OTC: Royals Hot Start Has Fans Both Hopeful & Skeptical / Rex Hudler Shows His Tough Side

“According to numerous polls, America’s favorite color is blue. So is the world’s. Blue unites. In other news: #RoyalsInFirst.”
Joe Posnanski, @JPosnanski, Twitter
GH: JoPo has promised to tweet out a shout out to the Royals every day this season that the team is in first place. May his fingers bleed from exhaustion – but knowing Joe’s stamina at the keyboard, that might not happen until Zager & Evans’ favorite year arrives. #2525

“Gas station here in central Kentucky is distributing Royals pocket schedules. Mixup? Or are we truly becoming a #RoyalsNation?”
Todd Probus, @tprobus, responding to JoPo’s above tweet, Twitter
GH: When Greg Holland got Evan Longoria to swing and miss on strike three in the ninth as the Royals clung to a 9-8 lead, I got a bit of a chill. These are the situations where the Royals almost always come out on the losing end. But Holland closed out the come-from-behind win and the Royals lead the ALC with a 15-10 record on May 2nd. Okay, it is not time to invoke the great Jack Buck’s famous, “Go crazy, folks!” line but feel free to at least get dizzy.

“It’s May 1st Greg. This is the Royals we’ve been down this road b4. Be excited but expect the Royals to eventually be the Royals.”
Chris Hamblin, @HamblinRadio, attempting to calm my exuberance over the Royals’ start, Twitter
GH: Hamblin is right – we have been here before. But this feels different. A lot different.

“When (James Shields) is not pitching he is the most important guy in the dugout. He’s the guy that we really needed.”
Eric Hosmer, 610 AM
GH: Shields is one of those difference makers as to why this Royals’ start feels different.  The way he walked off the mound after the seventh Tuesday night with a warrior’s look on his face and then an aggressive flick of his shoulder told me all I need to know about Big Game James. He is all in.

“This team has a little bit of a swagger to it. I think that’s because of James Shields.”
Joel Goldberg, 810 AM

“It’s a long season, but these last 2 nights have been freaking awesome.”
Mike Welch, @MikeWelchSR, after the Royals’ second comeback win in a row, Twitter

“There was a time not long ago that the Mighty Mike Jacobs led the #Royals to an 18-11 record into mid May. #ImJustSayin #FirstPlace.”
Tim Scott, @timscott411, the former in-stadium PA host for the Royals, Twitter
GH: Scott and Hamblin aren’t buying in just yet. They are probably correct in their hesitance to believe. But if you can’t enjoy this, what the heck are you waiting to enjoy?

“Every Royals win this season has me thinking of the start of the Buffalo Springfield song, ‘Stop, Hey What’s That Sound.’ … There’s something happenin here. What it is ain’t exactly clear…’ – Kansas City Royals.”
Lorenzo Butler, @LorenzoButlerPR, Twitter

“Big, big win. The Royals are going to start believing they can come back from any deficit. Are they mirroring last year’s Orioles?”
Karl Zinke, @ZinkeEJC, Twitter
GH: John Renshaw, a lifelong Orioles fan, began this baseball season by wishing me and Royals’ fans the kind of season he and Baltimore enjoyed last summer…and The Freak is due for a few wishes to be granted.

“@Koreanfan_KC you get the time off, i got the flight. Make it happen brother. #respect.”
Danny Duffy, @DannyDuffy805, Twitter
GH: How cool is this? Duffy reaches out online to a Korean Royals fan and tells him to get the time off for a trip to KC and he’ll pick up the flight. And you don’t think things are different this summer at The K?

“Duffy did things in minors with his $ most fans will never know about-he’s very generous which is why offer to @Koreanfan_KC is just him.”
Greg Schaum, @Greg_Schaum, Twitter

“Seriously, if all athletes got it regarding fans like @DannyDuffy805 does- you think we could root for him any harder? Class act, young man!”
Robert Sigrist, @DocSig, Twitter

“This was one of the weirdest games I’ve ever played in. I started with no undershirt on, and by the ninth inning I wanted to get in the hot tub. It had to drop 30 degrees during that game.”
Jeff Francoeur, on the temperature drop during Thursday night’s game, Kansas City Star
GH: I mowed yards Wednesday evening and I went through the same uniform changes as Frenchy while listening to the game’s early innings. Lezak is calling for 2-6 inches of snow here tomorrow!

