These Royals aren’t too easy to root for. Not on an intellectual level. Not on an emotional level. The immature culture created by Dayton Moore and Ned Yost is costing this team. It is costing them wins, and it is going to cost them the support of the fans.
Jason Vargas took the bump against the White Sox Monday night. The Chicago White Sox are a bad matchup for Vargas. He’s an extreme fly ball pitcher and the Pale Hoes swat plenty of big flies. Predictably, they roughed him up. By the 5th inning, the Sox had come back from 5 runs down to make it a 5-4 game. Paul Konerko, who has owned Vargas in the past, came up to bat with a couple guys on base.
Remember, if a pitcher goes 5 innings, he is eligible for the decision. If Vargas got out of the inning and the Royals held onto the win, it would have gone to Vargas. Ned Yost decided to keep Jason Vargas in the game even though rationality, stats, and logic said it was time to yank him. Yost kept Vargas in the game and Konerko blasted a home run. The Royals lost the game. It is crystal clear. Yost put his player’s stats in front of the team win, and they lost the game. It doesn’t take a detective to see this as a quantifiable fact. Yost’s outdated and immature stubbornness cost this team a win. When, when, when will this type of move become unacceptable?
On Tuesday, several of the Royals decided to boycott 810 sports radio. Apparently, a couple of the boys in blue weren’t let into an 810 zone event, after it was sold out*. They tried to big ball their way in, and were not successful. Think about that for a second. These win nothing kids galvanized a boycott because they were not given rock star, celebrity, preferential treatment. (*Editor’s note: the reasons stated for the aforementioned boycott are not fully substantiated, but they have been reported by personalities on the 810 radio station.)
It’s the overly coddled group of players drafted by or traded for by Moore. The Get Along Gang. They are immune to minor league demotions and have been convinced over and over by Royals leadership that they have arrived and are already stars. This would be annoying and hard to root for if they were All Stars. Most of these guys aren’t even very good.
The Get Along Gang, certainly consisting of Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Jarrod Dyson, and Lorenzo Cain is apparently recruiting Danny Valencia. They are growing in numbers. Valencia had a recorded interview with 810 and asked them not to air it. He said he was instructed by the Get Along Gang not to speak to the radio station. All of this occurred after Mike Moustakas embarrassed himself and the team by throwing a passive fit with the media last week. I am almost hoping we hear about Alex Gordon beating the hell out of one of these guys. Somebody, outside of another American League Central team, should.
This pattern of behavior is getting more and more consistent and troubling. Does this display focus? Does this display mental toughness? Does this articulate accepting reasonable expectations, like winning? The answer is an emphatic no.
Do gruff interviews, tantrums and boycotts endear this team to its fan base? Do stubborn, prima donna personalities bolster attendance? The answer is an emphatic no.
A local media outlet’s inconveniences should not bother a fan. That’s not what’s troublesome. What’s troublesome is what these antics say about the culture, grit and character of this team. Yost is a poor tactician. Moore is not a progressive thinking roster builder. The arguments in both men’s favor has been that their loyalty and principles were good for things like culture, grit, and character.
That argument has been ended. Both mens’ tenure with the Kansas City Royals should end as well.