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Zack Greinke speaks up about the sorry state of the Royals

Big League Stew

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It is apparently impossible for the baseball gods to allow Kansas City Royals fans to experience any sort of extended joy.

Despite a recent good run that has seen GM Dayton Moore get a return for Rick Ankiel(notes) and Kyle Farnsworth(notes) in a trade last weekend and Jose Guillen(notes) sent packing with a DFA on Thursday, Kansas City fans now have to worry about whether Zack Greinke(notes) is aboard for the long haul.

In a downbeat interview with The Star's Bob Dutton on Thursday, Greinke is now casting doubt on the Royals' long-term chances of winning and whether or not he'll have any reason to stick around when his current contract expires after 2012.

Among Greinke's quotes from the article:

• "I like Kansas City. It's a town that fits me pretty well. But I don't know...at least put a team together that has a fighting chance (to win)."

• "It's not real exciting to have to go through (rebuilding) again. It's been six years with me, and most people (who are Royals fans) have been through a lot more than I have. But for me, it's the third complete re-start/rebuilding phase."

• "Every system has something ... The problem (with the Royals' prospects) is that it's not like as soon as they get here that it's going to be instant (success). Maybe by 2014. There's no reason for me to get real excited about it, because the chance of more than one of them making a major impact by the time my contract is up is pretty slim."

• "This is at least the third full re-start/rebuilding phase since I've been here. And, obviously, none of them have worked. This one hasn't even really started yet."

None of what Greinke said is news to anyone, nor is it untrue. He was drafted in 2002, which was my first year in Kansas City. And while I got to escape Kauffman about five years ago, he's had to sit through more losing than anyone not named David DeJesus(notes), Denny Matthews or Bob Dutton. It has to be getting old, even if he prefers the laidback KC media market.

Make no mistake, Greinke is a competitor and wants to win.

Still, it's always a shock to the system when your franchise cornerstone expresses such displeasure and hints at a life without him. Maybe he intends it as a kick in the pants for the powers-that-be, but it could just as well point to a trade out of town in the offseason or at the next trading deadline.

At this point, Kansas City fans have to be happy with the simple fact that Greinke voiced his concern now and not before last week's trading deadline. It's always about the small victories in Kansas City, isn't it?

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