July 2006

House Call

First of all, the Royals would like to thank everyone for the great feedback on the upcoming stadium renovations. Be assured we are taking your ideas into consideration. We also wanted to pass along a great story on another appearance by the Royals in the community. Our players are really doing a nice job to reach out to some special individuals in the Kansas City area.

Wednesday morning David DeJesus joined Sluggerrr and Kim Burgess, from the Royals Blue Crew kids show, on a house call. The trio paid a special visit to Caymus, a special Royals fan in Kansas City, after The Dream Factory told the Royals about Caymus and his wish to meet DeJesus.

DeJesus presented Caymus with a miniature Royals DeJesus jersey and an autographed bat. In addition, the outfielder gave Caymus several items including bobbleheads, a Sluggerrr doll and baseball cards. Caymus was especially excited about the baseball cards and wanted to review the cards with DeJesus. The two were able to spend some time reviewing the cards, discussing the different Major League Baseball players. 

Kim and the Royals Blue Crew kids TV show was on hand as part of Sluggerrr’s prize patrol. The visit to Caymus will be featured on the next addition of the Royals Blue Crew, debuting on Saturday, Aug. 5.  Check your local TV listing to catch the program or catch an archive of the show later on rstn.tv. 

Check out these pictures of DeJesus’s visit to Caymus!

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Royals on Wild Ride

The Royals continue to have a presence in the community during the 2006 season. Saturday, the Royals headed to Worlds of Fun for the Royals Baseball Fan Fest. Jeremy Affeldt, John Buck, David DeJesus, Mark Teahen and Sluggerrr signed autographs just inside the park entrance. Over 600 people were on hand to meet the Royals players and receive autographs.

The group met fans for over an hour and then moved on to ride the Patriot, Worlds of Fun’s newest rollercoaster – the longest, tallest and fastest full-circuit inverted roller coaster in the region. Here’s some pictures the Royals players, taken during the ride. As you can see, the ride provides plenty of excitement. 

The Worlds of Fun Royals Baseball Fan Fest celebrated two staples of Kansas City summers! If you missed this year’s event, you’ll want to join us for next year’s event!
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Looking for Your Stadium Input

Kauffmanjanrev The Kansas City Royals are in the beginning phases of one of the most exciting projects in franchise history.  You have probably heard or read by now that the Royals are making plans for a $250 million renovation of Kauffman Stadium.  “Conceptual plans” for the renovation were displayed throughout the Kansas City area earlier this year during the Jackson County election campaign.  Thankfully, Jackson County voters passed the referendum by a significant margin.

The Royals are now in the “program design” phase, which is the process of refining the conceptual design while researching new ideas that have or will occur since the election. To begin this process, several Royals associates and HOK Sports architects have taken recent trips to some of the new ballparks or newly renovated ballparks in baseball, including San Diego, St. Louis, Anaheim, Atlanta and Philadelphia to name a few.

The Royals design team is making sure no stone is unturned when considering the ”design priorities” of what will surely become one of, if not the best family-oriented ballparks in America. While the organization is committed to giving its fans some of the newest amenities that most stadiums offer, the biggest priority is to make sure a renovated Kauffman Stadium still has the same classic appearance, particularly as fans view the league’s best playing surface, majestic fountains and the unique crown scoreboard from their seats. With that in mind, we know our fans must surely have some excellent ideas of what they want to see or amenities and services they want to experience when they come to Kauffman Stadium.  We are initially seeking fan ideas via planned focus groups of randomly selected fans, including children, and via the Royals website.

Since you have visited the Royals Blog today, please feel free to offer your input.  Have you been to other ballparks and seen something you loved? Maybe you have an idea for something that hasn’t been incorporated into a new or renovated stadium, but you think it should. Maybe you’ve seen some ideas that may exist at other ballparks, but you are not so sure they would work for you as a Royals fan at Kauffman Stadium. Either way, we want to hear your thoughts!

