July 2007

Around The K

Packed_house_724Packed house last night – our second sellout of the year! The reported number in attendance was 38,212 to watch Game 2 of the Royals-Yankees series. Our team photographer Chris Vleisides snapped this photo from the upper deck…good wallpaper for your desktop, right?

Kids_brett_shirt_1Pining for Brett: Did you get your powder blue George Brett Pine Tar T-Shirt last night? They went quickly as many fans shuffled into the stadium right as the gates opened. The shirts, which had black tar-like splotches on them, were a shout out to the 24th anniversary of the "Pine Tar Homer" between the Royals and Yankees. 

Back_brett_shirtREMINDER – Thursday’s Royals Charities Silent Auction: There’s no better time than now to stock up on your favorite Royals memorabilia…and give back to the community in the process. This Thursday – July 26 – Royals Charities, the charitable arm of the club, is hosting a silent auction featuring a lot of great Royals autographed items. The auction tables will be set up inside the Girls’ Night Happy Hour area from 5:30-7:30 p.m. – but you don’t have to be a female to check it out and place a bid! Here’s a quick list of some of the items that will be available for bids Thursday evening:

Kauffman Stadium Crown Seats
Autographed Photos:
-Reggie Sanders Action Shot
-Royals Gold Glove Winners: Frank White and Mark Grudzielanek
Autographed Jerseys from:
-David DeJesus
-Jimmy Gobble
-Zack Greinke
-Gil Meche
-Mark Teahen
-Alex Gordon
Autographed Baseballs from:
-Billy Butler
-Brian Bannister
-Buddy Bell
-Octavio Dotel
-Tony Pena, Jr.
-Reggie Sanders
Autographed Bats from:
-Mark Grudzielanek
-Ryan Shealy
-Alex Gordon
-John Buck
-Mark Teahen
-Mike Sweeney

Stretch to “Kansas City”: Well, the fans spoke and voted, making Wilbert Harrison’s “Kansas City” the Kauffman Stadium Seventh Inning Stretch Song. You’ve heard it the past two nights following the traditional “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” and you can expect it during every seventh-inning stretch during the second-half of the 2007 season. Thanks for voting! Hotdogs_1

Media Hot Dog Races: Usually the Kauffman Stadium Hot Dog Derby goes LIVE for just Friday home games; however, for the past two nights, we’ve kicked it up a notch, with LIVE racers from some local media outlets. Monday night’s race featured an all Sports Radio 810 WHB – our flagship station – crew with InterviewThe Border Patrol co-host/Royals reporter Nate “Mustard” Bukaty (Check out the photo from his post-derby interview). On Tuesday, Mick “Ketchup” Shaffer from Metro Sports took home the prize. Look for LIVE hot dog races tonight, Thursday and Friday!

Salute to Denny Matthews

Just to keep you in the loop…some big things you won’t want to miss going on Tuesday with the Royals when we salute the Voice of the Royals!

8 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Royals fans donate at area Community Blood Centers for the 15th Annual Royals Hall of Fame Blood Drive. The drive is going on all week at several locations in Missouri and Kansas. Check out more details here. Sports Radio 810 WHB will be broadcasting live throughout the day!

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: At the Community Blood Center on 4040 Main Street in Kansas City, Mo., registered donors can take advantage of a free tailgate lunch. You’ll also receive a pair of tickets to an upcoming Royals game and a commemorative T-shirt!

0724Noon to 1 p.m.: Sluggerrr drops in on the 4040 Main St. blood center location and free tailgate. Bring the kids by at that time!

2:30-3:30 p.m.: Denny Matthews, the 2007 Ford C. Frick Award winner, stops by the 4040 Main Street location to greet blood donors.

5:30 p.m.: Gates open at Kauffman Stadium and it’s powder-blue T-shirt mania! The first 20,000 fans will receive this George Brett Pine Tar T-shirt AND a Denny Matthews Hall of Fame button. 0724_button

Royals-Yankees Pre-game Ceremony (6:40 p.m.): Get ready for the Denny Matthews Hall of Fame Send Off! Denny goes live from the field and throws out the first pitch before the Royals face the Yankees at 7:10 p.m.

Tickets are still available…get out here early. We had a big walk-up for Monday night’s game and avoiding ticket lines is always recommended!

Lineups: Yankees in Town

There’s been constant action outside Kauffman Stadium today with the ticket windows filling orders the entire time. Royals (43-54) are back in town and host the New York Yankees (51-46) tonight, 7:10 p.m. game. In case you haven’t bought your tickets, they are still available for each of the four games with New York…and this weekend against Texas.

Odalis Perez (5-8, 5.84 ERA) takes the mound for us, while Roger Clemens (2-4, 3.88 ERA) throws for New York. Here are your lineups.

For the Royals:
DeJesus – CF
Grudzielanek – 2B
Teahen – RF
Butler – DH
Gload – 1B
Gordon – 3B
Brown – LF
Buck – C
Pena – SS
Perez – P

For the Yankees:
Damon – CF
Cabrera – RF
Jeter – SS
Rodriguez – 3B
Matsui – LF
Posada – C
Cano – 2B
Phillips – 1B
Duncan – DH
Clemens – P

2007 Royals Hall of Fame Blood Drive

We all know you bleed Royal Blue and next week we are asking you to prove it!

