Results tagged ‘ George Brett ’

Ned Yost media session: July 25, 2013

Kansas City manager Ned Yost met with the media this evening prior to the series finale with the Baltimore Orioles.  Ned first commented on today’s news of the George Brett stepping down as the club’s hitting coach.  “George is a tremendous asset to our organization, to have him here for two months was fun, it was a great experience for not only me and the coaches, but the players too, and we respect his decision.”  Brett will return to his position as Vice President – Baseball Operations, and plans to work with the players before home games for the remainder of the season.  Pedro Grifol assumes the role of hitting coach today, after working as a special assistant for the past two months.

Yost then addressed what he will be looking for starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie to do tonight against a potent Orioles’ lineup.  “That’s the idea, try not to let them get too much damage and then limit (it).  Jeremy always does that, he commands the baseball he changes speeds and he changes locations.  If you do that you’re going to have a good chance of keeping us in the ball game, and giving us a chance to win.”

Yost concluded the media conference by discussing the significance of the club’s chance to reach the .500 mark for the very tough 20-game and six series stretch that had them meeting five teams with winning records.  “I think that was important, going in to it that’s what we wanted to do.  We wanted to get through this twenty-game stretch and keep our head above water.  Aside from that one series (Cleveland) we’ve played pretty good baseball against some very very tough teams.  I thought it was important for us to play good during that twenty-game stretch and we’ve had games that we wish we could have back and we played some really good exciting games against some great teams.”

The Royals begin a nine-game road trip in Chicago tomorrow night against the White Sox.

By Henry Wear

George Brett to return as Vice President – Baseball Operations

The Royals today announced that George Brett will step down as interim hitting coach and Pedro Grifol will take over the duties of hitting coach. Brett, who accepted the coaching role on May 30, will return to his previous position of Vice President-Baseball Operations.

“George did an incredible job,” said Dayton Moore, Royals’ Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager. “His expertise as a baseball man and his passion to win will have an everlasting effect on our team. I’m thrilled that he will be more involved in all aspects of baseball operations.”
“My lifelong passion after playing was not to be a hitting coach, but Dayton asked me if I would consider it, and I did, but only on the promise that it would be on an interim basis,” said Brett. “There is a ton of talent here and doing this for almost two months has prepared me to be a better advisor to Dayton and his staff. This has been an unbelievable experience for me and now I’m energized to contribute more to this organization as I return to my non-uniformed role.”

 

George Brett discusses the Pine Tar Game, 30 years later

Brett PresserToday marks the 30th Anniversary of the infamous “Pine Tar Incident” at Yankee Stadium, which involved Royals Hall of Famer George Brett.  Yesterday Brett sat down with the media to discuss the game, and the life-long connection that has since been created.

When Brett was asked if he every gets tired of discussing the incident he responded very candidly.

“Not at all, it’s a positive thing, it was something that I did good, I hit a home run off one of the toughest relief pitchers in baseball, and a Hall of Fame guy, and if I was not suspected of using an illegal bat we wouldn’t be doing this.  It would have been a July 24th game thirty years ago that no one would have remembered.  But when the umpires called me out and my protest kind of made it famous.  All in all I’m very proud of my actions during the time, and after the time.  It showed the kind of player I was.”

As for his reaction?

“I couldn’t believe it.  I had no clue that I did that.  I knew that I had ran out on to the field, but I didn’t know I was….That was just the type of player I was, I wore my emotions on my sleeve, and I played hard, and when call like that goes against you you’re going to react.  I think I totally blacked because when I saw the video, I was amazed by my reaction.”

The incident has become infamous not just in baseball, but American sports as well.  For Brett, he doesn’t mind being the “pine-tar guy” because it could have been much worse.  “Every time I went in the on-deck circle from 1980 to July 24, 1983, I heard every hemorrhoid joke in the world and I was the ‘Hemorrhoid Guy.”  And, all of a sudden, after July 24, 1983, until now I have to remind people I had hemorrhoids. So how would you rather be remembered? Let’s be realistic — the slippery stuff or the sticky stuff?”

By Henry Wear

Ned Yost media session: June 8, 2013

Kansas City manager Ned Yost addressed the media this afternoon prior to the second game of their series with the Astros.  Yost first discussed the recent offensive turnaround, and how the team has been effective.  “Guys are starting to do their job and we’re starting to get timely hits.  If we would’ve gotten timely hits in May we wouldn’t still be talking about May.”

