June 2007

All-Star Game: Vote Online

Only one week left of All-Star voting…have you done your part as a Royals fan?

Voting at Kauffman Stadium has ended, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t vote online at royals.com. Go to the All-Star ballot and cast your votes to help get Royals John Buck or Mark Teahen to San Francisco. Every little vote counts and – keep in mind – fans can vote up to 25 times with each email address. Who do you think should represent Kansas City this season?

In related ASG new…Wichita right-hander Luke Hochevar has been invited to participate in the All-Star Futures Game, which matches a team of U.S.-born players against a roster of players from around the world. The game is July 8 in San Fran. If Hochevar attends he has some pretty big organizational shoes to fill. The Royals have had the past two Futures Games MVPs with first baseman Justin Huber taking the prize in 2005 and Billy Butler earning the honors last year in Pittsburgh.

Elarton on D.L.; Thomson signed

Probably no huge surprise since it was talked about a few days ago, but the Royals have officially placed Scott Elarton on the 15-day D.L. (retro to June 20) with a right foot sprain. Taking his place on the roster…right-hander John Thomson, who the Royals signed to a one-year Major League contract today. Thomson will join the team tonight in Milwaukee. He hasn’t been named a starter.

Here’s the background on Thomson: He’s 33 and a nine-year Major League veteran, compiling a 62-84 record and a 4.69 ERA in 214 career games, including 210 starts. After originally being selected by Colorado in the seventh round of the 1993 draft, he pitched for the Rockies (1997-2002), Mets (2002), Rangers (2003) and – get ready for this! – the Braves (2004-2006). His best season came in 2004 with Atlanta, when he went 14-8 with a 3.72 ERA in 33 starts, helping the Braves to the playoffs. His only season in the American League came in 2003 with Texas, when he tied for second in the league in starts (35), finished seventh in innings (217.0) and tied for seventh with three complete games.

Thomson began this season in the Toronto Blue Jays organization on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder injury. He has made nine starts with Class A Dunedin and Triple-A Syracuse before being released on June 18. In those nine starts, he was 3-4 with a 4.47 ERA, striking out 41 and walking 16 in 50.1 innings. He made his final start for Syracuse on June 16, lasting five innings in a loss.

What do you think? Will he fit well into the Royals rotation?

Don’t forget…Royals vs. Brewers tonight, 7:05 p.m., catch it on 810 WHB or RSTN.

Hochevar Part of Baseball History

Last night, the Royals top pitching prospect made history.

Starting for Double-A Wichita Tuesday night in Tulsa, Luke Hochevar, the Royals top pick in 2006, faced Greg Reynolds, who was selected second overall by Colorado last year. It marked the first time in professional baseball history that the top two picks from the same draft started against each other in a game. And, it appears the moment was worth the wait.

Hochevar allowed an unearned run on five hits in seven innings. He struck out five and did not issue a walk. Reynolds didn’t allow any runs on two hits over five innings. He struck out one batter, while walking only one as well. Neither are getting the win since the game was suspended due to lightning after 11 innings tied, 1-1. Talk about historical drama. The game is scheduled to be completed at 12:05 p.m. today.

Reynolds, who entered the game 4-1 with a 1.58 ERA in seven games, left after five innings because he was on a limited pitch count in his return from right-shoulder inflammation. He threw 48 pitches. Hochevar carried a 3-6 record and a 5.05 ERA into the contest.

According to research done by Minor League Baseball, the only other time in the draft, which has been around since 1965, that pitchers were taken with the top two picks was in 1976 when Houston drafted Floyd Bannister (dad of Royals starter Brian Bannister) and Detroit followed by picking Pat Underwood. The two never faced each other in the Minors and didn’t start against each other in the Majors. They did meet twice, in 1979 and 1982, with Bannister starting and Underwood pitching in relief.

Sweeney Goes on D.L.; Butler Recalled

Just in…

Today, we placed Mike Sweeney on the 15-day disabled list with right knee inflammation and, to fill his place on the roster, Billy Butler has been recalled from Triple-A Omaha and will be in uniform for tonight’s game in St. Louis.

Unfortunately, Butler, who has been up here already for a short stint, might not see much action since we are playing in National League ballparks this week. However, if Shealy needs a rest, Butler will be there to man first base and he’ll be a nice bat to have off the bench in a pinch-hit situation.

Sporting the Blue for Prostate Cancer Awareness

Teahen_dsc_4792_2The Boys in Blue donned some extra “light” blue gear and paint for Sunday’s Father’s Day matinee, which ended happily as the Royals defeated the Marlins, 5-4.

