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George Brett steps down as Royals hitting coach

Published: Friday, July 26, 2013 11:41 a.m. CST

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — George Brett took over as the Kansas City Royals’ interim hitting coach with the rudderless team mired in an eight-game skid. He leaves with them showing signs of life.

The Hall of Famer announced Thursday that he was stepping down from his on-field job and returning to the Royals’ front office, where he’s served as vice president of baseball operations since retiring as a player following the 1993 season.

The Royals were hitting just .261 when he assumed the job along with Pedro Grifol, who will stay on as the permanent hitting coach. The team was averaging four runs a game and ranked near the bottom of the American League in just about every statistical offensive category.

They were 21-29 and in danger of falling out of contention by June.

Well, the team’s batting average hasn’t improved much, but the offense is no longer stagnant.