Yost then talked about the presence of Hall of Famer George Brett and his role as the Royals hitting coach.  He specifically addressed what it is that has made Brett so successful early on in his new role with the club.  “Everybody has to be able to relate, you teach what you know, but you have to be able to relate to who you’re teaching, so that you can get their attention, get their respect, and get them to act.  These kids all knew George’s life before he came here, and they know how much it means that George took time out of his retirement to come and work every day with them.  They all know that and appreciate that, and they love his approach.  Before George came on board everything was a mechanical fix, but George has not thrusted that down their throats. It’s been more about slowing the game down and freeing up their swing.  What it feels like for a good swing and what it feels like for a bad swing.”

Yost concluded the media conference by commenting on the value that veteran infielder Miguel Tejada has brought to the club.  “It’s consistency in his approach and his consistency in his work ethic, playing or not playing, he goes about it the exact the same way every day.  He’s always prepared, he keeps himself in great shape and his experience is huge in this case.”  Yost finally commented that Tejada’s veteran leadership in the clubhouse has also been very beneficial.

Ned Yost media session:

Note:  We’re short on time today – please check @Royals on Twitter for the lineup.

Kansas City skipper Ned Yost addressed the media this afternoon before the first game of a nine-game home-stand.  He first discussed the return of Salvador Perez to the lineup, and what his presence means to the team.  Yost stated, “He’s got a real energy about him when he plays the game.  He plays with a lot of passion and plays with a lot of energy, plus he’s as good as there is behind the plate.”

Yost then chatted about the reaction of the players to George Brett’s presence as the Royals interim hitting coach. “It’s going to take some time, but he’s been absolutely awesome, we’ve seen little glimpses of improvement already…he’s putting them in a position for them to be successful.”

Yost concluded by addressing the recent roster moves involving Kelvin Herrera and the current rehab work of Jarrod Dyson.  On Herrera, “We wanted to give Herrera a couple weeks, and we think he’s fine.” On Dyson, “We’re getting close, we’re going to go day-to-day with it, but we think he’s getting close.  He brings an energy to his game and we need to get him back to being healthy and back to what he does best.”

Royals make coaching changes: George Brett and Pedro Grifol to assume coaching roles

The Royals today announced that George Brett and Pedro Grifol will assume the interim hitting coach and special assignment coach roles, respectively, effective tonight when the Royals play in St. Louis at 7:15 p.m.  In a corresponding move, the Royals have reassigned coaches Jack Maloof and Andre David to the minor league organization.

“Obviously things have not gone as we would have expected and in light of the downturn in offensive production and poor results we’ve decided to make a change,” said Dayton Moore, Royals’ Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager.  “First of all, I can’t thank Jack and Andre enough for accepting this challenge with the Major League club.  They are both tremendously knowledgeable and hard working men who have already made our organization stronger by their work in the system.  I’m thankful that this organization has one of the greatest hitters and more importantly one of the greatest competitors our game has ever seen in George Brett and he has accepted our offer to join the coaching staff on an interim basis.  We’ve also added Pedro Grifol, who brings a wealth of knowledge to our staff and will work various aspects of the coaching staff.”

Brett, 60, is the Royals’ all-time hit leader with 3,154 during a playing career that spanned 1973-1993 and was capped with his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.  His familiar #5 was retired by the organization on May 14, 1994.  He is the only player in Major League history to win batting titles in three different decades, winning the American League crown in 1976, 1980 and 1990.  His 1980 season will always be remembered for his run at the elusive .400 mark, finishing the campaign with a .390 average and winning the American League Most Valuable Player Award.  A 13-time All-Star, Brett is the club’s all-time leader in every offensive category with the exception of stolen bases.  He was also a Rawlings Gold Glove winner for his work at third base.  Retired as a player following the ’93 season, this is Brett’s first-ever in-season coaching role in baseball.  He has served as a Vice President of Baseball Operations since his retirement and has worked on the field during spring training for the organization.

Grifol, 43, is in his first year in the Royals’ organization, initially assigned as the hitting coach for the Surprise Royals.  He joined Kansas City after 13 seasons in the Seattle chain, serving most recently as manager for High Desert (A) in 2012.  Previous roles have included area scout, manager at Everett (2003-05), Coordinator of Instruction (2006-08) and Director of Minor League Operations (2008-11).  Pedro was also on the Mariners’ major league staff for the second half of the 2010 season.  He was also the Winter League manager this past year for the Venezuela squad where Alcides Escobar played.  A Florida native, Grifol was the Florida State High School Player of the Year in 1988 out of Christopher Columbus High School and then helped Florida State University to the College World Series in 1989 and 1991, earning All-America honors in ’91.

