OTC: Moustakas & The Royals Have Identified The Enemy — And It’s The KC Media / The Stripping Of Danny Clinkscale To Come?

“Vargas threw the ball fantastic. He kept the ball down in the zone…”
Mike Moustakas, repeatedly answering any question from the media Wednesday afternoon about his two doubles and three RBIs in the Royals 3-2 win over the Rockies with the same evasive response, 810 AM
GH: You just wouldn’t think that a town the size of Kansas City as the 36th media market with the Royals and Chiefs not having any postseason success in decades, could produce controversy from their two moribund franchises on an almost daily basis. But there is almost always something of interest for Off The Couch readers to catch up on. Yesterday it was Dayton Moore sarcastically poking the media and today it is Mike Moustakas stiffing the media and the media not being all that happy about being stiffed. Read on. 

“What’s this all about? … I’ll go one more time. You had the biggest hit of the game, can you talk about it?”
Danny Clinkscale, after hearing Moustakas continue to avoid answering questions about his productive day at the plate, 810 AM
GH: I give credit here to Clinkscale for being bold enough to ask the question that too often goes unasked in these kinds of settings. The easy thing for the reporters to do is just allow Moustakas to play dumb and move on to the next locker and quiz a player who might be more cooperative. Clink didn’t do that. He wanted to know why Moose was acting like a spoiled superstar – which is exactly what I wanted to know and I’m sure many Royals’ fans. 

“Vargie had a great game tonight…”
Mike Moustakas, continuing to refuse to answer questions about his play, 810 AM

“This (feuding with the media) never ends up working out well.”
Buster Olney, when asked by The Border Patrol about Moustakas’ post-game behavior, 810 AM
GH: Just what the heck is Moose mad about? Mathematics? He’s the guy hitting .147.

“The media didn’t create this. He’s hitting .150. If you’re not hitting above the Mendoza line (.200), you don’t get to stay in the big leagues. That’s the way it works…or at least that’s the way I thought it worked.”
Jaime Bluma, former Royals’ pitcher, 810 AM GH: The Royals have identified the enemy and it appears to be the Kansas City media – particularly Danny Clinkscale. Will they follow the lead by the movie Major League and place a life-size cutout of Clinkscale in the middle of the locker room and start stripping off his clothes piece-by-piece after each win? With the layered look that the dapper Clink prefers, it might take 90 wins for the Royals to get a peek at Danny’s twig and berries. 

“This is a middle finger to everybody. To everybody! We are the conduit to the fans. They can Twitter back and forth these days but they can’t be in that clubhouse.”
Danny Clinkscale, discussing Moose’s post-game interview with Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Clink went a bit goofy over Moose’s sophomoric reaction to the media. Yes, the 25-year-old third baseman acted childishly, but the vast majority of fans will not see this as anything more than a gag played by Moose in a celebratory locker room. Most fans don’t care how the media and Royals get along. Clink and Kietz don’t seem to get that. 

“He made a good situation – the Royals turning the corner and being over .500 – this was a feel-good moment for the team and he turned it into NOT a feel-good moment. … Al l the guys wanted was a quote for their stories. What (Moustakas) has done is painted a giant bull’s eye on him. Now guys can’t wait for something to happen.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: I got the feeling listening to Clinkscale that he was upset with Moustakas. Clinkscale sounded downright mad about how Moose acted in that post-game interview. Why? I think I would have smiled and had some fun with it. As for Moose not giving the reporters what they wanted for their game stories, I saw and heard about Moose’s interview on every radio and television station I turned to Wednesday evening. I think they got what they wanted – news.  

“You heard what happens when you have paid media (covering the team). He’s a nice guy but you heard what happens when this thing started going down the wrong road. Dick Kaegel threw him a life line.”
Danny Clinkscale, on the MLB.com writer changing the subject from Moose’s day at the plate to him and Salvatore Perez’s pick off 810 AM
GH: This comment reminded me how vehemently Kietzman defended the financial relationship WHB has with the Chiefs – and how it in no way affects how they cover the local NFL team. When a media outlet or media person enters into a financial agreement with the team or organizations they report on the consumers are often the losers.  

