Blog Entry

Greinke: 'I kind of had to play the bad guy'

Posted on: March 1, 2011 5:37 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2011 5:37 pm
PHOENIX -- The uniform is different, but Zack Greinke is the same.

Ask him a question, you get an answer, and it may not be the one you expect.

Tuesday, after Greinke's first spring training start since the December trade that sent him to the Brewers, Greinke said that his request to be traded was a help to the Royals.

"I kind of had to play the bad guy," he said. "The way things were in Kansas City, if I hadn't done that, the fans would have been outraged if I was traded.

"The fans -- I don't know why, but they really liked me."

Maybe it's because he won the Cy Young Award. Maybe it's because on a Royals team that has had 10 90-loss seasons and just one winning season in the last 16 seasons, Greinke was one of the very few positives.

And that, of course, was his problem with staying in Kansas City.

He lost interest in playing for a team that began the season with no real chance to win. He didn't want to go through another season like the last two.

By the middle of the winter, the Royals were already well down the road to trading him, already convinced that they would get enough back, already convinced that they absolutely couldn't bring an unhappy Greinke to spring training this year.

And maybe Greinke is right. Maybe it was just as well that the fans in Kansas City knew that the Royals absolutely had to trade him.

And maybe Milwaukee is the perfect place for him to be, with a team that figures to contend in the National League Central.

"I mean, it's fun to win," Greinke said. "When the season starts, if we're winning, when we're winning, I think it'll be a lot more fun."

Greinke's first spring outing wasn't great. He went 1 1/3 innings against the White Sox, allowing just one hit and no runs but walking three and struggling with his command.

"Throwing six pitches to each batter, the position players probably hate me now," Greinke said.

The Brewers love him, because of what he can do on the mound, just as the Royals fans loved him, for the same reason.

And if anyone in Milwaukee is worried about a so-so spring debut, remember that Greinke had a 9.21 spring ERA in 2009, then began the regular season with six straight wins in which he allowed just two earned runs in 45 innings.

There's no reason for concern. The only real disappointment Monday was that in a game with the DH rule, Greinke didn't get to hit.

While he had just four hits in 24 career at-bats with the Royals, he's looking forward to more regular at-bats in the National League. He was looking forward to competing with the other Brewers starters, until he watched Yovani Gallardo swing.

"I was a little nervous, because Gallardo's pretty amazing," Greinke said.

And what kind of hitting is he?

"I'm kind of like Ryan Braun -- where I swing really hard," he said.

Ask him a question, you'll get an answer.

Category: MLB

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Greinke: 'I kind of had to play the bad guy'

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Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2011 8:32 pm

Greinke: 'I kind of had to play the bad guy'

Greinke is going to have a remarkable year, STAMP IT (whatever that means).
I see him winning 18 this year...Best part is, he doesn't have the weight of expectations solely on his shoulders anymore.
With Marcum, Gallardo and Wolf, he is just one of the guys, but a Cy Young winning guy.

I hope KC does well...They will like Lorenzo Cain and have a lot of good young talent. Very well could be a win-win trade.

Since: May 27, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2011 5:18 pm

Greinke: 'I kind of had to play the bad guy'

Unfortunately Greinke is soft as a grape. He can't handle pressure. Wait til september and the Brewers are facing a 9 game strech with the Cardinals, Reds, and Cubs. Greinke is gonna wilt like a flower. Why do think he wouldn't go to an AL contender? Because he gets to hit? Because he gets to face pitchers? I think he believes the spotlight won't be on him in the mid-west and he will be very wrong. If he wanted to hide he should've went to the NL West. Big Zack will be a .500 pitcher this year. STAMP IT

Since: Apr 28, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2011 12:47 pm

Greinke: 'I kind of had to play the bad guy'

Actually, I do think Mazzaro is the best pitcher on the Royals staff, now. But that doesn't mean he'll even be .500 in KC. If he gets to pitch in the 5th spot, he could end up looking pretty good. That's how Bruce Chen ended up with his career best year last year. Still, just so nobody throws me down with lumpoco...Greinke is way better and will be pitching for a winning team.
Also, this is the first time I've heard Greinke give a sane sounding response. That guy has some of the most bizarre comments, like the connection from his brain to his mouth is a labyrinth. But I actually believe he might have planned out the 'bad guy' comment. After all, he's right; the fans liked him, despite the many weird parts of his history outside of ONE really good year.

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