Royals hold players-only meeting to hash out issues

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- One day after pitcher Scott Elarton
questioned his teammates' desire to win, the Kansas City Royals
held a players-only meeting.

"For some of the players, it was probably a long time coming,"
second baseman Mark Grudzielanek said. "Things needed to be said,
obviously, or they wouldn't have came out yesterday."

The Royals began a four-game series against Detroit on Monday
night with the worst record in the major leagues at 10-31, a pace
that would put them among the worst teams in history. After St.
Louis beat the Royals 10-3 Sunday to stretch their losing streak to
nine, Elarton said they were in "a vicious cycle and we're stuck
in it and it doesn't look like anybody really cares about it."

Outfielder Aaron Guiel said Monday's meeting was sparked by the
comments made by Elarton and several other veterans after the
team's ninth straight loss.

"There were some comments made in the media yesterday that were
pretty serious," Guiel said. "We just addressed them as a team
and just more or less got everything out in the open, about being
accountable and playing better baseball.

"There are a lot of guys in here who both mentally and
physically can play better baseball."

Grudzielanek said he had no idea if the meeting would do any

"I hope so," he said. "A closed-door meeting is for the
players only to get things off their chest. None of the
conversation is supposed to be outside this room. Guys get on guys
for certain reasons, and that's it. We don't need to keep going out
there like that."

Kansas City manager Buddy Bell was also unsure what good might
come out of the meeting.

"I've been in a whole bunch of them," he said. "I do things
on a more individual basis. I did it as a player and I do it as a
manager. Hopefully, it will make a difference. We have quite a few
guys who will probably be here when we're good. And there are
probably some guys who aren't going to be here."