Game 2 – A Royal Event
Yes, tonight is a big one, with a sold out crowd and an intrastate showdown. But tonight is more than that. Tonight, we are honoring one of the best men in baseball. The Royals are inducting their 23rd member to the Hall of Fame, Art Stewart. Each time one of these events comes around, it’s always a special moment and tonight promises to follow that mold.
For more on the special night, let’s go around the horn…
Art Stewart is the Royals’ longest tenured associate. He’s been with the club for 39 years. Over 50 years of his life has been spent in baseball. Stewart currently holds the position of Senior Advisor to the General Manager, a post he’s held since 1997. Before that, Stewart served as Director of Scouting from 1984-96. He’s also helped in the organization of the baseball academy in the Dominican Republic and served as a scout in the Midwest for a number of years.
Stewart may not be the most visible person in the Royals organization to fans, but his work most certainly is visible. Over 70 players Stewart drafted or scouted reached the Majors, including Bo Jackson, Kevin Appier, Brian McRae, Mike Sweeney, Johnny Damon, Joe Randa and Carlos Beltran.
During Spring Training, the Royals dedicated three fields, naming them for the retired numbers in the organization, Dick Howser, George Brett and Frank White. At the same time, the Club dedicated the observation tower, naming it Stewart Tower.
If you’re curious who Stewart is, he can be seen at most Royals home games, sitting a few rows behind home plate holding a radar gun and jotting notes.
During a pre-game interview with the media earlier this week, manager Trey Hillman talked about ‘slug.’ Very simply, ‘slug’ is a lineups ability to hit the ball and hit it hard. The Royals are showing quite a bit of slug lately, with the most recent example being Alex Gordon’s 416-foot shot in the fifth last night. Gordon has hit five homers in his last 16 games.
Gordon’s recent surge can be attributed some to the protection Jose Guillen provides hitting right behind him in the lineup. Hitting in the three-hole, Gordon has seen better pitches to hit and taken advantage of it. Last season he ended with 15 homers. Last night he joined Guillen as the only double-digit Royals so far this season. But three more players are chomping at the bit to join them, with David DeJesus, Mark Teahen and Miguel Olivo all sitting at eight homers.
As a team, the Royals have gone 11-1 over their last 12, homering in all but three games, including going homerless in their lone loss…Of note: Hot hitting Billy Butler has been recalled from Omaha and Alberto Callaspo moved to the Disabled List. Butler was hitting .337 with six doubles, a triple, five homers and 13 RBI while with Omaha.
A few reminders of what to watch out for…
On Around the Horn: Tomorrow a complete recap of tonight’s festivities and a Touch ’em All interview with John Martin (no regular around the horn).
Monday: A recap of the “Eye”-70 Series, presented by Silverstein Eye Centers.
Later this week: A renovations update and more daily content.
On royals.com: The Royals Relay chat series will have another installment on Tuesday. Royals’ Senior Director of Scouting Deric Ladnier will be online at 3 p.m. CT to take question from fans.
On the field: The Royals finish up with the Cards tomorrow at 1:10 (tickets still available) and head out to Baltimore on Monday for a four game set. You can catch all four games on FSN-KC at 6:05 p.m. CT.
LF David DeJesus (l .317-8-41)
SS Mike Aviles (R .313-3-14)
3B Alex Gordon (L .266-10-39)
DH Jose Guillen (R .285-13-60)
2B Mark Grudzielanek (r .302-2-14)
RF Mark Teahen (L .256-8-26)
C Miguel Olivo (R .257-8-27)
1B Ross Gload (l .263-1-14)
CF Joey Gathright (L .245-0-14)
P Kyle Davies (3-0, 3.12)
Today’s Official Game Notes.