Tag: George Brett

Young MLB Players Could Learn a Lot from George Brett

As I awaited the beginning of St. Louis Cardinals‘ pitching prospect Michael Wacha’s MLB debut Thursday afternoon, the Kansas City Royals announced that they had hired Hall of Famer George Brett as assistant hitting coach to help aid their faltering offense.

I went down to gather some quotes from the press conference where they announced the move and was pleasantly surprised to listen to Brett field questions from a combination of St. Louis and Kansas City media.

Brett pulled no punches on the field, and he is treating his new job just the same.

So, why is a man who loves his golf, spending time with his family and is making the most of retirement coming back to work?

“Out of frustration,” he said. That simple sentence fragment likely echoes the sentiments of every Royals fan right now.

Brett said that just like everyone else, he was frustrated watching a team that he believes is filled with potential struggle to score runs.

There was no sugar-coating or concerns about political correctness—simply put, their offense was playing horribly.

Fortunately for them, George Brett is going to try to help and he’s brought his usual fire back with him.

That fire is something he plans to share, and they should welcome it with open arms.

As a player, Brett was known for his hustle. He ran out ground balls and always spoke up when he should.

There were no Bull Durham-style generic answers. If George Brett had a bad night, he’d say he screwed up.

There was no complaining about nagging injuries or pain, because in professional sports everyone plays through pain. It’s in the nature of all sports.

That’s exactly how he plans to handle his new role. With grit, blunt honesty and persistence.

“I know how hard this game is to play,” Brett said. “Every day I got to the ballpark I was scared to death. I didn’t know if I was going to go 0-for-4 or 4-for-4. I didn’t know if I would have two balls go through my legs or make an amazing play.”

Brett learned firsthand what it was like to be a young player with a bright future who simply couldn’t get things working. His goal is to do for the young players on the Royals team what Charlie Lau did for him.

He went so far as to say that he was going to be “Charlie Lau’s ghost.”

“I think we have young kids on our team that are having problems coping with the situation they are in right now,” Brett said. “I just want to come and share my life with them—how I got through things like this, how I became a more consistent player, how I became a leader of a ballclub and instill in them the passion that I played with. I think I can help them learn that.”

When a whole team goes south, he explained, everybody starts pressing a little bit trying to do more than they are capable of doing. They try to stretch the strike zone and get out of whack.

The key for Brett’s philosophy is to get them in their comfort range where they can have fun, be selective and drive the ball.

There is so much young players today could stand to learn from Brett about the value of hard work and the importance of being honest to others as well as yourself.

That is true for young players throughout MLB, not just in Kansas City.

Brett has never been one to sugarcoat things. If he had a great day, he took credit like all players should. If he has a bad day, he owned up to his mistakes.

He might not have been in the best mood, but he never passed the buck.

With the youth movement we’re seeing throughout baseball, specifically along the I-70 corridor in Missouri, players need to take notice of George Brett again.

Can he turn this franchise around? Who knows. But, if there’s anyone capable of energizing a group of exciting young players, it’s George Brett.

If it doesn’t work out, he’ll hit the road. He made that abundantly clear during the press conference.

“I don’t want Dayton [Moore] to have to fire me from the Kansas City Royals,” Brett said. “Hopefully, I’ll be here for awhile. I’m planning to be here for at least a month—hopefully more.”

He was quick to acknowledge that he believes today’s athletes are superior to him in several ways—size, athleticism and speed.  

“They need somebody they can trust,” Brett said in a way only he can. I like to call it compassionate grit.

He may have been speaking about the Royals players, but there is a lot to learn from not just Brett’s words but from how he handles himself and his team. He expects a lot, but what he teaches will come from the heart.

Young players could learn a lot from watching George Brett.

“I’ve never backed down from a challenge,” he said.

That’s a mentality baseball could use a little more of today.

All quotes obtained firsthand by the author.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Power Rankings: The Top 50 Kansas City Royals of All-Time

The Kansas City Royals franchise have produced many great players since their inception in 1969.

From Cy Young Award winners to Hall of Fame third basemen to speedy outfielders, the organization has seen a great amount of talent come and go.

In this feature, I have examined the best 50 Royals that have played on the team over the course of the last four plus decades.

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The 10 Strangest Rules in Major League Baseball

Professional baseball has been around for roughly 150 years and the result has been memories and moments that will last forever, talent that shines above the rest, amazing revenue for the national government, and some crazy rules that just don’t make much sense.

Baseball is a game of tradition and honor (minus steroids). Therefore, it can take years to change even the smallest rules in Major League Baseball, and most rules are not important enough to change.

However, here are 10 of those rules that generate confusion and shrugged shoulders.

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Kansas City Royals Get All-Star Game in 2012

The Kansas City Royals finally have something to celebrate. The commissioner has awarded Kansas City the 2012 All-Star Game.

The Royals haven’t made the playoffs in 25 years, just missing the playoffs in the 1995 season. But now the team will finally be able to have some true acknowledgement by all of baseball.

The team which had a former All-Star Game MVP in Bo Jackson (1989) and former star George Brett, will be hosting the event from the newly revamped Kauffman Stadium.

Bud Selig chose the Royals over a tightly contested fight by the Red Sox for the 2012 game. The Red Sox last had the summer classic in 1999.

This year’s game will be held in Anaheim.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

The 10 Most Shocking Game Day Events In MLB History

The beauty of watching a baseball game is that there is always the chance that you could see something that has never been done before, or that may never be done again.

What follows are what I feel are the 10 most shocking game day moments in baseball history. That is not to say that these are the 10 most impressive moments, but instead the 10 moments that made people say “wow, I can’t believe that just happened”.

There may be no better demonstration of someone being shocked than the expression on George Brett’s face in the accompanying picture, but the pine tar incident is not No. 1.

My list almost certainly has excluded some “wow” moments, so I encourage you to suggest anything and everything I may have left off.

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