A new report from The Kansas City Star tells the tale of the Royals midseason turning point, which is not an uncommon arc for an MLB team's season to take. What is slightly less common is that the turnaround involved players curbing their love of the mobile game "Clash of Clans."
Royals first base coach Rusty Kuntz said seeing players hunched over their tablets immediately before and after games was becoming a common sight in the locker room.
When Kuntz walked inside the room, he saw a scene that had become all too familiar in recent weeks: a collection of Royals with their heads down, eyes locked on their iPads. The game was called “Clash of Clans,” and for a period of time this summer, its excessive usage by members of this club exasperated the coaching staff.
The game spread throughout the clubhouse after being introduced to outfielder Lorenzo Cain at the beginning of the season, but a players-only meeting led by veteran Raul Ibañez served to get the players' focus off their screens and back onto the field, with the results being apparent in the team's undefeated run through the playoffs to a World Series berth.