Blog Entry

Fired Royals legend says he's done with team

Posted on: December 3, 2011 11:09 am
Edited on: December 3, 2011 1:09 pm
Frank WhiteBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Around the country, most think of George Brett when they think of Royals greats and it doesn't go much beyond that. In Kansas City, though, there's another name in the pantheon -- Frank White. The long-time second baseman of the Royals is, along with Brett, the only former Royal player to have his number retired and to have a statue at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals fired White, a Kansas City native, from their TV crew on Friday. A disappointed White told the Kansas City Star he was done with the team.

"I'm done with the Royals," White told the Star's Sam Mellinger. "In all aspects. I'm tired. I've worked so hard to build my reputation and prove to them that I was loyal."

How loyal has White been? You can call Yankee Stadium "the House that Ruth Built" but Kauffman Stadium is literally the house that White built, as White served on the construction crew of what became the Truman Sports Complex that houses Kauffman Stadium and the Chiefs' Arrowhead Stadium.

White is also the greatest success story of the Royals Academy, a revolutionary program run by the team from 1971-75 to identify talented athletes and teach them the fundamentals of baseball. White, along with U.L. Washington, emerged from the academy and rewarded the Royals with one of the great careers in Kansas City history --  and one that's under appreciated by those outside Royal fandom. White was a five-time All-Star, eight-time Gold Glove winner, the 1980 ALCS MVP and the winner of a Silver Slugger. Beyond that, he spent five years on the Royals coaching staff and managed three years as the team's Double-A manager. In addition, he worked in the team's front office and the last three years as an analyst for Fox Sports Kansas City after being passed over for the manager's job that went to Trey Hillman.'s Jeff Passan, who lives in Kansas City, tweeted that he was told the Royals fired White because the team thought he was too critical.

Over the last three years, the Royals have gone 203-283, leaving the team open to plenty of criticism. However, we're living in the age where many of the teams can control their message, with the team having final say in who broadcasts the games and sometimes who covers the game in other areas. If you have a business that you want people to frequent, you're not going to be too happy when much of the advertising for your product is negative. On the other hand, if you're hired to be an analyst, you have to tell it like you see it -- good and bad -- to do any less kills credibility and questions the intelligence of viewers.

The Royals are not only insulting their viewers by shutting down a voice that's only describing what he's seeing on the field, they're also insulting their own history. There's little chance the Royals will win in this PR battle, as White respected and loved in Kansas City. On a personal note, I don't have many autographs, but my office does have a Frank White baseball, so I'm probably biased in this case. White deserves better, even if they want him off the broadcasts, do it quietly and offer him another job in the organization, don't fire him and kick him to the curb. That's not how you treat an icon.

"I'm not pissed off," White told Mellinger. "It's just time for this crap to end. Maybe it's just time. People keep saying, you're 'Frank White, you've got a statue.' That don't mean a damn thing to them. Not a damn thing."

It should.

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Since: Dec 4, 2011
Posted on: December 11, 2011 11:41 pm

Fired Royals legend says he's done with team

AS far as I am concerned Frank White was the face of the Royals

Maybe, but not like George Brett was and still is.  Don't get me wrong, I love Frank, but George is the face of the Royals.

Since: Jan 30, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 7:47 pm

Fired Royals legend says he's done with team

Can anyone be "too critical" of the recent Kansas City Royals? Don't think so. White was a great player among some outstanding team mates. I'm sure the Royal fans wish the Royals could develop and hold on to talent again, instead of reverting to the long tradition of Kansas City teams being the developer of talent for the rest of the league.

Since: Aug 13, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2011 8:38 pm

Fired Royals legend says he's done with team

As a long time Royals fan before the Rockies came into exsistence, I was a huge Frank White fan. I always thought he was overlooked. He was a better 2B than Willie Randolph but didn't get the pub.

The Rockies announcers are complete homers and it ticks me off. I get tired of being told that the umps are blowing it or that bad plays are somehow not bad plays. Don't insult my baseball intelligence with that crap.

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 8:16 pm

Fired Royals legend says he's done with team

In all fairness, this article is misleading. It was not the on air criticisms that the Royals were upset about. Supposedly Frank White was a habitual complainer behind the scenes. I watched almost every game he has broadcast and he was not overly critical. I am a huge White fan, as the Royals were perennial winners when I was growing up. The Royals did not handle this correctly but it is not as bad as most posters on here have been led to believe. Read some of the local articles on this situation by sportswriters on the inside and this situation will take on some new perspective.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 7:56 pm

Fired Royals legend says he's done with team

AS far as I am concerned Frank White was the face of the Royals

Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2011 11:34 am

Fired Royals legend says he's done with team

What kind of announcer do the Royals want? a yes man? Being critical in a constructive way is good. Get somebody like Phil Rizzoto if yall want a yes man, thats all he was(never saw him play so I wont comment on that]I never liked him after 1 Detroit game..Yall need somebody who will honestly annouce tfthe game, an unbiased individual tho can let his feelings show.And one that knows the game. Methinks you should reconsider your decision to fire one of your greats, seriously reconsider.

Since: Jun 13, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2011 4:15 pm

Fired Royals legend says he's done with team

Let me get this straight: The Royals fired Frank White, one of its all-time greats, because he made critical comments about the Royals during game telecasts? The same Royals team that has been an annual loser for the past 25 years?  Way to go KC, maybe you'll sew on some commemorative silver anniversary patches on your uniforms for that.

The Royals are not even close to hearing excessive critical commentary of its team. The owner runs it like the Wal Mart he came over from. The fans have been getting dinked for high parking, tickets, and concession prices only to get an embarrassing product in return. What a loser franchise this has become. Maybe this team could be a target for contraction.

The Royals deserve all the criticism they get. And they will get more after making a stupid move like this, in December no less. The season has been over for months and now they decide to can Frank White? Gee, they fired long-time radio broadcaster Fred White for the same reason some years back. Yes the Royals have been garbage for so long that they can fire multiple announcers for criticism over a span of years!

What will the Royals brain trust do if George Brett says negative comments about the pathetic Royals? Denny Mathews better watch out too.

Maybe others will soon join Frank White and also be done with the Kansas City Royals.

Since: Sep 23, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:48 pm

Fired Royals legend says he's done with team

I'm a fan of wristbands, so I've always loved Frank White and his baby blue wristbands.  Brutha deserves better than this.

Since: Oct 27, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:47 pm

Fired Royals legend says he's done with team

Yet another example of what happens when you tell the truth.

It's too bad that terrible teams seem to think that if you put someone in the broadcast booth and don't let them say anything critical of a bad team that the public won't notice. You would think that the Royals would be more concerned with the number of die-hard fans showing up disguised as empty seats would be at the top of their list. However, if it makes the thin-skinned ownership feel better I say good job!

Since: Dec 4, 2011
Posted on: December 4, 2011 10:59 pm

Fired Royals legend says he's done with team

I watched Frank White play growing up and there's never been another Royals 2nd baseman better than him since he played.  The way they fired him was a travesty.  He took over when another Royals great, Paul Splitorff, got sick and couldn't do TV anymore, and he made the transistion very smooth for all of us loyal Royals fans while watching our once great team flounder year after year.  I hope Frank stays in baseball and hooks up with a quality organization that know how to treat it's people.  I'll miss your insight during the games on TV Frank!  Keep up the good work!

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