Kansas City Royals name George Brett interim hitting coach
George Brett was named interim hitting coach by the Royals on Thursday, with previous hitting coaches Jack Maloof and Andre David were reassigned to the Minor Leagues.
According to the AP, the 60-year-old Hall of Famer, who has been serving as the Royals’ vice president of baseball operations since retiring after the 1993 season, accepted the job after taking calls from general manager Dayton Moore and manager Ned Yost.
This will be Brett’s first on-field coaching job, although he has been asked multiple times to take on-field role in the organization, declining because he didn’t want to be away from his young children – but as Brett told the AP Thursday, with his kids now in college, "I'm not missing them growing up anymore."
Brett has made some appearances as an instructor during Spring Training, and manager Ned Yost has been impressed with those stints.
"George doesn't come the second week in spring training and stay 10 days," Yost said. "I've never seen a Hall of Famer with the work ethic that he has. George never half-ran a ball to first base in his life, and was never the last one out of the dugout in his life. I’m just excited he's here."
The Royals rank near the bottom of the American League in most offensive categories, and Brett lamented that lack of production at his introductory press briefing.
"I'm sick and tired of watching guys try to hit three-run home runs with nobody on base when you're down two runs in the eighth inning," Brett said. "Let's do what you're capable of doing. Don't try to be a hero, just be a soldier."
As for the gig, it is indeed temporary. Brett and Moore plan to meet in a month to assess his impact, and then will meet every two weeks after that as long as he stays on.
"I'm scared to death right now, to be honest with you, but I'm looking forward to the challenge,” Brett said. “I don't know if I'm going to be good at this. If I'm not doing my job, I don't want Dayton to feel like he has to fire me. This could be something I just could not stand to do, I don't know; the players and I might not hit it off, I don't know."
As a player, Brett’s 3,154 career hits make him the Royals’ all-time leader and No. 15 in MLB history, and he remains the only player in Major League history to win batting titles in three different decades.