Earlier today I did a quick ‘Q & A’ with former Kansas City Star Royals beat writer, Andy McCullough. Andy covered the Royals during both the 2014 and 2015 seasons so he was around for their playoff runs during both years. This is just a quick few questions about his time in Kansas City and covering the team during their resurgence.
1. You went from covering the Mets & the Yankees to covering the Royals for the Kansas City Star in 2014. What was your opinion of the team(contenders, pretenders, etc.) headed into Spring Training that year & in your mind when was the point where the team seemed to shift from just playoff contenders to serious championship material?
I thought they would be a good team and compete for the division. The turning point during the postseason was after they won the Wild Card game.
2. What was it like going from big market teams like the Yankees & Mets to a small market team like the Royals? Was there a difference in how you covered the teams?
The biggest difference is the postgame interviews were shorter because you don’t have 15 people in the scrum, all asking questions. I did not cover the team any differently.
3. The Royals fanbase is quite rabid to say the least. Were you surprised at how passionate the fans were & how did you handle some of the crazier ones on Twitter?
I wasn’t surprised by the passion, but I was definitely impressed by the crowds during these past two postseasons. Great atmosphere. I muted or blocked a lot of dopes on Twitter.
4. Was there a major difference in the team when comparing Spring Training in 2014 & Spring Training this past year?
Teams sound confident, every single year, in spring training. In 2014, I suppose it appeared more like false bravado, because they hadn’t actually won anything yet. In 2015, they had some evidence to back up their confidence.
5. The two most memorable articles you wrote(in my mind) was the recap of the 2014 Wild Card game & the Lorenzo Cain piece. Did you feel it was fairly easy to find compelling stories for this team & do you think you’ll ever cover a team with as much material as the 2014-2015 Royals had?
There was a lot of untilled ground when I took over the beat in 2014, because the team hadn’t spent much time in the national spotlight. It’s never easy to find interesting stories, but there was certainly some low-hanging fruit. I hope I’ll find a team that’s just as compelling soon enough, but I’m not sure I will.
6. Finally, looking back how do you view your time in Kansas City?
It was an OK time. Underrated city for Vietnamese food.
7. Oh, one more question for old times sake: any word on Kyle Zimmer?
I hope he starts the All-Star Game in 2017.
I would like to thank Andy for taking the time to answer these questions. McCullough is now working for the LA Times, as he is their beat writer for the Dodgers. You can find Andy’s coverage of the Dodgers at LATimes.com and he is a great follow on Twitter. Sure, he covers the Dodgers now, but if you love baseball(and some humor), McCullough is a good follow no matter the team. Glad us Royals fans had McCullough to guide us through the last two years. He did a great job and in a lot of ways will always be connected to this team. Thanks, Andy.