Much of the outrage at Royals co-hitting coach Jack Maloof’s comments on Fox Sports Kansas City’s website that “there is just no reward to try and hit home runs” is connected to the offseason firing of Kevin Seitzer.
But while manager Ned Yost said Wednesday that it’s misleading to think he wanted a homer-centric approach after Seitzer was replaced, it’s easy to make that conclusion when looking back at Yost’s comments in October.
“Kevin was a tremendous hitter when he was in the big leagues,” Yost said the day Seitzer’s firing was announced. “His philosophy was, basically, to stay to the middle of the field and to the off side. I think we’ve got a group of young power hitters who are capable of hitting homers.
“Our offense was built more around singles and doubles, but it’s difficult to get three or four singles in a row to score a run. We have to have the ability to open it up a little more, use the power that we have to take advantage of a quick strike.
“A walk, a base hit and boom — there’s three runs. I think that’s the major difference in philosophy.”
Sounds like Yost was talking about wanting more three-run homers. So what did he expect Royals fans to do when Maloof told this to FoxSportsKansasCity.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan?
“There is just no reward here (for us) to try and hit home runs,” Maloof said. “We try to stay down on the ball, be more line-drive oriented, and do more situational hitting … That’s why I’m not overly concerned because I think we’ll lead the league in fewest home runs again this year.”
After Maloof made his comments, Yost had this to say:
“It was never the idea to get up there and try to hit homers,” Yost said Wednesday. “I don’t think I said I want to try to hit more homers, but I do think we have the ability to hit homers. That’s what we’re working toward.”