“The circus has come to town for this (Royals) team. It is clear to me that it comes from the top clear down to the players, that they feel they have been wronged by the media. If questions about a guy hitting .150 is going to bother you, Boston and New York would make you wet your pants.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“I believe in him. Dayton believes in him. The players in that locker room believe in him.” Ned Yost, reassuring the media that the Royals are all on the same page with their third baseman, Kansas City Star

“I want to be careful about what I say… I do get kind of a sense (in the Royals’ clubhouse) that there’s kind of a split between the younger guys and the older guys on the way they were handled.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM GH: Bukaty was not eager to share this nugget from what he thinks about the atmosphere inside the Royals’ clubhouse. If Yost starts reciting nursery rhymes the next time Nate asks a question we will know why.

[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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42 Responses to OTC: Moustakas & The Royals Have Identified The Enemy — And It’s The KC Media / The Stripping Of Danny Clinkscale To Come?

  1. Kyle R says:

    This continued fallacy that the Royals have all these “young” guys and it’s an excuse for poor production and handling with kid gloves drives me nuts. If we all agree that ages 27-28 are a player’s prime, and the stats say that’s true…
    – Perez, age 24 (young guy)
    – Escobar, age 28 (not a young guy anymore)
    – Hosmer, age 25 (approaching the line)
    – Infante, age 33
    – Moustakas, age 25 (26 in September – approaching the line)
    – Valencia, age 29 (30 in September)
    – Aoki, age 32
    – Cain, age 28
    – Dyson, age 29 (30 in August)
    – Gordon, age 30
    – Maxwell, age 31
    – Butler, age 28

    That’s the 12 position guys that play and they average 28.5 years old together. Even subtracting Infante, they still average 28. The only truly “young” one is Perez and nobody seems to handle him with kid gloves or act like he’s 19 and has all the time in the world to reach his potential, which is how it is with Hosmer & Moose, and even Escobar, Butler and Gordon to an extent. They’re at the exact age where they need to win now.

    Olney’s interview talked about David Cone’s approach to the media, which is to own your performance and then there’s nothing for the media to talk about. All Moose needed to say is, “Today was a good day and I’m happy to contribute to the win. We all know my performance hasn’t been good enough this year, and one day isn’t going to alleviate that but it’s a step in the right direction.” Interview over, “controversy” averted.

    • mike t. says:

      yep. +1. (that was actually a well-written statement. maybe moose can hire you on part-time to write his statements.)

    • geoknows says:

      Hosmer is 24, not 25 until October. If Perez is still a young guy, Hosmer is too, he’s only a few months older.
      Escobar is 27, not 28 until December.

      • Kyle R says:

        Ugh. Ok, I was wrong with the above on a couple things. They’re still a young squad compared to the rest of MLB – thanks for finding that chart Say What?.

        However, I think the point still is that these guys almost all have enough plate appearances that most are probably “who they are” at this time and expecting more late development blooming like Alex Gordon did is unrealistic.

    • Say What? says:


  2. Jim says:

    I’ve chuckled every time they have played the interview. I wanted Clink to ask ONE more time. Who cares if Moose gave the big “middle finger” to the media? It’s not like any of those douchebags are a lovable sort. I actually like Clinkscale. But, sports media folk in this town can have a sense of self-importance. Rather than get pissed, Danny could of had some fun with the whole thing. There was some real “radio gold” to be had there.

    • Alphonse Tooty says:

      If Moustakas can get fired up by pissing off pussies like Clinkscale and Keitzman, I’m all for it.

  3. Hot Carl says:

    How refreshing it would have been if Moose said, “I was really glad to get that hit. It helped the team and maybe I can start turning things around.” Instead, he came off looking like a dick. One more reason this franchise can snack on my pouch.