In fact, if you can’t describe it and you just want to email us pictures (blog@royals.com) you’ve taken from your travels or a sketch of your idea, we’ll put in the hopper of ideas for our design team. We will also reward the best “first-time” ideas (i.e. those that are not already on the drawing boards or have not already been submitted by other fans), with four tickets to a future 2006 Royals game of their choice, subject to availability.

We appreciate your feedback via this blog or in the very near future via the “Kauffman Stadium Renovation – Fan Ideas” icon that will appear on the home page of Royals.com. We invite you to also look at the pre-election site plans and artist renderings currently on the Royals website under the Kauffman Stadium link.

Finally, we will endeavor to periodically keep you up to date via the Royals website with developments on the renovation plans and the timetable for implementation.

Royals Stay Busy On and Off the Field

In addition to a weekend of action on the field against the Blue Jays, the Royals have a weekend packed full of events off the field as well.

Friday, a group of around 200 people had an opportunity to welcome new Royals General Manager Dayton Moore to the Kansas City community. Moore appeared alongside Kansas City legend Buck O’Neil as a guest panelist for the State Farm Legends Luncheon held at the Madrid Theater. Proceeds from the event went the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Moore fielded questions from the audience and shared some of his favorite baseball memories during the hour-long stage presentation.

Be sure to check out the upcoming events page on royals.com for guest information for the next State Farm Legends Luncheon, which is set for Wednesday, Aug. 9.

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Meanwhile, third baseman Mark Teahen, pitcher Joe Nelson and coaches Fred Kendall and Luis Silverio hosted a free instructional clinic for kids from Blue Valley Recreation. Not only do the kids get to learn about the fundamentals of the game, they get to share the field with some of their favorite Royals!

The clinic is part of the club’s George Brett Youth Baseball and Softball Program, which offers fundraising opportunities to youth leagues across the metro area. The Royals have already conducted five of these clinics during the last month with several more dates still on the calendar!

In addition to instructional clinics, leagues can earn other cool incentives such as Royals uniform patches, on-field parades at Kauffman Stadium, and first-pitch opportunities through this program. Call the Royals at (816) 921-8000 for more information on how to get your youth league involved!

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Manager Buddy Bell and members of his coaching staff arrived at the ballpark early on Saturday to participate in Baseball 101. This fun event, which is presented by HCA Midwest Hospitals, is designed exclusively for women 16 year old and over. Buddy and the coaches worked with the women on learning baseball basics and general terminology that is central to understanding the game. Proceeds from the event benefited the Down Syndrome Guild of Kansas City.

Remember to keep checking the community section of royals.com for updates on future Royals events!

Royal Ramblings

Just a few random thoughts as the Royals have jumped out to a 6-0 lead over the visiting Toronto Blue Jays after scoring in each of the first four innings on Thursday night.

BREAK OUT THE CIGARS! First of all, congratulations to Jimmy Gobble and his wife, Julie, who welcomed their first child into the world on Wednesday. Porter James Gobble was born at 4:14 p.m. and weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces.

DID YOU KNOW? KC is now 12-6 since June 16 after taking 2 of 3 games against the Astros, Brewers, Cardinals and Twins and sweeping 3 from the Pirates.

HOT HANDS: The Royals have raised their team batting average to a season-high .265 after a long, sustained stretch of success beginning on May 23. Since then, KC is hitting .281 (3999-1,418) as a team and has recorded double-digit hits in 22 of those 41 games. The Royals .281 average ranks ninth in baseball over that span. No surprice that KC is 19-22 in that stretch to follow a 10-32 start.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Despite ranking just 11th in the A.L. with a .265 average, the Royals rank sixth in the Majors and fourth in the American League with 171 doubles. More recently, KC has 57 doubles in its last 22 games since June 12, second-most in baseball behind the Detroit Tigers (61) over that stretch. KC has recorded at least 1 double in 27 straight games, the longest such streak in the Majors. Mark Grudzielanek (21), Emil Brown (20) and Doug Mientkiewicz (19) all rank in the top 20 in the A.L. in two-baggers. By the way, KC has already added five more doubles in this game.

