May 2010

Fan photos now available at The K


FanPhoto.JPGThe Royals are partnering with Printroom, the leading fan photography company in the country, on a fan photo program during select 2010 home games.

During the select games, Printroom’s professional photographers will be on-site at Kauffman Stadium to take photos of fans, which will then be available to view at www.royals.com/fanphoto.  After selecting their favorite photos, fans then have an opportunity to purchase photos which may be personalized with Royals custom-branded templates and borders.  Fans also have an opportunity to create and order greeting cards, calendars, framed memorabilia and other photo souvenir items. 

“We’re excited at the opportunity to partner with the Kansas City Royals for their fan photography program,” said Jeff Benjamin, General Manger of Printroom.  “Our service offers a unique way to keep the fans’ excitement alive long after they’ve left the game.”

Printroom photographers, dressed in bright yellow jackets, will roam throughout the stadium during the majority of remaining 2010 home game to actively seek out fans for photos. 

ATH Interview: Cleveland coach Steve Smith talks about Tony Gwynn, his days in Wichita and his experience on The Amazing Race

Steve_Smith1.jpgThe Royals and Indians wrap up a brief two-game series in Cleveland today, beginning at 11:05 Central.  Yesterday, we posted our conversation with Allie Smith, daughter of Cleveland third base coach Steve Smith.  Today, we talk baseball and The Amazing Race with Steve.  Special thanks to both Allie and Steve for their time!

ATH:  You played in the minor leagues for San Diego.  They had a guy named Ozzie Smith at the same time who was kind of blocking your path.

Smith (smiling):  How’d you get your information on that?  That’s pretty good!  I always tell people I was in Triple-A playing short and Ozzie signed with the Padres.  They said Smith was going to be the next shortstop for the Padres and they were right but it was Ozzie.  He jumped all the way from rookie ball to the big leagues.  I was an ok player but it wasn’t like an opportunity was taken away from me.  I went as far as I could with my talent.  They picked the right Smith, believe me.

ATH:  The positive part was that you spent several seasons in Hawaii (San Diego’s Triple-A affiliate at the time).

Smith (smiling again):  I was just not good enough to go to the Majors because Hawaii was so nice, I used to surf out there.  We had a great manager in Doug Rader.  Baseball has always been fun to me.  That’s why I continue to be in it…I enjoy it.  It’s fun and along with the hard work, I love the adrenaline that you get from playing, coaching and teaching a sport.  It keeps you young because you’re dealing with young kids.  I’m 57 years old and one day I’ll grow up I guess.

ATH:  You were Tony Gwynn’s teammate during your last season as a player.  Could you see his potential at that time?

Smith:  Yeah.  When everyone else was going to the beach, Tony was practicing with a tee.  It’s the first time I recall seeing anyone use the tee.  He did that religiously.  When I was playing, you rarely got extra swings (other than batting practice).  You had to throw to one another.  Tony started using the tee and doing the soft toss.  The thing that really impressed me was how he improved his outfield skills.  He wasn’t a very good outfielder at the time and he didn’t have a great arm.  He improved and ended up winning (five) Gold Gloves.

Steve_Smith2.jpgATH:  You moved into coaching in the San Diego system.  Some of our local fans might recall that you managed the Wichita Pilots to a Texas League title in 1987.

Smith:  Yeah and it’s funny that our first base coach (with Cleveland) Sandy Alomar, Jr. and his brother Roberto were both on that team.  That was my first championship.  That same group went on to Triple-A next year, where they won the Pacific Coast League title in Las Vegas (with Smith managing).  I had a good time in Wichita.  It was a great place and when you win, it’s even more fun.

ATH:  You made it to the Majors as a coach for the Mariners in 1996 after 20 years in the minors as a player and coach.  What was that like?

Smith:  Everyone who plays baseball has the goal of getting to the Majors and I didn’t get there as a player.  It took me 20 years in the minors to finally get there.  I can remember that first day like it was yesterday, standing there for the National Anthem, looking at the dome (Seattle’s Kingdome) and being a part of a Major League game.  The pension plan isn’t in place in the minors.  It’s good to set yourself up for later in life and make it a bit easier to send your kids to college.   


