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Greinke: 'I was pretty rude' on way out of K.C.

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jun 23 2014 11:37:42 PM MDT
Updated On: Jun 24 2014 09:28:40 AM MDT
Zack Greinke, Dodgers 10,000th win

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -

Zack Greinke was the Kansas City Royals' first-round pick in the 2002 draft, made his debut at the age of 20 in 2004, the youngest player in the majors, and won the 2009 American League Cy Young Award.

However, most of those years, the Royals were the laughingstock of the AL, losing 100 or more games annually from 2004-06. With the club beginning another rebuilding phase, the right-handerwanted to be traded to a playoff-contending club.

Greinke got his wish. The Royals shipped him to the Milwaukee Brewers after the 2010 season, and he pitched in the 2011 playoffs. In 2012, he was sent to the Los Angeles Angels, where he went 6-2 with a 3.53 ERA in 13 starts before becoming a free agent and signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers after that season.

Despite all the moves, his roots remain in Kansas City.

"I was pretty rude on the way out," Greinke said Monday after he and the Dodgers lost 5-3 to the Royals. "They have every right to be mad at me. I haven't really put much thought into it lately. It's been awhile. It's been four years, so it's been awhile. They've moved on by now, and so have I. At least team-wise, the fans might be different.

"I don't want to be rude. I felt I had to in order to get traded, and I wanted to get traded. They are playing good now. You knew it was going to take time, and now is the time, it seems like. The guys that they traded for me are playing good. It looks like they got some good players."

Shortstop Alcides Escobar and outfielder Lorenzo Cain are two of the four players the Royals obtained for Greinke.

Greinke did not fare well in his debut in a Dodgers uniform at Kansas City, allowing 11 hits, equaling his season high, and five runs in 5 2/3 innings. He was booed when he was pulled, the third time he pitched at Kauffman Stadium with an opposing club.

"It's weird," Greinke said. "I pitched good the last time I was here and they cheered. I pitched good the first time and they cheered. This time they cheered when they announced my name. And when I give up the runs they booed, so I don't know."

Do Kansas City fans have conflicted feelings for Greinke?

"I'm not a psychologist," he said with a smile.