OTC: Royals’ Escobar’s Bat Goes From Noodle To Nuclear

“Right now, Alcides Escobar is probably the best hitter we’ve got on this team at this moment.”
Kevin Seitzer, discussing the sudden and shocking transformation of the Royals’ shortstop from Tony Pena, Jr. into Derek Jeter the past two weeks, 810 AM
GH: If I would have shown you that quote a month ago and told you it would be fact in Mid-June, you (and I) most likely would have thought the rest of the Royals were all hitting below the Mendoza line. Instead, we have Escobar hitting near the .500 mark for much of the past two weeks – with a game-tying dinger in the ninth at St. Louis! Again, the most amazing and unbelievable tales are written by history not fiction.

“In the long run, I think he will hit.”
Frank White, on Escobar, during an interview with Nick Wright a month ago, 610 AM
GH: White made this comment at a time when Escobar was meekly grounding out to the pitcher in plate appearance after plate appearance. White was a punch-and-Judy hitter his first decade with the Royals. White came up in 1973 and hit .223, .221, .250, .229, .245, .275, .266, .264 and .250 his first nine seasons. White hit .298 his tenth season but never came close to hitting .280 again. White did show some power late in his career, hitting 17, 22, 22 and 17 homers from 1984 to 1987. If Escobar can mirror White’s numbers at the plate and his dazzling defense in the field, we will be making room for his #2 up there next to Frank’s #20.

“As good as his hands are, I knew there was a lot more in there. I’ll just say this; I didn’t expect him to be as good as he’s been the last few weeks. I’m just so proud of the adjustments he’s made so quickly. ”
Kevin Seitzer, on the torrid hitting from the Royals’ short stop, Alcides Escobar, 810 AM
GH: Imagine if Escobar now becomes a .300 hitter with some power. Hosmer, Moustakas and Escobar would be the nucleus of the Royals’ infield for the next decade. Now we need to find some more Greinkes.

“These guys (Hosmer and Moustakas) are major-league players in the major leagues. Before, in years past, we didn’t have major league players to bring up. We brought up Triple-A players and it took them a long time. Some of them it took forever and they’re no longer here. … These guys are baseball players.”
George Brett, responding to a question from Bob Fescoe as to why Hos and Moose look more MLB ready than previous Royals’ prospects, 610 AM

“That support (from Ned Yost) has helped bring (Escobar) along real quick.”
Kevin Seitzer, when asked by Bukaty if Escobar’s confidence was helped by Yost refusing to pinch hit for him in the past, 810 AM
GH: I don’t know how your confidence grows from repeatedly failing in clutch situations. But who am I to argue with what Escobar has done and is doing? I might go so far as to say I have never seen this happen where a hitter as weak as Escobar has transformed in midseason and gone on such a scorching hitting streak. Let’s just enjoy it while it is happening.

“I’m not even sure Alex Gordon is the greatest reclamation project of the Royals’ hitters when you consider what Jeff Francoeur is doing.”
Rany Jazayerli, back in May, 810 AM
GH: If Escobar continues to display his new hitting prowess, Seitzer might deserve induction into Cooperstown…and I’m only half joking. I’ll bet the Diamondbacks are watching.

“When I talk to players on the Royals they talk about Seitzer and how good (of a batting coach) he is. Let’s face it – (Seitzer) is going to be on stage and he is going to have a chance to show what he can do because he’s got this great group of young players to work with.”
Buster Olney, ESPN MLB analyst, in an interview with Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John last month, 810 AM
GH: Act I sure is looking good on the stage in Kansas City.

“I would bet even money Larussa dies his hair.”
Bob Fescoe, on the Cardinals’ manager, Twitter
GH: They don’t call him “Bulldog Bob” for nothing.

“It damn near went in! He’s making it look easy – and folks, it’s not easy.”
Curtis Strange, on Rory McIlroy’s wedge to the 16th green during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, Westwood One Radio
GH: Golf is not easy. We all know that. It is ridiculously difficult and maybe the most maddening sport of any to master. But every once in a while a savant appears and shows us how simple the game can be when played with skill, confidence and a swing from the heavens. Hogan, Nicklaus, Watson, Tiger and now maybe this young Irish lad. Let’s hope he can bring the game back from its toothless Tiger slump.

“Just look at this swing! It’s like watching snow fall off a branch. It’s just beautiful!”
David Feherty, reviewing video of Rory’s swing, Golf Channel
GH: I watched the last few holes of the U.S. Open with my oldest son, who is not a golf fan. We switched to the Golf Channel for their wrap-up show. He was intrigued by Feherty’s goatee and overall look of madness. I told Feherty stories for the next half hour. What a gift this guy is to televised golf.

“Last year the Low Americans were Phil and Tiger at T-4. This year, at T-3, they’re Kevin Chapell and Robert Garrigus.”
Dan Jenkins, Twitter
GH: First of all, props to the venerable SI writer, Jenkins, for being on Twitter. Most guys his age still think a tweet is an ice cream cone. I am not nearly as concerned about the state of the American PGA player as some. So what that the rest of the world has discovered how to win majors? When the little green Martians come down and start winning in Augusta then I’ll be concerned.

