Massey talks about junior season and management change

When Kansas City Royals rookie Second baseman Michael Massey Flying this week to appear at a ribbon-cutting party in Cleveland, Missouri, he didn’t really understand the importance of being at the event until he got to Midway School He met some locals.

Massey, an Illinois native who grew up outside of Chicago, wore his shirt over a hooded sweatshirt and represented the royal family at the party to reveal new ball fields and participate in the local youth MLB Play Ball clinic.

Over 300 students watched as Massey started to speak. A diverse group of teachers, parents, and community members who played a role in the “Bring It Home” campaign also created baseball, softball and T-ball fields.

Medway Youth Support won one of four national grants from Scotts Field Renewal Program To help make the three-field complex possible (baseball, softball, T-ball). The Scotts grant provided an influx of $50,000 for the fundraising effort, to which the Royals’ Charitable Foundation added another $10,000 this week.

Massey admitted to the audience that he had a written speech he intended to give.

Instead, he went off script a bit and spoke from his heart about having to overcome his struggles as a high school player; A shoulder injury early in his college career that left him temporarily unable to throw; A bizarre injury wiped out a summer of playing in the prestigious Cape Cod League; And the Serious back injury This has left some organizations skeptical about his ability to play professionally.

“When we walked in, I thought it was just about Major League Baseball and Scotts supplying (Project Fields),” he said. “Then I realized when I got here that baseball and Scottish leagues were like that Help and help herMassey said. “The majority, the greater part of the work, was by the people in the community and the city.

“Just seeing their efforts to put this together for the kids in the community – and how much they appreciate having the kids here and having this opportunity – I felt like I owed them a little more.”

After Massey spoke at the catwalk during the ceremony, a few students grabbed him for autographs and photos.

“I think growing up, at times, I had this false reality of what a Major League player was or what a professional athlete was,” he said, “and that can really hold you back, because you think you’re way off from what you really are.”

As he continued, nearby students in grades kindergarten through high school began participating in baseball games and drills.

“I think when you realize that professional athletes and baseball players and guys are at the highest level, they all go through similar things and have those doubts and things in their head but they’re working through it — it’s encouraging kids to listen,” Massey said. “It’s something that has definitely been relevant in my career with the amount of setbacks I’ve had.”

As Massey realized almost immediately, the project held great significance for a community that had long wanted to create their own baseball and softball programs in high school. The Cass-Midway Vikings will begin their inaugural seasons as MSHSAA-recognized teams next spring.

According to the Midway Youth Support Organization, more than $300,000 for the project has been raised through fundraising and donations.

Cutting the tape in the new fields marks the completion of the first phase of the project. Planned additions include a concession stand, bathrooms, and handicap accessible berths.

The Scotts Field Regeneration Program has donated to 31 fields in 18 states over the past seven years. Midway Field Complex is the first in Missouri to receive the grant.

Michael Massey of the Kansas City Royals wins during a baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians on Monday, September 5, 2022 in Kansas City, Mo. The Guardians won 6-5 in 10 rounds. (AP Photo / Charlie Riedel) Charlie Riedel AP

An unforgettable season for Masi

After the opening ceremony, Massey spoke to The Star and reflected on a season that began with Double-A Northwest Arkansas, included his first major league appearance in Toronto, Canada, and ended with him playing regularly as part of the new youth core. Royals club in the big league.

The conversation with Massi touched on a range of topics. Here are a few.

On the experience/lessons of the 2022 season:

“It was wild, it was really. I remember talking to my dad at the beginning of the year. I was like, ‘Hey, I started on Double-A.'” I’ll just see what happens. I don’t know where to go. I’ll probably be in Double-A all year long. The best scenario I can remember talking about for the season is you go to Double-A for half the year and Triple A for half the year.

“What has taught me a lot is to almost forget about expectations. I’m starting to learn that through expectations I either set them and push a lot to get there and put a lot of pressure on myself, or I limit myself sometimes. I’m going to put my process into what I know generates success and follow that and believe in it. “.

Regarding something he couldn’t really appreciate or understand about the disciplines until he got there:

“It was really the first week opening in Toronto. For a long time, I’ve been in the small leagues. It’s about winning, it really is. But there’s an elephant in the room too, we’re all trying to get to the big leagues. And it’s not hidden in the way organizations do things. It’s Like, ‘Hey, I’m going to bring this guy to bat. He needs to play that attitude. This guy needs to put in a show on this day. It’s built to evolve. Then when you get to the big leagues it’s just 180 degrees where you’re right to ‘win’ “…everything wins, wins, wins. This was something you could only learn at the big league level.”

On the focus on the offseason laid out in his last talk with the off-season:

“First of all in the board, my ability to shrink my area a little bit. I’ve always been a guy who likes to swing the bat. I love hitting, but at the same time I have to make sure I hit the courts that are outside the area. In the big tournaments, it’s a bit exposed. I become vulnerable To chase the pitches out of the area. Then they just took advantage of it. So cleaning up that part of my game.

“Then defensively, I think with the move away from me I have to improve my range. I have to be able to take a first step, take better corners and be a little bit more athletic.”

On the sacking of manager Mike Matheny on the final day of the season:

“We definitely found out When the news broke Like everyone else. Everything was in the air. We didn’t have many meetings. Everything was kinda low. We found out like everyone else. It’s a shame. It really was. I really loved playing with Matheny. He was just a good guy. He cared about you, he cared about the players on and off the field. Unfortunately, this is the only business we are working in. There is turnover all the time. It’s just part of the game. But I am excited about the new hires and learning from these guys as well.”

On his initial impression of new director Matt Quattaro, struggling with Zoom:

Funny story. We had a Zoom call with him. I’m so bad with technology that I was on a Zoom call, but my voice didn’t work. So I’m sitting on a Zoom call with the guys on the team. It’s (Executive Vice President and General Manager) JJ (Picollo) talking And Quattaro is talking. So a very important meeting has to happen, and I can’t hear it because my voice isn’t working. I ended up sitting there listening in silence for about 30 minutes because I didn’t want to be the guy who texted, “Hey guys, I can’t Detecting my voice because I’m an idiot.” So I ended up calling Vinny (Pasquantino) After I was filled.

“But Q reached out to us and we had a 10 minute conversation on the phone, just getting to know each other a little bit. I suppose most of that will happen in spring training. It was great that he reached out. I don’t know much about him. I obviously looked up and know what other people know.” I’m just excited to get a one-on-one confrontation or get into a learning environment with him and see how he can help us win.”

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he has covered high school, team and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call, and The Salt Lake Tribune. He has won awards in sports articles and sports columns.

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