ose Guillen’s profanity-filled tirade moments after the Kansas City Royals squandered a five-run lead and lost their 10th game in a row earned the outspoken outfielder a big thumbs-up from his frustrated bosses.
Jose Guillen’s profanity-filled tirade moments after the Kansas City Royals squandered a five-run lead and lost their 10th game in a row earned the outspoken outfielder a big thumbs-up from his frustrated bosses.“Jose and I met,” manager Trey Hillman said Thursday, a few hours before the Royals played Minnesota in an effort to stop a demoralizing slide that started when they got no-hit in Boston on May 19.“I said, ‘Love your message, love your message. Just don’t like the way you said it. Some of the language you used, we would greatly prefer that you didn’t use,”’ Hillman said.Guillen, who signed a three-year, $36 million free agent contract last winter, blasted unnamed teammates and challenged them to “learn to play this game right.”“Too many babies in here,” he said, spicing each comment with obscenities. “They don’t know how to play the game and how to win games. Now I know why this organization has been losing for a while. Now I know.”Before batting practice on Thursday, the Royals had a team meeting to talk about why they had fallen to 21-32, the next-to-worst record in the AL.“I did all the talking,” Hillman said. “I was (objecting) to the words (of Guillen) that had to be bleeped out. I wasn’t referring to the message. I think he pointed the finger at himself as well as 24 other guys in the clubhouse.”Long losing streaks and angry fans are nothing new in Kansas City, which has had only one winning season in the last 14 non-strike years. Their current skid was their longest since losing 13 in a row from May 12-25, 2006. Eight times in the past 10 years they’ve endured losing streaks of nine or more games.What is new is an angry player, someone to create turmoil and challenge slumping teammates.“The style in which he presented it is something we’ll talk about. It wouldn’t be anything I would condone,” said general manager Dayton Moore. “But Jose is a very passionate person. We knew that coming in.“I know some of the things that have led up to some of Jose’s remarks. He’s passionate enough to say them publicly. I’m actually as encouraged as I’ve ever been to be in this position and what our goal is here, to win a World Series.”Heading into their Thursday night game, the Royals’ 21-32 record was the worst in the league except for Seattle’s 20-34.Their offense was dead last in the league. Their 192 runs were only two better than the San Diego Padres, who play in a league where pitchers bat. Their 26 home runs were the fewest in the majors.“It takes us more hits than anybody else in the American League to actually plate a run,” Hillman said.Nobody seemed to think Guillen’s outburst would create any team dissension.“Everyone understands what angered Guillen. Maybe we all should have the same feeling,” said outfielder Mark Teahen. “But sometimes you say things when you’re (angry) that you wouldn’t otherwise say. He’s been a good teammate, so this is something you sweep under the rug. And he’s right about some things. We do need to learn to win.”Moore, in his second year as general manager of a franchise which hasn’t played a postseason game since 1985, seemed especially pleased at Guillen’s fighting spirit.“I feel like events like this, believe it or not, are circumstances that you go through,” he said. “The losing we’re experiencing now, the outburst Jose had, those are all part of the process that happens to teams along the way to win a championship.“There’ll be a lot of good coming out of it. I think the important thing is to move on from where we are and keep going out there and grinding it out.”Hillman, navigating through choppy waters in his first season as a major league manager, is trying hard to maintain his cool.“I always run a check on my demeanor and the way I’m perceived by the players, with the most experienced players because they’re the ones who have seen the most managers at this level,” he said. “I did that as recently as (Monday) and I did it a week before that. I asked one of our most veteran players, ’Can you see any difference in my demeanor day in and day out?’ And he said no.“Every day’s a fresh day.”