Royals lefty John Bale made his toughest appearance so far in the 2008 season.
Nearly three hours before the Royals faced the Angels, a remorseful Bale stood in front of his locker and talked about how he let the team down.
Bale broke a bone on his left pitching hand Friday night when he hit a hotel door out of frustration on the way his bullpen session went earlier.
“This is tough,” Bale said quietly as he addressed at least 12 members of the media.
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“I would like to apologize first of all to the Royals organization, teammates, and my coaching staff for my actions. It was uncalled for. It was a moment of frustration. I wish I could do anything to take it back, but I can’t.”
Bale, who didn’t take any questions after his statement, said it will be four to six weeks before he can start throwing.
He spoke for about three minutes and reiterated several times just how truly sorry he was for what he did.
“I have to try to move on the best that I can, support my teammates and do what I can to keep my arm in shape,” Bale said.
“Again, I would like to apologize to everybody. I feel like I let my teammates down. We are right in the thick of things and I wish I could be on the field fighting with them.”
Royals manager Trey Hillman knows that Bale feels very bad about what he did. He’s talked with Bale several times about it, including 40 minutes Monday afternoon.
“John Bale is as remorseful of making a really poor decision at a poor time on his pitching hand as anybody I’ve ever managed,” Hillman said. “He’s killing himself right now.
“He’s sorry he was as frustrated as he was when he did it.”
10-game home stand
The Royals begin a 10-game home stand just two games below .500 with a chance to climb above the .500 mark before embarking on an 11-game road trip.
“It’s big,” Royals pitcher Brian Bannister said. “I think our next road trip is a long one. It’s going to be demanding. It would be nice to build some momentum before we go on the road.”
Outfielder Joey Gathright is taking more of a one-game-at-a-time approach.
“It’s just a home stand. You can’t look at it as anything else. You just have to come out and play,” Gathright said. “If you put too much emphasis on how important stuff is, you try too hard.”
Hillman sees this home stand as an opportunity to build on what the Royals accomplished in Cleveland.
“It’s nice to get closer to the magical .500 mark and hopefully above,” Hillman said. “Hopefully, we can do some damage here in these 10 games.”
Tonight’s forecast calls for rain. Bannister can probably live with that as long as the rain doesn’t delay or postpone the game.
The element Bannister doesn’t want to see is wind. Bannister, who pitches tonight, is coming off his worst performance of the season when he gave up seven runs and seven hits in three innings at Texas. The wind was blowing out at nearly 30 mph.
“I hope we don’t see those conditions again,” Bannister said. “I’ve never pitched in wind like that.”
Bannister, 3-3, is looking to break a three-game losing streak.
Omaha right-hander Kyle Davies dropped to 3-2 Sunday after he gave up four runs on five hits in six innings in an 8-0 loss to Fresno.
Brett Tomko entered Monday night’s game with a career record of 94-95.