Kansas City, Mo. One day after pitcher Scott Elarton questioned his teammates' desire to win, the Kansas City Royals held a players-only meeting.
"For some of the players, it was probably a long time coming," second baseman Mark Grudzielanek said. "Things needed to be said, obviously, or they wouldn't have came out yesterday."
The Royals began a four-game series against Detroit on Monday night with the worst record in the major leagues at 10-31, a pace that would put them among the worst teams in history. After St. Louis beat the Royals, 10-3, Sunday to stretch their losing streak to nine, Elarton said they were in "a vicious cycle and we're stuck in it, and it doesn't look like anybody really cares about it."
Outfielder Aaron Guiel said Monday's meeting was sparked by the comments made by Elarton and several other veterans after the team's ninth straight loss.
"There were some comments made in the media yesterday that were pretty serious," Guiel said. "We just addressed them as a team and just more or less got everything out in the open, about being accountable and playing better baseball.
"There are a lot of guys in here who both mentally and physically can play better baseball."
Grudzielanek said he had no idea if the meeting would do any good.
"I hope so," he said. "A closed-door meeting is for the players only to get things off their chest. None of the conversation is supposed to be outside this room. Guys get on guys for certain reasons, and that's it. We don't need to keep going out there like that."
Kansas City manager Buddy Bell was also unsure what good might come out of the meeting.
"I've been in a whole bunch of them," he said. "I do things on a more individual basis. I did it as a player and I do it as a manager. Hopefully, it will make a difference. We have quite a few guys who will probably be here when we're good. And there are probably some guys who aren't going to be here."