Royals owner vows 'significant changes'

Updated: May 5, 2006, 4:36 PM ET
Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An angry David Glass vowed Friday that "significant changes" are coming soon to the woeful Kansas City Royals.

"I'm not willing for us to sit and wait to see if it gets better," the Royals owner told The Associated Press on Friday. "We've got to figure out what we've got to do to make it better. And that's what I'm working on."

Normally unruffled and self-composed, the man who was the driving force behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc. becoming the biggest retailer in the world seemed uncharacteristically agitated.

"I think I'm probably more frustrated than anyone," he said. "I've never experienced anything this frustrating."

A 1-0 victory at Minnesota on Thursday night left the Royals 6-20, a major league-low .231 winning percentage heading into a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox.

The win allowed Glass' injury-ravaged Royals to avoid tying the major-league record of 13 straight road losses to start a season. But it did nothing to give the owner hope that an organization that lost 106 games last year and 104 the year before is about to turn things around.

Glass' tone was distinctly different from what it had been two weeks earlier, when he said that before making changes he preferred to "give this thing a chance to play out."

Now, he says, "What's happened is just unacceptable. We're going to change some things to make it better."

Glass declined to specify what moves he is contemplating or when he might act. But there has been a public clamor for a change in general managers. Allard Baird, who became GM of the small-market operation on June 17, 2000, has acknowledged his job could be on the line.

"I've got a bunch of balls in the air right now and I'm going to catch some of them," Glass said.

Blaming manager Buddy Bell for the debacle might be difficult. Bell was hired at midseason last year but has had little to work with, especially this year when injuries to pitchers as well as position players have ravaged the team.

"I'm not going to accept excuses from any of us," Glass said. "We've got eight guys on the disabled list. [Outfielder Reggie] Sanders had to come out last night. [Second baseman Mark] Grudzielanek is day-to-day. If you say you've got eight guys on the DL and those two are unavailable immediately, then the poor manager has 40 percent of his players unavailable. I think I have to take that into consideration."

Baird was given about $25 million to add several veteran free agents this year in hopes of better on-field results while several promising young players season another year or two in the minors.

"But it hasn't been working," Glass said. "Cosmetic changes don't help. We're going to have to figure out how to change the direction the team has gone this year. We've got to do something more significant than cosmetic changes."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press