After a disappointing 1-3 series against the New York Yankees, the Kansas City Royals were slated for a quick two game set against the Cleveland Indians. After flagging over the last week themselves, the Indians had a two game lead in the AL Central, so the Royals could pull even with them and take first place for the first time since near the beginning of the season. They were so close to first that they could almost taste it.
It was awful forward-thinking to believe that a two game series in the middle of June was critical to the pennant race, but Pat Burrell didn’t want to give up any ground to the Indians. Something had to change. Something had to motivate the Royals to move forward and rebound from their loss to the mediocre Yankees squad.
Burrell considered making another trade, but he realized that he could only rely upon transactional drama to carry the day so many times. He was willing to go back to the trading market, but he’d wait until the July deadline. After all, there are only so many parts of this story that can be about making trades, and certainly another one is to come. Today, change would have to come from within.
There was one clear way that the team could be improved without a trade: something had to be done about the manager. If only for a couple, critical games…