The Royals are Just Rearranging the Deck Chairs
By David Hill
In the realm of the potential highly predictable moves that the Royals would make, relieving Pedro Grifol of his duties was so far atop the list that there really was not a second option. After all, with Grifol being the fifth hitting coach that the Royals have had since the start of 2012, and with the Royals offense being an offense in name alone, it was obviously his fault that the team could not hit.
So, in a move that really changes nothing, Ned Yost and the Royals shuffled their coaching staff. Just 364 days after George Brett was named the interim hitting coach, the Royals reassigned Grifol to be their catching instructor. Former third base coach Dale Sveum is now the new hitting coach, and Mike Jirschele becomes the Royals third base coach. To Yost, it was time to do something.
“It was just time to do something. We needed to do something. We couldn’t keep going the way we were going,” manager Ned Yost said.
The biggest argument for this move is that Sveum was Ned Yost’s hitting coach back in Milwaukee. There is, however, a dramatic difference in the players on that team. The Royals do not have a player that is close to the caliber of power hitters that Prince Fielder or Ryan Braun were at that time. Regardless of what players were expected to develop into, the fact of the matter is that they simply have not become those players.
Despite the Royals scoring more runs last night than they had during the entire previous series against the Houston Astros, this does not make Sveum a miracle worker. The Royals had moments when they looked competent on offense under Grifol as well. This move, which kept the coaching staff intact, is just a move being made that gives the impression that the Royals are changing things around. In reality, by keeping Grifol on the major league coaching staff, it shows a lack of accountability for poor results. All the Royals are doing is the baseball equivalent of shuffling the deck chairs aboard the Titanic.
Was Pedro Grifol the reason why the Royals could not hit this season? No. There are many more reasons why the offense has been anemic. But the Royals felt a move needed to be made, and Grifol was the fall guy.