April 2007

Lineups: Perez vs. Lackey

After a short road trip, we’re back home for a loooonnnngggg homestand – the longest of the season, actually – with 10 games in 11 days. We open with Los Angeles tonight. Odalis Perez (2-2, 7.54 ERA) is on the mound facing the Angels’ John Lackey (3-2, 2.35 ERA).

There’s a note in tonight’s game notes about our stats in April, fitting since this is the final day of the month. Leading up to tonight’s game, the Royals are 8-17, which obviously could be better, but is an improvement from the past two seasons. The Royals were just 5-17 in April last year and only 6-18 in 2005. Let’s look for a win tonight to finish off the opening month on a good note…and, since we’re looking for wins anyway, let’s look for a winning homestand and start May off on the right foot as well. Here’s your lineups…

For the Royals:
DeJesus – CF
German – 2B
Teahen – RF
Sweeney – DH
Gload – LF
Gordon – 3B
Buck – C
Shealy – 1B
Pena – SS
Perez – P

For the Angels:
Matthews – CF
Willits – LF
Cabrera – SS
Guerrero – RF
Hillenbrand – DH
Aybar – 2B
Quinlan – 1B
Napoli – C
Figgins – 3B
Lackey – P

Honored for Defense

Looks like Royals Hall of Fame second baseman Frank White and current Royals Manager Buddy Bell might have a chance to “play” baseball together for the first time in their careers. But, it’s up to you, the fans, to make that happen…

Both Frank and Buddy are among a number of Major Leaguers looking for your vote to make the All-Time Rawlings Gold Glove defensive team. As part of its 50th anniversary celebration this year, Rawlings has created ballots to help fans pick the best defensive players in history.

White, who spent his entire career with Kansas City, won eight – yup, eight! – Gold Gloves from 1973-1990, including six straight from 1977 to 1982. At the time, the eight Gold Gloves in his career was an American League record for second baseman and, now, it still ranks as one of the highest in history for second baseman – Bill Mazeroski (8), Ryne Sandberg (9) and Roberto Alomar (10). Meanwhile, Bell is a six-time Gold Glove winner, picking up the honor in six consecutive seasons as the third baseman with the Texas Rangers (1979-1984).

Fans have the chance to vote for Frank and Buddy now through June 19 at www.rawlingsgoldglove.com or at select sporting good retailers.

UPDATE: Royals on EWTN

UPDATE FOR ROYALS ON EWTN: For those of you who tuned in Thursday night to see Royals players on the Eternal Word Television Network (see below), you saw one — and his wife. Unexpectedly, EWTN ran a re-run of the program "Life on the Rock" from last December and not an episode of "Catholics in the Major Leagues" as promoted. That show, featuring Mike Sweeney, Jason LaRue, Luke Hudson and others, will run next Thursday, May 3, at 7 p.m. (CDT). The cable channels are also listed below. If you did tune in Thursday night, you saw Sweeney and his wife, Shara, talk about their experiences in Rome and Vatican City last fall.

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Along with catching some highlights of them on ESPN, Royals fans can also tune into EWTN Thursday night to see some of clips of their favorite Royals players. For those who don’t know, EWTN – that’s Eternal Word Television Network – is the global Catholic Channel. Tonight they are airing a feature on Catholics in Major League Baseball. Mike Sweeney, Luke Hudson and Jason LaRue are among a number of MLB players that were interviewed by Father Francis, the host of “Life on the Rock,” about their faith journeys. The program airs at 7 p.m. (CDT) and is found on the following channels depending on your cable provider: Time Warner – 190, Everest – 474, Comcast – 291 and Sunflower – 91.

Getting Ready for School Day

With the team up in Minnesota to start a five-game road trip, those of us at Kauffman Stadium spent Wednesday morning with another team – the FOX 4 Weather Team.

Since this season’s “School Day at the K” is just around the corner (May 10!), FOX 4 Meteorologists Mike Thompson, Karli Ritter, Don Harman and Joe Lauria joined us and Sluggerrr out at the stadium this morning to film some footage of an opening skit designed for the event. In case you don’t know, “School Day at the K” is an event hosted by the Royals and FOX 4 WDAF-TV that invites kids grades K-12 out to the ballpark for day. The event begins with a fun, interactive meteorology lesson before the kids take their seats for the Royals afternoon ballgame against the Oakland Athletics. Check out more details on the ninth annual “School Day at the K” here.

On Wednesday morning, the meteorologists had no problems putting their weather-predicting skills to the side in favor of acting. They shot a series of clips that involved Sluggerrr running around the stadium – the batting cages, the dugout, the clubhouse, the kitchen, etc. – looking for Karli, but always coming up with just another weather guy in a blond wig. The skit should be great and have our young Royals fans cracking up on May 10.

