“We don’t think like you guys. We think about today. That’s all we think about. We don’t think about keeping it up. We don’t think about anything but today. When you have that mindset, it takes so much pressure away from having to think about what the other team’s doing, how many games are left, how we’re going to keep this up, all these thoughts leave your mind when you stay focused on what we have to do today. When that occupies all of your thoughts, it makes it a lot easier.”
Ned Yost, when asked about the Royals being able to keep up their torrid 19-4 pace of the last month, 810 AM
GH: Whether Ned likes it or not – and he obviously does not – he is going to be asked about the pressures of a pennant race from now until his club clinches or is mathematically eliminated. This is what big-time MLB late-summer baseball is all about. Ned faced this scenario in Milwaukee and melted in the heat of that pennant race. It only makes sense that he be asked what he has learned and how he will escape what caused him to be a September casualty as the skipper of the Brewers.
“To be honest, I’m not.”
Jason Stark, ESPN’s MLB insider, 810 AM, when asked by Soren Petro how confident he is in the Royals making the playoffs, 810 AM
GH: With national exposure comes national scrutiny…and well-earned national pessimism.
“The Royals are getting some national TV exposure tonight on another network. They will be on Fox Sports 1 nationally tomorrow. And they will be the national game of the week on Sunday.”
Ryan Lefebvre, on the Yankees/Royals game being broadcast on ESPN Monday night, Fox Sports KC
GH: Are we still in the age where Fox refuses to say the letters ESPN? Doesn’t Lefebvre think he sounds a bit ridiculous? He does to me.
“I don’t care about professional respect right now. All I care about is helping this team get to the playoffs. … Right now our focus is winning baseball games and treating this city to playoff baseball at the end of the year.”
Ned Yost, when asked if the two nationally televised games this week meant a heightened level of professional respect for the Royals, 810 AM
GH: Ned needs a crash course in media relations. There are so many better ways to answer these questions by giving almost the same answer but with a smile in his voice instead of a snarl.
“I’m still not sure what to believe. Are the Royals the team the way they played the last five weeks or before that? It’s very complicated closing the deal. I’m curious to see what happens if the Tigers apply pressure down the stretch.”
Jason Stark, ESPN’s MLB insider, 810 AM
GH: Stark is not alone in questioning the validity of this Royals team’s ability to withstand the heat of a pennant race. The best way to squash those doubts is to roll through September and claim the franchise’s first divisional crown in 29 years.
“They have a lot of confidence. They even had confidence in themselves when, we like to think of it as (when we were) treading water.”
Ned Yost, when asked about his team’s confidence, 610 AM
GH: This team has never lacked confidence. If anything, they have been overly confident without having the success on which to base their confidence.
“That’s three straight starts that James Shields has given up nine or more hits.”
Aaron Swarts, after Shields gave up 10 hits and six earned runs in 6.2 innings in the Royals 8-1 loss to the Yankees, 810 AM
GH: Big Game James is going to have to be a big part of the Royals September surge or there may be no Hunt for Blue October. The Royals have Shields for about six more weeks and how he will be remembered as a Royal will likely happen between now and his free agent status.
“I’ve been first baseman for this team for a long time, and I haven’t heard anything as of late that I’m not. I’m sure if (Yost) wants to do something, he’s gonna call us all in and explain what’s going on. He’s got a tough decision, that’s a good thing, but I expect to be back in the lineup.”
Eric Hosmer, when asked about his expectations once he returns from rehab, 810 AM GH: Hosmer will be playing first base and Butler will be the DH. But there is a question as to when Hosmer will actually be ready to return to active duty. Read on.
“With (Hosmer) just starting to swing now, he’s probably two weeks away from coming back. I just think it’s too early to say this is what they should do or this is what they shouldn’t do.”
Brian McRae, when asked what the Royals should do once Hosmer is healthy enough to return to the lineup, 810 AM
GH: If Hosmer returns in mid-September, that gives him only two weeks to have an effect on the Royals pennant race. It could be just enough to push the club over the top…or over the edge. This is the kind of drama TV series are built on.
“This year we’re expecting Jamaal Charles to be Barry Sanders. He’s going to perform no matter who is (in the offensive line) in front of him.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Klingler is right. We have become so taken with Charles that we expect him to make steak out of Fisher.
“Pinkel asked if team should wear white jerseys in heat Saturday: “We’re more mentally tough than that.’”
Dave Matter, @Dave_Matter, Twitter
GH: What does mental toughness have to do with putting your team in black jerseys and sending them out for four hours in 90-degree heat? Wear the white jerseys, Coach.
“I love going to Columbia, Missouri. That is a really underrated campus. It shocked me when I went there because I really didn’t know what to expect. I have four boys, and if they ever ended up saying they wanted to go to Missouri, I’d be very happy for them. It’s a clean campus, they love sports, they’re diehards when it comes to the Tigers, and I don’t think a lot of people realize how good it is. I’d put that on there.”
Kirk Herbstreit, when asked for some venues in college football that some people may overlook, SBNation.com
GH: As a high school and college kid following the Huskers throughout the Big 8, I came to love KU’s campus in Lawrence as well as Mass Street. I also really enjoyed the beauty of OSU’s campus in Stillwater. It was always too cold once I got to Ames to venture much farther than the stadium’s parking lot. I always thought Norman was kind of bland and Manhattan seemed too far off the interstate. Missouri’s campus was unknown to me because getting to the stadium was such a hassle on game day that I never ventured on campus the first ten times I visited Columbia – until my son enrolled there two years ago. MU’s campus is a gem and the town of Columbia ranks right behind Lawrence and Boulder as two of my favorite Big 8 haunts. If you have not made the trip onto the campus at MU, take Herbie’s advice and check out what you have been missing.
GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24