PRESSURE COOKER: The Royals are hitting .331 (55-166) with runners in scoring position over the past 15 games. Emil Brown leads the way since May 29, hitting .412 (14-34) in those clutch situations.

DON’T JINX ME: If Mark Redman can hold on for the victory tonight (has allowed 1 hit through six innings and holds a 6-0 lead), he would be the first pitcher to win six straight decisions since Jose Lima won seven straight starts from June 20-July 27, 2003. Wouldn’t you know it. I get done writing that sentence and he has walked a batter and given up a second hit (Sorry Mark).

Dayton Moore Q&A

We want to thank everyone for submitting some great questions for Dayton Moore! As you can imagine, we had a number of emails submitted and we are excited that we were able to answer a majority of your questions!

Moore_dayton_005_2I listened to a recent interview on the radio with Mr. Moore and he stated the most important thing for an organization is to develop pitching. What does Mr. Moore plan to do in the interim with regards to pitching? Also, who are our brightest young arms in the farm system? – Jon

We are constantly evaluating opportunities to acquire young pitching that we can develop and groom as possible Major League pitchers. I believe the draft is a key component of acquiring pitching. Based on this past year’s draft, you can see the number of pitchers that were selected. The bottom line is you have to develop your own pitching because when it comes to trades, you just aren’t going to obtain a top notch pitcher in exchange for a position player.

What are your goals for the remainder of the 2006 season and the off-season? What kind of changes and improvements can we expect? John K. Topeka, Kan.

Our first objective is to evaluate our staff throughout the organization. It’s important that we have leaders in place that are among the very best in the game. We are going to be adding additional staff, developing our own staff and looking to acquire some of the top evaluators and player development individuals in the game.

During the month and a half before the trading deadline, how many trades do you field or discuss during a week’s time? Also, how do you determine the value of a player? – Trent Rose, Oakley, Kan.

We are constantly having dialogue with other organizations. Our scouts have discussions with other scouts. It’s not really reacting to trade offers, but a continually assessing the needs of each individual team. In most cases there are very few fits. But you identify which organizations you match up with and try to create a value for value deal.

Other than the won-loss records of the Braves and Royals over the past five years, what major differences have you noticed in the operation of the two organizations? Jim Kasparek, Grand Island, Neb.

It’s still too early to say as I’m still identifying the differences.

Do you anticipate getting more speed players like Joey Gathright?

There are not a lot of speed players out there. We will always look to improve the club anyway we can. Ideally, you want speed at the top and bottom of the order. Our objective is to create a balanced lineup and speed is a big part of that.

What is Ken Harvey’s future in the organization?

Ken is currently rehabbing a torn Achilles tendon, so we’ll have to see how he recovers.

Do you see the Royals calling up Zack Greinke before the All-Star Break? If not, when do you see him coming back up?

Zack definitely won’t be back before the All-Star Break. Zack is right where he needs to be and we don’t have any particular dates for his return. He is pitching well and we expect him to continue pitching well.

Do you see Mike Sweeney staying on with the club past this year?

Mike is under contract through the 2007 season, so yes.

When Mike MacDougal returns, is he going to close or set up?

We are very fortunate to have two powerful gifted pitchers in Mike MacDougal and Ambiorix Burgos. We will make that decision when it is appropriate.

My question is what do you think is your number one priority right now? – Tobias Hall, Kansas City

My number one priority is to evaluate our 40-man roster and find ways to improve it.

As the trade deadline closes in will you try to ship the veteran guys out for some good prospects and if so, how many do you think will be traded and what are you looking for in return? – Corey, Montrose, Mo.

