By In Baseball

The Royal We

From NBC SportsWorld:

Mike Jirschele stayed in the game even after he blew out his knee. He was 23 years old then and playing ball in Triple-A when his ACL snapped. He felt so close to the Major Leagues. When he first returned, he still kept his dreams of being a big league ballplayer, but as time passed and his batting average dropped he began to realize that it just wasn’t meant to be. That’s when the goal changed. He went to play ball in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and Omaha and Memphis and Appleton. He was no longer chasing dreams. He just wanted to be a ballplayer.

When he could no longer play, he coached. When he proved proficient at coaching, he managed. For 20 years, he kicked around minor league baseball during summers, managing in Rockford and Wilmington and Omaha, mostly Omaha. During the winters he worked in a furniture store. It was never entirely clear which job was the real job. Two years ago, the Royals made him a major league coach. Everyone in the family cried with joy. A few months later, the Royals made him their third-base coach. More tears of joy.

The Royal We



10 Responses to The Royal We

  1. Timo says:

    I always enjoy Joes articles about the Royals. Coming from a diehard rangers fan I know the feeling of going years witj no playoff appearances and then back to back pennants. Remember when Joe would lament the fact that for years the Royals signed useless washed up veterans? Where would this team be without Chris Young, Kendry Morales and Edison Volquez?

    • MikeN says:

      He also posted about how terrible the Wil Myers trade was. He’s not even with Tampa Bay anymore.

    • zeke bob says:

      You know it’s weird, I usually find myself on the side of people who think baseball overreacts to displays of emotion – for instance I think Bryce Harper was spot on when he criticized Papelbon for his bean ball following a homer the guy barely paused to watch – and yet I’m genuinely puzzled by how many people in sports media seem to be gushing over Bautista’s homer/bat flip against the Rangers. Watching that game, I thought the main people that behaved badly were Toronto’s fans, there was obviously no way Choo deliberately hit that throw back to the mound. And then Bautista’s bat flip and stare down… well, that seemed as deliberate a case of grandstanding I’ve ever seen in baseball. I guess the part that really irks me is that if Harper, Pierzynski, or a dozen other “malcontent” players had done that same thing, I fully would expect the usual grouches like Verducci to be demonizing them for “playing the game the wrong way.” Yet Bautista hasn’t just gotten a pass, he’s getting praised for it. I just find it puzzling, guess it just depends on your relationships with the writers.

      • Just Bob says:

        Couldn’t agree more!!!

      • Marc Schneider says:

        I felt like that, in that case, it was Bautista reacting to the particular moment as opposed to some deliberate effort at showing off. It wasn’t a home run in July. I have to say that, while I don’t think they should ban displays of emotion and some of the “unwritten rules” of baseball are rather silly, I’m not a big fan of the more obviously calculated celebratory antics in football. It’s not something I would do, although I understand there are generational and cultural differences. In baseball, it’s more difficult to say if a bat flip, for example, is intentional or simply a reaction to the moment. You can say it’s a “get off my lawn” kind of thing, but I can understand why a pitcher would not appreciate someone embarrassing him after a home run. On the other hand, it does often go too far; the pitcher should probably just turn his back on what is going on at the plate.

      • MikeN says:

        Yup. Same if Jeter had been the guy who slapped instead of ARod?

  2. Timo says:

    I didnt mind it. It is what it is. I was more annoyed by elvis and those errors. Elvis was first or second in the al in range factor, assists, putouts and double plays and then this…elvis has been a frustrating player to watch. Barely 27 with 1100 hits, 2 all star appearances, and over 200 steals and his career has been a disappointment. The leg kick he employed seemed to give him more line drive power, especially in the second half. If he averages 170 hits over ten years, gasp, he’s at 2800 hits…thats crazy….im still waiting for him to be derek jeter light….maybe next year..*sigh*

  3. I agree with Zeke Bob. There was a real possibility of crowd-induced injury to players or fans at that game – what, did they start drinking Molsons at daybreak? – and if something unfortunate had happened, Bautista’s preening would have been contributory. I don’t quite get the free pass he’s getting from the media, either. That little antic would have resulted in a fistfight in a reasonably competitive softball game, let alone an atmosphere like the Skydome.

  4. JonesInn says:

    As a Royals fan who has blasted Yost several times previous years. I think your decision to use Friday’s Madson expample as a blunder is clear that you didn’t see the whole picture. Obviously Davis can handle 6 outs and is ideal and would be used in most cases, even by Yost. It’s clearly obvious why he chose Madison. The staff, along with everyone else in the city, knew the rain was coming. You don’t want to burn the best closer you have to a rain delay. Madison didn’t workout and was not allowed to continue. At that point you are left with no other option but to use Davis. Thankfully Davis was able to stay loose with the delay and seal the deal. No manager, at least not a very good one, would burn a closer in the 8th with guaranteed rain coming when leading.

  5. Squawks McGrew says:

    Applegate? Brilliant reference. I bet even Joe Hardy is beaming at it.

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