By DAVID MARTIN
Royals manager Trey Hillman acts like a dick on occasion, and the media arestarting to call him on it.
A few weeks ago, the Royals faced Boston knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. In preparation for the game, Hillman, an ex-infielder who fooled around with a knuckler in his playing days, tossed batting practice.
810 WHB's Nate Bukaty tried to engage Hillman in a light conversation about his knuckler. But Hillman was having none of it. His terse answers suggested a man who had just buried his dog and broken up a fistfight in the clubhouse.
The following day, right-handed pitcher Kyle Davies didn't last three innings. After the game, reporters asked Hillman if he had spoken with Davies. Hillman got chippy, saying something along the lines that he was not a manager who humiliated his players. (I'm relying on the memory of radio interviews heard while running errands.)
Following the encounters, WHB host Danny Clinkscale complained on the air about Hillman acting like a grumpy pants.
The latest Jose Guillen outburst finds Hillman once again spitting at reporters.
The combustible Guillen had words with a heckler on Tuesday. Asked about the incident, Hillman said he was "in the toilet" at the time and didn't see it. Hillman said there was no sense for him to comment, and he bristled when a member of the media dared to ask a follow-up question.
The people who cover sports in Kansas City are starting to push back at Hillman's impatience. The usually sunny Joe Posnanski wrote in yesterday's Kansas City Star that the manager "seems to be getting testier and testier as it becomes clear that he doesn't have any answers." On 610 Sports, Cory Anderson bluntly said that Hillman was acting like "a prick."
If you watch the video below of ex-Royals Coach Hal McRae going nuts, you know the bar's been set pretty high for press-manager confrontations in Kansas City. But Hillman seems to be on his way.