Royals take relaxed approach to adversity

Royals take relaxed approach to adversity

KANSAS CITY -- 'Relax' was the watch-word around the Royals' clubhouse on Wednesday, after they absorbed their sixth straight loss on Tuesday night.

That's what led to an old-fashioned, postgame bull session among players and coaches in a corner of the clubhouse, something that pleased manager Ned Yost.

"We came in after the game last night and Ned had a little quick meeting and just said, 'Relax,'" right fielder Jeff Francoeur said before Wednesday's series finale against the Tigers. "We're beating our heads on the wall, we're trying so darn hard to win.

"We had such great expectations coming into that first series with Cleveland, and fans the same thing. Last night, I just invited anybody who wanted to come over to have a beer and relax. We didn't even talk about baseball, we just told stories and had a good time."

The Royals, subject of high expectations this year, have been pressing too much, in Francoeur's view.

"We're trying so hard, everybody's trying to hit a grand slam with nobody on," Francoeur said. "We're all swinging at stuff you don't see us swinging at normally, trying to get it all back in one swing. Trying to get five wins in one night where we just need to take it one game at a time."

After a 3-3 trip to open the season, the Royals arrived home in Kansas City and stalled.

"They wanted to come home and show our fans, 'Hey, we are a team to be excited about,'" Yost said. "Because there was a lot of excitement in Spring Training and they really wanted to show 'em how good they were, instead of just relaxing and playing the game."

Yost saw the postgame bull session as therapeutic.

"It's music to my ears to hear those guys sitting in a corner laughing and talking after the game," he said.

Yost recalled that, during his playing days, such clubhouse sessions were routine and sometimes could last until 4 o'clock in the morning. How long did the Royals stay on Tuesday night?

"It wasn't till 4 in the morning, but I think it was until every phone started [going] off and our wives were wondering where in the world we were," Francoeur said.