Baseball seasons are long. Teams go on slumps, they’ll either figure out how to break out of it or it’ll sink their season. The Royals slumped around the All-Star break and it could’ve sank their season. Luckily for them, they stopped playing the video “Clash of Clans” and they were able to break out of it. Wait, what?
One day early in the season, reserve Jarrod Dyson introduced Lorenzo Cain to “Clash of Clans.” Cain indulges in video games throughout the offseason. When he was drafted in the 17th round of the 2004 draft, he barely paused his game of “Madden NFL” to take a call from the Brewers. In “Clash of Clans,” he found a new channel for his interest.
The game resembles the classic PC version of “Warcraft,” as gamers build a community and wage animated war. During the summer, the iPad activity became part of the daily routine for Royals such as Cain, Dyson and Danny Valencia. Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer also took part on occasion. The game’s verbiage entered the clubhouse lexicon, as players debated the relative merits of their clans and beseeched each other for orders of goblins and witches.
After one loss…
When Kuntz walked inside the room, he saw a scene that had become all too familiar in recent weeks: a collection of Royals with their heads down, eyes locked on their iPads. The game was called “Clash of Clans,” and for a period of time this summer, its excessive usage by members of this club exasperated the coaching staff.
“At that time, in that situation, it’s really disappointing,” said Kuntz, the team’s first-base coach. He added, “You just got to a point where you go, ‘What’s the priority here? Is this just three hours out of your time, spent away from what you’re actually being interested in?”
Royals manager Ned Yost then held a closed-door meeting, and Kuntz told his outfielders to cool it on the video games. Bench coach Dale Sveum suggested watching tape and then just like that the Kansas City Royals went back to their winning ways.
Just like that baseball teams, don’t play video games. You’ll make the World Series. That’s how it works right?