Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon has been everything you'd want from a No. 2 overall pick headed to a small market organization. He sat through the 100-loss seasons and the World Series years, and continue to perform well and play hard all the same.
The 35-year-old Gordon has been contemplating retirement, and might end his Royals career at the same time as his manager, as Ned Yost recently announced he is hanging them up after this year.
A good way to gauge whether an organization "does it the right way" or is well-run is how they treat their former players, especially their stars. The likes of George Brett and Bret Saberhagen have hung around Kansas City long after their years in the spotlight, and Brett was a prominent part of the 2014 and '15 World Series runs, though he did very little to craft the on-field foundation.
With PR in mind, the Royals need to do something to make sure that Gordon remains connected to the team. While a team Hall of Fame spot and jersey retirement are almost mortal locks, they should try to get him involved as a coach or in a community outreach role.
At the very least, name him a "special adviser to the GM" so they can cut him a paycheck every week, give him an office at Kauffman Stadium, and keep him in the loop regarding big moves within the organization.
Gordon has done nothing but shine for Kansas City since 2007, and helped usher in an entirely new era of competitiveness. By any means necessary, the team should recognize that if he calls it quits after this year.