When there are stories written about the Arizona Diamondbacks in October, it usually has to do with rebuilding and the future of the organization. But because things are a bit happier regarding this player, this story via Joe Posnanski about Zack Greinke seems very refreshing at this time of year.
Posnanski’s tidbit about Greinke, who didn’t last a full four innings in the Diamondbacks 11-8 win over the Colorado Rockies in the Wild Card playoff game, is about his time with the Kansas City Royals, and his tutoring skills of rookies, specifically Alex Gordon this time:
In short, if the print is too small for you to read: Gordon, a rookie with the Royals at the time, was going through a slump. Greinke called him into the video room, and Gordon was hoping Greinke found something in the rookie’s swing, some sort of flaw, that would help him get back on track. But Greinke simply showed him himself hitting a home run, and then telling Gordon to do more of that.
Gordon seemed to take in the advice, although he never really became a truly dominant player until Greinke was already playing somewhere else. Gordon helped the Royals win the World Series in 2015, landed a big contract and has since put up rather poor numbers. He made the All-Star game three years in a row (2013-2015) to go with four Gold Glove awards and a couple of seasons with a few MVP votes.
Greinke is at the end of his second season with the Diamondbacks, leading them into the playoffs after a miserable first year. It is his fifth foray into the postseason, and he’s hoping his next start (Arizona will be facing his former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers) goes a bit better than the one against the Rockies.