SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals left fielder Alex Gordon arrived in camp on Monday afternoon, a day after attending his father's funeral in Nebraska.Gordon's father, Michael, died at the age of 63 last week.Gordon spoke with reporters in front of his locker on Tuesday morning.How are you holding up?"Doing well. Obviously
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals left fielder Alex Gordon arrived in camp on Monday afternoon, a day after attending his father's funeral in Nebraska.
Gordon's father, Michael, died at the age of 63 last week.
Gordon spoke with reporters in front of his locker on Tuesday morning.
How are you holding up?
"Doing well. Obviously losing a father is never a good situation. But I was able to spend time with family and friends, and we had a great service that really celebrated his life. It's never a good time, but I think we did it the right way and celebrated his life well."
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Will being back here with your "other" family help in the healing process?
"It's good to get back to work and see my guys, my friends, and it definitely helps to have that support system. When it happened, I think everybody in this clubhouse texted me. You have that friendship with these guys and that brotherhood. It's always good to have that around you."
You knew (your dad's passing) was probably going to happen soon?
"He'd been struggling for a while, so the other way to look at it, he's in a better place now and at peace. I don't want to get into details [of his death]. He's definitely better now."
You worked on your approach at the plate over the offseason. Anxious to get back to that work here?
"A lot of things went wrong for me last year [.608 OPS, nine home runs], for sure. Towards the end of the year, I started figuring it out a little bit. I was trying to fix my swing and that was really the wrong mindset I had. Later in the year it was all about my approach and having a plan at the plate [Gordon had a .990 OPS during a 20-game stretch in September]. I don't know why I got away from it, whether it was injuries or not playing. I started feeling like my old self and that's how I kind of feel right now."
A lot of talk about you possibly playing center field?
"I'll play wherever they need me. ... Whatever is best for the team."
This is quite different this spring with the team in full rebuild, isn't it?
"Obviously it was on our minds, just having all our good friends, good teammates as free agents, hoping that they'd come back. We got one of them back in [Alcides Escobar], so that's good. But it's time to move on, and time to start a new era. Everyone keeps talking about rebuild ….I think it's going to be fun."
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.