T03_rip_and_read_after_detour_altAmazRaceCBS.jpgATH:
  Talking about your kids, your daughter Allie signed you up for The Amazing Race

Smith:  Yeah after winning the World Series with Philly in 2008…something didn’t work out there and I took a year off.  After 35 years it was a wonderful sabbatical to take a year off.  Allie had just graduated from Pepperdine.  She watches The Amazing Race and said “Dad, we should try to get on it”.  I figured 20,000 people apply to get on it and our connection to baseball didn’t matter, they want the connection of two people.  I figured there was no way that they would pick us.   When you’re coaching third base, the last thing you want is for people to remember something stupid that you did on the show and to remind you of it every game.  Since I was out of the game, I figured what the heck, I’ll be a good dad and say yes.  Unbelievably, they picked us.  I signed with Cleveland four days before we left.  My daughter was perfect to go with…we had a wonderful time.  We were already close.  We were alternates and we didn’t have enough controversy among us.  I compare it to being in the World Series, which is a dream for anyone.  I can say that this might have even been better than the World Series because I got to travel all around the world with my daughter.

ATH:  Had you been to any of the cities or countries before?

Smith:  No, I had never been overseas.  The funny thing is when we got on it, my wife planned fake trips where she would be in the back of the car with the map.  We were getting lost in our own neighborhood.  We were laughing at the fact that we were going to visit foreign countries with different languages…how far are we going to get if we get lost in our own neighborhood?  What we found were wonderful people in other countries who were willing to help (with directions).  My daughter says I met everyone in the world because I asked so many questions.  That was our way of finding clues and finding where we were going. 

ATH:  Do you think the traveling in baseball helped you?

Smith:  No doubt it did…being on bus rides for 20 years in the minors.  They (show producers) keep you up for long hours to try to get the worst (emotions) out of you.  They’ve got a camera on you 24/7.  It was no problem for me, I go without sleep all the time.  We slept in different quarters…tents in Argentina, a bad hotel in Chile that was loud all night and a wonderful place in Seychelles.  We won that leg and our prize was to stay in a $14,000 a night hotel.  I don’t think I’ll ever spend $14,000 a night for a place but it was gorgeous.

ATH:  You won the Seychelles episode.  How did you do on the other episodes?

Smith:  I think we were fifth on the first show, sixth on the second show…we were just feeling it out.  Everyone on that show is pretty cocky, very aggressive.  To me, being out of my element, I was the other way, thinking “What have I gotten myself into?”  All of a sudden on the third show we just went for it.  We starting finishing in second and third, then picked up a first place.  We were on our way until we had a bad cab driver in Malaysia.  It was a quick show that only had two things to do.  The cab driver lied to us and said he knew where he was going.  The next thing you know, we were out. 

ATH:  The show just wrapped up (on May 9).  Was it tough to stay quiet all winter about who won?

Smith:  I couldn’t tell anyone, even my wife.  She had to watch the show like everyone else.  The only thing that was tough was when we got on a big roll and people really thought we were going to win it all after we won the (Seychelles) leg.  The next week, I knew we were going out and everyone was so excited in anticipation of that show.  I know the ratings of The Amazing Race went up big time when all of the players and former players started watching it.  I felt like we let them down – I just joined this team and they were getting on me each week in Spring Training, which was fun.  Everybody started getting into it and then we were out.  The disappointment wasn’t losing the million dollars, it was not being able to play anymore.  It was so much fun to rip open that card and find out that you’re going to a different country or bungee jumping or zip lining…my favorite was swimming, we had to swim about a mile and dive. 

ATH:  Did you watch the show as a group at Spring Training?

