Twenty-four hours later, Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas on Thursday spoke cordially with a handful of reporters about what amounted to a “name, rank, serial number” interview session following his pivotal hit the day before against Colorado.
But Moustakas wasn’t particularly illuminating about his curious stance on Wednesday that it’s simple to assume was related to having to answer questions Tuesday about the Royals contemplating sending him to Class AAA Omaha.
Asked if in hindsight he would treat the matter differently than the day before, when he robotically funneled questions about his performance into praise of starting pitcher Jason Vargas, Moustakas said, “You know, everything was kind of focused on me a little bit. I’m not that kind of guy. I’ve always been the kind of guy who passes it off to the guys who deserve the credit. Vargie threw a great game for us last night, and that was kind of lost.
“I’m just happy to be out there playing ball, doing what I can to help this team win a ballgame. So I mean, you know, you guys know me well enough to where I don’t like to talk about myself. So being able to go out there and play a game, any time I can help the team win, it’s what my job is to do.”
Moustakas avoided directly answering if his behavior reflected anger with the media.
“Oh, you know, it is how it is,” he said. “When you play this game, you have different responsibilities, and some of them are to answer questions and some of them are to go out there and play the game. And every night it’s different.
“Every night you’re not going to have a great positive attitude, but it’s our job to go in there and play the game as hard as you can and then come in here and answer (your) questions. …
“I’m not much on talking about myself; I never have been. So with what happened yesterday, I hope it wasn’t misperceived, but I really felt that Vargie threw the ball fantastic for us and I was trying to give him as much credit as he deserved yesterday.”
Asked if he’d been trying to at least make some sort of point about the media, Moustakas added, “All this media attention and what-not, it’s not really my style, I don’t really like it.
“Not (making) a point, but this is a team, this is the Kansas City Royals, this isn’t what’s about me (or other players). We go out and we play as one team, and we try to win a ballgame as a team each night.
“So … like the questions and speculation, that’s what your (jobs) are to do, and my job is to go out there and play the game as best I can and try to perform on a professional level.”
Speaking before the Royals game against Baltimore, Moustakas smiled when asked if at some point he had been trying to have some fun with the repeated references to Vargas.
“Yeah, a little bit … I felt like I answered the question how I wanted to, and it started kind of being a little funny towards the second or third time,” he said. “But you guys know me well enough to (know) I’m normally always here answering questions. I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job of that for the most part.”
Unlike Wednesday, Moustakas did briefly acknowledge that the three-run double had given him a lift amid the controversy over his status as he’s hitting .161.
“I’m here to do whatever I can to help this team win, and if that’s go out and play defense for nine innings and help us on that side, then that’s what I’ll do,” said the lefthanded-hitting Moustakas, who was not in the lineup Thursday since the Orioles were starting a lefty. “Last night, it felt great to help this team win a ballgame. Those three runs (were) a big at-bat for us … and then Vargie goes and shuts them down.
“But it doesn’t make me feel any better that it came after the day before, what-not; I still feel the same as I did the day before, I still feel great and I’m happy to be in a Major League Kansas City Royals uniform and going out there and grinding it out every day.”