Friday, January 27, 2012

T-Bones hiring Frank White is a savvy move

The Royals let Frank White get away.

Posted By on Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 10:04 AM

White will be wearing different home whites this season.
  • White will be wearing different home whites this season.
Frank White should be at Kauffman Stadium this spring. He should have the chance to walk by the bronze statue that is a tribute to the nearly two decades he anchored second base for the Kansas City Royals. He should be near the fans who can still remember his streak of 62 games without an error. He should be part of the organization that has relied on him as its emissary since his retirement in 1990.

But sports, like life, is rarely neat or sensible. Instead, Frank White will wear a different Kansas City uniform for the first time next season. The Kansas City T-Bones have hired White to be part of their coaching staff in a role that includes player evaluation and development.

The Royals should have never let White get away — a fact that they'll be reminded of beginning May 17 when he trots up the first-base line at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Once he gets to his spot, he'll likely tip his cap to the crowd, who will be all too happy to cheer for the man who made Cookie Rojas a forgotten name in this town.

If you doubt the influence of White on Kansas City baseball, look no further than the T-Bones press release announcing his hire. General Manager Chris Browne notes that he first met White as a batboy and clubhouse attendant for the Royals. Not many of us get the chance to work alongside our childhood heroes.

White understands what it takes to succeed in baseball and, perhaps more importantly, what it takes to succeed in Kansas City. And his organic connection with the fans is what every major league marketing department hopes to manufacture. This is exactly the kind of move that one's hometown team should make. One team saw that. The other didn't.

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