Royals pitcher Ian Kennedy calls himself a baseball junkie, and he was glued to the television during the playoffs.
Yet, Kennedy also felt a pang as he watched the games.
“I feel like it fuels that fire and that desire to want to be in the playoffs again,” Kennedy told reporters Thursday at City Union Mission. “We were in a mass text, a bunch of us were texting back and forth. We were watching the same games. There were a bunch of us talking about the games that were going on, or off subject. But we were all into it, watching the Cubs. I kind of wanted them to win.”
The Royals caught a lot of heat after signing Kennedy to a five-year, $70 million contract, but he had an 11-11 record with a 3.68 ERA and 184 strikeouts in 195 2/3 innings. His ERA+, which is adjusted to a player’s ballpark and 100 is the league average, was 118.
Kennedy was happy with how he pitched this past season.
“I still gave up a lot more homers (33) than I was expecting or hoping for,” Kennedy told reporters. “Yeah, for the most part I feel like I’ve done what I’ve always done, and it helped that I had a lot better defense behind me.”
Kennedy was asked about his contract, which runs through 2020 and includes an opt-out clause after the 2017 season. Things can always change, but at this point Kennedy said he plans to stay with the Royals through the length of the contract.
“That’s how I view it,” Kennedy said with a smile. “I’ve got to view it that way. That’s how I envisioned it the whole time.”
Kennedy and his wife, Allison, served food at the City Union Mission Men’s Center, and he said it was important that the couple’s four daughters got to see the importance of helping others.
“We talk about it, that there are people out there who are in need and we’ve got to serve them,” Kennedy told reporters. “They’re a little young to get it, but it’s better to start while they can grasp it.”