I’ll never comment on another team’s players. But we will listen to all potential opportunities. We are not actively trying to shop our players. But if we make a decision, we certainly expect to get value back.

What is the best way to reload the minor league system with pitching to ensure our big league club’s future success with the starting rotation? – Pat, Blue Springs

Draft quality pitchers and by having a very strong, aggressive international program.

I’m wondering if you have had a chance to observe some of the prospects in the Royals organization? We know about Alex Gordon, Billy Butler and Mitch Maier, but are there others we have not heard of that have caught your attention? D. Routh, Wichita

We have some good young players that we like. Erik Cordier is a right-handed pitcher that just got moved up to Class A Burlington. We also have another right-handed pitcher at Burlington with Carlos Rosa. Angel Sanchez is a shortstop that may surprise some people.

I recently read where you stated your job is to make it difficult for the manager and his staff to select the team following spring training. That implies that you don’t have the final authority in selecting the 25-man roster. Is this true? I know your main focus is on selecting the right players to be in the organization and forming the development system for those players, but don’t you also get to choose which of those players actually play in Kansas City? – David, Nebraska City, Neb.

Together we will discuss who will be on the club. But if I hire a manager to manage a team, he should also have a say in who is going to be on his team. But this will be a decision we make together.

I was wondering what kind of team you plan on building? A team with speed and versatility and great pitching or a team with veteran help for the young players? – Eric Pangelinan, Cusseta, Ga.

We want a balanced lineup, power on the corners, speed up the middle and good starting pitching and some power arms in the bullpen. If we can do all that, things should come together nicely.

I like the idea of adding speed and defense in the short term, but what do you see as our strategy for improving the pitching staff? Do you see the rotation on a contending team in the future consisting mostly of free agent acquisitions or young players that are homegrown? – Mark Jurado, Kearney, Mo.

We certainly want young players that are homegrown. But that’s assuming we have Major League caliber players that are ready to contribute at the Major League level and right now I don’t think we do. You either have to acquire them or develop them. You only have three ways to acquire players (draft, trade, free agency), so we have to be poised to bring talent to our club in every avenue.

What is the time table for Alex Gordon, Billy Butler and Chris Lubanski arriving in Kansas City? – Connor Meier, Wichita, Kan.

We’re never going to put unrealistic expectations on our players and give them artificial timelines. We are also not going to put a cap on their potential. Every player develops at different speeds. These players are at Double A now and realistically you would expect them to contribute at Triple A next year.

Is there any way the Royals would make a trade such as the Jason Johnson trade to the Red Sox where the other team would take on salary without any compensation in return and we would just dump salary to help sign draft picks or improve our system in some other way?

No we’re not trying to dump salary. We’re looking for young talented players that we can grow with and identify with that will ultimately help us win. We are not taking shortcuts. We want our fans to understand the process. We want to build a farm system which will provide us with talent at the Major League Level. We want to win, the coaching staff wants to win, the front office wants to win, but we cannot abandon the process. The process is to build a championship caliber team that will last for the long haul. You cannot cut corners to achieve this.

Are there any plans to move the Single A team from High Desert, given the inflated numbers? – Joel Kammeyer, Bethlehem, Pa.

It’s not as easy as that. There has to be opportunity to move somewhere else before you can leave.

What are your long term plans for Kansas City’s Triple A and Double A franchises? Do you see them remaining in Omaha and Wichita? – Greg Smith, Omaha.

It depends. It’s premature to make that decision. I certainly see us in Omaha and Wichita for next year.

Some have criticized the Gathright trade, saying that David DeJesus does not provide the type of offensive production (namely in terms of power) that a corner outfielder typically should. What is your response to that criticism? – Kevin, Kansas City

David is a very talented player. He’s hitting .330 as we speak today, which is very good production for a winning outfielder. This organization realizes that David can also play centerfield.

Is there any chance Andrew Sisco might be tried as a starter in the future?

We are comfortable with Andrew Sisco in the bullpen.

