KANSAS CITY -- Mariners veteran right-hander Kevin Millwood has worked with catcher Jesus Montero in 10 of his 18 starts this season and, in fact, played with him last year for a time on the Yankees' Triple-A club as well.
But for the second game this season, Millwood and Montero didn't seem on the same page at times during Wednesday's 8-7 loss to the Royals, with the rookie having to come out and visit the mound numerous times to get things square between them.
At one point, Montero went out to talk to Millwood, returned to the plate, then went back out again without another pitch having even been thrown.
What was up?
"I was just trying to get the fans to boo," Millwood said. "That was it. Actually, he came out the first time and I told him one thing, then when he went back behind the plate I changed my mind. That was kind of the whole deal."
Left unsaid is that Millwood is trying to get the youngster to think through situations with him, and the learning process hasn't always been seamless. But the overall experience is beneficial for the 22-year-old, according to manager Eric Wedge.
"They've had moments of that this year. But I think it's been good for Montero, being with a veteran guy out there and watching how he does things and the whys," said Wedge, himself a former catcher. "It's been a good education for Jesus. I know at times it might be a little tougher for him, but I think it's been good for him. And he's handled it well."