Join the Royals for the 2007 Royals Hall of Fame Blood Drive, July 23-27, at the Community Blood Centers in Kansas City, St. Joseph, Jefferson City, Lawrence and Topeka. Click here for location addresses or visit savealifenow.org to schedule an appointment to donate.

Held each summer while blood donations are particularly low, this year’s week-long drive is especially important to the Royals as we celebrate Denny Matthews’ honor as the 2007 Ford C. Frick award winner during the National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.  Denny leaves next week for Cooperstown, N.Y. – where he’ll receive his honor as one of the best baseball broadcasters in the Majors – but before he takes off, he’s heading down to the Community Blood Center on 4040 Main Street on Tuesday, July 24 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. to chat with donors about the award, the Royals and donating blood. Sports Radio 810 WHB will be broadcasting live throughout the day, while mascot Sluggerrr will drop in at noon. Donors can take part in a free tailgate lunch will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will also get two free tickets to an upcoming Royals game and a free T-shirt (while supplies last). Also, you’ll get a chance to register to win a chance to sit with Denny in the radio booth during a Royals game.

So…join us and Denny next Tuesday – or stop in sometime during the week – at the Community Blood Center and give a little of your True Blue passion back to the community!

Royals-Yankees Tickets Selling Fast

We had a homestand meeting this afternoon – something we do every week before the team gets back into town – to go over all the promotions, events, etc., that will be at the ballpark next week. Bottom line: there is a lot going on this next homestand, which you can get all the details from in this release. Now, something you won’t see in the release but might care to know: tickets for the Yankees games are selling out fast.

The ticket office informed us that the lower seating bowl for the Monday, Tuesday and Thursday Royals-Yankees games are already sold out and that Wednesday’s is close. There are still tickets to each game available, but they seem to be going fast. Just wanted to give you a heads up in case you haven’t bought your Royals-Yankees tickets. And, please remember, standing in the ticket line on game day is easily avoidable – buy your tickets in advance at royals.com, by calling (816) 504-4040 or at the Kauffman Stadium ticket windows.

More Pitching Changes in the Roster

Just in from Media Relations: The Royals have recalled right-handed pitcher Ryan Braun from Omaha and optioned last night’s starter Leo Nunez – who allowed just one run and struck out three in 4.0 innings in the Royals 9-3 win – to Omaha. Braun will be in uniform for tonight’s game in Boston.

Some background on the right-hander…This is Braun’s third stint with the team this season. He made the Opening Day roster out of Spring Training and pitched in seven games before being sent down to Omaha on May 1. He was recalled May 26, made three relief appearances and then made another trip back to the O-Royals on June 7. At the M.L. level this season, he’s posted a 7.24 ERA (13.2 IP, 10 H, 11 ER) with nine walks and nine strikeouts. With Omaha, however, he’s got a 2-2 mark with a 1.26 ERA (28.2 IP, 14 H, 4 ER) in 21 games. Braun has seven saves for the Triple-A club, walked 11 batters and struck out 28 to limit his opponents to a .177 average.

First pitch is at 6:05 p.m. (CT) on RSTN and Sports Radio 810 WHB. Odalis takes the mound for the Royals against Boston’s Julian Tavarez.

Nunez Makes His First M.L. Start

The Royals hand the ball to Leo Nunez tonight against Boston, giving the young right-hander not only his first big league action this season, but also his first career Major League start.

Last season, Nunez, 23, had four stints with the Royals but racked up just seven appearances – and a 4.73 ERA (13.1 IP, 7 ER) – out of the bullpen. In two seasons with the Royals, Nunez has tossed in 48 games and holds a 6.99 career ERA (67.0 IP, 52 ER). A Spring Training ball to the wrist put him on the D.L. to start this season and he has been recovering/rehabbing since. With Double-A Wichita, the righty made five starts, going 1-0 with a 0.54 ERA (16.2 IP, 7 H, 1 ER). He struck out 10 and walked five, limiting opponents to a .132 average against him. Nunez then trekked North and made three starts with Omaha, posting a 1-1 mark with a 2.25 ERA (16.0 IP, 12 H, 4 ER). He had 14 strikeouts and walked only two. His last pitching appearance was this past Thursday when he tossed two innings of scoreless relief for the O-Royals against the I-Cubs.

Nunez is replacing the injured John Thomson in the starting rotation and becomes the 10th starting pitcher we’ve used this season.

Tonight, first pitch is 6:05 p.m. on RSTN or Sports Radio 810 WHB.

Royals Roster Moves

We just officially announced the following: The Kansas City Royals today activated outfielder Reggie Sanders from the 60-day disabled list and optioned outfielder Joey Gathright to Omaha (AAA). To create room on the 40-man roster, the Royals designated left-handed pitcher Sean Thompson for assignment. Sanders has been sidelined since tearing his left hamstring on May 2 in a game against the Angels in Kansas City. He was hitting .367 (18-for-49) with six runs scored, six doubles, two home runs and eight RBI in 16 games prior to suffering the injury.

