|04-08-2003, 08:48 AM|
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Flanagan: MacDougal's success pleases former pitching coach
MacDougal's success pleases former pitching coach
By JEFFREY FLANAGAN
Posted on Tue, Apr. 08, 2003
Former Royals pitching coach Guy Hansen is smiling these days, and it's not because his current team, the Class AAA Richmond (Va.) Braves, is doing anything special.
No, Hansen is smiling because of the early success of the Royals and their closer Mike MacDougal. Hansen tutored MacDougal over the winter in Puerto Rico at the request of the Royals.
"I start every morning by going on the 'net and reading The Kansas City Star and seeing how those guys (the Royals) are doing," Hansen said by phone. "That's probably why my team is stinking so bad, because I'm so worried about those guys in Kansas City.
"It's really great to see Mac and Chris George doing that well, and the team in general. I can't say I'm that surprised, because by the time they left Puerto Rico, I saw two different pitchers leave. They did 180-degree turnarounds."
Those special sessions between Hansen and MacDougal were invaluable to MacDougal, who is a clean three-for-three in save situations and is quickly becoming a fan favorite in Kansas City.
"I owe a lot to Guy," MacDougal said. "He really taught me a lot on how to throw each pitch with a purpose and how to throw through to the target. Man, he's really good at what he does."
Told that MacDougal was hitting 99 mph on his fastball last week, Hansen said, "He's probably the most effective around 96 and 98 because the ball moves more. We clocked him about a dozen times at 103, so Kansas City might want to get ready to see that on the scoreboard."
The Royals' first cable-only game on the Royals Sports Television Network on Friday night drew a respectable 2.3 rating among cable-only households.
The average number of households tuning in was 18,000, according to Metro Sports.
Royals skipper Tony Pena knows first-hand how hard it is for Carlos Beltran to come back from his injured oblique muscle.
Pena had the same injury once as a player.
"It's by your side, by your ribs," Pena said. "I hurt it in spring training one year, and I missed the whole spring training.
"I'm not kidding. You couldn't breathe. You couldn't laugh. You couldn't turn in bed. It took a long time to heal.
"So that's why we're taking it really slow with Carlos. We want it to heal completely so we don't lose him for a longer time. He's healed pretty fast, I think, but I don't see him back before two weeks. He's been out four or five weeks, and he needs to have his own spring training to get ready."
The suggestions for a Royals slogan with the word "believe" in it continue to pour in, and a rather definitive one on Monday stood out:
"Seeing is believing."