adBlockCheck

Royals Hire Tom Emanski To Teach Them Fundamentals Of Baseball

Top Headlines

Sports

Rest Of Nation To Penn State: ‘Something Is Very Wrong With All Of You’

WASHINGTON—Stating they felt deeply unnerved by the community’s unwavering and impassioned defense of a football program and administration that enabled child sexual abuse over the course of several decades, the rest of the country informed Penn State University Friday that there is clearly something very wrong with all of them.

Strongside/Weakside: Lamar Jackson

After passing for eight touchdowns and rushing for another 10 in just the first three weeks of the season, Louisville Cardinals sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson has quickly become the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy. Is he any good?

Strongside/Weakside: Carson Wentz

After being selected second overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz opened the season with a nearly flawless performance in a victory over the Cleveland Browns. Is he any good?

Former WWE Wrestler Found Alive At 44

PHOENIX—In a revelation that has sent shockwaves through the wrestling world, sources confirmed that former WWE wrestler Freddy Hendricks, better known as his in-ring persona “Time Bomb,” was discovered alive Friday at the age of 44.

Strongside/Weakside: Dak Prescott

Having assumed the role after Tony Romo’s injury during the preseason, Dak Prescott is expected to open the NFL regular season as the first rookie quarterback to start for the Dallas Cowboys since 2004. Is he any good?

Study: 96% Of Pickup Games Decided By Next Score

PRINCETON, NJ—Noting that none of the game’s earlier events factored into the final outcome in any way whatsoever, a study released Wednesday by researchers at Princeton University revealed that 96 percent of all pickup games are decided by the next score.

Kevin Durant Wins Gold In Men’s Individual Basketball

RIO DE JANEIRO—Beating out Serbian Nikola Jokic by .87 points in order to claim the all-around title, U.S. forward Kevin Durant won Olympic gold Friday in men’s individual basketball, becoming the first man to win consecutive golds in the competition since Gary Payton at the 1996 and 2000 Games.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Royals Hire Tom Emanski To Teach Them Fundamentals Of Baseball

KANSAS CITY—With their offense floundering, their pitching the league's worst, and their footwork on double-play balls atrocious, the Royals (12-37) announced Sunday that former youth-baseball coach and instructional-videotape producer Tom Emanski would join the team in a specially created fundamentals-coaching role, designed to help the Royals get back to basics and start playing winning baseball the Tom Emanski way.

Royals outfielders before they started practicing Tom Emanski's patented "Call Off Drill."

Royals owner David Glass reportedly contacted Emanski after watching his team suffer an embarrassing 15-4 loss against the Yankees on Saturday. After viewing tapes of this and past games, and noting that his players were displaying poor mechanics in the second phase of their relay throws, were failing to execute the "call the cutoff" play, and were not hitting the baseball, Glass immediately hired Emanski—the man whose patented practice techniques once produced back-to-back-to-back AAU national champions—in what analysts are calling a last-ditch effort to turn the Royals season around.

"From everything I've heard, Mr. Emanski sounds like a wonderful asset for any team—a must-have for players and coaches alike," Glass said as he observed his players sitting in a circle and rolling baseballs to one another, an exercise Emanski says "fosters teamwork and teaches players how to field ground balls"—two of the many basic skills that have been noticeably absent from the Royals 2006 season.

"Tom has a proven track record at molding young, inexperienced athletes into major-league-caliber baseball players," Glass added. "I'm just hoping he can do the same with our Kansas City Royals."

Emanski said he welcomed the challenge of working with the Royals, and vowed that, if the players follow his revolutionary training methods, he will be able to add 6 mph of arm strength to each starting pitcher in five weeks, cut down on the team's mental errors, and "take the mystery out of hitting."

"The first thing I did after Sunday's game was gather the players and ask all 25 of them what each one thinks is the most important part of baseball, and an astounding 21 of them said 'hitting home runs,' including seven pitchers," said Emanski, who stressed to them that "defense wins ballgames." "The second thing I did was line them up against the fence and hit sharp line drives at them from 20 feet away to improve their reaction time."

"It's called the Missile Drill," Emanski added. "Builds team character."

Before Monday's game, Emanski taught the Kansas City infielders and outfielders how to properly throw a baseball, outlining the three main steps to making strong, accurate throws—the "stride and set," the "90-degree hip swivel," and the "full, fluid follow-through."

"It was a little rough going for some of the guys, but we're taking it slow," Emanski said. "I think now it might be time to let up a little bit and switch gears into 'Encouragement Mode' for a few games to get their confidence back up."

"Coach Emanski taught me that, when I'm fielding the ground ball, I should stay down, stick my butt out, and count the hops," said shortstop Angel Berroa, explaining the method Emanski designed to help Little Leaguers and Royals infielders watch the ball all the way into their glove. "Once Coach Emanski also taught me how to count, the technique worked out great."

Although most players are reportedly "learning a lot" from Emanski, claiming his methods are "fun, educational, and make good baseball sense," some of the Royals veterans are resistant to throwing away everything they know about baseball in order to be taught these new fundamentals.

"I don't see how trying to throw balls into a metal garbage can laid out behind home plate is going to help my defense," said Royals right fielder Reggie Sanders, who has yet to record a single outfield assist since July 12, 2005. "Tom says it will be more rewarding once I start actually getting the throws to go into the cans, but I'm beginning to think that it's impossible."

"I'm not going to stand around hitting off a kid's tee—I'm a professional baseball player," said Royals first-baseman and No. 3 hitter Doug Mientkiewicz, who is batting .258 on the season with one home run and 14 RBI. "This is an insult."

The afternoon after speaking to reporters, Mientkiewicz lost his temper during B.P. and swung as hard as he could, missing the ball completely but creating enough of a breeze to gently knock the ball off its stand. Emanski had to restrain him from angrily swinging his bat at the tee in an attempt to break it, and told Mientkiewicz to take a lap around the field to calm down.

"In this game, attitude is key," Emanski said. "Some of the guys get angry or upset when we're doing Greenie Board Batting Practice, in which I give each player five swings, and I rate each swing on a zero-to-four scale. But I believe this is the only way they'll ever learn to swing through the ball."

"Of course, even if you master all the fundamental drills—the Bare Hand Drill, Soft Toss Creep, 'V' Drill, 'X' Drill, and Rocket Relay—there is still the issue of talent," Emanski added. "I'm no miracle worker. But, with a lot of hard work and a little luck, I truly believe that a few of these Royals will someday have the skills you need to play in the major leagues."

WATCH VIDEO FROM THE ONION

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close