OTC: Royals Miss Opportunity To Show Yost’s Human Side / Star’s Gregorian Disappointing So Far

“I was more nervous than I’ve been all year long wanting to win that game (Saturday) so we could celebrate this in the right fashion. We were gonna celebrate this — win, lose or draw. It is such a special accomplishment… Thinking about these two guys and how special they are not only to me and to our organization and to this city, I was almost overwhelmed a couple of times during the game.”
Ned Yost, on knowing but not being able to tell Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez they had been selected as All Stars prior to Saturday’s 4-3 win over Oakland, Kansas City Star
GH: We rarely see much emotion from Yost except his gruff, grumpy reaction to the media and their questions. It says something about the Royals’ manager that his public persona has been formed by his demeaning responses to WHB’s Nate Bukaty.

“In 10 years of doing this, I’ve never not gotten emotional.”
Ned Yost, on becoming emotional as he announced to the team that Gordon and Perez had made the All-Star team, Kansas City Star
GH: Last July Fox Sports was allowed to capture Yost’s speech to his team when Billy Butler was selected to represent the Royals in Kansas City’s All-Star game. It was a rare look at Yost being more than a cold, arrogant baseball lifer. Click here to watch the video from last season.

“Cameras were not allowed in (the Royals’ locker room) this year like they were last year.”
Nate Bukaty, on there not being any video of Yost announcing Alex Gordon’s and Salvador Perez’s selection to the All-Star game, 810 AM
GH: Bukaty’s choice of words here are telling. “Cameras were not allowed…” Bukaty explained that the reason there was video of Yost talking to his team last year when he announced Butler’s selection was because the All-Star game was in Kansas City. So did the Royals not allow cameras this year? And why not? This is a franchise that needs all the feel-good stories it can muster.

“I’ve had the opportunity to be (involved) with five All-Star games. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Ned Yost, 810 AM
GH: Kind of sounds like a five-times-in-a-life experience, Ned.

“Major league baseball is as dying a sport as we’ve ever seen! It’s dying!”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe made the comment that NFL.com’s online tournament to pick the best all-time NFL jersey has captured the attention of more fans than MLB. What was disappointing about Fescoe’s rant was not his inane comment (of which we are well accustomed), but the fact that his cohost, Josh Klingler, barely challenged Fescoe’s nonsense. Here are some quick facts. MLB has 30 teams that play 162 games. 17 teams are averaging 31,000 in attendance or more through this week. All but four average 21,000 or more. The worst attendance is in Miami with 17,196. The Royals are averaging just under 22,000 this season – and haven’t made the postseason since 1985! I continue to be blown away by how many people go to MLB games every night. A standing-room-only ticket for a Twins game is $25 – and that’s for no seat! It might be time for Fescoe to take another vacation.

“As for what (Eric Hosmer’s) done with (George) Brett and (Pedro) Grifol, Hosmer vaguely explains, ‘We’ve installed an approach that we stick to every day and a routine that we’ve created and stick to, so that basically when you’re in the box you let all the work you’ve done and all the talent take over.’ That doesn’t explain much, which is perhaps testimony to it all still feeling like a work in progress. Maybe getting his groove back is too fresh or fragile to potentially jinx or subject to possible paralysis by analysis.”
Vahe Gregorian, Kansas City Star
GH: I am still trying to get a feel for Gregorian’s style as a columnist. His “column” on Hosmer in Monday’s Kansas City Star and his column on Davis Lough Sunday and Woody Widenhofer on Wednesday read more like feature stories than columns. That’s okay if The Star wants Gregorian to write in-depth feel-good JoPo-lite columns. But Vahe isn’t near the storyteller that JoPo was and is. I believe your sports columnist should be a reason you don’t want to miss reading the morning newspaper. He/she should be the catalyst for office conversation on their column topic. Am I picking on Gregorian? Yeah. I expected more. A lot more.

“I don’t think you’re going to get much for (Ervin Santana) I’d probably just hold onto him and roll the dice.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: If Gregorian wants a column topic to sink his keyboard into and take a side – the trade-or-keep Ervin Santana discussion is a good one. If I was Dayton Moore I would keep Santana and see if the right hander could save my job. If I was David Glass, I’d be telling Moore to shop him over the All-Star break and get me a couple of power-hitting prospects. Wonder what Vahe thinks the Royals should do?

