Try ... easier.
That’s the advice from Kansas City legend and Royals vice president of baseball operations George Brett, who has seen the team struggling to battle out of a losing skid that grew to eight games with Sunday’s 9-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
“I think right now the Royals are swinging too hard — they’re trying to do more than they’re capable of doing,” Brett said Monday.
The slump is happening after stretch in which the Royals played well enough to own baseball’s best winning percentage heading into May.
Sunday’s loss capped an 0-7 homestand against teams — the Cleveland Indians and White Sox — that were chasing the Royals in the standings when the series started.
Brett and golfing legend Tom Watson headlined the Joe McGuff ALS Golf Classic at LionsGate in Overland Park Monday, the 39th year of the annual fund-raiser.
The event also brought awareness to a new date on the baseball calendar: Lou Gehrig Day. The league-wide event on June 2 will honor the Yankees great who died from ALS after a Hall of Fame career. ALS is also known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.”
The Royals will have their own celebration, Lou Gehrig Day at The K, on June 3.
The Royals are off Monday and head to Detroit for a Tuesday game. They are under .500 for the first time this season (16-17). They’re in third place, 3 1/2 games behind the division-leading White Sox and a game behind Cleveland.
A statistic that speaks to Brett’s notion: Royals hitters are 2 for their last 29 at-bats with runners in scoring position, and 12 for 75 (.160) in those situations over the past 10 games.
“When you’re winning it’s easy because everybody is contributing,” Brett said. “And now nobody is contributing and everybody is trying to be the guy to get them over the hump. As a result, you try too hard. I’ve always said, ‘Don’t try harder, try easier.’
“Now everybody is trying to do more than they’re capable with the bat in their hands, and as result, you lose eight in a row.”