level. Remember people, we can’t quit growing.

  11. Joe says:

    I consider Frank White a true hero in this community, but the MLB (along with most other competitive sports) is full of lies, manipulation, and cheating. We can all try to pretend like that is not the case, but it is. GM’s, Managers, and Owners lie every day as part of their job (Todd Haley? and Scott Pioli? anyone?). Billions of dollars are at stake, and it is a flat-out dirty business. I believe that Frank White has a higher calling somewhere, and that he will (in the long run) be better off without baseball. Sad, but true. JH

  12. The Independent Rage says:

    Wright was experiencing what most people do at times in the work world — you have to pick your spots and battles. I’m not going to second guess him on this one. If he gets canned and the reason is speaking out of turn in the eyes of management, that could make it tough to find re-employment very quickly in that business, I would assume. And if ever there was an economy to make sure you don’t get fired in, it’s the current one.

  13. Ron says:

    I don’t know why Kansas City fans like Frank White so much. He’s always been a whiney malcontent. During his playing days, he was always upset that he wasn’t being paid as much as George Brett. He must have a lot of money problems, despite his many years in the big leagues. He’s been milking the Royals for a living for many, many years. I’m not surprised they finally got rid of him. White admitted in his comments that no one from the Royals ever told him directly that he was “too negative.” This is just what he thinks is the reason for his firing. Because he thinks it, doesn’t make it true. As for Nick Wright, his salary isn’t paid by the Royals. He doesn’t work for the Royals. Why would he be constrained in any way to say whaat he thinks? The Royals can’t cancel a entire radio contract just because they don’t like what an employee of a station which carries the Royals game thinks or says. I’m surprised Nick Wright doesn’t know this. He can say whatever he likes, and there’s nothing the Royals can do about it. It’s not like they have a lot of options for stations to carry their games in Kansas City. 980 isn’t interested. 810 isn’t intnersted. 710 isn’t interested. If the Royals don’t deal with 610, they won’t be on a local station.

    • cm70 says:

      You said, “I’m not surprised they finally got rid of him. White admitted in his comments that no one from the Royals ever told him directly that he was “too negative.”

      If you had listened to the actual Nick Wright interview, this was the EXACT REASON that was given for his firing.
      Frank White said, “Uh, I had a meeting with Jack Donovan the head guy in Fox Sports in St. Louis. I met him on the Plaza. And he just informed me that, um, that the Royals felt that my, um, my chair in the booth was TOO NEGATIVE (my emphasis) toward the Royals and they wanted to make a change.”

      • Paul J says:

        cm70 – The key words in Ron’s statement were “from the Royals”. Fox Sports and Jack Donovan are not the Royals.

  14. cm70 says:

    Your quote from Tim Scott: “In regards to what Frank White said on 610, unfortunately, I know exactly what he was talking about.”

    I looked at Tim’s Twitter feed (@timscott411) and did NOT see this quote. Have you misattributed this quote? I don’t see any proof that he said this. I would very much like to hear your reply.

    However, if he did say this, that would seem to lend some credence to the idea that Royals management has a history of treating their announcers/media people unfairly.

    • chuck says:

      I’m not sure there is a fair, or unfair…

      They either keep him, or fire him and make more money, or less money based on the actions taken.

      In this case, the blowback on shit canning a local icon is a variable they may or may not have taken into consideration.

      The effect would be hard to assess in strictly economic terms and I expect both sides of the argument to be diametrically opposed with their own version of proof positive.

      I think the point is, this was not necessary.

      A ham handed gaffe by an organization that most folks know, cares a great deal more about profits than wins.

  15. Pingback: Royals fire broadcaster, Hall of Famer, company man Frank White, who says he’s finished with the team « MediaKC

  16. Joe Blow says:

    Frank White was pretty brutal when he first started stepping in on Royals broadcasts for whichever cast member was absent that day. And, he definitely got better as time went on — to be honest, I really did appreciate the information he contributed to the broadcasts as an ex-middle infielder/struggling-to-adequate hitter. But he frequently didn’t understand a lot of the jokes/references Ryan Lefebvre softballed his way, and he was still very ackward in his delivery.

    It’s kind of the same reason he couldn’t be Royals manager — while he was a great player, and would be an awesome skills coach, he just didn’t seem like he would be a guy that would actually grasp everything that’s going on fast enough to be the top guy.

    And, man, I feel really bad talking negatively about Frank White, but that’s what the Royals have had to do multiple times, knowing full well that they’re going to be viewed negatively every step of the way…so, there it is, though..

  17. nick says:

    Frank White, for me, was THE reason I wanted to listen a Royal’s TV broadcast. He was BY FAR the most informative and interesting of the TV hosts. And like his fielding, he had a smoothness about how he interacted with his partner. And he was able to laugh and joke around on air to keep things light.

    The above is bad enough. The fact he’s a Royals legend on par with George Brett, has a statue and number at the stadium, was a KC teenager who made the Royals by impressing scouts at a local tryout started by Kauffman, and that he’s been a tremendous face for the Royals for the minority community….unbelievable how the Royals botched this. It’s almost unforgiveable. I don’t care what White might be like behind the scenes, letting him go like this is a HUGE mistake.

  18. Joe Blow says:

    Does firing the producer mean the Royals TV broadcasts will be a little less amateur in feel?

  19. Scott says:

    Listening to KK’s interview with Kevin Shank right now. Shank is saying, repeatedly, that he believes the decision to fire Shank (and presumably Frank White) was not Dayton Moore’s. Keitzman is doing everything he can to get Shank to blame Dayton Moore, and Shank is continually resisting. Frankly, Kietzman is embarrassing himself in his pursuit of an agenda, and his failure to gain any ground.

    • Esteban O'Riley says:

      Exactly!! Between the Lines is aptly named as KK frequently speculates and creates conspiracy theories. His so-called sources are frequently incorrect (if there were really any real sources). Yet KK is quick to believe that he is on a higher ground than most sports talk show hosts and actually has journalistic integrity. ha! What a joke!

  20. Rick says:

    I’ve been a Royals fan since 1969. I’ve seen great teams and awful teams. I’ve seen great players and awful players. But I have NEVER seen a player as over-rated as the whiner-in-chief, Frank White. As two earlier posters pointed out, Frank White was never satisfied with the amount of money he was paid or the amount of love he got from the fans. Frank White’s biggest problem has always been his jealousy of George Brett. Frank White is not George Brett. George Brett was a lifetime .300 hitter, one of the greatest clutch hitters of his era, and a Hall of Famer. Frank White was a good second baseman, a fairly good hitter, and nothing more. He’s had a gigantic chip on his shoulder for over 25 years, and I won’t miss him a bit.

    The Royals have the right to have whoever they want as manager of their team and as commentator in the broadcast booth. They were under no obligation to hire him to be their manager a few years ago, and they are under no obligation to retain him as a broadcaster now.

    Baseball and the Royals were very good to Frank White. It’s too bad he can’t be satisfied with that.

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