Mike Sweeney lounges with Dick Kaegel

“(Dick Kaegel) doesn’t want to talk to the broadcast people. He’ll make little digs at sport talk radio people. … If people are asking too many questions he’ll kind of roll his eyes and huff. For the most part I leave Dick alone and he leaves me alone.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Dick Kaegel, the 73-year-old Royals’ beat writer for MLB.com, isn’t just old school. He was in class before moveable type. I’ve always liked Kaegel but he’s about as relative to today’s sports media as ticker tape. If anyone’s questions deserve an eye roll and a huff, it’s Kaegel’s fluffy donuts.

“Here’s the good thing about today’s game, no players have been stabbed and none of the umpires have had their head chopped off.”
Mike McCartney, @mikemccartneykc, PA voice at The K, on the Royals 10-4 loss to Oakland Sunday, Twitter
GH: Did you read about or see the video of the Brazilian soccer referee who stabbed a player to death and then was chopped into pieces and beheaded by fans? Sports and religion – some people need a bit more of a healthy perspective when it comes to both.

“Max Scherzer goes for win 14 tonight vs CLE. Tribe hitting .143 in two starts vs Scherzer this year with 14 Ks, 1 walk.”
Dave Matter, @Dave_Matter, on the former Mizzou hurler’s pursuit of a 14-0 start, Twitter
GH: Clemens and Scherzer. Kind of a cacthy ring to it…

“Media applaud (Andy) Murray as he walks into interview room.”
Greg Couch, writer, @gregcouch, on the media reaction to the men’s champion at Wimbledon, Twitter
GH: Is it proper for the media covering an athlete or event to applaud in a post-game press conference? No. But even the media are human. And the human side of anyone is something that cannot be governed by what you learned at Syracuse or Mizzou.

“I really like the ‘over’ on Kansas this year. I think they win five games this year. Maybe six. I think they not only get one conference win but two conference wins.”
Soren Petro, on his optimism about Charlie Weis’ Jayhawks this season, 810 AM
GH: Five wins by KU football would be a lot. Six wins and a bowl bid would have thoughts of Mangino dancing in Jayhawk fans’ heads. (Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!)

“I’m going to say this again. You better watch out if you get rid of Gary Pinkel (at Missouri). Better watch out for what you wish for.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Wasn’t it Kietzman who was warning KU football fans about their criticism of Turner Gill? Pinkel will need to get to a bowl game this season or his motorcycle seat is going to be SEC hot. Mizzou is not spending all this cash on their stadium and facilities to end their football season at Thanksgiving every fall.

[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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47 Responses to OTC: Royals Miss Opportunity To Show Yost’s Human Side / Star’s Gregorian Disappointing So Far

  1. Joey says:

    Pretty sure that the Royals play at the Yankees at 6:05p tonight.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Whoops. For my penance I have sentenced myself to listening to Physioc and Rex explain the art of mule riding. Got it fixed. Thanks.

  2. Renton says:

    No Royals game tonight? Did it get rained out?

  3. Ptolemy says:

    I think GH’s acknowledging that the Royals are going to lose to the Yankees tonight.

  4. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    14 teams in the SEC. 9 made bowl games. 5 didn’t. Of those 5, four fired their head coach. The one that didn’t, was Mizzou. If Mizzou gets rid of Pinkel or he retires, MU is going to have to WAY overpay to get a coach of note, that can win in their conference. And that’s EXACTLY what they should do. So far, they’ve shown me very little as far as being will to do what it takes to win in the SEC.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Guy, But it’s only been one season. Pinkel might not be the guy to get MU into an annual SEC bowl game but I don’t see them sitting around and accepting that plight. He deserves another season to make some adjustments. But as you stated, the SEC schools do not tolerate failure in football. Heck, Kansas isn’t any different. They are still paying three FB coaches in an attempt to get back to a bowl. DI football is for winners only. Big $$$ has changed everything when it comes to patience.

