KANSAS CITY -- The old baseball adage about the game speeding up so much for someone moving from the Minor Leagues to the Majors apparently applies to coaches as well as players.
Rusty Kuntz, who returned as the Royals' first-base coach on Aug. 4 after working with Minor Leaguers for about two years, admits it took a while to get readjusted.
"I couldn't believe when I first came back. It's been two years so to be on the field up close with that kind of the speed of the ball, I couldn't believe how much bigger, stronger, quicker, faster that these guys are than the guys in the Minor Leagues. Even the difference between here and Triple-A is pretty much enormous," Kuntz said.
Sometimes a hot Minor League player initially will falter in the Majors.
"You always hear the speed of the game got to him," Kuntz said. "Well, now I have experience seeing it first-hand, being away from it for a couple of years and then coming back. ... Seeing the ball jump off the bat and how fast the runners are, and how quick the infielders get rid of the ball, that type of thing -- it was just like everything was going in a blur for me the first three or four games."
Example: The other night A's second baseman Jemile Weeks fielded a one-hop bullet.
"I heard the glove before I saw the ball go into it so I've still got a ways to go," Kuntz said, grinning.