“I’ve taken as much heat over this as anything I’ve said about the Royals this year. Bubba Starling is hitting .156 in low-A ball. I know a lot of people in our community know his family. … But he’s in his third year now and he was drafted as the top position player taken. I did not like that when the Royals did that and I said that very clearly when the Royals (drafted him). The Royals should be getting very close to making Bubba Starling a pitcher – because he can’t hit. … Bubba Starling is a complete disappointment.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: These words from Kietzman might seem harsh to some – especially Bubba’s family and those in the Kansas City area who know him well. But KK is doing what a big-city sports talk show host should do – telling it like it is – even when that means friends and family will hear his critical words. KK has never been a real fan of Bubba’s baseball talents or the way he conducted himself on his Nebraska football sojourn – but this isn’t about Kietzman out to hurt Bubba. This is Kietzman doing his job.
“I love (Bubba Starling’s) family. I don’t think he’s ever going to hit professionally. He didn’t hit in high school. I coached the Aquinas team against him. He didn’t hit us – and we didn’t have very good pitching. So if he couldn’t hit us in high school, he’s probably not going to hit big-league stuff. … Bubba’s an athlete. The bottom line is he’s never hit and he’s never going to hit.”
Mike Boddicker, former Orioles and Royals pitcher, 810 AM
GH: This probably is not easy for Boddicker. He likely knows Bubba and his family well enough for them to be hurt by his negative assessment of Bubba’s baseball shortcomings. Boddicker is not a talk show host like Kietzman. He doesn’t have to be edgy in his commentary. All the more reason to applaud Boddicker for being real with his comments about a young Kansas City talent many of us are rooting for to make it.
“I didn’t like the draft choice at the time. … I think the out for football made it tremendously risky.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
“The Royals have a huge problem on their hands. This is a guy that they thought maybe could be here (in Kansas City) next year when Francoeur is done. … Royals – switch (Bubba’s) position right now! Make him a pitcher! You have two-and-a-half years to get something out of your $8.5-million you gave him. Or he’s going to go play (college) football. And he should play football.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK’s idea isn’t crazy or even unique. MLB prospects who can’t hit off-speed pitching but possess a mid-90s fastball have the option to move to the mound – especially when the club has so much invested in them. Will it happen? It might be a last-resort kind of move but you can bet it is being discussed by Dayton Moore and his staff.
“I’d crack a joke, but honestly, I hope this has been the problem all along. MT @pgrathoff: Bubba Starling returns to KC, may have LASIK.”
Rany Jazayerli, @jazayerli, on the reports by The Kansas City Star that Bubba may be getting his eyes fixed, Twitter
GH: Remember what I said about moving Bubba to the mound being a last-resort move? Add eye surgery as the next-in-line when it comes to last-resort decisions.
“A lot of (MLB) scouts kind of cover their rear end. I’ve told some of them to their face that if you took away their stop watch and radar gun they wouldn’t know a ball player if it bit them in the ass! And that’s the truth!”
Mike Boddicker, former Orioles and Royals pitcher, while discussing how Bubba was viewed as a top-five pick by the Royals, 810 AM
“I can’t speak to (Bubba’s) dedication…but it seems to me if he was a real grinder and really, really, really working hard, there would be better results than we have now. But his numbers would suggest to you that there is something going on here as far as dedication.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: This is where Kietzman lost me. He tries to soften his comment by starting out saying he “can’t speak to (Bubba’s) dedication,” but then goes right on and gives his damning opinion of the young man’s lack of commitment and dedication. If Kietzman knows something about Bubba slacking off in the Royals’ organization than tell us what he knows to be true. Otherwise, he uses his microphone to unfairly impugn the reputation of an athlete. This is why KK gets hate mail about Bubba. That’s what happens when you are unfair.
“To everyone who thinks pro ball is all sandy beaches and pooka shells- it aint. I feel hella lucky. I love my life. But im human. If yall wanna talk your shish ill be happy to come back at you and make u look foolish. What would u do? Appreciate my honesty or unfollow. but i just gotta call it like i see it. So get off me. Im not going anywhere. Life is great:).”
Danny Duffy, @DannyDuffy805, Royals’ pitcher who is currently rehabbing from Tommy-John surgery, Twitter
GH: Danny Duffy is a Twitter gift. He tweets like we all went to college with him. If you are not on Twitter, sign up and follow @DannyDuffy805. He’s that real and that rare.
“Can’t think of another club that would give a witty young DL’d pitcher the mic on twitter. Good for the Royals.”
Jeff Rosen, @jeff_rosen88, Twitter
GH: Amen. Props to the Royals for allowing Danny Duffy to be Danny Duffy. I have no idea how this will end, but I applaud them for allowing us to participate.
“It’s 12:26 AM and we have full phone lines after the 36th game of the season. I love you #Royals fans.”
Josh Vernier, @JoshVernier, after the Royals loss in Anaheim Tuesday night, Twitter
GH: There are a lot of baseball cities. St. Louis, Boston and Chicago are some great, great baseball towns. But when you consider the lack of population combined with the lack of recent Royals’ success – that makes this town stand out as a baseball-crazed two-state burg.
“So to hear George Brett say a few of the same things I’ve been saying nightly is a huge relief. … bit.ly/12yOOtZ.”
Josh Vernier, @JoshVernier, Twitter
GH: Interesting. Does it validate a sports talk host’s words when a famous athlete has the same opinion? Not to me. But I understand where a new young voice in the KC market would find comfort in that fact. I’m just not sure I would be so eager to share it.
“Just saw the new Star Trek. Holy. Freaking. Smokes. See it first chance you can. It’s why you go to the movies.”
Rich Eisen, @richeisen, Twitter
GH: The first Star Trek movie with the new young crew was one of the best movies I’ve seen the past three years. I watched it again last month and again marveled at how great a flick it was. Looks like us Trekkie nerds are in for another treat this weekend. May we all discover the secrets to our personal Kobayashi Maru.
[email protected] and Twitter / greghall24