KANSAS CITY -- And you thought the days of 102 straight workdays ended in the early 1900s.
Royals left fielder Alex Gordon finally received an off-day on Sunday following 102 consecutive starts. Gordon's last off-day came in the fourth game of the season: April 9 against Oakland. And he pinch hit in that game, too. Gordon was the only Royal to appear in all of the team's first 106 contests.
Obviously, there have been team off-days and an All-Star break along the way, so it's not like Gordon has played every calendar day for the past four months. But still, manager Ned Yost thought a Sunday day game against a tough lefty -- Rangers starter Derek Holland -- provided the perfect opportunity to rest Gordon and fellow left-handed hitter Eric Hosmer.
"Alex Gordon hasn't had a day off since the fourth or fifth game of the season. Hosmer hasn't had a day off in a while. It was a chance on a Sunday, when it's normally pretty hot in August, a chance to give Gordon and Hosmer a day off," Yost said.
"It's not really the lefty that bothers me, it's more the everyday grind and short turnaround of a day game and the added heat of playing in the heat of the day, which is much more draining than playing a 7 o'clock game at night. Your body has more time to recover, the temperatures are cooler. Day games are tough on you. So these guys who have been getting after it every single day, it's more of a benefit to pick a day game to give them a day off then just to give them a day off against a lefty."
Gordon wasn't exactly thrilled to be getting an off-day, but said that Yost certainly knows when to make that call.
"Everybody wants to play every day, but the skipper knows when it's best to give you a day off and when it's best for the team to give you a day off," Gordon said. "Whatever he puts up there, we all agree with it."