  4. PB says:

    This interview is the gift that keeps on giving. I laughed out loud when listening to it and am getting almost as much, if not more amusement out of the media crying about it. Was he immature? Probably, but those same dudes were talking and writing about the travesty it would be not to send him to Omaha just the previous day. You want a guy demoted for his play, ask him how he feels about his play, and get upset with his response? Here’s hoping he continues to hit for the sake of future Moose vs Media throw downs.

  5. The Independent Rage says:

    If the Royals go Major League, and Karen Kornacki becomes the next cutout enemy, then we’ve really got some grave issues to be talking about in that locker room. Good grief. If another cutout enemy must be named, my vote’s for Fountain Mom.

  6. Bill says:

    I have thought the Mendoza line was .215, Greg. But, after doing some research, it seems to be either .200 or .215 (Mendoza’s career batting average).

    • Sirr Parker says:

      The Mendoza line has always been .200. I believe Chris Berman coined the phrase back in the early days of ESPN.

      • W&M Baseball says:

        George Brett actually was the first say in an interview, what was already a common cliche in the locker room: Thirty four years ago, in the midst of an early-season slump, George Brett told reporters, “The first thing I look for in the Sunday papers is who is below the Mendoza line.”

    • Gassedup says:

      Time to re name it the MOUSTATAS LINE .150
      It used to be you needed to hit your weight. now you only expected to hit your girl friends weight.
      Someone earlier in the day stated it well, if you have some humility it goes a long way. If your an arrogent prick it doesn’t take long for people to start rooting against you.

  7. Phaedrus says:

    Moose is a spoiled douche bag. Hell, if I was hitting a buck fifty, I’d be saying that I deserved to be sent down. I wouldn’t be insulted when people want me sent to Omaha.

    It’s no wonder the Royals never win anything…..they perform like shit and still expect to be treated like superstars.

  8. Joe Blow says:

    Moustakas has *ALWAYS* been a douche. I can’t believe how long it’s taken for other Royals fans to realize that..

    • Kyle says:


    • JHawkScott says:

      Wasn’t he the same guy Greg wrote about last year big timing one of the veteran reporters that was on deadline?

      • Alphonse Tooty says:

        Yes. Douchetakas dissed the Star reporter in order to talk with the punks from 610. That says a lot.

    • Phaedrus says:

      I think this is the first negative thing you’ve said about the Royals or any of their players. I was beginning to think you were Dayton Moore himself.

      • Joe Blow says:

        If I was Dayton Moore, I would be much richer and just as sensitive of criticism..

  9. Richard Cranium says:

    About the only reason anyone like Moustakas is they get to yell something when he comes up to bat. He’s a Dick Head of another color, but at least drunk people can yell things when he swings wildly at another lost opportunity. What a douche.

  10. Al says:

    Hey Bill (and Greg), a little bar room trivia for you that Royals fans may not know about the Mendoza line that is pretty cool….. The saying was created as a clubhouse joke among baseball players in 1979, when from early May onwards, Mendoza’s average was always within a few points of .200 either way, finishing out the season at .198 for the year (and .201 for his career to that point). “My teammates Tom Paciorek and Bruce Bochte used it to make fun of me,” Mendoza said in 2010. “Then they were giving George Brett a hard time because he had a slow start that year, so they told him, ‘Hey, man, you’re going to sink down below the Mendoza Line if you’re not careful.’ And then Brett mentioned it to Chris Berman from ESPN, and eventually it spread and became a part of the game.” Berman deflects credit back to Brett in popularizing the term. “Mario Mendoza — it’s all George Brett,” Berman said. “We used it all the time in those 1980s SportsCenters. It was just a humorous way to describe how someone was hitting.”

    • JP says:

      Great story, I think we should call .150 or .175 the Moustakas line. He isn’t hitting good enough to be in the same class as the legendary Mario Mendoza.

  11. JP says:

    I’m kind of in the middle on this one. Moose needs all the friends he can get, and pissing off the local media does nobody any good. On the other hand, if he starts hitting in the .275-280 range with a number of home runs, he can be the biggest douche on the planet for all I care. When you’re hitting in the .150 range, STFU and be humble!!

