Thoughts about Zack Greinke have been percolating ever since Bob Dutton's article broke on August 5. The great young pitcher (who hasn't been as great this year) sounded off on his scepticism over the chances of the Royals being any good by the time his contract expires in 2012. His big problem is probably the same as most Royals' fans in that the Royals are again rebuilding.
The fans have a right to feel the way they do about the Royals. Yeah, this is the third consecutive rebuild and retool after all. But it does seem the Royals are finally moving in the right direction as their minor league teams are stocked with talent. But Greinke's big point is that it takes time for that talent to get to where it helps the team. He uses Alex Gordan as an example of a guy taking a while to make an impact. He also pointed to Delmon Young. And it isn't as if the pitcher is wrong in his assessment. The guy is pretty sharp after all and his pessimism has some foundation.
The Fan's big problem with Greinke is what the comments do for his standing with the team. When Greinke signed his contract, he did so with gratitude that the Royals stuck with him through his tough early years. He gave the home town team a discount on the multi-year contract when he probably could have gotten more elsewhere. But those good feelings are gone now and instead of gratitude, Greinke has pessimism and impatiences. Greinke had to know his team was terrible when he signed that contract, right? So if he was going to feel like this, why did he sign it?
And how must his teammates feel? How would Alex Gordan feel? It seems to this Fan that they would feel thrown under the bus. His teammates would feel that they weren't good enough for Greinke and if this writer was in their shoes, the insult would seem odious. One of the golden rules in baseball is that you support your teammates and never throw them under the bus. Greinke has broken that rule here.
The question is again begged as to why Greinke couldn't have kept these comments to himself or taken them directly to his GM? He could have privately asked to be traded. He could have done a lot of things. But instead he chose to become an outspoken critic of his own team. Any good feelings the team and him have shared over the years have now soured and unless someone can make Greinke happy, it might be in everyone's best interest to just trade him.