If this Twitter Tuesday isn't good, it'll be a first.
The Kansas City Star
On occasion, we run a free and unsolicited service here on this blog called “PR 101.” We’ve advised Gary Pinkel and Dayton Moore and Scott Pioli and others who say silly things every now and then, and who among us doesn’t say silly things every now and then?
Ned Yost said something silly the other day. You’ve read the rant, and if you ever want to go back and re-read it you just need to Google “Ned Yost third baseman tree.” The rant is both hilarious and silly, a misguided way to make a valid point.
Here, then, is what he should’ve said:
“Look, I understand the fans’ frustration. I’m frustrated, too, and none of us are as frustrated as Moose right now. He wants to help us win ballgames more than anything. The results aren’t coming right now, but we’re going to stick with him because I’m convinced the results will come.
“Our best team is with Moose producing, so we’re going to do everything possible to make that happen. It takes time with young players. Bryce Harper and Mike Trout and Ryan Braun are the exceptions. Alex Gordon is the rule. But I believe in Moose, his teammates believe in him, this organization believes in him, and we’re going to get him right.
“I understand the fans of this franchise have waited a long time for something to cheer about, longer than fans should be asked to wait. So I understand their frustration, and honestly, I welcome it because it means they care. I love our fans and wouldn’t have it any other way. We all want the same thing here. None of us have all the answers. This is a bottom-line business, Moose and the rest of us understand that, but we believe our best chance at success is with Moose hitting so we’re going to do everything possible to help him along.”
There. That’s not so hard, right?
This week’s reading recommendation is actually a list of 75 books that Esquire calls “The Greatest Books Ever Written.” I’ve started in on Killer Angels, and by “started in on,” I mean I’m listening to it while I run. Does that count? Eating recommendation is the Sassano and potato salad at Pandolfi’s.
Anyway, busy and angry week, so let’s get to it. As always, thanks for your help and for reading.
@justin_baker88 ughhhh Kansas City meltdown… No question…just aggravated noise coming out when I type… #twittertuesday
Justin’s in good company. The Royals have lost 11 of 14, and while the current four-games-in-a-row is their longest losing streak, the bigger picture is the kind of thing capable of sinking a season. Especially when they’ve blown leads in each of the last four, and have, conservatively, at least two holes in the lineup on most nights.
@thillsman Is it too “Kansas City” of me to be excited for the tough competition for the most Kansas City question in #TT tomorrow?
Fierce competition, you guys. Ready?
@wsweyhrauch is there an MLB manager tree where we can go pick another manager for the Royals?
No lie, I probably got a dozen variations on this joke.
@TheJeffReport who makes the playoffs first, the Royals or the Astros? #TwitterTuesday
@Speck60 How come I can’t stop crying? #Royals #TwitterTuesday
… well …
@chaser_racer32 Why? #royals #TwitterTuesday
… umm …
@Thuettenmueller HELP US - every Royals fan everywhere.
… guys, I’m just one man …
@rgoodwin5 #TT Is it just me or did the 2013 Royals just lose to the 2005 Royals? When can we officially hit the panic button?
… well, yeah. They did. There are 162 games in a baseball season, which is far too many to freak out about any particular night, but the Royals have earned every bit of criticism and skepticism and insults and doubt their fans are throwing at them right now.
Their predecessors of the last 27 years have done them no favors, of course, but just looking at this year’s group they’ve been a disappointment on defense, with Kelvin Herrera turning into Sidney Ponson, with a cornerstone player hitting the weight of a skinny man, with five regulars right now — Moustakas, Hosmer, Getz/Johnson, Francoeur, Escobar — hitting like a bag of feathers, and with with losing 17 (!) games in which the pitchers have given up three or fewer runs.
I’m not apocalyptic about the Royals right now. Not with them still only one game below .500 and a week or so away from finishing a brutal stretch of the schedule in which we said they’d be in good shape around .500, but I certainly understand why a lot of you are assuming the worst.
The Royals have earned the skepticism.
@Turnksu didn’t the Brewers fire Yost during their playoff run a few years ago? Earlytwittertuesdayquestion
Yes, and I’m not a Ned defender, but it is worth pointing out that just saying it like that — and there are lots of people saying it like that, and there will be lots more saying it like that — is a vast oversimplification.
@ClintT13 Is now the perfect time to offer Moose/Hosmer deals like TB gave Longoria? Buy out some FA years. Searching for a silver lining.
