Aug 6, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals hitting coach Dale Sveum against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
2. COACHING MUST PLAY A BIG ROLE IN KC’s RALLY TENDENCIES
I know this article is starting to read a little bit like a fan letter where I spout “I love you, man” to everyone connected to the KC Royals, but I do think recognizing the Royals ability to come back in high-stakes games has something to do with the coaching staff.
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It’s one thing for one guy to figure out how to “try easier” under pressure—as KC Royals Vice-President of Baseball Operations, and baseball Hall-of-Famer, George Brett likes to say. It’s another for an entire team to adopt this philosophy.
With hitter after hitter buying into the “keep the line moving” approach, it’s clear that this comes from management.
The KC Royals appear to be a team that is unusually “coachable”. I think this characteristic came into focus as the team identity in their 2014 wild card win over the A’s. Afterward, you saw Mike Moustakas trying to take outside pitches the opposite way rather than pull them. Eric Hosmer adjusted his swing by studying video from his early days in the league. The team in general seemed to be applying what coaches had been preaching to address their weaknesses.
As a result, the 2014 Kansas City Royals weren’t a team that “got hot at the right time”. It was a team that grew into their potential under the crucible of the playoffs.
Their continued success in 2015, both during the regular season and their ability to steal improbable playoff victories, shows that their 2014 pennant wasn’t any fluke. The KC Royals are really this good.
Next: Eric Hosmer's Baserunning Was The Key To They Comeback