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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Royals Review: Royals Fired Frank White For Being Too Critical?

I wasn’t pitch-fork ready when I heard that Frank White was not returning to Royals broadcasts in 2012. However, Jeff Passan has made the discussion a little more interesting:

I’m told the Royals fired Frank White because team thought he was too critical. To fire him is bad. To fire him for that is unconscionable.

...The Royals are in a tough spot here. The team/FSKC has every right to go in another direction, and in the past White has been fairly prickly about being denied or removed from similar Royal-for-life-I’m-a-Famous-guy roles. A number of fans are upset about Frank being fired and a few days the Royals are going to take some heat for it. For me, I’m much more concerned about why he was fired.

I agree with Passan—who is a nationally respected baseball writer with KC ties—that firing Frank for being critical of the team is a bad thing. The odd, and scary thing, is that I would have never considered him critical in the first place. I can begrudgingly understand and even warrant that a team would not want a truly critical voice on team broadcasts (although this could also mean more entertaining TV and maybe more money, etc). But if Frank White was too critical what could they possibly want? Can any of us name three negative things the man said? Coupled with the short-sighted decision to dump Fanfest in favor of focusing on out-of-town corporate junketers this summer, we’re looking at a rough winter from Royals leadership.

Are the bad old days of a paranoid ownership returning?

Thanks to Pa Tech.

Repoz Posted: December 03, 2011 at 01:19 PM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: announcers, media, royals, television

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: December 03, 2011 at 01:52 PM (#4005663)
There's a chance that firing Frank White for being too critical would not refer to anything he said on-air.
   2. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: December 03, 2011 at 04:19 PM (#4005688)
he's miles ahead of anyone on the phillies telecast.



who is frank white?
   3. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: December 03, 2011 at 04:29 PM (#4005691)
There's a "too critical" of the Royals?
   4. Zach Posted: December 03, 2011 at 05:15 PM (#4005711)
The Mellinger column suggests that there were off-air tensions:

White is not blameless here. This is a touchy subject, enough that even an organization currently being trashed won’t speak publicly other than a short, vague and entirely inadequate press release.

But White is complicit in getting to this point. His reputation for privately badmouthing the Royals caught up to him, as well as a feeling from some that he’s a diva who longs to be treated as George Brett’s equal without the Hall of Fame status to justify it.

The Royals have done a lot for White. They gave him a coaching job, and, when White cut an original five-year commitment in Wichita after three years, pushed him for the broadcasting job.

White is the common denominator in a tension-filled relationship with the club that stretches back to his playing days — through different general managers, front office personnel, coaches, even ownership.
   5. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: December 03, 2011 at 05:48 PM (#4005743)
To be frank (ha!), I've never really liked White in the broadcast booth. He has a grating voice and he never said anything of consequence or insight, as far as I can remember. Whether the reality of his broadcasting skills actually matters in comparison to the passive PR hit this entails ("Royals dump Kansas City legend!") is a fair question.
   6. Mike Webber Posted: December 03, 2011 at 06:34 PM (#4005790)
CFBF - I have to disagree with "he never said anything of consequence or insight." I think the best point of Frank was he could explain why something went wrong, or what was done well to make a close play successful.

He is a much better announcer in that respect than Jerry Remy, or Ken Singleton, or Mark Grace or Don Sutton or Orel or Bobby V, all of whom I listen too fairly frequently. Heck, he's much better than anyone in the division - Blyleven, Farmer/Hawk (I like Stone), Rod Allen (who is all kinds of awful) - with the possible exception of Cleveland - I never listen to them.


I have to agree with, "He has a grating voice" though. Almost all of the guys listed above have a better voice/delivery than Frank.
   7. Zach Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:00 PM (#4005812)
A lot of the friction between White and the Royals seems to have sprung from his desire to manage the team, and I have to say I've never been completely sympathetic. On the one hand, he seems to have done a reasonable job in three years at Wichita. On the other hand, I never understood why he was so fixated on managing the Royals. Why not some other team? Getting one of thirty jobs should be easier than getting one job in particular, if you're really earning it on the merits. I mean, George Brett considered getting into managing, too -- for the Colorado Rockies. If he can leave the nest, so can Frank White.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 04, 2011 at 04:49 AM (#4006294)
Frank's delivery was a bit awkward but he improved quite a bit over the years (except for those really awkward ads he had to read). He doesn't know advanced stats and is a bit old school baseball, but he was really good at pointing out details on the game - like Joe Morgan when he's good.

I think Mellinger really nails it in his column. Frank badly wants to manage the Royals. He really hasn't put in the time - he managed in the minors for three years when the Royals asked him to manage for five, he was an assistant coach for the Red Sox and Royals, but never stuck around for more than a few seasons - but he thinks his playing career entitles him to a short cut. He also looks around and sees other people who haven't really put in their dues - George Brett in the front office (and nearly handed a managerial job in Colorado), Robin Ventura given a job with no managerial experience - and it rubs him the wrong way.

Zach - I think Frank would take a managerial job elsewhere, but probably feels led to believe the Royals were his best shot. Any Red Sox fans remember him as a coach in Boston? Was he regarded well at all?
   9. KJOK Posted: December 04, 2011 at 07:50 AM (#4006393)
IIRC, White thought he should have been named manager when Trey Hillman was hired, and was quite vocal about it. So then they let him be a broadcaster. Maybe behind the scenes he's been very critical of Ned Yost?
   10. Leroy Kincaid Posted: December 04, 2011 at 02:45 PM (#4006462)
Not much of a loss as far as I'm concerned. I don't recall anything that he said but I know he didn't sound good saying it.

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