Kauffman Stadium is a tough park. Sure, it has those nice fountains and that massive scoreboard, but have you ever tried to put together a winning team there? Earlier this season, then-Royals hitting coach Jack Maloof noted that since the Royals’ home stadium deflates home run rates, there was no point in trying. That is obviously the main why the Royals are tied with the AAA-and-a-half Marlins for last in baseball in home runs.
[In an unrelated event, Maloof was shortly thereafter relieved of his duties and replaced with (interim) hitting coach George Brett. Maloof and co-coach Andre David were sent back down to coach in the minors, where they can work their magic again with young Royals hitters, just like they did with Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas.]
The K is not just responsible for the Royals’ relative inability to hit the ball out of the park. It also is responsible for their longstanding problems drawing walks, according to General Manager Dayton Moore.
[Both of these stories were written by former Kansas City Star employee Jeffrey Flanagan, who now writes for FOX Sports Kansas City, which, and you aren’t going to believe this, broadcasts Royals games! You might remember Flanagan from this.]
You might be expecting me to make points about component park factors, what other teams do in Kauffman or in their own parks given those factors, player development, or something else. But Moore and Maloof got me thinking. What other difficulties has Kauffman imposed upon the Royals over the years? I did some research, and lo-and-behold, I found a whole different set of park factors for The K.