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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