“I heard something (Tuesday) about Carl Peterson that is one of the nicest greatest things I have ever heard. It is his wish that no one knows that it happened. And I will respect that. I was stunned the moment I heard it – that Carl Peterson was not only human, but done something truly touching and remarkable. Behind that steely façade, I’m starting to hear more and more things that he is really a nice person. We never saw that side of him. This is off-the-charts wonderful! Just outstanding! One of the nicest things I’ve ever heard anybody ever did.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: What the media failed to realize about King Carl was that few fans shared their hatred for him as a person. Fans don’t interact with players, coaches or front office personnel. The local media used to trash Bo Jackson in much the same way, while the fans continued to adore him. Petersen was hated here because he failed to do his job the final ten years of his run. If the Chiefs win, fans could care less that Jack Harry or KK hates his guts. I wonder how many times a listener has come away from meeting Kietzman in person and thought, “He wasn’t nearly the ass I thought he would be.”

[email protected] and Twitter / greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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13 Responses to OTC: Royals’ Escobar’s Bat Goes From Noodle To Nuclear

  1. JimmyD says:

    Looks like Pujols is out at least a month. Too bad. Coleman throws one pitch inside and Albert stares him down and jaws at him. Then a few pitches later after his HR, he again glares at Coleman, flicks his bat and admires the HR. He then takes FOREVER to circle the bases. It made my whole weekend so much better watching him cry in pain after Betemit grazed his forearm on a play at first. The Cards then had the nerve to throw at Alex! This is something we should not forget next year. Next year Pujols the bitch gets one in the earhole

    • Greg Hall says:

      I don’t like to see any players get hurt, especially future HOFers like Albert. But he acted like an ass when he got pitched inside. Since the game was in STL, little Royals could do about his circus act. But karma knows no geographic boundaries.

  2. kcredsox says:

    Since Keitzman doesn’t have the testicular fortitude to tell us what wonderful thing King Carl did, are you going to find out and tell us? Did he get caught in Prairie Village with an employee of the Chief’s? Did he give some $$ to KK’s favorite charity so he would shut up about him?

    • Greg Hall says:

      I don’t know what Carl did and I don’t really care. I’m pretty sure that since KK knows, CP wasn’t trying all that hard to conceal his generous gesture. Ordinary people do nice things for others every day. Carl should be helping out folks for as much as life has smiled his way.

  3. renton says:

    Soren Petro would tell us that with Escobar hitting, now is the time to trade him.

    • Greg Hall says:

      That is funny…and probably true. Fantasy geeks LOVE to move players – if for no other reason than to show evidence of their brilliance.

  4. Cliffy says:

    Coleman threw at his head. Pujols didn’t storm the mound … he hit a home run. That’s the way you handle those things. Takes a real man to enjoy somebody getting injured, I guess.

    Throwing at Alex was stupid only because of the situation they chose to do it in. He wound up at 3rd base in a one-run game. Not smart.

    Larussa colors his hair? Ya think?

    Who is the worst post-game interview in baseball … Larussa or Yost?

    Yes … they’re still in last place but the Royals are better this year.

    • Greg Hall says:

      I am told Larussa is a great interview. He is definitely entertaining when he’s had a few pops.

      • Jim says:

        Is there a more cowardly move in ALL of professional sports that intentionally hitting someone with a baseball? Pitchers and old school baseball geeks talk about plunking a batter like it’s a show of your manhood or toughness. It’s the biggest “pussy” move in all of sports.

  5. smartman says:

    Can’t get used to the name Alcides. I still call him Pablo.

    The reason the AAA’s look good when they come up is because the Royals are not that far removed from being a AAA team.

    In order to keep the current group of players together along with the known talent in the smalls is going to require a payroll of $80/MM. David Glass will cut off his hands before he signs those kind of checks. In his world you don’t pay up for the Kraft mac and cheese when you think that GREAT VALUE is just as good.

    Carl Peterson is to great humanitarian what Anthony Weiner is to humble public servant.

    Golf is 90% mental and 10% mental. With my Nick Faldo swing I can drive the ball around 220 yards. When I go Charles Barkley I’m closer to 280. The only moment in the swing that counts is the moment of impact. Everything else is bullshit. Forget the lessons and the aids and figure out what the most natural way is for you to square the club at impact. Last time I checked there were over 100,000 articles written on how to correct your slice but it’s still the most common fault in golf. Kinda like Cosmo or Maxim telling you how to find the G-Spot. Although looking for the G-Spot is still more fun than walking the third cut looking for a Pro V1.

  6. Cliffy says:

    You may be right about Larussa after a few pops but his post-game pressers are brutal.

    “Mumble, mumble, (give reporter a dirty look), mumble, mumble. That it?”

    I had a cassette recording many years ago of an interview Jack Buck did with Whitey Herzog. It was supposed to be the pregame interview for a day game that obviously came after Whitey had been out very, very late. He still had a snoot full and Buck finally started laughing and cut it off midway through and said, “go get some coffee and let’s try this again.” Hilarious.

  7. Big Dub says:

    Am I the only one waiting for Greg’s OTC on the Nick Wright / Whitlock throw down from last night? Best KC radio moment of the year IMO. First time I’ve listened to Nick’s show for more than the 3-5 minute commercial break on other stations.

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