“As they say in Boston – it’s gonna be wicked bad!”
Steve Physioc, Royals radio & TV play-by-play voice, on the weather forecast for Thursday’s afternoon game at The K, 610 AM

“The lineup is good, man. When we start getting on it, we smell blood, it seems like.”
Elliot Johnson, Royals’ utility infielder who hit a solo homer Wednesday night, Kansas City Star

“This is new territory (for the Royals). We’re setting new (ratings) records on a regular basis. This is a baseball town but they need a product. They have a product now.”
Joel Goldberg, Royals TV host, Fox Sports KC

“I was talking to Jeff Montgomery yesterday and I said, ‘Monty, name a better starting staff in all of baseball?’ And we were going through all the teams and there are none! The (Royals) pitchers are making some of these so-called good-hitting ball clubs look absolutely horrible! How are they winning? It’s just outstanding pitching now.”
Mike Mcfarlane, 810 AM

“I believe Detroit’s not only the best team in the American League Central, I believe they are the best team in baseball. Their rotation is fantastic.”
Steve Physioc, 610 AM

“I don’t understand why Moose is just jogging right here. Watch him, he just shuts it down. If something happens and that outfielder kicks that ball, he’s not in position to go to third base. I don’t know why he is jogging into bases like that. You can’t assume anything in this game. He did that the other night on a ball running from second to third. He just shut it down. He jogged the last few steps! I don’t know what that is. It’s not a full effort. It’s not a good effort.”
Rex Hudler, critiquing Moustakas’ lackadaisical gate as he cruised into second base on a ball hit to right field Tuesday night against the Rays, Fox Sports KC
GH: This might have been Rex Hudler’s finest moment as a Royals’ broadcaster. Being a cheerleader is not what I want or need from an analyst. Being tough on a young player who dogs it is. Maybe the Wonder Dog isn’t too old to learn some new tricks.

[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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31 Responses to OTC: Royals Hot Start Has Fans Both Hopeful & Skeptical / Rex Hudler Shows His Tough Side

  1. Mike says:

    Good writeup on Rex. There are things that players (and teams) do that can elevate them from being just a good ballclub to a playoff contending club. Moose is in that learning curve, I think. He’s taken the whole pouch of Big League Chew out of his mouth during his ABs, or at least couched it to his cheek, and appears to look a little more serious in his plate approach. Maybe the subtle talk about a AAA refresher startled him into a different mindset. But Rex’s good observation tells us that Moose still has to do more.

  2. Joe Blow says:

    If you can get past the random retardedness, Rex says everything Frank White said and more, albeit in a more professional manner. He’s an ex-player giving you the low-down on what’s happening during the game — I think his opinions should be more respected than they are..

    • Stevo says:

      I guess I can’t get past the random retardedness. Look, as long as the Royals are winning, they’ll be fine to listen to. It’s when we’re getting blown out in a game and Hudler is obviously there to gloss over that fact…that’s when it’s really bad.

  3. The Smartman says:

    So if the Ol Royals keep this clip up they’ll win 100 games. Does anybody really expect that to happen? Is Korean fan Psy or Kim Jong Un?

  4. rkcal says:

    Sure, I should be skeptical. But I’m ready to believe in snow storms in May, strangers putting me up for a night on a moment’s notice, and the Royals competing for a division title. Why? Because life is just more fun that way.

  5. Gavin says:

    Somebody please tell Lorenzo Butler that the Buffalo Springfield song is called “For What it’s Worth.” Which might be an ironic commentary on the value of this start to the season if they suffer a typical Royals swoon when (if?) the weather ever gets truly warm.

    I’m not hoping they fade, but I’ve been burned too many times to fully buy in just yet. I’m enjoying this, but, to borrow from another 60s tune, the Royals have taken another too many little pieces of my heart for me to give it up too easily. I want to believe, but I’m going to hang on to my unbridled joy for a little while longer and just stick to reserved pleasure for now.

    • JP says:

      That Lorenzo Butler is one hell of a player. He’s so good, I didn’t even know he was playing for the Royals. I wonder if he’s related to Billy.

      • Gavin says:

        Word. I didn’t even know there WAS a guy named Lorenzo Butler until Greg quoted him above. You know that whole “you can’t see me” thing the Royals are doing? It turns out I REALLY can’t see him.

        • The Smartman says:

          Like Haley Joe Osment in The Sixth Sense, I too see dead people. The Ol Royals are in perfect focus.

  6. nick says:


    It DOES feel different.

    Last night, down 2 with bases loaded and 1 out, Butler ripped a liner off the glove of the pitcher. The pitcher EASILY woulda got the force-out at home, but for some reason went to first. The next batter hit an easy, big-hopper to the shortstop and it bounced out of his glove. Then Cain jammed a blooper to left. Then Franceur hit a seeing-eye grounder up the middle to knock in 2 more runs.

    It’s not the only game like that’s been like that. Our opponents are playing like the Royals teams I’ve watched the last 20 years. It’s nice, but weird and hard to believe.

    Still don’t think it will last past the All-Star break, but winning brings a confidence and swagger, so who knows.

  7. b12 says:

    The difference this season for me is that I am now surprised when the Royals lose; rather than being surprised when they win. This is a real baseball club. I still think Yost coughed up Saturdays game by sending Smith out there when he really didn’t have to….just because he could.

    • Joe Blow says:

      Of course, if you visit any other fan sites, you’d be under the impression that the manager’s decisions loses about 280 games a year..