Smith:  My family was there a couple of times.  I have a lot of coaching friends with other clubs, so they’d come over when the family wasn’t there.  We’d get the Mexican food out and the margaritas going and watching it.  I didn’t know how they would edit the show, so I didn’t know how I would look.  I just know one thing – my daughter never cried, never complained.  She made me so proud, how strong she was.  Everyone else, you could see how they were breaking down, the strongest competitors were losing it at times and we never did.  We can walk around with our heads up high.  We weren’t on a lot during the first few shows because we didn’t argue amongst ourselves or with others, but that’s ok.  Other than not winning, there isn’t much people can say.  I did paint the wrong house and do a back flip, but that’s not a big deal. 

(Photo from The Amazing Race courtesy of CBS Broadcasting, Inc.)

Homestand Highlights: May 21-26

After a brief four-game road trip, the Royals return to Kauffman Stadium for a five-game homestand beginning on Friday, May 21.  The club opens Interleague Play by hosting the Colorado Rockies in a three-game series.  Following an off day on May 24, the Royals face the Texas Rangers in a two-game set. 

Please note that all gates will open 90 minutes prior to game time for the remainder of the season.  Any exceptions to this policy will be communicated in advance.

Friday, May 21 – Colorado Rockies vs. Royals presented by Sprint, 7:10 p.m.

         Hy-Vee/Pepsi Fireworks Fridays – A spectacular fireworks show after every Friday home game.

         Bases Loaded 4-Pack – www.royals.com/basesloaded.

Saturday, May 22 – Colorado Rockies vs. Royals presented by Sprint, 3:10 p.m.

                                          ’85 Classic presented by Farmland Foods and Willie Wilson Baseball, 1:00 p.m.      

         ’85 Classic presented by Farmland Foods and Willie Wilson Baseball – Royals greats from the 1985 World Championship club will face members of the 1985 National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals in an exhibition softball game at 1:00 p.m.  Gates to Kauffman Stadium will open at noon, and a ticket is required.  Royals Charities will host an ’85 Classic game-worn jersey auction from noon to 4:00 p.m. across from the Royals Hall of Fame. www.royals.com/85classic.

         610 Saturday – Enjoy great food, live music from Marty Wall and activities for fans of all ages prior to the game in the Outfield Experience.  www.royals.com/610saturday.

Sunday, May 23 – Colorado Rockies vs. Royals presented by Sprint, 1:10 p.m.

         Fun Run presented by Sprint.  All fans can run the bases after the game (conditions permitting).

         Bases Loaded 4-Pack – www.royals.com/basesloaded  .

Tuesday, May 25 – Texas Rangers vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m.

Wednesday, May 26 – Texas Rangers vs. Royals, 1:10 p.m.

         INK College “Night” – www.royals.com/college

         All You Can Eat Seats – www.royals.com/allyoucaneat.

Fans may purchase tickets online at royals.com, by calling 1-800-6ROYALS, at area Hy-Vee stores or at the Kauffman Stadium Box Office. 

Wednesday lineup in Cleveland

The Royals are set to take on the Indians tonight at 6:05 Central.  The game will air on Fox Sports Kansas City and the Royals Radio Network.  Here’s the lineup:

(Podsednik – LF), (Aviles – 2B), (DeJesus – RF), (Butler – 1B), (Guillen – DH), (Callaspo – 3B), (Maier – CF), (Betancourt – SS), (Kendall – C), (Meche – P)

 

Tuesday lineup in Baltimore

(Podsednik – LF), (Kendall – C), (DeJesus – RF), (Butler – 1B), (Guillen – DH), (Callaspo – 3B), (Maier – CF), (Betancourt – SS), (Getz – 2B), (Greinke – P)

 

 

Monday lineup: Royals at Orioles

The Royals are set to play the first of two in a quick series at Baltimore.  Tonight’s game starts at 6:05 p.m. on Fox Sports Kansas City and the Royals Radio Network.  Ned Yost’s lineup is the same again tonight, with Kyle Davies on the mound.

