Royals' veteran trainer to retire

Nick Swartz, the Royals’ head trainer for the last 19 years, will retire at the end of the season.

The move was announced before Friday’s game against the Twins.

In a prepared statement, Swartz said he wanted to spend time at home and “enjoy life outside” of baseball.

“It’s been a great run and something I have been blessed with the good fortune or doing what I aspired to do from the first day I entered college,” Swartz said. “But I realized in the last few weeks that it was time for me to step away.”

Swartz joined the Royals’ organization in 1977, making his way to the big-league team in 1989. He was part of two All-Star staffs (1996 and 2006).

This season, in particular, he came under criticism from fans and some media for the treatment of some players — mostly pitchers.

In a statement released by the team, general manager Dayton Moore said he tried to talk Swartz out of retirement, called him “a tremendous asset” to the Royals, and wished him well.