Former Royals catcher Jason Kendall is incredibly blunt, funny and knowledgeable.
He didn’t spend a lot of time talking to the media during his lengthy playing career — he’s one of just five guys in baseball history to catch 2,000 games — but now he’s opening up about how the game is really played.
Here are 10 things you’ll learn from reading “Throwback: A Big-League Catcher Tells How the Game Is Really Played,” the soon-to-be-released book that Kendall co-wrote with The Star’s Lee Judge:
1.) How to predict what pitch is coming next.
2.) The universal signs that all teams use and how fans can decode them.
3.) How to tell when the starting pitcher is about to be pulled.
4.) The right way to argue with an ump, and why a catcher stares straight ahead while doing it.
5.) Why a runner might try to score if the throw comes from right field.
6.) How to tell if a hitter has a two-strike approach or is still swinging for the fences.
7.) How a rain delay affects base running.
8.) Why ballplayers show up at 12:30 p.m. for a 7:05 game.
9.) How to stop a runner at second base from stealing signs.
10.) Why ballplayers are superstitious, and how they try to break slumps.
“Throwback: A Big-League Catcher Tells How the Game Is Really Played,” published by St. Martin’s Press, comes out May 13. Kendall and Judge will be signing books at the Leawood Barnes Noble on May 22; the book can be pre-ordered now online by searching for the title.