This is becoming the winter of the bumbling PR move for the Royals.

The statement:

FOX Sports Kansas City and the Kansas City Royals appreciate Frank White stepping into a larger role as game analyst the last three seasons. He shifted from a planned part-time role to a near full-time role and performed admirably in the booth at a time of need. We also want to thank Kevin Shank for his years of leadership as producer of Royals telecasts. FOX Sports Kansas City has decided to go in a different direction with these positions next year. A search for their replacements will begin immediately.

I’m not sure the Royals understand the relationship people like Frank White have with the fans. Kansas Citian. Royal in the glory years. Minor league manager. Broadcaster. And as a broadcaster, he was the most visible tie between the team and the fans. He wasn’t a particularly good or smooth at television, but Royals fans love the guy. That’s what happens with icons.

And you just don’t kick icons to the curb. Unless you’re the Royals.

Maybe you don’t want Frank to return to the broadcast next year, but you certainly give him another role within the organization. To just let him go… Awful.

Supposedly, the Royals felt Frank was too negative on the broadcasts. Holy crap. You know what I want? The truth. So many of these former Royals are angry and upset about the product that’s been allowed to perform the last couple of years. Just like the fans. I don’t think Frank was negative at all. If anything, I felt he pulled too many punches. He wasn’t hard enough.

Whatever.

And by all accounts, Shank is a solid producer, too. None of this makes a ton of sense.

This is just the latest in the PR missteps the Royals have committed since the end of the season. Chalk this one up right there with canceling FanFest.

The Royals are so close to being respectable on the field again. They obviously still have a ways to go behind the scenes. Brutal.