Don’t Leave, Frank


I am displeased with Royals’ uppity-ups this week. The Royals and Frank White have parted ways. For good, from what it sounds like and I think that’s an awful thing.

Back when White first started helping out as a voice for the telecast, I wasn’t too sure of his ability to handle being a television commentator. As the year progressed, however, I found myself kind of enjoying his take on different aspects of the Royals. I certainly don’t consider him the “Gus Johnson/Jim Nantz/Insert favorite commentator here” of T.V. personalities, but I thought him somewhat insightful and a refreshing contrast to Ryan Lefebvre.

Let’s get something straight. I am not a fan of Ryan Lefebvre.

The highlight of my dislike goes back two years. I can’t remember who the Royals were playing….maybe the Blue Jays….Tigers? I don’t know. It’s not important.

Kyle Davies was on the mound and as I watched the game with a buddy, and I thought, “Here comes another shellacking.” But it didn’t happen. Davies was actually…decent. Or lucky.

Probably lucky.

Anyhow, somehow he had a no-hitter through 3 innings. One of my favorite traditions in baseball is when a pitcher has a no-hitter going and the entire team avoids him. No one talks about it and no one acknowledges that its happening. No one sits close to the pitcher in the dugout and no one jinxes it.

So that’s what my buddy and I were doing. We were quietly ignoring the fact that Kyle Davies was pitching like he’d never pitched before. Through 3 innings he had a no-hitter. Through 4 innings, through 5 innings…..

Through 6 innings Kyle Davies had a no-hitter and after the 3rd inning of hit-less baseball, Ryan Lefebvre could talk about nothing else. Every word the man spoke permeated no-hitter. Every sentence was designed to point out the fact that FREAKING KYLE DAVIES WAS THROWING A NO-HITTER. And when the no-hit bid was finally broken up, there was only one receptacle for all of my anger.

One Ryan Lefebvre.

That may seem a petty reason to dislike Lefebvre and by itself it is, but I also just don’t care for the way he calls a game. He often seems to say things that leave me at a loss for words, (as well as whoever else happens to be in the booth with him) and in all honesty, I would have been okay with him getting the Twins job and heading north. This was not to be.

But this post isn’t about Lefebvre. It’s about Frank White. It’s about Frank White wanting to be completely disassociated from the organization he helped win the World Series. The man who’s statue stands prominently in the outfield causeway.

There have been reports that the blame for the split is not entirely one-sided and I believe that. To me, however, the question still remains:

In a season where Royals’ followers had to experience the loss of one Royals Great in Paul Splittorff in such an emotional and sudden manner, is it really very wise for the organization to cut ties with another Royals idol? Particularly in a manner that makes management look like a bully?

I hardly think so.

White may have done and said some things that didn’t fly with the Royals organization. He might have had a little bit of a diva complex. I don’t know the man personally, so I can’t comment on that. What I can comment on is the Royals giving him the boot so ungraciously for allegedly being “too negative” in the booth. That’s a crock. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who wouldn’t almost HAVE to be negative in some way when commentating on the Royals over the past few years. Goodness knows, I’ve been. I don’t remember Frank White ever saying something that caused me to pump my brakes and think, “He needs to back off.”

If that’s really the reason that White got dropped, the Royals made a mistake. Alienating a local legend is not going to promote growth between the organization and the fan base. The Royals may not be completely to blame here, but the way they handled the situation guarantees that they’re the only one here with egg on their faces.

Bad move.

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