      • Gavin says:

        Greg, you larger point is correct, i.e., that KU has paid/is still paying former coaches in an attempt to get back to a bowl. But it’s not really technically true. They paid off Mangino in a one-time settlement and it’s been paid off for years. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4749169

        Similarly, Turner Gill’s contract required that he be paid off within a short time after his termination. No dragging it out, which would ave benefitted KU, had they been able to do it. I’m pretty sure they tapped a bunch of wealthy boosters o gather up the funds to pay him off as well. http://www2.ljworld.com/qa/sound_off/2011/oct/30/Turner-Gill-buyout/

        Again, none of this belies your larger truth, that KU didn’t choose wisely and had to spend furiously to get out of some bad situations, but it’s an old and inaccurate saw that KU is still paying off Mangino or Gill. The only head football coach KU is paying is Charlie Weis.

  5. donkeypunch says:

    I do the same thing with Gregorian’s columns’s that I do with Harley’s posts…..skip

    • Greg Hall says:

      I had a conversation with four KC-area businessmen Saturday and they brought up Vahe. “What’s his deal?” they all asked. They are reading him but they just don’t see any meat on his bones. I would say it’s early but Vahe has been around the biz for three decades. Columnists need to produce just like the head coach.

  6. The Smartman says:

    Yanks and Ol Roy-als at 7:05 tonight EST, 6:05 CST

    Yost is a turd. He puts some lipstick and eyelashes on every now and then but he’s still a turd. He’s the Gary Pinkel of MLB.

    It will take KU two seasons to win five games. Sorry, Soren muffin top puss gut Petro.

    It’s tennis at Wimbledon for God’s sake. Less interesting than this years Tour de France. Danica Patrick’s menstrual cycle more relevant.

    Kudo’s to whoever called Vahe Gregorian…….Vyhee Soboring. BRILLIANT!

    • Greg Hall says:

      The Royals have to be darn happy about the high level of awareness the OTC readers have about them and their schedule. All except me that is…

  7. geoknows says:

    As far as I’m concerned, any vacation Fescoe takes should be made permanent.

  8. Mangino was never a dancing man, even at the best of times for his teams. For sure, he would slink along more quickly on occasion, but I was never sure if that was due to the joy of a big win or due to knowledge that a post-game spread cannot be devoured lest one first arrives at the table.

  9. geoknows says:

    So what’s the deal with Gregorian anyway? Is he like God’s gift to sportswriting or something? I had never heard of him until the talk radio mouths started going on about how he was coming here from St Louis and the implication was that we should all be kissing his feet. And now you’re expressing disappointment in his effort for the Star thus far. Is all the genuflecting because of some sort of great reputation that I haven’t heard about? Or was the great ballyhoo and anticipation simply because he was stolen away from St Louis?

    • Greg Hall says:

      Gregorian is a very good writer who spent 25 years with the STL Post Dispatch covering a beat — most notably Missouri. The Star hired him as a columnist, which is a nice upgrade and one of the plum jobs at a paper. Expectations are high because he is very well respected by both the media and his readers. But writing as a columnist is different. I’m hoping he quickly adapts.

  10. Spanky says:

    It’s Mike McCartney, not Mike McCarthy

  11. FrankM says:

    I don’t think KC stole Vahe so much as took him off St. Louis’ hands.

    The issue is that he has 30 years as a beat writer, not a columnist – and it shows.

    I’m not a fan, but he desparately needs to take a side on at least a mildly controversial story. I just don’t think he understands that.

  12. JP says:

    Gregorian’s columns remind me of what we used to read in the Star-BW. That is Before Whitlock. Vahe needs to have an opinion and blurt it out.

    Ned Yost is an arrogant SOB who thinks everyone is below his baseball mind. I wouldn’t mind it if the guy won something. Problem is, he never wins anything, yet continues to wax on like he’s some baseball genius.

  13. Johnny Utah says:

    Vahe is perfect for the KC Star: irrelevant.

  14. MrOlathe says:

    Gordon made the All Star Game? That will not sit well with KK.

    • Jim says:

      And………….It didn’t. What a tool.

      • Java Man says:

        Lets see, Gold glove winner and All Star at the position most teams view as the least valuable defensively. Check.

        It was nice see to see Gordon become a 1 (and only) time All Star. Players like him go down hill quickly. Check.

        Eat it, KK.

  15. Kyle says:

    KU has the potential to win 6 games. I will pick 4 with some very tough, close losses.

  16. Joe Blow says:

    GH: We rarely see much emotion from Yost except his gruff, grumpy reaction to the media and their questions. It says something about the Royals’ manager that his public persona has been formed by his demeaning responses to WHB’s Nate Bukaty.

