If you’ve played sports, you’ve been there. A major butt-chewing by your coach. We’ve all had our share of post game, gather the team around and talk about this right now on the field in front of parents, fans, and the other team. That’s what happened to the Royals after Ryan Shealy hit a walk off homer to beat Arizona.
Royals manager Trey Hillman kept the team around home plate as they were all celebrating Shealy’s home run to win 4-3 to talk about his displeasure with mental mistakes on the base paths. Hillman wouldn’t share much with the media, but he just said he was unhappy with a few things.
While you may think you don’t need to show up professionals in front of fans and the other team, I love it! It sends the right message to the players on this team that there is a new level of expectation for this team. What Hillman is saying is no longer will this team stand for poor play and lack of execution. From day one of spring training, Hillman has been stressing the little things to make this team better, base running, bunting, fundamentally sound baseball.
Many experts are saying the Royals need more pop in their lineup, they can’t compete without a 30 home run guy and a couple of 20+ home run guys. I’m not sure Jose Guillen is the bat that’s going to get you that 30+ home run mark (he’s only hit 30 once…31 in 2003), so to make up for the lack of power, Hillman knows the team will have to improve in other ways.
Look, I’m not saying that Hillman’s bringing back the old days of baseball. In this era of smaller parks and bigger hitters, absolutely more emphasis in on the home run ball, and while the Royals need to improve in that area, and I think they will with Guillen and Butler, they can also improve by doing the little things better.
It’s not just laying down a sacrifice bunt or stealing, but it’s hitting to the right side to get the runner to third, going from first to third on a single. To get back to Hillman’s butt-chewing from yesterday, I’m all for getting his point across. I like what I’m seeing from Hillman so far.