New Royals Rick Ankiel and Chris Getz will be featured on tonight’s Hot Stove Report from 6 to 7 p.m. Denny Matthews and Bob Davis will be the hosts. Listen on 610 Sports in K.C. or live on royals.com: http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/kc/fan_forum/hotstove.jsp
MLB.com and ESPN.com both published rankings yesterday that touted the Royals’ farm system. MLB.com ranked the Top 50 Prospects throughout baseball. Third baseman Mike Moustakas (pictured at left), catcher Wil Myers, right-handed pitcher Aaron Crow and lefty Mike Montgomery all cracked the Top 50. Kansas City was one of just three clubs with four prospects on the list (Tampa Bay and Texas were the others.) If you do the math…50 prospects, 30 teams, that’s an average of 1.67 prospects per organization and the Royals have four! Nine teams had one prospect on the list and four teams were not represented. For more information on this list, read Dick Kaegel’s column at royals.com.
ESPN’s Keith Law came out with his annual ranking of farm systems from 1 to 30. He pegged Kansas City at number 9 on this year’s list. Law compliments the Royals on their “sheer number of arms” and states that the Royals “could easily be a top-five system in a year.”
The Royals have announced their 2010 regular season schedule with times. The 2010 schedule opens with a 3:10 p.m. CT game on Monday, April 5 against the Detroit Tigers. The Royals also announced that single-game ticket prices will remain unchanged in 2010. The on-sale date for single games will be announced at a later date.
Kansas City’s home schedule includes 58 night games and 23 daytime contests. Kansas City will also play a 3:10 p.m. contest on Saturday, May 22 when they host Colorado. Kansas City’s lone holiday home game will be a 1:10 p.m. matinee on Memorial Day (May 31) against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Royals will also host the St. Louis Cardinals in a special 1:10 p.m. start time on Saturday, June 26. The Royals host weekday 1:10 p.m. matinees on April 8, April 28, May 13, May 26, June 3, July 21 and July 28.
Standard start times for all other contests at Kauffman Stadium in 2010 are:
Monday through Friday: 7:10 p.m.
Saturday: 6:10 p.m.
Sunday: 1:10 p.m.
The Royals have season tickets packages available for any budget, including the “Buy 2, Get 2 Free” Plan and the 9-Game Plan starting as low as $99. Season ticket packages offer savings over single-game prices. Full Season, Half Season and 21-Game season ticket plans include the home opener and a limited number of home opener tickets remain available for those that secure a 9-Game Plan. Season tickets are currently available on the team website, www.royals.com, and by calling 816-504-4040, option 2.
A powder blue jersey and hat awaited Rick Ankiel at his introductory press conference. He was equally ready for the occasion, with a blue shirt and tie to go with his navy suit. Ankiel was a month shy of 18 when the Cardinals drafted him in 1997. Today, Ankiel officially moved across the state after spending his entire adult life with the Cardinals organization.
The pitcher turned outfielder sees Kansas City as an up and coming organization. He wants to play centerfield everyday. The Marlins, Nationals and Yankees made a push for his services, but the Royals presented him with the opportunity to play centerfield. Ankiel is excited to play alongside an athletic outfield that includes David DeJesus in right and Scott Podsednik in left. He will miss fans and friends in St. Louis, however, a fresh start is on his mind for 2010 after an injury sidetracked him in 2009.
Dayton Moore comments
Dayton Moore wanted to add defense, speed and athleticism this offseason. He sees Ankiel as a special athlete, one who can make the play that fans will love. Moore said that Ankiel and Podsednik were two of the best athletes in the free agent pool. Media members were also welcome to ask Moore about the offseason in general. He noted that the Royals have more pitching depth this year than in the past. He sees a group of players that he trusts to compete and prepare on a day in, day out basis. Moore believes that the core group is in place for 2010 but his staff is always looking at opportunities that arise.
It’s official…the Royals have announced that the club has agreed to a one-year Major League contract for the 2010 season with outfielder Rick Ankiel. The contract also includes a mutual option for 2011. Consistent with club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. A corresponding 40-man roster move will be made once the contract has been confirmed.
The 30-year old Ankiel began his Major League career as a decorated left-handed pitcher before converting full-time to the outfield prior to the 2005 season. The left-handed batter is a career .251 hitter with 49 home runs and 157 RBI in 342 games for the St. Louis Cardinals. The 6-foot-1 210-pounder hit .264 in 2008 for St. Louis, belting 25 home runs and joining Babe Ruth as the second player in baseball history to hit 25 or more home runs in a season while having previously started 25 or more games as a pitcher. His 2008 season came on the heels of a breakout 2007 campaign in which he recorded a combined 43 home runs for Triple-A Memphis (32) and St. Louis (11). Ankiel appeared in 122 games for the Cardinals in 2009, hitting .231 with 11 home runs and 38 RBI.
As a pitcher, Ankiel was 11-7 with a 3.50 ERA at the age of 20 in his rookie season of 2000, finishing second in the National League in Rookie of the Year voting (Rafael Furcal-ATL). He was named The Sporting News Rookie Pitcher of the Year, recording 194 strikeouts in 175.0 innings.
Ankiel will be introduced at a press conference later today. Check back for a summary.
Fox Sports Kansas City starts its 2010 coverage of Kansas City Royals baseball with two shows that take fans inside the recent Royals Fanfest and surrounding events.
