December 2007

ROYALS SIGN CATCHER MIGUEL OLIVO

Christmas might have passed, but General Manager Dayton Moore is still stuffing the Royals stocking with players…

From Media Relations: The Kansas City Royals have signed catcher Miguel Olivo to a one-year contract for 2008. The Royals and Olivo each hold options for the 2009 season. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Miguel is a talented catcher with a power bat and a very strong throwing arm,” Royals General Manager Dayton Moore said. “With him and John Buck, they form one of the most powerful catching duos in baseball.”

Olivo, 29, has served as the Florida Marlins primary catcher the past two seasons after spending four seasons with the White Sox (2002-04), Mariners (2004-05) and Padres (2005). Olivo hit .237 (107-for-452) with 20 doubles, four triples, 16 home runs and 60 RBI in 122 games with Florida in 2007 after hitting .263 (113-for-430) with 22 doubles, three triples, 16 home runs and 58 RBI in 2006. Defensively, he has thrown out 31.2 percent (45 of 144) of attempted base stealers the past two seasons, good for fourth-best in the National League.

The 6-foot, 220-pound Olivo is a career .239 hitter with 61 home runs and 224 RBI in 556 games. His 32 home runs over the past two seasons rank tied for sixth among catchers in baseball. Olivo’s .415 (22-for-53) average at Kauffman Stadium ranks second-best all-time among players with at least 50 at bats (Javy Lopez, .423).

Born in Villa Vasquez, Dominican Republic, Olivo now resides in Ceres, Calif., with his wife, Gloria, and their six children, Miguel Jr., Minaya, Alexandria, Sergio, Alazay and Erica. His second cousin once removed is current Royals shortstop Tony Pena, Jr. Olivo was originally signed by the Oakland A’s as a non-drafted free agent on Sept. 30, 1996.

A corresponding 40-man roster move will be announced at a later date.

Happy Holidays!

Just a quick note to say happy holidays from the Royals…

Like many of you, we are spending the next week with our loved ones, celebrating the holidays and ringing in a New Year. Our offices reopen Jan. 2 and then it’s back to preparing for the 2008 Royals Caravan, finalizing plans for FanFest, checking in on the renovations at Kauffman Stadium and counting down the days to Spring Training - pitchers and catchers report Feb. 13! – among other things. But, until then…stay warm and have a great holiday break!

FanFest Tickets

More news on the FanFest front: Tickets are on sale!

Click here to buy your 2008 Royals FanFest tickets.

Advanced online ticket prices:

  • $10 for adults
  • $5 for kids ages 6-18
  • Kids 5 and under are free

Please note that a single ticket will be valid for both days of the event and Royals 2008 season ticket holders will receive complimentary tickets to attend Royals FanFest. Also, we want you to know that all ticket proceeds for the 2008 Royals FanFest benefit Royals Charities.

Phone orders for tickets start after the New Year and you can always wait until the day of the event and buy your tickets at the door ($12 for adults/$7 for kids ages 6-18).

Also…if you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter the royals.com sweepstakes for an opportunity to personally meet Manager Trey Hillman at FanFest. The online sweepstakes ends Wednesday, Jan. 9.

Of course, keep checking royals.com/fanfest for all the latest updates on the big event…

Here Comes the New Scoreboard…

Dsc_0188_1 We heard a rumor earlier Monday that the steel beams for the new Crown Scoreboard had arrived…

Well, this afternoon, Ben Mertens – Coordinator of Game Entertainment – confirmed the rumor with some photos of the beams getting installed.

As the construction crews work to install the new state-of-the-art Crown videoboard, which will feature the largest replay system in Major League Baseball on one of the largest videoboards in the country, all in High-Definition, of course, we will try to capture the progress as best as we can. We’ll then plan on putting together another Crown Scoreboard photo gallery for you to check out on royals.com.

Dsc_0190 Until then, enjoy these two "starter" photos…and don’t forget to check out the renovation webcams, as well.