Gathright, who was recalled from Omaha on June 6, hit .315 (23-for-73) with 13 runs scored, four doubles and nine RBI in 25 games. Thompson never saw action for the Royals, who claimed him off waivers from San Diego on July 3.

And, because maybe your weekend was as busy as ours, here is a recap of the Royals recent roster moves…

Friday, July 13: Royals acquired RHP Roman Colon from the Detroit Tigers for a player to be named on or before October 15. To make room for Colon, who was acquired while on the 15-day D.L., on the 40-man roster, the Royals transferred outfielder Reggie Sanders from the 15 to 60-day D.L. (which, obviously, he is no longer on).

Saturday, July 14: Royals activated LHP John Bale from the disabled list, where he has been all season, before Saturday’s game. To make room for Bale, Neal Musser was sent back to Omaha and newly acquired Colon jumped from the 15-day to the 60-day D.L. Bale made his Royals debut Sunday, tossing two scoreless innings. He allowed three hits, struck out two and did not issue a walk in the Royals 5-3 loss to Cleveland.

Sunday, July 15: This isn’t a roster move, but starter Jorge De La Rosa left yesterday’s start in the fourth inning with a bruised thumb. All reports indicate that DLR will be able to make his next start…which is good since Tuesday’s scheduled starter John Thomson will probably not be making his start because of some back issues at the moment, which brings us to Monday…

Monday, July 16: **** Kaegel at royals.com is reporting some musings around Fenway Park’s visiting clubhouse. No official word on anything yet, but looks like RHP Leo Nunez is in Boston…maybe to be our Tuesday starter? And, although he doesn’t appear to be up here long, Musser is also in Boston, recalled to replace Thomson on the roster for Monday night’s game. Kaegel is reporting that manager Buddy Bell has stated Musser will depart for Omaha again Tuesday when Nunez is activated to start. But, no official word yet…

And…don’t forget: Royals vs. Boston on RSTN and Sports Radio 810 WHB, 6:05 p.m. start.

Kauffman Stadium Visitors

Royals_hitch_2_5 Is it true that there is only one Royals hitch cover in the entire state of Mississippi? That’s what Royals fan Mike Moddrell is claiming. The Miss_kansas_2Lawrence, Kan., native now lives in Gautier, Miss., and – after attending a recent Royals game at Kauffman Stadium – sent us this picture of the hitch cover on his truck with this bold statement: “The only one like it in the state of Mississippi – I promise you!” Are there any other Royals fans down South who can challenge Mike on that?

  Mike is just one of a handful of interesting visitors we’ve had out at The K lately. During the last homestand, we had the reigning Miss Kansas USA Cara Renee Gorges (pronounced Gorgeous – no joke) throwing out a first pitch as well as a group of middle school students from Condordia Middle School in Chia Yi, Taiwan, attending their first Major League Baseball game. The students were part of a Taiwanese educational program that brings a group of students to the United States each summer. They live with host families in the Midwest and take in as much of the Midwest lifestyle as possible – which obviously means attending a Royals baseball game! Taiwan_4

Claim Jason Smith; Hochevar to Omaha

Some roster changes in the Majors and Minors for the Royals today.

Straight from the Media Relations department: The Royals claimed infielder Jason Smith off of waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Smith will suit up and be with the team in Cleveland on Friday. To make room for Smith, Cortez was DFA.

Smith, 29, is a .228 hitter in 195 Major League games. He was originally selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 23rd round of the 1996 June Free Agent Draft. Smith has played in the Cubs, Devil Rays, Tigers, Rockies, Blue Jays, and Diamondbacks organizations. He was Toronto’s Rule 5 pick in 2006, and opened this season with the Blue Jays, batting .212 with four RBI in 27 games. The Blue Jays then designated Smith for assignment on May 14, where he was claimed by the Diamondbacks. He appeared in just two games with the D-backs before going on the D.L. with a burst appendix (ouch). In his most recent rehab assignment, Smith batted a combined .333 with four home runs and 15 RBI with Class AAA Tucson and Class A Visalia. Throughout his career, he’s been all over the infield: 59 games at second base, 50 at short, 39 at third base and seven at first.

In other news…we also just announced that Luke Hochevar, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 June Free Agent Draft, is heading to Triple-A Omaha from Class AA Wichita. Sounds like he is scheduled to make his Omaha debut on Sunday against the Iowa Cubs (check out the first game of the series tomorrow on RSTN). Hochevar appeared in 17 games this season at Wichita, compiling a 3-6 record with a 4.69 ERA. He currently leads the Texas League with 94 strikeouts. Hochevar started for the North squad at the 2007 Texas League All-Star Game and recently pitched one scoreless inning for the U.S. team in the 2007 All-Star Futures Game in San Fran.

Thoughts on the J. Smith pick up? Backup for Grud…Pena…Gordon…Gload/Shealy/Butler? And, this obviously puts Hochevar just one step away from the big leagues…do we see him pitching at the Major League level this year?

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