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.”
The Reds announced on Thursday that the protective netting at Great American Ball Park will be extended to the end of each dugout in time for Opening Day next season. The press release notes that the current netting meets Major League Baseball’s guidelines and the new netting will go beyond those standards.
The netting “debate” came back on Wednesday when a young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have done about the bare minimum in installing protective netting, which rightly earned them criticism. Brian Dozier, Todd Frazier, and Didi Gregorius each said yesterday that the netting should be extended. Other teams and Major League Baseball in general received criticism. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, for example, said the relative lack of action on MLB’s part is “morally repugnant.”
Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that the Reds had already had this idea prior to Wednesday’s incident at Yankee Stadium.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become eligible for free agency after the 2018 season and is likely to get a windfall. The club, however, isn’t expected to pursue trading their star at the hot corner this offseason, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Machado, 25, has been one of baseball’s best players since debuting in 2012. He had a slow start to the 2017 season, seeing his OPS nearly drop below .700 in early July, but a strong second half has made his overall numbers more than respectable. Machado is batting .264/.318/.484 with 32 home runs and 92 RBI in 651 plate appearances while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense at third base.
Just because the Orioles don’t plan to move Machado this offseason doesn’t mean they won’t try to recoup some value ahead of next year’s non-waiver trade deadline. According to Heyman, a person involved with the Orioles said, “It would take us 35 years to find another player like him.”