The light blue ribbons, wristbands, headbands, etc., were all to raise awareness for prostate cancer, which affects one in six men according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Every Father’s Day, all of Major League Baseball encourages the players to sport the light blue apparel and accessories, along with collecting items from the Father’s Day games to be sold in an online auction at mlb.com. The Royals also held their own silent auction prior to the game Friday night – also a Royals victory! – to benefit prostate cancer research. Check out some more shots of our guys showing their support for the cause…Sweeney_dsc_4920_1Pena_luis_dsc_5666_2

In Jeff Flanagan’s column that ran in the KC Star prior to Sunday’s game, TPJ was quoted saying that he will be giving his dad and former Royals manager, Tony Pena, Sr., the following for Father’s Day: "Two hits and a phone call." Pena_dsc_5344

Looks like Tony is a good son that comes through on his promises (check out the box score!). He even threw in a little extra present for dear ‘ol dad: scoring the winning run!

Royals in St. Louis tonight for Game 4, of the I-70 Series, 7:10 p.m. start. Last year, we took two of three from the Redbirds on their home grass…tune into RSTN or 810 WHB to see if we can get the job done this season.

Kansas City Father of the Year Finalist

More than 5,000 students submitted essays entitled “What My Father Means to Me” through the National Center for Fathering’s "Royals Father of the Year" contest. On Sunday, as the Royals faced the Marlins in the homestand finale, the winning authors and their fathers were out at Kauffman Stadium to catch some baseball and celebrate the honor. In addition, overall winner Mark Hoduski (pictured here with Reggie Sanders)D20_6974 tossed out a first pitch AND received one of Kauffman Stadium’s greatest honors as Sunday’s recipient of the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat program.

Bios for each of the winning fathers are below, courtesy of the National Center for Fathering. Congrats to Mark and all the dads…and Happy Father’s Day!

OVERALL WINNER: Mark Hoduski – Describing his relationship with his kids, Mark explains that he likes to believe he nurtures an effective father-child relationship as well as providing security, discipline and stepping in as a role model of a good husband, worker and citizen. As a young father, Mark purposefully studied the behaviors he observed when watching families who raised kind, polite and thoughtful children. “My best advice to new fathers who want to improve their fathering skills is to observe successful fathers and ask lots of questions,” Mark shares. Tess, Mark’s 10th grade daughter, characterizes him in one word: passionate. “I only hope that maybe some day some of it will rub off on me,” she adds. It appears that Tess has been observing her father.

Rodney L. Alexander – Austin, Rodney’s second grade son, portrays his dad as his teacher, his entertainer and as a good man who leads by example. Rodney believes one of the hardest things in fathering has been to help his children understand that circumstances and people are not always perfect. Developing an attitude that can overcome disappointments and rocky circumstances will help his children keep a healthy perspective on life. Rodney admits there is not anything he would not do for his kids.  It’s obvious that Austin appreciates this about his dad; Austin concludes his essay about his dad by saying, “I want to be just like him.”

Kevin Bergenhofer – As a father of three, Kevin strives to be young at heart and see life though the eyes of his children. His underlying goal is to raise his family in the godliest way possible. He values his children as his legacy, and admonishes young fathers to live every moment like it could be the last they may have with them. Brady, Kevin’s eighth grade son says, “My father loves me and all my family with all his heart.” Kevin adds that he hopes to be Brady’s best friend forever. D20_6969

Paul Lively – Hannah, Paul’s first grade daughter, depicts her dad in a series of behaviors which when collected and arranged form a collage that tells the story of a dad who loves, shows, teaches, dances, meets, helps, reads, listens, and plays with his children. When it comes to discipline, Paul realizes the difference between childish irresponsibility and active defiance. He encourages parents to be consistent, setting boundaries and sticking to them. He further advises parents to ask for forgiveness when necessary and admit mistakes. Hannah sums her dad up by stating, “He is the best dad I could ever have.”

Jeff Rohr – Jeff’s parenting style has been influenced by a quote he heard a long time ago: “Kids spell love T. . .I. . .M. . .E.” Whether he is providing a warm hug after a scraped knee, laughing at joke for the 10th time, or reprimanding a child for an inappropriate behavior, Jeff realizes that it is a tough balance. “Like all fathers,” Jeff writes, “I want the best for my kids and sometimes, that means saying no.” Jeff also credits his wife for modeling an attitude that he feels is key to being a good parent. “There are days where she has a list of thing she wants to complete, but if one of the kids asks her to stop and play a game or watch a movie, she drops what she’s doing and spends the time with them.” Jeff and his wife both feel that Madison, their fifth grade daughter is wise beyond her years; they are proud of her as they see her developing into a great role model for her younger brother and sister.

Lineups: Happy Father's Day!

