Make sure you’re following @KCRoyals on Twitter. The Royals will list autograph participants 30 minutes before the session begins. Photos from FanFest will also be posted on @KCRoyals to give you a feel for the event. We’ll try to “retweet” the autograph sessions on our Twitter page, time permitting. ( @aroundthehornkc )
The Royals have announced the hiring of Ned Yost as the club’s special advisor to baseball operations.
The 54-year old Yost most recently served as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers from 2003 to 2008, compiling a 457-502 record and leading the franchise from a 68-94 mark in his first season to an 83-67 mark in 2008 at the time he was relieved of his duties on September 15. While managing the Brewers, Yost was a part of Tony La Russa’s National League All-Star coaching staff in 2005. Prior to his time in Milwaukee, the resident of Marietta, Ga., worked under manager Bobby Cox as bullpen coach (1991-98) and third base coach (1999-2002). As a player, Yost caught for parts of six seasons in the Majors from 1980-1985 with the Brewers, Texas Rangers and Montreal Expos.
Yost and his wife, Deborah, have one daughter, Jenny, and three sons, Ned IV, Josh and Andrew.
David Cone, Zack Greinke and Bret Saberhagen will take part in a one-of-a-kind autograph session at FanFest on Friday, January 15 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. The first 4,000 fans entering FanFest each day will receive a commemorative backpack. Prior to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, 250 of the backpacks will contain winning tickets that will allow the holder to enter the Cy Young autograph line. All fans must present their winning ticket to enter the line, which will begin to form at 2:30 p.m. Children under 14 who possess a winning ticket may be accompanied by an adult. No photos with the participants will be allowed at this particular autograph session and only one item will be allowed to be signed per player.
On Thursday, January 14, Cone, Greinke and Saberhagen will each also attend Royals Awards Night presented by James B. Nutter. The night will begin with the Budweiser Pre-Party at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and the awards show at 7 p.m. Tables of 10 are available for $750 with individual tickets priced at $75. Fans may secure Awards Night tickets by visiting www.royals.com/awardsnight. Tickets may also be purchased by calling (816) 504-4040 or visiting the Kauffman Stadium Box Office from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Online and phone orders are subject to applicable service fees. Tickets must be purchased by 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
Royals FanFest presented by Sprint and Teva is scheduled to take place this Friday and Saturday, January 15-16, at the Overland Park Convention Center. Fans may secure FanFest tickets by visiting www.royals.com/fanfest. Tickets may also be purchased by calling (816) 504-4040 or visiting the Kauffman Stadium Box Office during business hours (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.). Online and phone orders are subject to applicable service fees. Tickets purchased in advance will be available at discounted prices. Advance two-day passes are $18 for adults and $9 for youth (ages 6-17), while advance single-day tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for youth. All kids age five and under will be admitted free. In addition, Royals 2010 season ticket holders will receive complimentary admission for Friday’s events.
Tickets will also be available at the Overland Park Convention Center on the days of the event. For a complete listing of prices and purchase options as well as updated information on players scheduled to appear and event programming, visit www.royals.com/fanfest.
Today’s Caravan made its third and final stop in Manhattan, where Kansas State hosted Texas A&M. On Thursday, a Caravan with Kyle Davies, Luke Hochevar, Dennis Leonard and Denny Matthews will visit Topeka, Emporia and Wichita. See all of the details here:
1994 A.L. Cy Young winner David Cone will attend Royals Awards Night on Thursday, meaning that all three of the Royals’ Cy Young winners (Bret Saberhagen, 1985 and 1989; Zack Greinke, 2009) will take the stage together. Mark Davis, who won the N.L. Cy while with the Padres in 1989, will also be at the event. Davis, now a coach in the Kansas City system, is the 2009 Dick Howser Player Development Person of the Year.
A limited number of tickets are available until Wednesday at 5 p.m. Please call (816) 504-4040 or visit http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/kc/fan_forum/awards_dinner.jsp for tickets.
Click here to read Dick Kaegel’s story about Royals Awards Night: http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100112&content_id=7906560&vkey=news_kc&fext=.jsp&c_id=kc
The Royals Caravan presented by Fox Sports Kansas City rolled into Fort Riley today. George Brett, Jamie Quirk, Joe Randa and broadcaster Joel Goldberg met with the troops from the First Infantry Division (the Big Red One.) The group will visit elementary school students in Salina this afternoon before taking in the K-State vs. Texas A&M game tonight at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan. Special thanks to Royals VP Mike Swanson for sending photos from his phone.