Not sure the comparison to Longoria is valid, just because Longoria had been up for like 15 minutes and wasn’t struggling like Moose and Hosmer have. Remember that both players’ agent is Scott Boras, who has a long-standing aversion to clients selling off their free agent years.
There might be some value here if you could get them for a discounted rate, and it could also be a strong show of support from the organization (especially with management essentially screwed anyway if Moose and Hosmer fail).
But I think their current struggles would just mean that the two sides would be even further apart on contract numbers than normal, and I’d be absolutely shocked if they could agree on something — even if motivated.
@justin_baker88 moose left more people on base this weekend than some small KS high schools had graduates. Why is he still every day 3B? #tt
I’m curious if last night is the beginning of another non-platoon platoon. Moose has always struggled against left-handed pitching, and even most of the positive scouting reports you hear on him are that he’ll likely always have problems against lefties. Miguel Tejada has shown, if nothing else, the promise of being able to help in the short-term.
Why not ride that a bit more while you get Moose right?
@JimmyMCarroll Why do the Royals always shy away from moves that are universally thought to improve them? Utley nonsense aside. #TwitterTuesday
Universally thought by who? Twitter? Again, the Royals have earned whatever cynicism you give them, but I hope we can all take a step back and understand that at the very least management is not actively trying to lose. Can we at least get there?
In every city, with every team, there are certain moves or players that are loved/hated^ by fans. That doesn’t necessarily mean said moves or players are universally thought to improve/hurt the team. Remember, there was a time the leading Move Universally Thought By Fans To Improve The Team was making Herrera the closer.
^ Last night, we had the game on, and The Smokeshow looked up from her magazine and saw a double-play grounder. She got momentarily frustrated, then: “Oh, that was Perez. Nevermind. He can do whatever he wants.” I was proud.
@clung99 If the Royals crumble like years past, do you think GMDM gets the boot? Or did he misspeak and the process was at least 8 years?
My guess is he has at least through the Shields deal, so one more year.
@AndresSpivey I WAS hanging in, but the last week, and Yost’s handling of it has turned me completely off of this team for this year
Representative of a lot of people, and again, I totally get it. It’s on the Royals to win you back.
@RoyalsBookGuy When Ned gets fired, will “I’ve never been wrong” rank up there in KC lore with Buddy Bell’s “never say it can’t get worse?” #TT
No question, though I think it’s more in the category of Tony Muser’s “Milk and Cookies.” Honestly, I’ve just never heard anyone drop the “if I’m wrong, it’ll be the first time” line and not be joking. It’s sort of like, “Do you know who I am?”
@AdamTKO why have Shields/Santana not held a closed door meeting to rip into this pathetic offense? #Royals #TwitterTuesday
Say it with me, everyone: Winners win, and losers meet.
@THEJaneMarie what’s your favorite post-royals-loss drink?? #TwitterTuesday
Whiskey. But full disclosure, that’s also my favorite post-Royals-win drink. Because it’s delicious.
@MrBenMcGuire How badly do the Royals have to finish for the 2013 team to receive the distinction of ‘Most Underachieving Royals of All Time’?
I’m interested to hear if Royals historians disagree with me, but from my view, the competition is recent: 2009. That was the first year of the “new” K^, the first season after Zack Greinke signed that extension because he finally felt like the team could win, and the consensus around baseball was that the Royals were a .500-or-a-bit-below sort of team and, with the right breaks, might be able to go all 2003 and surprise some folks.
^ There’s a guy who emails me every once in a while saying, basically, the Royals stink because “The K” is a dumb name for a baseball stadium. He may or may not be right — George Brett got on board with my “Kougar” submission a while back — but I do think we can all agree the Royals have bigger problems than the nickname for their stadium.
That ended in misery, 97 losses and a longtime club employee telling me it was the most disappointing season in franchise history. So as far as I can tell, that’s the bar.
This team’s expectations were higher than 2009, so I’m going to put the loss requirement at 90. Lose 90, and this is more disappointing than last year.
@canglem Are the Royals becoming Baylor basketball? All kinds of hype about talent, but underproduce when it matters?
My favorite part of this question is that this qualified as “all kinds of hype.” I had the Royals at 83 wins, I think, and from what I could tell that was in the middle of most. It doesn’t take much around here.
Anyway, enough angst.
@Andycoldy I’m gonna keep it positive and say, how about them Wildcats! (at least there’s something positive) #twittertuesday
Blair wrote about this the other day, but it’s absolutely incredible. He says that Louisville this year, plus Texas and Stanford in the past are the only schools to pull off the football-men’s basketball-baseball conference championship hat trick.
