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Reading Room: The attendance debate reaches Kansas City

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Plus: Kenny Williams speaks up at Jackie Robinson West rally, Paul Konerko winds it down, and Joe McEwing could be on the move

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The Kansas City Royals pulled off one of their most thrilling victories in years, as Alex Gordon delivered a two-run walk-off homer against Minnesota closer Glen Perkins.

Yet after the game, the attendance number dominated the discussion.

Sure, you'd think a team would draw more than 13,847 fans in the middle of a pennant race, even if it was a Tuesday night. But then again, you'd think a team would make the playoffs at some point during a 29-year stretch. Neither happened, but the latter is less defensible.

Nevertheless, manager Ned Yost addressed the former, and earned a scathing rebuke from Kansas City Star columnist Sam Mellinger.

If a big-league manager is going to insult the fans who’ve supported his team long before he showed up he might want to get his facts right. Or even close.

Second, he must not understand how silly and out of touch he sounds when he talks about "trying to build this team for the last three or four years."

Three or four years?

Many of the people who spent their money and time to watch Yost’s team on Tuesday night have been around for 10 years. Twenty. Twenty-five. And only the ones old enough (and young enough, come to think of it) to remember 29 years ago have had their loyalty and passion repaid with even a sniff of a playoff appearance.

The Royals aren't alone, as the first-place Orioles drew fewer than 17,000 fans in each of their first two games against the Rays. And we're more than familiar with the White Sox's own attendance issues.

Habits and tastes evolve, sometimes faster or slower than one would like. Whether Yost learned something or he's simply putting out fires, he tried to clarify and change the tenor of his original comments on Wednesday.

For what it's worth, the Royals drew 17,668 for their victory over the Twins on Wednesday, while 40,876 Tigers fans saw David Price give up nine straight hits in the second inning of Detroit's 8-4 loss to the Yankees. Kansas City now leads the AL Central by 2½ games.

Christian Marrero Reading Room

The city of Chicago celebrated the Jackie Robinson West Little League team's United States championship, but Kenny Williams stole some of their thunder with a speech that registered with a lot of people, not so much for the novelty of the message ("put down the guns"), but for the delivery, and the emphasis on community.

I don't necessarily need to hear about how comfortable Paul Konerko is in his final days, but I thought this quote was more notable:

Konerko said veterans have no right to protest losing playing time to rookies. Some players who could be promoted include: Josh Phegley, Marcus Semien, Carlos Rodon and Jared Mitchell.

"If we didn’t want it to get to a situation in September where they were going to be calling up young guys, putting guys in, sitting down older guys, then we should be better in the standings," Konerko said.

The rumors suggesting Joe McEwing could replace Kirk Gibson in Arizona make sense, considering Tony La Russa runs the Diamonbacks, and La Russa regarded McEwing so highly as a player that he requested a pair of autographed spikes from McEwing when the Cardinals traded him to the Mets.

David Laurila is great at interviewing players about advanced concepts and adjusting his vernacular to speak on the same level as his subject. In this case, C.J. Wilson runs with the physics talk and addresses some high-level stuff.

Speaking of great baseball writers, we won't be able to enjoy Jason Parks' colorful, sensual descriptors for prospects anymore. The Cubs hired him away from Baseball Prospectus to be a scout, which is good for him and bad for us, as it's been fun to read his appreciation for the White Sox's recent drafts (Tim Anderson and Tyler Danish in particular).