Mailbag: Do the Royals have chemistry?
Beat reporter Dick Kaegel answers fans' burning questions
Do you think the Royals have had good team chemistry this year? Has Jose Guillen hurt the team in that area?
-- Scott A., Topeka, Kan.
I haven't noticed any deep divisions or any particular turmoil in the clubhouse this season. It's a stretch to say a last-place team that could not fulfill its promise of expected improvement has good chemistry. Chemistry involves more than getting along in the clubhouse; it means coming together as a cohesive unit on the field, as well. Obviously, that hasn't happened.
I'm sure at times some players get tired of Guillen's occasional disruptions. That's what happens when you're not afraid to speak your mind and are not concerned about ruffling feathers of your teammates or management. As a reporter, I enjoy being around Guillen, because I find him to largely genial -- although, when he doesn't want to talk, forget it. Frankly, he doesn't like to talk much about himself. He's convinced me that he's a team player who wants to badly to win.
I'll go along with owner David Glass who, when asked about Guillen's demeanor, said he's never heard of a good team "where everybody loved everybody and nothing bad ever happened." Winning chemistry can involve some explosions from time to time.
Is there any chance that Mark Teahen could move to second base next year? He seems more like a Mark Grudzielanek-type player than a power-hitting outfielder.
-- Charley T., Oberlin, Kan.
No Royals front-office or staff person has brought up that possibility, which leads me to believe it's not likely. Teahen is such a good athlete and such a team player that there's no doubt, if asked, he'd give it a whirl. He's proved he can play third, first and the outfield. Teahen might be a bit too gangly to be making the difficult double-play pivot from that side, and his range might not be enough. But, you're right, this year he has not shown all the power a team would like from a corner infielder or outfielder. But second base? Doubt it.
Any chance of the outfield dimensions being altered when the renovations at Kauffman Stadium are finished?
-- Gary S., Kansas City, Mo.
As far as I know, the dimensions will remain the same. Some year, someone might decide the spacious outfield should be contracted again, as it was from 1995 to 2003. The fences were pulled in 10 feet from bullpen to bullpen, but it gave the Royals no special advantage.
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-- Miguel G., Hatillo, P.R.
The next two All-Star Games are set for St. Louis in 2009 and Anaheim in 2010. Then, if my sources are correct, the 2011 game will go to Arizona and the 2012 game to Kansas City. Commissioner Bud Selig has repeatedly made it clear that KC, once Kauffman Stadium was spruced up, would get the All-Star Game, and it appears that 2012 is the year.
Are the waterfalls in the outfield going to be totally taken down due to the additional seating? The pictures in the brochure on the Web site look like the waterfalls will be completely removed.
-- Pat J., Kirksville, Mo.
No. The fountains and waterfalls will continue to be a central part of the Kauffman Stadium ambiance. There was never any intention to remove that very distinctive part of the stadium.
When the press box is moved next year, what sections of the upper deck will be affected?
-- Chad J., Kansas City, Mo.
According to Royals vice president of ballpark operations Bob Rice, the move upward will knock out the first eight rows in the 300 sections running roughly about the same width of the current press box below.
Why don't the Royals put together a DVD with highlights and history of the franchise? I used to love getting to the park early and watching the "Boys of Summer" video, because it was about the only opportunity to see those goose bump-inducing clips. I think a video would be a great marketing idea.
-- Ryan G., Colwich, Kan.
Mark Tilson, Royals vice president of sales and marketing, says such a video has been talked about as part of next season's 40th anniversary of the club, but nothing has been finalized. Over the years, many fans have inquired to this corner about such a video, so there's interest in the idea.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.