(Podsednik – LF), (Aviles – 2B), (DeJesus – RF), (Butler – 1B), (Guillen – DH), (Callaspo – 3B), (Maier – CF), (Betancourt – SS), (Kendall – C), (Davies – P)

Ned Yost media session: May 16

In Sunday’s interview with manager Ned Yost, Yost began the conversation by talking about the lineup. Yost said he didn’t change today’s order because he wants to get his feet on the ground, especially after a quick turnaround from last night’s game, but will likely start changing it up while on the road. Yost continued by saying that eventually he wants a set lineup and will try to refrain from moving hitters up and down in the order on a regular basis. The manager also mentioned that he sees a couple candidates for the Royals three-hole, but he would like to keep a certain comfort level in the clubhouse, so he doesn’t want to make any drastic changes.

Yost also discussed the work ethics of several players, including Scott Podsednik, whom he managed in Milwaukee, Mike Aviles and Mitch Maier. The manager said that all three are good examples of players taking full advantage of opportunities. Yost also expressed that the three represent the type of players he wants to manage–those who come willing to work their tails off every single day. The new manager doesn’t want players who are satisfied with being good, but rather those who want to be great.

Finally, Yost provided brief injury updates on Jose Guillen, Robinson Tejeda, John Parrish, and Rick Ankiel. Yost said that after getting hit in last night’s game, Guillen’s finger went numb for about an inning but is fine now. Additionally, Tejeda (strained left calf) feels virtually no pain in his leg, Parrish (inflamed rotator cuff) is feeling better, and Ankiel (right quad strain) is also feeling better but is still some days away.  Both Parrish and Ankiel will go out on rehab assignments before they return to Kauffman.

Sunday lineup vs. Chicago

Today’s series finale is a 1:10 start.  The game will air on FSKC, KMBZ 980-AM in Kansas City and on the Royals Radio Network.

Here’s your Sunday lineup, which is the same 1-9 order as the last two nights:

(Podsednik – LF), (Aviles – 2B), (DeJesus – RF), (Butler – 1B), (Guillen – DH), (Callaspo – 3B), (Maier – CF), (Betancourt – SS), (Kendall – C), (Bannister – P)

Ned Yost Media Session: May 15

RAIN DELAY UPDATE:  We are expecting to start the game at 7:10 p.m.

With his first day and win as Royals manager in the books, Ned Yost addressed the Kansas City media this afternoon. Yost was excited about the first 24 hours in Kansas City, stating that much of what he has been working on to this point was getting his staff organized and communicating his coaching philosophy to staff and players.

Yost was asked about his bullpen and how he plans on using it. He responded by saying that to this point the bullpen is still a little unsettled and that late inning roles tend to define themselves. Yost stated that he will consider using Royals closer Joakim Soria in four-out situations; but believes that closers are at their best when they are used for only three outs. Yost reaffirmed that everyone is starting with a clean slate; he approaches his bullpen under the mindset that everyone will be successful at their jobs and won’t change that thinking unless proven otherwise. When asked on situational use of late-inning arms, Yost said he doesn’t restrict himself to the conventional lefty-lefty or righty-righty matchups. Some situations will require going by the numbers and others will call Yost to go with his ‘gut’. Ultimately, Yost said he will manage each situation in order to win the ballgame and not just cover himself and go by the book.

Yost was also asked to comment on his role players and how he views the second base job. Yost said his primary concern is to find playing time for Kila Ka’aihue, Willie Bloomquist, Chris Getz, and Brayan Pena. Yost understands the difficulty of their roles on this team, but told them to always be prepared to perform when called upon. Yost also stated that infielder Mike Aviles’ hot bat will continue to find him in the lineup at second base.

Armed Forces Day lineup

Join us at The K tonight for a special pregame tribute to our Armed Forces!

Here’s your lineup for the 6:10 start:

(Podsednik – LF), (Aviles – 2B), (DeJesus – RF), (Butler – 1B), (Guillen – DH), (Callaspo – 3B), (Maier – CF), (Betancourt – SS), (Kendall – C), (Hochevar – P)

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