When it was just football and basketball, I wrote a similar sentiment. What pushes it over the top is that K-State is doing this for relative peanuts compared to some other schools, and that when conference realignment was keeping everyone up at night, K-State was a school people thought would be without a league.
@prnutz What would your hand gesture to the dugout be after you got a hit? West SIDE!! How about your walk-up song to the plate? #TT
@froggiemlm you get to make the ultimate KC food platter what is on it? #twittertuesday
Oh god. We’ll start off with the artichoke at Garozzo’s, then a salad from the Farmhouse, the good burnt ends from Gates — if their inconsistent selves are off, I’m getting ribs at Oklahoma Joe’s — fries from Joe’s, two wings from the Peanut, the bacon and gouda mac and cheese from Anton’s, and ice cream from Murray’s.
Then a couch.
@jdpshrout #twittertuesday Im heading to kc after being away for 6 yrs or so. Need a good place to eat and hang w/ buds on sun eve. Recs?
Depends what you’re looking for, but Westport Flea Market would be great for laid-back burgers-and-beer, plus easy walk to some other places for after-dinner drinks.
@AlanSwansonmed8 SKC rival Dyanmo return to Sporting Park on Sunday. Will SKC take all 3 pts or will Houston get revenge
Has nothing to do with the Dynamo — who often give Sporting trouble — but I think Sporting will be especially motivated/peeved after the way it took a draw with DC United. Bad calls are an unfortunate part of sports, but that’s one that might stick with a team.
@losstangeles Dodgers fan here. Please reassure me by saying Trey Hillman won’t be LAD manager by week’s end. Please. #tt
Sorry. Trey was a well-documented disaster here in Kansas City, but — and I think I’m in the minority here — I do think he can be a good manager in the right context. His over-riding problem in Kansas City was a lack of self-awareness. This played out in many ways, from over-compensating for his lack of experience by presenting himself as The Smartest Guy In The Room, to an unwillingness to adjust to an inability to promote a good clubhouse atmosphere.
But I do think Trey is smart, loves the game, is constantly trying to learn more, and genuinely wants the right things. He just didn’t know how to get that accomplished here in Kansas City (and had some bad teams). If he’s learned from his mistakes — like we all hope to do — I think he could be a good in his next job.
But if I was a fan or a general manager, I’m not sure I’d want that next job to be with my team.
@buddytbrown Do you find it creepy that I have had a permanent smile since last #TT all because a kid in high school decided to attend KU?
A little bit, if I’m being honest, but this is part of the deal you make when you’re a college basketball fan. I have a personal policy of not getting too into recruiting, for a lot of reasons, but I do think Andrew Wiggins rises to the level of exception. It’s a fact that college basketball is often tipped one way or the other by freshmen, and if Wiggins is even 75 percent as good as a lot of people are saying, then, well, it’ll be a fun year around here.
@DownBy_ABay so with Wiggins in the fold who you got winning the Big XII in basketball, #RCJH or #OkState? #TT
It’s long been silly to pick anyone but KU to win the Big 12, but I was going to have a hard time with this come the upcoming season. As of eight days ago, Oklahoma State had the best team in the league. Marcus Smart’s surprising decision to come back gave OSU the best player in the league, and you’d think enough talent to make up for Travis Ford being the coach.
Again, if what people are saying about Wiggins is close to true, that balance just shifted. It’s not a blowout, but with Self and The Streak, I’m just not sure how you can pick another team now.
@MarcSamet what makes somebody a good recruiter?
Let’s all recognize that Self has a lot to sell at KU. The history and the fans and building and the facilities and the national profile, there’s just a lot — regardless of the coach — to attract high school basketball stars to Lawrence. Leonard Hamilton is widely regarded as one of the nation’s best recruiters, but you’re playing a different game selling basketball at Florida State vs Kansas.
All that said, I think Self’s biggest strengths are that he relates well with younger players — I’ve heard former players say he listens to their music, for example, and can have conversations with them about it — while not ceding the role of a coach. He can be friendly and funny, in other words, but still be hard and in control. He has a natural confidence that’s just been buoyed by all his success at KU. His teams always win.
There’s no One Big Thing. But Self has a lot of big things, if that makes sense.
@ClintT13 The Astros knock KC under .500 & Perez sufferes what I can only assume is the exact same hip injury as Bo Jackson. #shuttlecocks
Most Kansas City Tweet Of The Week.