    That, or the blogging public has been falling all over themselves to find something to criticize him for this year. They’ve hated him since the day he was hired, and had to wait until the “Pulling James Shields” thing to fully vent..

    GH: Bukaty’s choice of words here are telling. “Cameras were not allowed…”

    Who f’n cares?

    But Vahe isn’t near the storyteller that JoPo was and is.

    JoePo is a really terrible storyteller.

    “‘We’ve installed an approach that we stick to every day and a routine that we’ve created and stick to, so that basically when you’re in the box you let all the work you’ve done and all the talent take over.’ That doesn’t explain much, which is perhaps testimony to it all still feeling like a work in progress.”

    That’s exactly how hitting in baseball works.

    I’ve always liked Kaegel but he’s about as relative to today’s sports media as ticker tape.

    It’s kind of like when GH wants baseball players to go postal on each other every time they lose a game…you know, like they did in the ’80s..

    • Greg Hall says:

      JoeB, I like your format.

    • Kyle Rohde says:

      JoePo is a terrible storyteller? The guy is guilty of a lot but he can weave a story with the best of them. Read his Buck O’Neil book and tell me again he’s a lousy storyteller.

      • The Smartman says:

        If you like his style, which is in the vein of Harlequin Romance Novels, he’s great. I like a little Makers Mark with my box of Godiva chocolates

        • Twy's Gibman says:

          he can be a very good writer, but the JoePA story exposed his weaknesses. He and Whitlock complimented each other pretty well, with JW bringing actual balls to the table. His annual gradecards for chiefs players were both hilarious and brave for a guy who bumped into those guys a lot.

      • Joe Blow says:

        I guess if you like the one story he tells over and over, in the same exact way…Here, let me read his book *snoooooze*..

  17. FrankM says:

    Assuming this ends up not being under the correct comment – Smartman is correct – Vahe’s wife was part of the “deal.”

    At this point, it appears that taking Vahe was the cost of getting her – I hope she’s worth it. Unfortunately, I only read the sports section.

  18. Cletus Frade says:

    Football is popular for one reason: it’s the perfect game for gambling. Very few people watch football simply for the love of the game. Baseball is the opposite. It doesn’t really lend itself to gambling, but millions of people watch and pay attention to it because they love the game. Baseball is a better game than football, by far. Games are played ever day, there is no clock, the stats are objective and extensive, and the strategy involved is huge. It takes intelligence to appreciate and enjoy baseball, which is sorely lacking in most football fans.

    BTW, does anyone know why the Star is the only entity in KC that persists in calling Salvador Perez “Salvy.” Is it because they consider Salvador too religious and might offend some of their readers? If there was a player named Mohammad would they call him “Hammi.” Just wondering.,.

  19. BlackJack says:

    Your frustration with Fescoe in crying wolf about the demise of baseball is the same beef that many futbol fans take with your indifference, and pooh-poohing of SKC’s popularity in this town, and the fact that you seem oblivious to the fact that draw 20K fans are are very relevant, especially with the younger crowd.

    ALot of it is perception; in a typical game in Sporting Park the place is filled to the rafters and rocking, whereas The K always seems to be tame and half-full.

    • Ultimate Dude says:

      Seats 18k, rarely is completely sold out. Expected exaggeration. You’re better than this Bukaty.

      • Kyle Rohde says:

        Rarely is incorrect; they’ve sold out something like 20 straight matches. However, Blackjack, the difference between the Royals and Sporting is that nobody watches Sporting (or MLS, for that matter) on TV. MLS has grown to the point where they have enough fans for solid attendance at the games, but the casual fan is still not flipping on their matches like they do a Royals game. And MLS/Sporting would admit that, I think.

        And yes, the fans are way more into the game at Sporting Park, but I’ll tell you, as a casual fan, the noise and chants have already declined noticeably from 2011. I made it to five matches that year, two last year and two so far this year (both of last week’s matches) and the crowd was a big disappointment for me (Cauldron and South Stands people included). We’ll see how long Sporting can sustain what it’s built; I hope it’s a long time, as they’re a great organization and have something special out there.

  20. Kyle says:

    Soudns like someone shot a firecracker off up Joe Blow’s ass over the weekend.

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