The Royals play the second game of a two-game series in Cleveland today. Jakob Junis gets the start for the Royals. This was initially going to be Brad Keller’s second start, but he is being pushed back to Thursday for the first game of the series in Chicago against the White Sox.
With Minnesota’s loss to Detroit on Tuesday, the Royals now lead the American League Central with a 3-1 record. A win in Cleveland on Wednesday would give the Royals a sweep of the series, and they would return to The K next week with at worst a 2-3 road trip.
12:10pm – MLB- Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians (BSKC)
Communication Is Key For Matheny
Mike Matheny is in his second season as the Royals’ manager. Any successful manager has to be able to communicate with his players. And the most important players to communicate with are those who do not get regular starts.
Players have to understand their roles. That is huge at any level of play, but there are differences. In youth baseball, all of the game is about development. Sure, parents and coaches like to talk about how high school ball is about winning. To some extent, it is. If a team loses too much, the coach could be out of a job.
Youth sports, including high school, should have development in mind first, with winning being a close second. And there is no reason why you can’t do both. See, regardless of the sport, a good coach or manager can put players in positions in which they can have success. No, not every time. Nobody has succeeded in anything all of the time. But a coach can put even his least-skilled players in positions where they can utilize their strengths to do something positive for the team. That builds confidence in the player. It lets the players’ teammates have confidence in that player. And the team can win utilizing those strengths. Building a confident player helps build a successful player.
But this can only be done if the coach can communicate effectively with those who get the least amount of playing time. They need to understand their role. They need to buy into it. They have to see how their role, regardless of how little playing time they get, helps the team win. And they have to be told, in no uncertain terms, what they need to improve to get more playing time.
This is true in professional sports as well. Mike Matheny ran into some problems in St. Louis because of his dealings with players. Mike Matheny lost the clubhouse.
But now Matheny has a second opportunity. He is in a better situation. Dayton Moore is a general manager who genuinely cares about his players. That has to rub off on Matheny. And Matheny has had an opportunity to sit back and understand the mistakes he made in St. Louis.
And even though a major league baseball manager’s top priority, unlike a high school or youth coach, is winning, building trust and letting players know where they stand is critical for winning. Listen to major league players when they talk about rough situations. Most will talk about how they appreciated a manager who was honest and open with them. They might not have liked what they were told, but they knew where they stood.
From everything I have seen from the outside, Matheny is doing a good job of that so far this season. This Royals team talks about the love they have for each other. That doesn’t happen if they are angry with the manager, have no respect for the manager, or are fighting with each other.
Now, let’s see how things continue throughout the season. If this team starts to lose a bunch of games, it will be more difficult to keep a good clubhouse. Winning is easier for a good clubhouse. But I am not holding Matheny’s time in St. Louis against him. All of us could use a second chance at times. Let’s give Matheny his second chance here and hope he makes the best of it.
RHP Scott Blewett and C Meibrys Viloria cleared waivers after being designated for assignment. The Royals sent Blewett to the alternate training site and Viloria to Double-A Northwest Arkansas… Jakob Junis will get the start today…
Kansas basketball assistant coach Jerrance Howard is leaving the team to take a job on Chris Beard’s staff at Texas. Jeremy Case will fill in for Howard until Self hires a replacement… The Texas Rangers traded 2B Rougned Odor to the New York Yankees for a couple of prospects. The Rangers will pay most of Odor’s $27 million salary. Odor is appreciated by most baseball fans as the player who punched Jose Bautista when Bautista slid at him on a play at second base. Royals fans definitely enjoyed that.
Baylor’s NCAA title run is Scott Drew’s masterpiece, an 18-year rise from basketball ruin (Dana O’Neil)
Thanks for reading…