Right now, there doesn’t seem to be any better condition to catch a ballgame at Kauffman Stadium this afternoon and celebrate Father’s Day! The weather is beautiful – for (what seems like) a first on Sunday’s at home this year! The first 10,000 dads – or grown men who look dad-like! – will receive a Royals Father’s Day Travel Bag. The Sprint Fun Run around the bases after the game is a sure-fire treat for all ages. And, the Royals have already secured a winning record, 5-3, for the homestand – their first winning homestand of 2007.

Today’s series finale against the Marlins marks the third straight rubber game on this nine-game homestand and the third opportunity for the Royals to walk away with a winning series. Brian Bannister (3-3, 2.91 ERA) takes the mound for the Royals, while southpaw Scott Olsen (5-5, 4.81 ERA) steps in for the Marlins. Here are the lineups…

For the Royals:
DeJesus – CF
German – 2B
Teahen – RF
Sweeney – DH
Brown – LF
Gordon – 3B
Shealy – 1B
LaRue – C
Pena – SS 
Bannister – P

For the Marlins:
Amezaga – SS
Uggla – 2B
Ramirez – DH
Cabrera – 3B
Willingham – LF
Hermida – RF
Olivo – C
Boone – 1B
Carroll – CF
Olsen – P

Lineups: DLR vs. Vanden Hurk

The middle game of the Royals weekend set with Florida falls on Military Appreciation Day at the K. Come out to the ballpark early for the special pre-game show and to check out all the military vehicles stationed in the parking lots.

Tonight – 6:10 p.m. start – Kansas City turns to Jorge De La Rosa (4-6, 4.73 ERA) while the Marlins look to rookie right-hander Henricus “Rick” Vanden Hurk (1-2, 8.61). We’ve dropped the middle game in each of our three Interleague series this season, will we break the pattern tonight? Here are your lineups…

For the Royals:
DeJesus – CF
Cortez – 2B
Teahen – RF
Sweeney – DH
Gordon – 3B
Shealy – 1B
Buck – C
Pena – SS 
Gathright – LF
De La Rosa – P

For the Marlins:
Amezaga – CF
Uggla – 2B
Ramirez – SS
Cabrera – DH
Willingham – LF
Hermida – RF
Olivo – C
Boone – 3B
Wood – 1B
Vanden Hurk – P

Lineups: Fish Flop into KC

Interleague play continues for the Royals – who are 6-3 against the N.L. this season – with the Florida Marlins in town for a three-game weekend set. Florida and Kansas City have only faced each other once before with a three-game set in Kansas City in 2002. The Marlins took two of the games. But, tonight, the Royals turn to Gil Meche (3-6, 3.16 ERA). Meche is 0-3 in his last three starts…is he due for a win? It seems like a Meche start means the Royals bats get a little cold, but how cold can they possibly be following their 17-run, 15-hit performance against St. Louis last night?

Here are your lineups.

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

For the Marlins:
Amezaga – CF
Uggla – 2B
Ramirez – SS
Cabrera – 3B
Willingham – DH
Hermida – RF
Olivo – C
Boone – 1B
Borchard – LF
Mitre – P

Friday's Prostate Cancer Foundation Silent Auction

If you are coming out to the ballpark tonight – Royals vs. Florida Marlins, 7:10 start – don’t forget your $1 bills, obviously, because it’s a Dodge Buck Night…but, also, don’t forget your check books. The Royals are hosting a Prostate Cancer Foundation Silent Auction from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at tonight’s game, on the main concourse. Proceeds from the sale of the items will go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Royals Charities.

Here’s a list of some of the items available for bidding:
Mike Sweeney autographed jersey
Sweeny autographed baseball
Aaron Boone autographed baseball
Corey Koskie autographed baseball
Geoff Jenkins autographed baseball
Derrek Lee autographed baseball
Scott Rolen autographed baseball
Josh Willingham autographed baseball
Paul Konerko autographed baseball
David DeJesus autographed photo
Gil Meche autographed photo
John Buck autographed photo
Zack Greinke game-worn jersey
Mark Grudzielanek autographed jersey
Mark Gubicza signed Royals GameDay magazine
Joey Gathright game-used autographed broken bat
Mark Teahen autographed bat
Alex Gordon autographed bat
MORE….
Third base – May 1, 2007, Royals vs. Angels – Billy Butler’s M.L. debut
Joe Randa autographed Royals GameDay magazine
Derek Jeter autographed Royals GameDay magazine
Jermaine Dye autographed baseball – 2005 World Series MVP
Jeff Suppan autographed baseball
2007 Ceremonial Home Plate – Jackie Robinson Day, April 20, 2007

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