Bringing the Rain
John Buck and Mike Aviles provided a little pop to seal the win late yesterday as the Royals return home after 3-5 trip. Tonight starts a six-game homestand at Kauffman, as we welcome the White Sox to town for the first time this season. The Mariners will also make their first visit this weekend before the team takes a break and Joakim Soria leaves for New York (Jose Guillen can join him, if you help).
It poured for a little while today, flooding both bullpens and making the field nice and soggy. But the grounds crew is still working on it and we expect to play baseball. To break down the week that was and will be, let’s go Around the Horn…
Happy birthday John Buck. Buck should turn 28 everyday, with his three-run game winner in the 10th yesterday. Mike Aviles added some insurance directly after Buck and the Royals captured a three-run victory.
Buck also got to hang out with some of our troops before the game. The U.S. Military All-Stars were invited by the Rays to take batting practice at Tropicana Stadium. When the Boys in Blue saw them, they started chatting and some, like Buck and manager Trey Hillman became the Boys in Camo.
First Base Coach Rusty Kuntz chatting with some of the USMAS team.
Joakim Soria is the Royals All-Star representative. But with Major League Baseball’s Final Vote, you can help Jose Guillen make his first All-Star appearance while representing Kansas City in the Big Apple.
Each league has five candidates up for the 32nd spot on the All-Star squad and fans have until Thursday afternoon to vote. There are two ways for fans to vote in the 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote — online now at MLB.com, or on-the-go from their cell phones. Fans also can text the word “VOTE” to 36197 to have the All-Star Final Vote candidates sent to your phone. To vote for a specific player, simply reply with your choice. In Canada, fans should text the word “VOTE” to 88555. Standard rate text messaging rates apply — please check with your mobile carrier for details.
Guillen is also up for the June Clutch Performer of the Month presented by Pepsi. Mike Aviles is also up for the June MLB Rookie of the Month presented by Gillette.
Mark Grudzielanek is five hits shy of 2,000 which he should be able to accomplish this week, although he’s not in the lineup tonight. He has a .371 home batting average (3rd best in the American League) and has a .313 overall batting average (which is in the top 10 in the A.L.)…Mike Aviles broke out of a slump to go 3-for-5 yesterday, with his fourth homer of the season and 11th multi-hit game in only 30 career games…Notes from Trey Hillman’s pre-game press conference: Yesterday’s dramatic win takes some of the sting out of the road trip, after splitting with Baltimore and running into a the Rays who boast baseball’s best record…On Joakim Soria: He was excited about his All-Star recognition and applauded by his teammates; Hillman said he’s done some miraculous things in his short career and deserves the honor…Also of note: Mark Grudzielanek is still a little sore and his body needs another day so he will sit tonight which might prove to be an even better move depending on the field conditions after today’s downpour.
Remember this weekend is the “Hats off Weekend” with a hat giveaway each game. Also the Royals will be donating part of the ticket sales to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
Friday night is the Royals cowboy hat giveaway sponsored by at&t and donations will go to the Red Cross. Saturday, it wouldn’t be Christmas in July without Santa hats sponsored by MLB 2K8 and ticket proceeds going to the Salvation Army. During both of these nights, Infield View Level tickets will be on sale for $12 with $5 going to that night’s selected organization to help with the severe weather relief efforts going on in the Midwest.
Finally Sunday is the “New. Blue. Tradition.” Royals visor. All giveaways are limited, so make sure we see you out at the K early.
Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.