The only problem we had with the morning filming involved working around the countless tour groups that were filtering in and out of the stadium. Not only were the groups touring in the same places where we were filming, but they were all kid-based tours. That meant Sluggerrr had to work overtime to entertain the kids when they saw him in action and Byron Shores – the man behind the Sluggerrr suit – had to think quickly on his feet, diving into closets and bathrooms, when the kids showed up unannounced. For a bunch of 6-year-olds, nothing would ruin a field trip to Kauffman Stadium more than running into their favorite furry mascot with a human head!

Lineups: Bannister Makes the Start

Brian Bannister makes his Royals debut on the mound tonight against the White Sox as the Royals look to split the two-game set. Here’s hoping we get this game in before the rain comes. And, here’s your lineups…

For the Royals:
DeJesus – CF
Grudzielanek – 2B
Teahen – RF
Sanders – DH
Gload – LF
Gordon – 3B
Buck – C
Shealy – 1B
Pena – SS
Bannister – P

For the White Sox:
Erstad – DH
Iguchi – 2B
Konerko – 1B
Pierzynski – C
Dye – RF
Crede – 3B
Mackowiak – LF
Uribe – SS
Anderson – CF
Vazquez – P

Reaching Out at the Ballpark

Dsc_5676_dream_fact_1Lots going on around here lately…even off the playing field.

While the players prepared to face the Twins and the White Sox – with one to play against Chicago on Tuesday – we prepared for a variety of different community-related events that kept us pretty busy. Here’s a brief summary (and some photos!) of all the happenings that have been going on around Kauffman Stadium.

FRIDAY:
We all helped the players in honoring the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the baseball color barrier. The actual date that MLB recognizes was April 15, but we were rained out in Baltimore then. So, we brought the celebration home for the fans. If you were at Friday’s game – and there was A LOT of you out here! – then you probably saw Reggie Sanders and Emil Brown suiting up in the No. 42 uniform to commemorate the occasion. Both jerseys are going to MLB to be put in an auction to raise money for the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Prior to the Royals game against Minnesota on Friday, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund – a supporter of the Royals Charities Baseball Equipment Drive – donated $5,000 to Della Lamb Youth Services.

SUNDAY:
A parade of children associated with the Dream Factory program took a lap around the warning track prior to the Royals final game against the Twins. It’s the 15th anniversary of the Royals partnership with Dream Factory in Kansas City. Dsc_5685_umpires_2Look for the first Dream Factory night to take place Wednesday, May 2.

Our umpires for the weekend series – Rob Drake, Laz Diaz, John Hirschbeck and Bill Welke – hosted some guests from the local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter as part of BLUE for Kids, Inc., a  program designed to manage the community outreach efforts of the participating MLB Umpires. The umps invited the children and mentors down onto the field prior to first pitch on Sunday.

No Sunday is complete without another great honorary lineup! This past Sunday’s ranked as one of the best we’ve had in a long time…just ask Reggie Sanders, who couldn’t stop smiling with his kid!Dsc_5838_reggie_close

MONDAY:
The 2007 Baseball Equipment Drive went off without a hitch on Monday! We are still waiting to get final numbers back on the goods, but it looks like the Royals Charities volunteers and Royals Wives collected a lot for Della Lamp Youth Services…

DON’T FORGET ON TUESDAY:
It’s T-Shirt Tuesday at the ballpark! If you are headed out to the game, get here early so you can pick up your Mark Teahen No. 24 jersey (first 20,000 fans).

Monday Lineups: Meche vs. Buehrle

Here’s the lineups for Monday’s game against the Chicago White Sox.

Things to note:
• David DeJesus is back in the lineup despite getting scratched (sore ankle) Sunday.
• Gil Meche takes the mound for his fifth start of the season.
• Mark Buehrle is making his first start since throwing a no-hitter against Texas last Wednesday.

For the Royals:
DeJesus – CF
Grudzielanek – 2B
Teahen – RF
Sweeney – DH
Brown – LF
German – 3B
Buck – C
Shealy – 1B
Pena – SS
Meche – P

For the White Sox:
Erstad – CF
Iguchi – 2B
Thome – DH
Konerko – 1B
Dye – RF
Pierzynski – C
Crede – 3B
Mackowiak – LF
Uribe – SS
Buehrle – P

Baseball Equipment Drive and Sunday Lineups

RcbedComing out to the ballpark on Monday to see the Royals face the Chicago White Sox for the first time this year?

Then, don’t forget…Monday is the Royals Charities Baseball Equipment Drive at Kauffman Stadium. Royals Charities volunteers and Royals Wives are collecting all your new and gently used baseball and softball equipment and – via a couple of DHL trucks! – delivering it to locally based Della Lamb Youth Services.