The shows recap Awards Night, take fans inside the Royals Caravan stop at Fort Riley with George Brett, introduce some new Royals, talk to members of the 1985 World Champion team in the 25th anniversary year of their win and capture the sights and sounds of Fanfest. Fox Sports Kansas City’s Joel Goldberg will host.
The airdates are below. Both episodes will be replayed several times.
Air dates for Royals Fanfest specials on Fox Sports Kansas City (times Central)
Royals Fanfest Episode 1
Saturday, Jan. 23 at 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 10 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m. (Kansas St. basketball viewing areas only)
Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m.
Royals Fanfest Episode 2
Thursday, Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 29 at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 30 at 11:30 a.m.
Sunday, Jan. 31 at 9:30 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 1 at 9 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 10 p.m.
Zack Greinke visited the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum on Thursday. While there, Greinke received his Wilber “Bullet” Rogan Award as the A.L.’s top pitcher and taped an acceptance speech for the NLBM’s Legacy Awards on January 30. Greinke will receive his A.L. Cy Young Award on Saturday in New York. For more information on the Legacy Awards, visit http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=211022873108&ref=mf.
Media members and Royals associates gathered at the front of Sam’s Club in Independence. They had arrived in anticipation of greeting David DeJesus and Zack Greinke. The pair would be shopping with staff and volunteers from Heart to Heart International in an effort to support Haitian earthquake victims. Both Greinke and DeJesus had pledged $2,500 to Heart to Heart. Royals Charities had matched the donations, bringing the total to $10,000.
Zack had parked at the back of the store and was already browsing the aisles with his new bride, Emily. Not that you could see him…Zack was wearing his camouflage jacket. DeJesus and his fiancée, Kim, arrived a few minutes later.
It was time to shop for personal items that would fill Care Kits for the earthquake victims. Hand towels, washcloths, combs, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste and bars of soap were on the list. We joined the mass of media who trailed the Greinkes. They went to the right of the store with Jared of Sam’s Club and the Heart to Heart volunteer, who was fittingly named Sam.
We circled through the grocery area before reaching the toothpaste and toothbrushes. Zack carefully studied the options as if he were looking at a scouting report on an opposing lineup. He helped Emily pick out a variety of multi-packs. A few minutes later, David and Kim joined them. Zack gave David some tips on what to buy.
We then trailed David, Kim, Cody (Sam’s Club) and Karen (Heart to Heart) as they selected plastic bags for the Care Kits. We eventually branched off and caught up with the Greinkes, who had washcloths and hand towels remaining on their list. On their way, they met David and Kim. Whether it’s baseball, basketball, golf or table tennis, Greinke is known for his competitive edge. Zack glanced at David’s cart and asked if he was beating him. The competitive spirit includes shopping!
When it was time to check out, David began to do media interviews. Zack was content to unload items from the cart that he and Emily had filled. While DeJesus explained why he reached out to Heart to Heart on the Haiti relief, Zack emptied David’s cart as well!
The group took their items outside to the FedEx semi-trailer. David and Zack signed autographs for a line of fans that had huddled in the cold. When the line came to a close, Greinke handed back the Royals uniform and walked back through the store to his car. The Greinkes were on their way to the bright lights of New York and Saturday’s Baseball Writer’s dinner where Zack would pick up his Cy Young award. However, the anonymity of joining Emily on a stroll through Sam’s Club was just fine for the Kansas City ace on this Thursday afternoon.
You can help Heart to Heart’s efforts in Haiti. The organization will be collecting select personal items at all five Kansas City area Sam’s Club locations on Saturday (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) The list of items being accepted includes new hand towels, washcloths, combs, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, adhesive bandages, bar soap, soap container, zipper seal bags and ibuprofen as well as cash donations. Heart to Heart is also accepting donations through their website. 98 cents out of every dollar goes directly to help the people in Haiti.
Kansas City Royals’ outfielder David DeJesus and right-handed pitcher Zack Greinke will team up with Heart to Heart International on Thursday, January 21 to aid the victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti on January 12. In addition, DeJesus has pledged $2,500 to Heart to Heart International and Royals Charities has matched that donation, which will supply 500 Heart to Heart Care Kits.
DeJesus and Greinke will collect donations and items for Heart to Heart Care Kits on Thursday, January 21 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. at the Independence, Mo., Sam’s Club at 4100 Bolger Drive. Heart to Heart and Sam’s Club will be collecting donations and items at all five Kansas City metro area Sam’s Club locations this Saturday and Sunday, January 23 and 24.
Heart to Heart International flies medical missions all over the world and has been a presence in Haiti for more than a decade. The organization currently has staff in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and has created a “humanitarian bridge” from the United States through the Dominican Republic to Haiti. Royals fans can donate on-line, sign up to volunteer and learn more about the organization, which is based in Olathe, Kan., by visiting www.hearttoheart.org. The Royals and Heart to Heart International have teamed up to aid other disasters in the past including the tsunami in South Asia and the tornado in Greensburg, Kan.
Billy Butler and Mitch Maier played for Royals Hall of Famer Frank White at Wichita in 2005 and 2006. The trio reunited on the South Caravan, where they were joined by Royals Hall of Famer John Mayberry and broadcaster Steve Stewart. Here are photos from Sunday’s stops:
Below left: John Mayberry signs an autograph for this young fan in Clinton. Below right: Mitch Maier talks baseball with the fans.
The Caravan then went to Springfield for a meet and greet.
The final stop of the day was McDonald’s in Branson. Our group signed autographs, then posed for a picture with the staff.