      • Ron says:

        Baseball managers make many decisions every game that affect the outcome. He sets the starting lineup, decides when to bunt, steal, when to change pitchers, what pitcher to bring in, when to pinch hit, etc., etc.
        Compare football. The offensive and defensive coordinators decide who starts, all substitutions during the game, what plays to call on both sides of the ball, etc. All the head coach does is decide when to kick a field goal or punt. football head coaches have much less influence on the outcome of a particular game. Not even close.

        • bs says:

          Jesus Ron, where to start. Your credibility on this point is lost when you say the following: “All the head coach does is decide when to kick a FG or punt”.

          b12 — Royals had to go with Will Smith. Wasn’t a Yost decision, anyways — would have been Dayton Moore. At the time (before today’s rainout), the Royals had 10 games in 9 days — meaning someone besides the regular 5 starters had to make an appearance in one of those games. MLB rules allowed for an extra player on the double header roster, so might as well take advantage of that. Neither Hochever or Chen had pitched > 3 innings in over a month. Will Smith had been very good in AAA. What was the other option?

  8. MichaelM says:

    Looks like 610 knew what they were doing last week when they were running a commercial about winter being here soon.

    • Greg Hall says:

      MM, My apologies to Bob Davis and the Leawood New Balance store for questioning their obvious brilliance. I expect Davis to take over for Gary Lezak as my go-to weather wonk.

  9. Gee, thanks a lot. Now I’ll have that awful 2525 song in my head all day. That’s worse than thinking back on a Mike Jacobs at bat.

    • JP says:

      Thanks for the reminiscing Greg about that great 2009 season and the 18-11 start. That team was a meltdown waiting to happen. Remember Juan Cruz, Sidney Ponson and the staff anchored by Kyle Davies and Brian Bannister. Worth noting that after that start, they proceeded to finish 47-84.

      That will not happen with this year’s edition. Better pitching and YES better managing. As much as we rip on Yost, it has been worse here. Did everyone forget the Trey Hillman era, when he threw Meche out there for 140 pitches in a game they lost, and didn’t challenge an easily appealable call. Both instances happened at Texas. This team is improved, but it will be a challenge to overcome and defeat Detroit.

      • Taxee says:

        And wasn’t it great to hear from Tim Scott again! And equally nice of McDonalds for allowing him to send a message on his break…………

  10. John Giardino says:

    Is it me or is it absolutely ridiculous and embarrassing for KK to be having the Smoke and Fire segment on at this very moment when the threat of snow is looming. I like 810, but would they please, please kill this segment?

    • Loved Jim Kaat as a wily lefthander, but he can take his grill and go home as far as I’m concerned.

      • John Giardino says:

        I don’t think it’s the same guy…the guy who does the smoke & fire segment is not a former baseball player…his name is Jim Cotty I think?

        • The Independent Rage says:

          John, I stand corrected. I always thought it was the same dude. Now I think EVEN LESS of that weak-ass segment on KK’s show. Bleh!

    • E.Jack Hewlett says:

      having the Smoke n Fire segment is no worse than Soren Petro spending 7 hours of his show talking about the NFL and Chiefs Draft the last two days. I’m convinced that he wants to be Mel Kiper when he grows up. But he’ll probably never grow up.

      • John Giardino says:

        At least that is some valuable statistical analysis of one of the three major sports teams in this city…and Soren’s baseball coverage is the best in the city. As a fan of stats, Soren kicks KK’s butt any day of the week.

  11. boss260 says:

    Did KK really just tell someone to honor a commitment?

  12. The Independent Rage says:

    Think I can lend some insight into why Greg would drop a Zager & Evans 2525 reference to that very obscure (and very annoying) late 60’s One Hit Wonder song. Z&E haled from Lincoln Nebraska — betcha Greg knew ’em both (or some relative of theirs) personally as a young man growing up there. At least I hope he has that excuse going for him. Because that’s one of the most annoying songs in pop music history, right up there with Sweet Caroline and Ice Ice Baby. I’ll repeat: Thanks Greg for foisting that stupid song into my head all afternoon! You’re a sick man.

    • RickM says:

      Most annoying song? Not even close. “MacArthur Park” is much more so, but at least it opens with the lines:

      “Spring was never waiting for us, girl
      It ran one step ahead
      As we followed in the dance”

      Which perfectly describes the Royals’ first month of regular season pay.

  13. MUC says:

    “I was talking to Jeff Montgomery yesterday and I said, ‘Monty, name a better starting staff in all of baseball?’ And we were going through all the teams and there are none! The (Royals) pitchers are making some of these so-called good-hitting ball clubs look absolutely horrible! How are they winning? It’s just outstanding pitching now.”
    Mike Mcfarlane, 810 AM

    I would say that there is a better rotation in the same state. STL’s starters have a combined ERA of 2.09. Best in the majors. With that being said Go Royals!

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