Found July 24, 2013 on Fox Sports Kansas City:
Picimg_angelsroyals_71d0
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It doesn't make any sense. Alex Gordon, one of the Royals' top hitters the last few years, has been entrenched in a horrible slump virtually from the day the greatest hitter in Royals history took over as hitting coach. The facts are right there to observe: Gordon was hitting .335 and among the league leaders when George Brett took over as hitting coach on May 30, but has hit just .187 since. Gordon's average has dipped to .274, its lowest point since the season-opening series in Chicago. "I've heard that statistic (.187), too," Gordon told FOXSportsKansasCity.com. "But George being hitting coach has nothing to do with it. "At the end of the day, it's your career. It's your job. You are who you are, no matter what hitting coach is around. I'm just not playing well and not doing my job well. Simple as that." The irony is that Brett has worked tirelessly with Gordon during that span. The two go through a series of hitting drills each day in the inside cages, long before Gordon and his teammates actually take batting practice on the field. Gordon perhaps is the most intense worker on the Royals' team, and he said viewing Brett's work ethic the last two months has made him want to push even harder. "I see how hard he works," Gordon said of Brett. "He comes to the park and really goes after it, nonstop. His shirt is always drenched and I know he cares a lot. He knows how to put in the work. I have to do the same." But is it possible Gordon needs to take a step back and simply give his body a break? "If I was over-working I would stop," Gordon said. "I know my body. I know how much I can handle." Reaching for some connection between Brett's presence and Gordon's slump is a waste of time, Gordon said. "People are going to say what they want to say," Gordon said. "You just focus on what you can control in here. You can't pout about it. Let people say what they're gonna say. "You just get back to work and get yourself out of it." To be truthful, Gordon and Brett have worked together for years during spring training when Brett makes his annual trek to Surprise, Ariz., to serve as the team's unofficial roving hitting instructor. "I've worked with George every year, so it's not like we started from ground zero," Gordon said. "And it's not just George. We got George and Pedro (Grifol) as hitting coaches. We got two guys who know what they're talking about. I've enjoyed it, working with them. "They're doing all they can. As a hitter, you take responsibility for what you're doing or not doing." So, does Gordon have any idea why he is struggling so much? "I can talk to you about mechanics but sometimes it's just mentality, just having confidence," he said. "You can talk mechanics all day but if you don't have confidence, mechanics won't help. "I'm not saying I don't have confidence, but it comes down to just getting it done. I'm not doing that for whatever reason. "I've always said you're going to have your ups and downs but you try to stay the same person. But at the end of the day, you have to worry about winning and that's all that matters." Manager Ned Yost did not start Gordon on Wednesday night, simply to give him a break. Gordon found out he was going to sit out Wednesday's game after Tuesday night's game. "Usually that's what good managers do -- I was told the night before," Gordon said. "Luckily, we got guys who can step up." Yost said a mini-break for Gordon was much needed. "He needed a day off," Yost said. "We only got two days off in the next 50. I've got to find time for him and for Sal (Perez) to get a break. "Alex didn't have a normal All-Star break. Monday and Tuesday are crazy (for All-Stars during that week), then he's got to get his family back home Wednesday and travel. Really, he just got one day off during the break. He needs this." Gordon, though, said lack of rest is no excuse. "I'll be the first one to tell you that I'm not swinging it like I should be," Gordon said. "I'm not swinging like a leadoff man should. I got the day off today, slash, benched. That's what I call days off -- being benched. Hopefully I'll get it straightened out tomorrow." You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email him at jeffreyflanagan6@gmail.com
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES
NEED A HAND?

Fans save Moustakas from foul ball face-plant

Mike Moustakas reached over a railing in pursuit of a Nick Markakis foul ball at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday. The third baseman could have suffered a nasty bump on the noggin, if not for the helpful hands of a group of loyal Royals fans who caught him as he tumbled into the stands. Afterwards, there were sighs of relief and high-fives all around. Moustakas and Markakis...

Santana 'blows up' over trade rumors

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Will Royals right-hander Ervin Santana be traded? Will he stay with the Royals and sign a long-term deal? Who knows? I chatted with Santana on Tuesday about all the possibilities, and he was his usual easygoing, laid-back self. And later, Santana posted a pretty funny video on his Twitter account with the heading Trade Rumors," a video that probably sums...

Now is the time for the Royals to make Hay

by John Viril— If the Kansas City Royals are going to make a run, the next three weeks will tell the tale. The Royals are now entering a stretch where they will play 15 of their next 19 games against teams with losing records. At the end of that run, they then face the Detroit Tigers for a massive 5-game road series that ends August 18. If the Royals aren’t in contention on that...

