Teams can only hope that veterans show rookies how to be a team player when it matters most. Kansas City Royals starter Danny Duffy is doing just that on a massive scale.
It recently came out that the Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost is going to take his time in deciding on the Opening Day starter. Getting the ball in that game is a huge honor, and it should be chosen carefully.
For the last two years Danny Duffy has taken the ball in game one of the year. It seemed to me that he would be the clear cut candidate to do it again, but that is not the case. Yost, correctly, believes there are other candidates to consider for the job. Namely Jakob Junis, Ian Kennedy and Brad Keller.
Duffy could have easily taken this information and gotten angry. That is not what his reaction was. His reaction was the exact thing any coach on any team across any level would want to hear. He accepted the news with complete grace.
In an article by Jeffrey Flanagan, Duffy acknowledged how much of an honor it is to be selected. Then he breaks into what every coach wants to hear:
"“But to be honest with you, whatever it takes for me to help. I don’t care if it’s the sixth game I start. I’m just going to take the ball and do my best. It is an honor, the meaning of it. It’s great. It’s cool. When Ned brought me in that first time [in 2017] to tell me, it was really cool. But whatever they decide is great.” Duffy said."
Translation, whatever the team needs I will do. That is the mentality that every player should have, but unfortunately it is not always the case. The Kansas City Royals should hope that the young guys are taking notes from the veteran.
Flanagan goes on to continue to plaint the picture of class. Duffy’s goal is to be better than last season and help the Royals improve. He did that with the help of a new strength and conditioning program.
It is good to have veterans around showing the young guys how to act. Especially with the Kansas City Royals working on getting their younger core ready to take over. Having a presence like Duffy can go a long way in helping develop the players off the field.
Last year Duffy had a down year from the norm. In 2017 he posted his highest peak fWAR at 3.5 and really earned both Opening Day starts. He has a ton of talent to go along with the class he has displayed.
Danny Duffy is a beloved Royal for a reason.
It is good to see Duffy emerging as a really great veteran presence in the Kansas City Royals locker room, not that he already wasn’t. It is just always good to see player displaying this level of class even when things don’t go according to plan.