Mired in an eight-game losing streak and in their sad annual slide toward irrelevance, the Royals made a surprising change Thursday. Effective immediately, hall of famer George Brett will take over as the team's interim hitting coach. The team said in a release on its website today that coaches Jack Maloof and Andre David will be sent to minor league organization like they were a couple of under-performing players. Brett be with the team tonight when the last-place Royals play the Cardinals at 7:15 p.m.
"Obviously things have not gone as we would have expected and in light of the downturn in offensive production and poor results we've decided to make a change," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in the news release. He added: "I'm thankful that this organization has one of the greatest hitters and more importantly one of the greatest competitors our game has ever seen in George Brett and he has accepted our offer to join the coaching staff on an interim basis."
Read the whole release after the jump.
From the Royal's website:
The Kansas City Royals announced today that George Brett and Pedro Grifol will assume the interim hitting coach and major league special assignment coach roles, respectively, effective tonight when the Royals play in St. Louis at 7:15 p.m. In a corresponding move, the Royals have reassigned coaches Jack Maloof and Andre David to the minor league organization.
"Obviously things have not gone as we would have expected and in light of the downturn in offensive production and poor results we've decided to make a change," said Dayton Moore, Royals' Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager. "First of all, I can't thank Jack and Andre enough for accepting this challenge with the Major League club. They are both tremendously knowledgeable and hard working men who have already made our organization stronger by their work in the system. I'm thankful that this organization has one of the greatest hitters and more importantly one of the greatest competitors our game has ever seen in George Brett and he has accepted our offer to join the coaching staff on an interim basis. We've also added Pedro Grifol, who brings a wealth of knowledge to our staff and will work various aspects of the coaching staff."
Brett, 60, is the Royals' all-time hit leader with 3,154 during a playing career that spanned 1973-1993 and was capped with his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999. His familiar #5 was retired by the organization on May 14, 1994. He is the only player in Major League history to win batting titles in three different decades, winning the American League crown in 1976, 1980 and 1990. His 1980 season will always be remembered for his run at the elusive .400 mark, finishing the campaign with a .390 average and winning the American League Most Valuable Player Award. A 13-time All-Star, Brett is the club's all-time leader in every offensive category with the exception of stolen bases. He was also a Rawlings Gold Glove winner for his work at third base. Retired as a player following the '93 season, this is Brett's first-ever in-season coaching role in baseball. He has served as a Vice President of Baseball Operations since his retirement and has worked on the field during spring training for the organization.
Grifol, 43, is in his first year in the Royals' organization, initially assigned as the hitting coach for the Surprise Royals. He joined Kansas City after 13 seasons in the Seattle chain, serving most recently as manager for High Desert (A) in 2012. Previous roles have included area scout, manager at Everett (2003-05), Coordinator of Instruction (2006-08) and Director of Minor League Operations (2008-11). Pedro was also on the Mariners' major league staff for the second half of the 2010 season. He was also the Winter League manager this past year for the Venezuela squad where Alcides Escobar played. A Florida native, Grifol was the Florida State High School Player of the Year in 1988 out of Christopher Columbus High School and then helped Florida State University to the College World Series in 1989 and 1991, earning All-America honors in '91.