Frank White and the Royals are having an ugly breakup


Frank White played his entire 18-season career for the Royals, spent years after that coaching and broadcasting their games, and has a statue in front of Kauffman Stadium.

Yet last month the team fired White as their part-time television announcer and yesterday he took a new job on the independent league Kansas City T-Bones’ coaching staff, revealing a few more details about his ouster from the Royals.

White told Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star that he’ll never come back to the organization:

I’m just glad I’m not there anymore. I’m healthier. My blood pressure is stable. I’m laughing a lot more, I’m having more fun. This is good. This is good for me. It’s hard to go to work when the people there don’t see you as an asset, or someone who can help make the team better. When you’re the guy everybody messes with. When there’s nobody there to say, “This is Frank White, this is what he’s done for us, don’t mess with him.”

White, who the Royals paid around $300,000 last year, told Mellinger that owner David Glass fired him because of critical comments he made that supposedly did “irrevocable damage” to the team. And in fairness to the Royals according to Mellinger they got reports from other teams that White was badmouthing them privately.

Whatever the case, it sounds like the 40-year relationship is going to be very difficult to repair. Or as White put it: “I’ll tell you the most disappointing thing in this. Nobody stood up for me. Even when I was making sense to them, or thought I was making sense, nobody stood up for me. Nobody.”

Red Sox sign Christian Vazquez to three-year, $13.55 million extension

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The Red Sox signed catcher Christian Vazquez to a three-year, $13.55 million extension, per a team announcement on Saturday. The agreement will keep Vazquez under contract through the 2021 season and covers two years of arbitration eligibility and the catcher’s first year of free agency. It comes with a $7 million club option (and $250,000 buyout) for 2022 that could get bumped up to $8 million if he reaches 502 plate appearances in both 2020 and 2021. Vazquez has also volunteered to make an annual donation to the Red Sox Foundation as part of his new arrangement with the club.

The 27-year-old backstop is entering his fourth year with the Red Sox in 2018. He’s been a steady defender behind the dish over the last three years and was ranked fifth-best in defense among all American League catchers at the end of the 2017 season. He also enjoyed a breakout performance at the plate, slashing a career-best .290/.330/.404 with five home runs and a .735 OPS in 345 plate appearances.

Come Opening Day, Vazquez is expected to be the Red Sox’ primary option behind the plate, with veteran Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart poised to start in backup roles. Swihart is out of options, but has been groomed for a utility role this spring and could take a few reps in the left field and the infield corners if need be, as it doesn’t appear the club is prepared to trade him just yet.