Here, George Brett and Joe Randa take a look at an assault helicopter. George took his turn in the pilot’s seat.
Our guys took group photos with the military personnel and their families. At left is the Black Hawk helicopter. The Chinook is on the right.
At left is a group photo. On the right, George gives a ‘thumbs up’ from the Apache helicopter. Thank you to all of the military personnel who came out for the visit! For details on future Caravan visits, check out http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/kc/fan_forum/caravan.jsp!
Baseball America’s ongoing series of top prospect listings highlighted the Royals today. Left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery (pictured at left) was ranked as the number one Kansas City prospect by the publication. (Note: you can meet Mike at FanFest.)
Montgomery headlined a list of six starting pitchers, including four lefties. The article also lists the player with the best attribute in 15 different categories, from Best Slider and Best Fastball (both Aaron Crow) to Best Power Hitter (Mike Moustakas).
You can see all of the rankings at http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/organization-top-10-prospects/2010/269367.html.
The announced today that the club has signed right-handed pitcher Matt Herges to a minor league contract for the 2010 season. Herges will be invited to Major League Spring Training in Surprise, Ariz.
The 39-year old veteran split 2009 between Cleveland and Colorado, compiling a 2-1 record and a 3.55 ERA in 21 relief appearances for the Indians and a 1-0 mark with a 2.89 ERA in nine games for the N.L. Wild Card champion Rockies. The 6-foot right-hander is 43-35 with a 3.91 career ERA in 567 appearances (4 starts) over parts of 11 seasons for the Dodgers (1999-2001), Expos (2002), Padres (2003), Giants (2003-05), Diamondbacks (2005), Marlins (2006), Rockies (2007-08, 2009) and Indians (2009).
Herges held the opposition scoreless in all seven of his postseason outings for the 2007 Rockies, including three appearances (3.1 IP) in the World Series.
Born in Champaign, Ill., Herges and his wife, Jane, have two sons, Tyler and Bryce, and one daughter, Julia, and reside in Scottsdale, Ariz. We welcome Matt to the club!
Dayton Moore has been involved in many tough negotiations for top Cuban and Latin players dating to his time with Atlanta. He was very excited to win the negotiation for Cuban lefty Noel Arguelles.
Arguelles, who turns 20 tomorrow, is currently at the club’s complex in Surprise, Arizona. The plan is to move him very slowly at first, both on the field and off. Arguelles is in great shape but has been pitching continuously for 17 months – first in international competition, then in tryout sessions. He will be in big league camp, but don’t look for him to start Spring Training on the same throwing program with the rest of the club. Moore doesn’t see control as a problem for Arguelles – he believes that the lefty is ahead of a few of the club’s top minor league prospects in that area. The Royals will also pay close attention to helping Arguelles adjust to a new culture, which is a key component of a player’s development.
One media member on Friday’s conference call brought up an interesting stat…new Royals outfielder Scott Podsednik is 17-for-34 in his career against A.L. Cy Young winner Zack Greinke. That’s the best mark for any player with at least 15 at-bats against Zack. Podsednik downplayed it, saying it was one of those crazy things that can’t be explained. He is more than happy to be Zack’s newest teammate (and our guess is Zack is more than happy as well.)
Royals minor league infielder Ernesto Mejia has been named the Venezuelan Winter League Most Valuable Player. In addition, Mejia was named the league’s Rookie of the Year, becoming the first player in league history to win both awards in the same season.
The 24-year old Mejia was signed by the Royals as a minor league free agent on December 11, 2009 and invited to Major League Spring Training in Surprise, Ariz. The 6-foot-6, 235-pound first baseman batted .292 with a league-leading 14 home runs and 41 RBI in 57 games for Aguilas del Zulia this winter, leading his club to the playoffs. A native of Guanare, Portuguesa in Venezuela, Mejia was limited to just 36 games in 2009 in the Atlanta Braves organization due to injuries. The right-handed hitter and thrower had a breakout season in 2008, hitting 21 homers and leading the entire minor leagues with 47 doubles for Myrtle Beach (A).