Not at all, the players said. But they were frustrated by playing so poorly. They did not want to squander their last chance to win as teammates.
“We all know the situation, we all know we’re gonna be free agents at the end of the year, we understand that,” Cain said. “I don’t think anyone’s going up there saying, ‘We need to do this or that.’ But it’s a meeting that needed to be held. We needed to sit down and talk and try to figure out a game plan to turn things around. We didn’t do it right away, but we continued to get stronger together.”
The Royals have won 33 of 51 games since June 1, the second-best record in the majors in that span. The only team to do better is the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have gone 29 years since their last World Series appearance. If that sounds familiar, it could be because that was the same drought the Royals endured before 2014, when they swept through the A.L. playoffs.