(VIDEO) Kansas City Royals Pitcher Ervin Santana Says Trade Rumors Are “Blowing Up The Clubhouse”

This morning I came across this gem from the official twitter account of Kansas City Royals pitcher Ervin Santana. Whoever his special effects guy is, we need to hire him. Check out the tweet he sent this morning, along with the short video after the jump… #TradeRumors blowing up the #Royals clubhouse http://t.co/LS9rTVqRx6 — Ervin Santana (@ErvinSantana_54) July 24, 2013 ...

Young man's game: everyday grind simply got to Brett

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In the end, George Brett knew he couldn't turn back time, he couldn't be 25 again, and he couldn't fall in love once more with the major-league lifestyle he once so cherished. Brett stepped down from his interim position as the Royals hitting coach Thursday, a move that may have surprised some, but not those who know him or are close to him. That...

As he said he would, Brett steps away from interim hitting coach job

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- George Brett said from the moment he took the job as hitting coach on May 30 that he would do it only on an interim basis. True to his word, Brett stepped down from the position Thursday after nearly 60 days on the job. Brett will return to his previous position as Royals vice president of baseball operations. Pedro Grifol, who had been working with Brett in...

Ervin Santana wants All-Star pitchers to play dodgeball

During the MLB Home Run Derby, the pitchers really don't have much to do. I mean, they stand there and gawk at monstrous home runs, and...that's about all. Royals starting pitcher Ervin Santana, who was an All-Star just once in 2008, has a suggestion for All-Star weekend that would get the pitchers involved: dodge ball. Next year at #MLB #allstargame we should...

Santana says he would listen to Royals about contract extension

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Royals right-hander Ervin Santana doesn't know what his future will bring, particularly in the next week leading up to the July 31 trade deadline. But he does know one thing: He'd be happy staying right here in Kansas City for this season and beyond. "I like it here," Santana told FOXSportsKansasCity.com. "I'm happy here." Santana...

Speedy Dyson would love to turn back the clock to that day in Anaheim

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If only Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson could jump into a time machine. Dyson would go back to May 15 in Anaheim, Calif., and just ignore that towering home run ball from Mike Trout of the Angels. But Dyson didn't. He ran up the wall -- somewhat Bo Jackson style -- and tried to snag the ball, which was well out of his reach. And on his way down, Dyson somehow...

Royals 4, Orioles 3

Eric Hosmer hit two home runs and Alcides Escobar drove in the winning run in the ninth to lift the Kansas City Royals to a 4-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night. David Lough singled and scored the game-ending run when Escobar doubled off the fence in left center with one out in the ninth. Hosmer homered in the first and his two-run home run in the eighth tied...

Royals-White Sox Preview

The Kansas City Royals haven't been very good on the road lately, but James Shields has all season. Shields will try to pitch the Royals to a fourth straight win Friday night when they open a very favorable nine-game trip against the Chicago White Sox. After getting outscored 30-12 during a five-game road skid heading into the All-Star break, the Royals (48-51) returned home...

Preview: Santana leads Royals against the O's

The Baltimore Orioles are aggressively making changes to get back to the playoffs. The return of Wei-Yin Chen seems to have already bolstered their chances. Chen looks to win a third straight start since returning from the disabled list while the Orioles attempt to re-establish themselves at the plate against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night. Baltimore (57-44) holds one...

Royals 7, Orioles 1

Jeremy Guthrie pitched six solid innings and Billy Butler homered and the Kansas City Royals beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-1 on Thursday. The Royals, who limped into the All-Star break with five consecutive defeats, went 5-2 on the homestand against the Orioles and AL Central Division-leading Detroit Tigers. Guthrie (10-7), who won 47 games in five seasons with the Orioles, allowed...

Royals squander numerous scoring chances but still beat Orioles 3-2

Start with this: The Royals should have been on cruise control Tuesday night entering the ninth inning. They were, instead, clinging to a two-run lead after wasting a bushel of scoring opportunities. And then things got tense before Greg Holland, in All-Star closer form, closed out a 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles by stranding the tying run at third base with no outs. “Our...

Royals rally for 4-3 victory over Orioles

What’s that classic Monty Python line? Not dead yet! Who knows? But there are times like Wednesday’s dramatic 4-3 victory over Baltimore when the Royals even now make you want to believe. Alcides Escobar rocked a one-out walk-off double in the ninth inning that Nate McLouth couldn’t quite reach at the left-field wall. David Lough scored from first base after initially holding...
Royals News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.