Johnny Cueto hasn’t been making Royals fans happy with his pitching. And now he’s not making them happy with his off-the-field performance either.
Plowboys BBQ in Blue Springs, Missouri and 610 Radio in Kansas City had been heavily promoting a Johnny Cueto meet and greet that included a Cueto look-alike costume contest and other fun Cueto things. It had been rescheduled once to accommodate treatment of an injury, but was supposed to happen yesterday. Cueto never showed. From a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page, which seems to have been deleted, but which was captured by KCTV 5 in Kansas City:
“Agent gave the same line about treatment and that he was running late. It wasn’t long that it was obvious Cueto was not coming. Fans in donning Cueto jerseys, wearing dreads, and standing in a parking lot for two hours left frustrated. Fans who submitted videos for the pitching contest, fans who came in, called in, and showed up to get one of only 25 pictures with him … left without that fan experience . . . For the fans, we are sorry that Cueto was a bust. No one at Plowboys or 610Sports wanted to see this. The sad and ironic part of this is that Cueto’s agent came to us saying that Cueto wanted to “connect more with the fans”. The appearance was something that came from Cueto and his agent. No one went “after” them. For our staff, we love you all. You put in so much work, so much planning, and so many extra hours to make this happen for Plowboys and Royals fans. Your shared disappointment shows how much you care. Again, we love you.”
After this, Cueto’s agent issued a statement:
“Johnny regrets what happened today. He was running an hour late due to treatment that he received from his personal trainer and massage therapist. By the time he was done with the session and on his way, the event was cancelled. He is sorry for missing the event and apologizes to the fans that waited for him, the restaurant, and the radio station.”
Cueto is a rental starting pitcher who has not performed well for the Royals. His performance and presumed price tag was probably enough to ensure that he was going to sign elsewhere, but I’m starting to get the sense that, short of some serious playoff heroics, there won’t be a big fan groundswell for his return either.