34…33…32

The only problem with updating this blog everyday is that sometimes the previous day’s post becomes, well, yesterday’s news in a flash. Make that 34 days ’til Royals FanFest. Or 33 or 32, depending on when you’re reading this over the weekend. We’ll update this Monday with more Royals news. By the way, only ten more shopping days ’til Christmas. Or 9 or 8 if you’re reading this…

FanFest Planning Picks Up

Only 35 days.Kc_ff_logo_12_07_crop_2

Yes, as of Thursday, we have just more than a month until the 2008 Royals FanFest. With that in mind, the planning for the two-day event has kicked into high gear and we have a few updates that we thought you might be interested in knowing…

TIMES SET:
Friday, Jan. 18 – 4-9 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 19 – 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

TICKETS:
Look for tickets for the event to go on sale soon…

FIRST ROUND OF PLAYERS SCHEDULED TO ATTEND:
Here is the first list of players that are scheduled to flash smiles and sign autographs:
Pitcher John Bale
Outfielder David DeJesus
Outfielder Mitch Maier
Pitcher Brian Bannister
Pitcher Brandon Duckworth
Pitcher Neal Musser
Pitcher Ryan Braun
Outfielder Joey Gathright
First Baseman Ryan Shealy
Catcher John Buck
Pitcher Luke Hochevar
Infielder Jason Smith
Pitcher Luke Hudson
Outfielder Mark Teahen
Outfielder Shane Costa
Pitcher Tyler Lumsden

And, of course, keep checking royals.com/fanfest for more updates as we get closer…

Royals Roster Move

From Media Relations:

KANSAS CITY, MO (Dec. 12, 2007) – The Kansas City Royals have announced that they will not tender a 2008 Major League contract to outfielder Emil Brown. With the announcement, the Royals 40-man Major League roster now stands at 39.

A Day with Trey

Royals Manager Trey Hillman told us he could handle a lot. So, while he was in Kansas City for a quick visit on Friday, we took him up on that challenge, packed his morning with events and loaded him up on coffee (and cough drops to fight a little cold). So, what’s it like to spend a day with the Royals new manager at a handful of community holiday events? Well, here we go…

D20_4210STOP 1: Salvation Army Radio-a-thon at George Brett’s on the Plaza
At 8 a.m., Trey found himself sitting next to morning radio show host D.A. from 610 Sports, swapping stories and sharing a little insight on what fans should expect from the Royals in 2008. The on-air appearance was part of the annual Salvation Army Radio-a-thon, which raises awareness for Salvation Army and the Red Kettle campaign. As Trey dished about transitioning from Japan to America, the new signings the Royals made at the just-completed Winter Meetings and the unveiling of the new Powder Blue jerseys, donations from radio listeners poured in and Salvation Army volunteers rang bells outside the door.

While D.A. fired off questions, Trey found himself sipping some tea, nursing a small cold that has developed from all the travel the new skipper has been doing. With that being said, after Trey chatted with Hall of Famer George Brett and said his goodbyes to the Salvation Army volunteers, we all hit a pharmacy down the street…D20_4199

STOP 2: Kansas City-area Pharmacy
Several bags of cough drops, Kleenex and…hair gel? Before going on camera for “KC Live” at the KSHB-TV Studios (our next stop), Trey had to put some finishing touches on his hair, which meant replenishing the hair gel supply that ran out the day before. Mission accomplished. Then, it was back in the car and off to the studios…

STOP 3: “KC Live” at KSHB-TV Studio
Walking up the sidewalk of the KSHB-TV Studios, we ran into someone that made us turn our heads…twice.

