A club record secure, Royals left fielder Alex Gordon offered a theory for why he has been hit by more pitches than any player in franchise history.
“I guess people don’t like me,” Gordon said Thursday, after an 8-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium. “That’s why they hit me.”
Gordon forced a wry smile. Hours earlier, in the seventh inning, he had been hit for the 79th time in his career, breaking the club record held by former catcher Mike Macfarlane. The record did not come on a particularly positive afternoon. Yet he said the mark still meant something.
“It means a lot,” Gordon said. “I know Macfarlane, too. So I’ll give him a hard time about that. It does mean a lot. Any time you can achieve something on a team that’s all-time, it’s pretty cool.”
Macfarlane, a catcher, played 980 career games for the Royals across 11 seasons. He was also hit 19 times as a member of the Boston Red Sox and Oakland A’s.
For the moment, Gordon is still struggling at the plate after a slow start in 2017. He is hitting just .188 with zero homers in 96 at-bats. On Thursday, he said he was beginning to feel more comfortable at the plate after working through some minor adjustments with hitting coach Dale Sveum. One thing that has not slumped, however, is his ability to wear pitches from opposing pitchers.
“I’m all about trying to get on base and trying to help the team win,” Gordon said. “I kind of developed it at Nebraska. We kind of had a mentality of not getting out of the way, especially with two strikes. Just battling and trying to find a way on. I think it’s kind of carried over.”