George Brett vowed after his latest injury that he would never play another game on the artificial turf at Royals Stadium.
"I remember the first words I said to them (Royals officials) were, `You can take this turf and stick it up your,"' Brett said Tuesday in an interview with The Kansas City Times. "I said I'll never play on this AstroTurf for the rest of my life."Brett's frustrations have eased since April 29 when he suffered a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee. He says he could change his mind by the time he's ready to play in about eight weeks.
"I don't know what I'll do, I have a lot of thinking to do," Brett said. "But how can I get myself off this stuff? I still have four years left (two years guaranteed and a two-year option) on my contract."
Friends and fellow players have urged Brett to swallow his pride and give up his job at first base to become a full-time designated hitter.
Brett, who will be 36 on Monday, has missed stretches of eight games or more 16 times in his career because of injuries.
The injury occurred when Rob Deer of the Milwaukee Brewers hit a ball into shallow right field, just beyond Brett's reach. Brett caught the ball on one bounce, but when he spun to make a throw, his spikes got caught in the turf as he released the ball.
He said he has tried to use plastic spikes instead of metal, but that he has trouble digging into the plate with plastic spikes.
Brett's last injury was caused by his spikes getting caught in the artificial surface while making a throw from third base. It was the same injury that caused him to miss 24 games in 1987.
He is undergoing therapy each day to make sure atrophy does not result, but Brett said he has no idea when he'll return.
The Royals still would like Brett to return to first base. They already have plenty of DH candidates in Pat Tabler and Bill Buckner, and although Luis de los Santos is playing well at first base, the Royals believe that Brett is their best defensive first baseman.