(not only could Whitey straighten out the mess in Kansas City if anyone asked him, but he’s a certified CPR instructor, too)

Whitey Herzog on the state of the Royals, with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Rick Hummel on the other end of the telephone (link taken from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

“The last eight years, attendance has been dropping and the team keeps getting worse,” Herzog said. “It’s almost like Montreal, where they used to have a lot of good players throughout the league. The Royals have a lot of players in the league who were once Royals, but they aren’t anymore.”

You could start with a potential outfield of Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye and Carlos Beltran and, indeed, that was the Royals’ outfield for the 1999-2000 seasons.

Why that trio isn’t there is mostly because of money, and Herzog said a team with a $40 million payroll has no chance. “You can’t compete unless you get lucky with about three pitchers,” he said. “You’ve got to open up the checkbook a little.

Herzog said he had been amused by the various “plans” the Royals have had.

“You’ve been hearing about them for all these years,” he said. “(Manager) Tony Pena started out that one year 16-1 and then they ended up 83-79. They thought they were going to be good and they spent a little money the next year (see Benito Santiago, Juan Gonzalez) and they were horrible.

“Then they choose a new manager and say they’re going to stay with the plan. But I’m wondering what the hell the plan is. The plan is you’ve got to win. It’s as simple as that.”.

Is Whitey suggesting that Doug Mientkiewicz, Tony Graffaninio and Reggie Sanders aren’t proven winners? That Buddy Bell isn’t an excellent strategist and motivator of men? That Mike Sweeney isn’t earning every penny of his current contract?