You can drop off your donations at either Gates A or B from 5-7 p.m. In return, you can walk away with a Baseball Tomorrow Fund magnet and scorecard, while supplies last.

Last season – with our partners at the Baseball Tomorrow Fund – we collected nearly 500 items. This year the goal is at least 600. Let’s fill those DHL trucks up, Royals fans!

SUNDAY’S GAME: Here’s the (updated!) lineups for today’s rubber match.

For the Royals:
No. 3      Esteban German (.265-0-3) – 2B
No. 11    Ross Gload (.250-0-4) – LF
No. 24    Mark Teahen (.250-2-6) – CF
No. 29    Mike Sweeney (.229-1-5) – DH
No. 7      Alex Gordon (.145-2.4) – 3B
No. 16    Reggie Sanders (.407-2-6) – RF
No. 14    John Buck (.429-3-4) – C
No. 43    Ryan Shealy (.098-1-4) – 1B
No. 1      Tony Pena Jr. (.197-0-4) – SS
No. 36    Jorge De La Rosa (1-1, 4.34 ERA) – P

For the Twins:
No. 25    Alexi Casilla – 2B
No. 8      Nick Punto – 3B
No. 7      Joe Mauer – C
No. 5      Michael Cuddyer – RF
No. 33    Justin Morneau – 1B
No. 48    Torii Hunter – CF
No. 55    Mike Redmond – DH
No. 11    Josh Rabe – LF
No. 18    Jason Bartlett – SS
No. 44    Ramon Ortiz – P

Lineups: Homestand Begins with Twins

We’re back home and we’re looking for wins.

Friday against the Minnesota Twins (10-5), the Royals (4-11) will look to build off their extra-inning win in Detroit on Wednesday. You’ll find the stats for the starters included in the lineup – (batting average – homers – RBI).

For the game, outfielders Reggie Sanders and Emil Brown will both suit up in No. 42 uniforms in honor of the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier.

For the Royals:

No. 9     David DeJesus (.339-3-7) – CF
No. 15   Mark Grudzielanek (.231-0-7) – 2B
No. 24   Mark Teahen (.200-1-4) – RF
No. 29   Mike Sweeney (.195-0-3) – DH
No. 11   Ross Gload (.296-0-2) – 1B
No. 42  Reggie Sanders (.391-1-5) – LF
No. 7     Alex Gordon (.125-1-2) – 3B
No. 14   John Buck (.440-3-4) – C
No. 1     Tony Pena Jr. (.189-0-4) – SS

No. 45   Odalis Perez  (0-2, 9.26 ERA) – P

For the Twins:
No. 25   Alexi Casilla – 2B
No. 8     Nick Punto – 3B
No. 7     Joe Mauer – C
No. 5     Michael Cuddyer – RF
No. 33   Justin Morneau – 1B
No. 48   Torii Hunter – CF
No. 55   Mike Redmond – DH
No. 12   Jason Tyner – LF
No. 18   Jason Bartlett – SS

No. 19   Sidney Ponson – P

An Afternoon with Frank White at The K

Frank White took advantage of the beautiful spring weather in Kansas City on Wednesday, suiting up and hitting the field while the Royals wrapped up their road trip with a 4-3 extra-inning victory over Detroit.

No, Frank wasn’t taking grounders or running the bases. Img_3206

He was actually doing a series of instructional segments – 10 in all – with a Metro Sports camera crew. The segments, which will be about a minute long, touched on bunting, hitting and, of course, fielding – he is an eight-time Gold Glove award winner, after all. He also taped a 10-minute interview with Royals Vice President-Community Affairs and Publicity Toby Cook on his new role as a Special Advisor with the organization. All the segments will be used throughout the season on the Royals “Blue Crew” and “Royals Insider” shows.

Frank then “hit the showers” – translation: went up to his office – for a couple of hours before coming back down to the field to greet some young ballplayers participating in the first high school game of the 2007 Frank White Classic. Due to a radio interview he did that ran a tad too long, he missed the pregame activities, but still had time to catch up with some of the players down in the dugout.

“I never had a chance to play on a Major League field like this when I was this young,” said Frank, who plans on attending as many of the games as possible. “I’m glad we can help provide this opportunity for these young ballplayers – what a great experience.”

With seven games on the schedule this spring, the Frank White Classic is a program that invites area high school teams to play a game at Kauffman Stadium. In order to have the honor of playing like a big leaguer for a day, each team must sell a required number of Royals ticket vouchers. Img_3207Not only do the high schools earn an opportunity to play on a Major League field, but the school also keeps a portion of the sale as a fundraiser for its baseball program. The game on Wednesday featured Winnetonka (Mo.) vs. Holden (Mo.).

After a couple innings, he headed back up to the Royals front offices to take care of some more business before catching a few more innings and then heading home. All in an afternoon’s work for a Royals Hall of Famer.

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