    As for Clinkscale, no problem with asking the question. But I get so sick and tired of the media talking about how they are “The Conduit to the Fans” and whining when the baseball players crap on them and treat them like excrement. They wanted to go into sports. Clink should have just let it go, and let KK go into whine fest. Someone please tell the guys at 810 that they have a job to do, and quit whining when they don’t get the answers they want. I want to hear from the Royals, but don’t care to hear about how the overpaid and freebie getting media get disrespected.

  12. Ptolemy says:

    GH “Will they follow the lead by the movie Major League and place a life-size cutout of Clinkscale in the middle of the locker room and start stripping off his clothes piece-by-piece after each win? With the layered look that the dapper Clink prefers, it might take 90 wins for the Royals to get a peek at Danny’s twig and berries.”

    The Royals are gay?

  13. Neutral observer says:

    Rhe Royals don’t get it. Their GM is whining; their .150-hitting No. 1 pick is whining. Their manager, a good ol’ boy arrogant a-hole, has no clue of how to handle the media. They’re off to an ok start, considering the horrible offense. And, yet, they continue to be douchebags. It’s an easy franchise not to like, whether they’re 0 for 30 in postseason play or contending each year. Regardless of what you think about the media, guys are doing their job. The Royals, on the other hand, from Moore on down, are not. And their media relations staff is either incompetent or inept, or both.

  14. Brad says:

    The MooseMark is .175. Coined last year as Moustakas worked hard for months it seemed at or below that mark before breaking out (by his weak standards) later in the year.

    The MooseMark….still very much relevant yet another year for the Cactus League batting champ.

  15. Herb says:

    Much ado about nothing.

    Anytime you can hear an 810 radio geek whine and cry on the air about being mistreated…well….it’s comical when you think about it. Most of them are a bunch of wanna-be athletes themselves. Ironically, it’s the ones who WERE pro athletes that don’t act like bitches on the air.

    • Tiberius Gracchus says:

      “Clink” is the biggest media douche in town, or maybe tied with Fesco! I couldn’t care less about Moose but what insight could he give us about finally getting a hit? Whats he going to say ” I sacrificed a virgin to appease the gods”, “I decided to quit taking the brown acid before games”, “I finally get it, it’s important to get hits!”. Given enough opportunities even a bad hitter will get a hit! There is nothing, in all world of worthless sports “info”, than baseball quotes!

  16. Arte says:

    Heard Clinkscale say on 810 he thought if he asked the question one more time Moose might take a swing at him. Buddy of mine was helping a friend of his in the media and was there. . Said it was never that tense. Clinkscale is a drama queen sometimes. Friend also says he was more shocked to see Moose without a shirt. Apparently he’s no Vito Cammisano.

    • Herb says:

      Good to hear this Arte. I heard Clunk say that and I thought it sounded strange, too. Clearly Moose knew what he was doing and wasn’t bothered or surprised by Clunk’s repetitive asking of the same meh question, so the idea that HE was getting bothered and enraged by the question is preposterous. It was CLUNK who was getting bothered and mad by it. Hence, he goes on the air, dramatizes it, and gets the final word. (I’ll show HIM, media guy thinks…)

      You people can be upset with Moose for what he did…..but Clink was just as immature. The best way to handle it would’ve been to play the soundbyte, say “that’s what he gave me”, and let the rest handle itself. The problem is, you can’t fill 4 hours of radio doing it that way……ahem….

  17. Juan Pablo says:

    Nothing more boring then the media doing stories of what other members of the media say and do. Try talking about sports on a sports station.

  18. W&M Baseball says:

    The “boycott” of 810 apparently stemmed from the players not being able to get in the 810 bar,when they were at the “fire capacity limit”. If the kids want to act like prima donnas then simply get in the playoffs and the entire town will make sure the six-figured (i.e. Minimum salary In 2014 is $500,000) 25th man (i.e. Last guy on team) gets snuck in the back door of any and ALL local restaurants and bars…until then…Just WIN you babies !!!

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