Victoria Jackson, formerly of Saturday Night Live, is in town for the weekend, performing at a local comedy club, and one of her stops today also happened to be at KSHB-TV. The SNL comedian, who went on “KC Live” right before Trey, felt she was running a little late and rushed inside in front of us. Once we all reached the studios, and while waiting for Ms. Jackson and Trey’s segments to begin, the pair chatted about Kansas City, comedy, Japan and baseball. Then, Victoria extended an invite to Trey and his wife to attend her show tonight…which, as a big fan of hers, he promptly accepted! D20_4332_10

For “KC Live,” Trey showed off his ring from the 2006 Japan Series, talked about the Powder Blue jersey event last night and shared his expectations for the 2008 season. Following the appearance, back in the car, he jumped on the phone to call his sister. The reason: letting her know he just met Victoria Jackson!

STOP 4: Starbucks Coffeehouse on the Plaza
Next stop was a much-needed one for those of us traveling with Trey this morning. It was Starbucks on the Plaza where Trey was stepping in as a Guest Barista to help raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network. Donning a green Starbucks’ apron over his Powder Blue jersey, Trey learned to whip up an espresso and shout out orders such as: Grande Java Chip Frappacino with a shot of espresso, topped with whipped cream., please.

Just so you know…Through Dec. 9, Kansas City-area Starbucks will donate 50 cents from the purchase of every Gingerbread Latte, Peppermint Mocha or Eggnog Latte sold. D20_4383_1Trey was one of 13 Guest Barista to don the apron and serve up the yummy Java blends during this past week of fundraising.

STOP 5: The Dream Factory Luncheon at Kauffman’s Stadium Club
Back in the car and re-energized from our Starbucks, we headed out to The K to attend The Dream Factory Luncheon.

The luncheon was held to recognize the volunteers and partners who make The Dream Factory visits with the Royals each season a success. It also was Trey’s first official introduction to the local chapter of The Dream Factory, and it was just as successful.

Leaving the luncheon, after meeting some of The Dream Factory kids and volunteers, Trey expressed a strong interest in being a part of The Dream Factory’s 21st season working with the Royals!

STOP 6: Team Photographer’s Local Studio
Back in the car…

With a Royals home jersey in hand, we then whisked Trey off to team photographer Chris Vleisides’ studio to get a quick headshot on file before the manager heads back home to Texas.

He smiled. He looked serious. He wore a white jersey. He wore a powder blue jersey. In the end, we think we got a good collection of photos to choose from to take us through Spring Training. Thanks, Chris V.!

STOP 7: Back to the Office
Mid-afternoon and it was time to head back to the offices, where Trey caught up with General Manager Dayton Moore for some quick shop talk before calling it a day.

Honestly, we are pretty sure with one more Starbucks coffee, Trey would have been ready to flash another smile and shake a whole new set of hands…we just weren’t sure we could have kept up with him!

Powder Blues Unveiled

D20_4008John Buck, with a little smirk, said they were "manly."

Mark Teahen cited the tradition and how important they were to the fans.

Alex Gordon…well, aside from the powder blue, he seemed pretty pleased to be sporting his old No. 4 again.

D20_4020 And, David DeJesus? Oh, he pretty much smiled for the few hundred season ticket holders in attendance Thursday night, and that seemed to say it all!

The four Royals players helped the club unveil the new alternate home jerseys for 2008, donning new powder blue jerseys during an exclusive event in The Grand Ballroom in downtown Kansas City.

As well as unveiling the jerseys, the team also introduced the season ticket holders to another new addition to the Royals: newly signed outfielder Jose Guillen. Guillen surprised the crowd with an appearance – in powder blue, of course – and received his first Kansas City standing ovation.D20_4095

If you haven’t already, check out this photo gallery from the unveiling and we’ll get more photos up on the event later today.

Webcams LIVE at The K

Missing Kauffman Stadium?
Curious on how the renovations are going?
Want to see what The K looks like covered in snow?

Well, you can now because the webcams are up and running at Kauffman Stadium. It took us a little while to get all the bugs worked out, but as of Thursday afternoon – just in time for Kansas City’s first snow fall of the year – fans can sneak a peek at all the construction out at The K.

To access the webcams, head to royals.com/renovations.

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