Around the Horn perspective: “You Don’t Know Bo”

Bo marquee 2
The newest ESPN “30 for 30” airs tonight (December 8, 8 C.T. on ESPN) after the Heisman Trophy announcement and features a winner of the Heisman – one Bo Jackson. Bo’s story is one that always has sports fans saying…what if? What if his football injury had not happened?

While the injury was devastating, the film has a lot of humor as it traces Bo’s story from Bessemer, Alabama to the current day. We’ll leave most of the details a surprise and just say that this is a MUST SEE for any Royals fan (or sports fan or…anyone, for that matter).

You’ll see interview clips with: George Brett, Mark Gubicza, Royals beat writer Dick Kaegel, Royals Hall of Fame Director Curt Nelson and Royals Senior Advisor Art Stewart.

Below are details on my perspective as to how the “30 for 30” unfolded.

In May, I received a call from Kelsey Field, associate producer of “You Don’t Know Bo” for Radical Media. I helped her with background information and photos. She wanted to get in contact with people who knew Bo during his time in Kansas City. Jackson signed with the Royals in 1986 and many of the people who knew him have moved on. He was signed by Ken Gonzales, who sadly passed away in 1994. I checked with former scouting director and current senior advisor Art Stewart, who is a great baseball storyteller. He knows Bo well and was more than happy to speak with Kelsey by phone.

Fellow media relations staffer Dina Blevins arranged a time for Hall of Famer George Brett to talk with the production staff by phone (so they could get more information for the eventual on-site interview). Kelsey worked with our media relations boss, Mike Swanson, to arrange a date for production in Kansas City. Radical’s staff had several other stops to make – including Jackson’s hometown in Alabama, Auburn, L.A., Chicago and Nike’s headquarters in Oregon. Radical had to match up their schedule with interviewee availability of George Brett, Art Stewart and Dick Kaegel. And don’t forget…we had to work around our own busy schedule with the All-Star Game on July 10!

Radical’s team visited Kansas City on July 17 and 18. They took exterior shots of The K on July 17. The next morning, they interviewed George Brett and spent time with him on the field. Members of the staff had a few minutes between interview segments with Art Stewart and Dick Kaegel. I suggested a trip to the Royals Hall of Fame to get b-roll of Bo Jackson items that were in storage. They met with Royals Hall of Fame director Curt Nelson. Film director Michael Bonfiglio was so impressed with Curt that he asked him to interview for the piece!

When you wake up each day, you never know what may happen. Curt knew that the “30 for 30” crew was coming to Kansas City, but he had no idea that he was going to be interviewed. As you watch the story unfold, you’ll see Curt’s comments were in several parts of the film. Curt hired me in the marketing department nearly seven years ago. He is a good friend and I am happy that he got the opportunity to share his views of Bo’s story.

Enjoy the show!

Royals Awards Luncheon Photos (2 of 2)

Below – Eric Hosmer, the Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner

Johnny Giavotella and George Brett – Giavotella won the George Brett Hitter of the Year honor
Lorenzo Cain, recipient of the Frank White Defensive Player of the Year award

 

 
 

Royals Awards Luncheon Photos (1 of 2)

Here are photos from today’s luncheon, beginning with Alex Gordon receiving his 2011 Les Milgram Player of the Year honor from Ned Yost
2)  George Brett, Mike Sweeney and Willie Wilson talked baseball with host Ryan Lefebvre.
3) Ned Yost presents Bruce Chen with the Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year award.
4)  Lois Lakey, known affectionately as “Grandma Lois”, received the Dan Quisenberry Special Achievement Award.   Royals VP Toby Cook and Janie Quisenberry-Stone are with Lois.
5)  Mike Sweeney presented the award that bears his name to Tim Melville.
 

Photos: Caravan visits Topeka VA and Fort Riley

VAHospital2.JPGThe Royals Caravan recently visited Topeka, Fort Riley and Manhattan.  The first stop was the Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center in Topeka, where the group of George Brett, Dennis Leonard, Joe Randa and Jason Kendall met with patients and staff.  Stop number two was Fort Riley, where the Royals were welcomed by members of the 4th Brigade.  Our group finished the day in Manhattan, where they watched K-State take on Baylor.

Group_Ft_Riley.JPG

FortRiley2.JPG

 

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