“Billy Butler looks good.”
Josh Vernier, when asked by Bob Fescoe which Royals player looks good early in camp, 610 AM
GH: Butler was the target of much Twitter angst last season as his offensive numbers fell and his double-play ground outs grew. He was the focus of numerous trade rumors during the off-season – none of which proved to have legs…much like Billy himself. 2014 is a very, very important year for Butler and the Royals. They need each other to do well.
“Everybody has a year here and there in their career where it doesn’t quite stack up to what they’ve done the rest of the time.”
Billy Butler, when asked by Clinkscale about his down season last year, 810 AM
“I think Billy Butler will have a better year. There are a lot of skeptics who say that he won’t.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Listen to Kietzman this season when he discusses Butler and the next time he has a disparaging word to say about the Royals DH will be his first time in a long time that he was publicly critical of Butler. KK used to ride Butler pretty hard in his early years with the club. But now that the two are as Kietzman refers to them as, “friends,” KK uncharacteristically goes out of his way to prop up Butler and say sweet things about BBQ Billy.
“When I went down to (the Royals) spring training last year they told us, ‘We only have one rule. There is only one rule – don’t talk to Bubba Starling. He’s off limits.’ Is that still the case?”
Kevin Kietzman, in a conversation with Clinkscale who is covering the Royals in Surprise, AZ this week, 810 AM
GH: As soft as Kietzman is on the veteran Billy Butler, he is equally as harsh and critical of the Royals one-time first-round draft pick out of Gardner-Edgerton High. KK spent 15 minutes ripping Bubba on Monday afternoon and expecting him to “keep all of his money and head to Nebraska to play football,” after yet another disappointing season in A-ball. I would like to know what the origin of KK’s ire is for this hometown kid. We all know Kietz is no fan of the Huskers but it can’t be just that, can it? Kietz seems to be obsessed with Starling failing.
“Manager Ned Yost described (Mike) Sweeney as a positive influence, and valuable to ‘pitch in where he needs to pitch in.’ For 20 minutes on Monday, Sweeney huddled with Billy Butler. Sweeney sees Alex Gordon and James Shields as this team’s leaders. He believes Butler can join their number. As they sat on chairs by Butler’s locker, Sweeney explained how baseball players fit into two categories. ‘They’re either a fountain or a drain,’ Sweeney said. ‘They’re either sucking the life out or pouring life in. I was just challenging Billy: ‘You’re one of the best hitters on the planet. Be a fountain.’”
Andy McCullough, writer, Kansas City Star
GH: Sweeney is one of the nicest professional athletes which I have ever come in contact. Just an exceptionally upbeat guy. But is he the guy to get the most out of this Royals bunch? Tony Muser was not a fan of Sweeney and his, “Chewing cookies, drinking milk, and praying isn’t going to get it done,” comment during Sweeney’s time with the Royals underlined what he thought of Mike’s leadership. It will be interesting to see how this experiment plays out this season.
“I don’t think the Royals can afford a 77-loss slippage this season (and retain their fans’ enthusiasm for the future).”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: You would think not but Royals fans are resilient as the fastball.
“We’ve got a very formidable lineup, one through nine. It should to be fun. The whole team’s better.”
Billy Butler, 810 AM
“(Mike Moustakas) has full sleeves (of tattoos) on both arms. From his shoulder to his finger.”
Danny Clinkscale, on the ink Moose added to his look for the 2014 season, 810 AM
GH: If Moose knocks in 100 runs and can hit over .280 he can tattoo “Milk & Cookies” on his ass and Royals fans will moo for him.
“I think the guy should make more money than the guy he’s suspending. He really should make more than the guys he’s in charge of.”
Soren Petro, on the NFL pay structure that has the commissioner and even some coaches making less than the players, 810 AM
GH: Is it all that unusual in the business world to have a supervisor or manager who makes less than the employees he/she is assigned to manage? I understand that professional sports is not the real world but I have managed personnel who make more money than I without any problems – at least on my end.
“My problem with all the money in the NFL is that it has priced the average fan out of the game.”
Adam Teicher, Chiefs beat writer for ESPN.com, 810 AM
GH: When Len Dawson was telling Soren Petro tales of how he and his Chiefs teammates all worked a second job even during the season back in the 1960s it was fascinating radio. What has happened to the NFL since then is wonderful and sad all at the same time. It is not just the NFL that is pricing itself out of the reach of the common family but MLB, NBA, NHL and many big-time college sports have also become too pricey for many. Many of us now rarely go to a game unless we are given complimentary tickets from work, a vendor or maybe a friend. At least that’s pretty much how I roll.
“I don’t twitter. Two Creighton tickets waiting for you Sunday at 4 pm vs. Seton Hall or Sat. March 8 vs Providence 8 pm. Last two home games.”
Jim, responding to my plea in Monday’s OTC column for Creighton tix to watch Doug McDermott live before he’s gone, Reader Email
GH: So I am going up to Omaha for Doug McDermott’s final home game at Creighton. God bless you, Internet!
“This is the kind of (Kansas) team that I think would like to outscore you. I don’t think they’re all that interested in defending you.”
Chris Piper, Rock Chalk Talk on 610 AM
“That’s not Bill Self basketball. That’s something that you’ve got to keep pressing and pressing on this team – that you can’t always win games at the offensive end. Last year’s team knew that to win they had to stop somebody. I don’t think this team has figured that out yet.”
Chris Piper, Rock Chalk Talk on 610 AM
GH: Piper went on to say that he believes this KU team is one of Self’s most athletic and capable of playing great defense when and if they make that decision to exert themselves on the defensive end of the court.
“I’m a junior (at O’Hara High School). 11th grade. In other parts of the world there are other 16-year-olds doing this so I’m not the only one.”
Erik Palmer-Brown, who was signed by Sporting Kansas City in August at the age of 16, 810 AM
GH: Nate Bukaty interviewed Palmer-Brown Tuesday morning and mentioned that Sporting has already turned down an offer of $1 million from Juventus, an Italian soccer club. Erik is currently in Orlando at Sportings’ spring training but continuing his high school classes through O’Hara online. I don’t know about you but as the father of a 16-year-old myself, I am pretty damn impressed with Erik.
“Most people in soccer believe this kid is destined to do great things for Sporting Kansas City or somewhere in the soccer world.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Erik has a new fan in me and I’ll bet just about anyone else who heard his interview Tuesday morning with Nate.
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