Everybody in Kansas City knows that Zack Greinke doesn’t come across as the brightest bulb on the tree. There were times when fans didn’t know what was more exciting, his slider that often times seemed unhittable or his post-game press conferences. Greinke was once asked if he was thinking about winning the Cy Young award and he came back with this gem, “Not really, I’ve been playing this World or Warcraft game.” Another great moment in Zack Greinke interview history is when Zack insisted that reporters watch a certain movie before they write about him, “You’re not allowed to write about me unless you’ve seen the Shawshank Redemption. See it, then get back to me.” Greinke often comes across as a flakey California surfer; however, at the same time he is playing Jedi mind tricks on those around him.
I guess what I’m trying to say is Zack Greinke is smarter than what you think. The guy has been known to play with the heads of opposing batters. Is it possible that Zack Greinke could be pulling off one of the biggest dupes in professional sports history in order to win a championship? Let’s think about it.
Following the 2010 campaign, Zack Greinke calls it quits on the Royals after seven seasons and one Cy Young award. Zack, out of frustration, starts calling out the Royals and some fear he could become a clubhouse cancer, as if David Glass wasn’t already cancerous.
“I kind of had to play the bad guy in order to do it. It would be nice if that didn’t happen, but the way things were in Kansas City, if I just kept on being the sweet person, the fans would have been outraged if I got traded. I kind of had to be the bad guy. It isn’t always your No. 1 choice.”- Zack Greinke on being traded
Greinke tells everyone that he is tired of rebuilding and can no longer wait for the minor league prospects, which are apparently only 2 years away. Greinke also speaks of Jennifer Aniston’s love life.
“I cried in bed, moaning ‘why, why did this have to happen?’” — Zack Greinke when asked how he reacted to the news of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston breaking up.
Before the 2011 season, the Royals grant Zack Greinke his wish and trade him and Yuniesky Betancourt to the Milwaukee Brewers for shortstop Alcides Escobar, centerfielder Lorenzo Cain, and pitching prospects Jake Ordorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress. Greinke joins pitcher Shaun Marcum as a great improvement to the Brewers staff. While the Brewers make a playoff run, the Kansas City Royals begin their youth movement, bringing up first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas, catcher Salvador Perez, and second baseman Johnny Giavotella. In the meantime, Billy Butler continues to hit doubles, Alcides Escobar becomes a human highlight reel, Jeff Francoeur will not allow anyone to run from second to home without being gunned down, Melky Cabrera rejuvinates his career, and Alex Gordon learns how to hit; however, one thing is missing……starting pitching. The Royals understand that Bruce Chen is a solid number five starter and lock him up for a few years and Luke Hochevar proves in the second half of the 2011 season that he is a solid number four guy. With this in mind, the Royals sell high on Melky Cabrera by trading him to the San Francisco Giants for left-hander and future number three starter Johnathan Sanchez and are set to bring up Lorenzo Cain who had been tearing it up in Omaha. The only thing the Royals are missing is a solid number one and two starter in the rotation.
Back in Milwaukee, Zack Greinke pulls Shaun Marcum aside and asks him if he’s ever seen the “Shawshank Redemption”. Marcum nods his head yes and Greinke agrees that it is okay to talk to him. Greinke goes on to tell him about his master plan that included coming to Milwaukee to do some recruiting. Greinke’s intention was to force the Royals to trade him to a contender knowing that they would get some good prospects in return, as they did with Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar. Greinke then goes on to explain to Marcum that all of the pieces are in place for the Royals to make their run and be solid contenders for the foreseeable future. Knowing that Shaun Marcum’s hometown of Excelsior Springs, Missouri is just 20 minutes north of Kauffman Stadium, Greinke begins to convince Marcum that they both should ride out their final year on their contract in Milwaukee and make the move to Kansas City; thus, taking over the number one and two spots in the starting rotation. Not sure if Marcum will agree to sign with Kansas City, Greinke promises to show him his samurai sword collection, which seals the deal.
“Mizuno gave me a samurai sword for winning the Cy Young. It’s awesome. … I’m going to hang it up and maybe start a collection. Not a gun collection, but a samurai sword collection. If you can do it. I don’t know if you’re allowed.” –Zack Greinke
Ok, so this story might be a bit far fetched. The truth is that the Royals are in dire need of a number one and two starting pitcher. It doesn’t look like Kansas City pitching prospects are quite ready to make that move, which would make a situation like this ideal. The bottomline is something has to be done so the youth movement does not go to waste. Is it possible that the Royal’s prospects Zack Greinke was tired of waiting for are now just what he was waiting for? Maybe it’s time for the mastermind to make this work.