5) Rusty Kuntz Wants What?
Ben Zobrist had worn no. 18 at his other major league stops in Tampa and Oakland before coming to Kansas City. That number belonged to first base coach (and baserunning coaching savant) Rusty Kuntz.
As is traditional, Ben Zobrist offered Kuntz something to switch numbers.
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Bonus money is typical when an established player wants to displace a younger teammate from his preferred uniform number. Others have given rather expensive, or flashy, gifts. In coach Rusty Kuntz’s case, as KC Royals television reported Joel Goldberg explained, he wanted a leaf blower.
Kuntz wanted a leaf blower because when he gave up his number while coaching in Pittsburgh he got a lawn mower. Another time he got a snow blower. Kuntz said he was going to retire at some point, and wanted to be ready. Apparently, Kuntz expects to do his own yardwork.
(I, by-the-way, despise yard work and am quite happy to pay someone else to do it for me.)
I suppose most retirees don’t feel like they need to impress people anymore.
Next: July 31, 2015: The Peek-A-Boo Slide