Royals have league's second-worst ERA

Updated: July 1, 2004, 8:25 PM ET
Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals, with the worst record and second-worst staff ERA in the American League, fired pitching coach John Cumberland on Wednesday.

Mike Mason, the organization's roving pitching instructor, will serve as interim pitching coach for the rest of the season.

Cumberland was in his second season with Kansas City, which went into the season with hopes of gaining its first postseason berth since 1985.

But inconsistent pitching as well as other shortcomings left the Royals with a 29-45 record going into Wednesday night's game against Baltimore, 11{ games out in the AL Central.

Their staff ERA of 4.96 was next-to-last behind Baltimore's 5.24.

Mason, 45, previously served nine seasons as pitching coach in the Royals' minor league system. His seven-year major league pitching career included stops with Texas, the Chicago Cubs and Minnesota. He was 29-39.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press