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Lack of focus almost cost Royals a postseason spot (and coaches blamed video games)

KC coaches blame midseason focus issue on video games

Right now the Royals are the hottest team in baseball (or any other sport, for that mattter). The only thing they've left in their wake through eight games this postseason has been scorched earth -- winning all eight on the back of big pitching and bigger hitting.

But back in July, these same Royals were 48-50 after losing 10-of-13 between July 5 and July 21. When Robert Redford doppelganger and first-base coach Rusty Kuntz walked into the team clubhouse and saw all of his players staring down at their tablets playing a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), The Kansas City Star says he discovered the root of the problem:

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.

Basically, the Royals players were playing video games instead of watching game film.

While the video game was occupying a good deal of the players' time off the field, it was determined that there was a more general lack of focus that needed to be addressed, so manager Ned Yost called a team meeting. Then, Raul Ibanez and other veterans held a players-only meeting to address personal accountability.

In the days after the meeting, the Royals won 16 of their next 19 games ... Dyson insisted he planned on deleting the game all together.
"It's ending," he said. "I'm ending it. I'm winding it down. I'm toning it down. I'm trying to tone it down. It's going to be hard, but I'm trying to tone it down."

Somewhere, Billy Beane is shaking his head thinking that one more week of MMORPG-ing in the Royals' clubhouse might have meant a different outcome for the Athletics and the rest of the American League.


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