EB: Prior to coming to Kansas City you had spent your big league career playing for the Tampa Bay Rays. What did you think when you found out you were going to be a member of the KC Royals?
EJ: It was a strange time. I played well in 2012 and bled everything Rays greens and then blue. They DFA’d [me] without needing to. The trade was already agreed upon.
The deal was contingent upon placing (Felipe) Paulino on the 60 day DL to open a roster spot for me. The DFA was unnecessary and I didn’t like the way they handled it. Plus, I outplayed two guys they kept for 2013 and were going to pay way more than me for that year. I was bitter.
But I couldn’t find much success against anyone else and they sent me out. My fault alone, but Dayton and Ned were great. Loved everyone there. Treated me like family and I have no bad things to say about their entire operation other than the fenced need to be brought in!
EB: Kauffman is huge! Guys are showing some power this year. Coming over with Shields and Wade Davis did that make the transition a bit easier?
EJ: It did. Nobody is going to give as much credit to him as he deserves, but Shields coming over was important to shift the culture in the clubhouse. He brought a lot man. Credibility, balls, and a cohesive culture to the clubhouse.
Work hard, have each other’s backs, celebrate the wins and more I can’t talk about here.
It’s un-quantifiable, but it’s important. More us vs them, as opposed to “let me get what I can, while I can.”
Wade is just an amazing pitcher. Incredibly gifted and competitive as hell. Overall the three of us brought competitiveness to the team and [allowed] Ned to relax control of the clubhouse to the players.
Ned is/was a “Bobby (Cox) did it this way…so we will too” type manager. Credit to him and Dayton for sticking to their guns. They were one Bumgarner away from back to back!
EB: Bumgarner was so ridiculous in that World Series. Absolutely lights out.