With Alex Gordon in the system, is there any chance Mark Teahen would move to the outfield?

No. Alex Gordon is still in the minor leagues and Mark Teahen is a Major League player. As Gordon’s bat becomes Major League ready, we’ll evaluate what we need to do to give him opportunity in the Major Leagues. Mark is a very talented player as well. We are very fortunate to have two talented, versatile athletes.

My question is how impressed have you been with the maturity and advancement of Alex Gordon thus far – not only at the plate, but in the field as well? – Dennis P., Kansas City, Mo.

I’ve only seen Alex play two games, but our people really like him and believe he is a great part of our future.

What sorts of changes and programs you will be adding to our minor league system and developmental programs?

We have to have consistent development programs. We need a set of absolutes for our hitters and our position players. The main component to developing players is a consistent approach. Then you have to continue to develop their strengths and make sure that they hold on to those strengths.

Will the Royals be buyers this winter on the free agent market for starting pitchers? Kevin, Atlanta, Ga.

Yes. We’ll evaluate all opportunities to acquire starting talent. Again, we are looking to do things for the long term not for the short term. Any acquisition that we make will be with the long term success of the Kansas City Royals in mind.

Thanks for sending me your questions. It’s been a pleasure becoming a part of the Kansas City community. I hope this will help our fans understand our goals and objectives for the future. I would ask our fans to be patient, because a lot of what we’re going to be doing is not going to be seen by the fans. We are going to build the best scouting and player development system in baseball and once we do that, it will help build consistency at the Major League level. But we are also not losing sight of putting a quality team on the Major League field. Thanks for your support and we’ll see you soon at Kauffman Stadium!

Dayton

Royals Return Home

Today’s entry will be an attempt to catch our readers up with some of the happenings around the Royals lately. So here it goes:

DAYTON UPDATE: Readers are anxiously awaiting Dayton’s response to your questions and we should have those by the end of the week. We’ve had quite a few questions and we should be able to get that finalized shortly.

RETURNING HOME: The Royals returned home today to start a 7-game homestand against the red-hot Minnesota Twins (20-2 in the last 22 games) and Toronto Blue Jays. The homestand started with some bad news as RHP Mike Wood had to be placed on the 15-day Disabled List with back inflammation. RHP Joe Nelson was called up in his place. RHP Luke Hudson will take Wood’s spot in the rotation and will start against the Blue Jays on Friday.

INTERLEAGUE RECAP: For those of you that haven’t heard, the American League dominated the National League this season in Interleague play, posting a 154-98 record. Kansas City enjoyed its best season ever against the N.L., going 10-8. The Central was particularly successful against the N.L., logging a 63-27 record.

  • Minnesota 16-2
  • Detroit 15-3
  • Chicago 14-4
  • Kansas City 10-8
  • Cleveland 8-10
  • Total 63-27

DEJESUS ON FIRE: The Royals recent turnaround has been in large part to the return of David DeJesus. KC is 16-16 since he returned from the D.L. on May 29. DeJesus has been impressive, hitting .350 (43-123) with 25 runs and 12 RBI during that stretch.

REDMAN AN ALL-STAR: As you probably have seen on our site, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen named Mark Redman to the All-Star squad this season. Redman was named to the team after posting a 5-0 record and a 4.42 ERA (38.2 IP, 19 ER) in his last six outings. It is just the 11th time a Royals starter has attended the All-Star game and the first time since Jose Rosado in 1999.

SIT IN THE PAVILION! The Royals have announced that single-game tickets can be purchased to the Watson’s Pavilion in left field for the nights of July 3-5 for $25. Fans get access to great seats and the hot tub for a great price!

SIGNING UPDATE: We’ve received a number of emails from fans wanting to know the status on our draft picks. Well, the scouting department has been very busy and has signed every pick between the second and 17th rounds, as well as 21-23, 31 and 50. Hope that helps!

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