A few of the early questions in today’s conference call with Pat White regarded his football career and his former coach, Rich Rodriguez, who is now at the University of Michigan. White answered those questions, though the 24-year old is eager to embark on his new journey as a professional baseball player. He’s had the opportunity to play baseball before – White was drafted by the Angels out of high school in the fourth round in 2004. He instead opted to play football for Rodriguez at West Virginia University. White wanted to attend college at the time and didn’t know if he was ready to be on his own as a professional athlete.
It has now been six years since White put on a baseball uniform. Scouts kept track of White and he didn’t forget about baseball. He was selected three more times in the baseball draft – by the Angels in 2007, the Reds in 2008 and by the Yankees in 2009.
White kept in touch with the game by going to the batting cages and playing catch. Recently, he has taken cuts with a local college team in Miami. He will soon embark for the Arizona Instructional League, where he sees himself as an outfielder.
Reporters asked White if he would take the Bo Jackson approach and play both football and baseball. The fellow Alabaman downplayed the notion, simply saying that Bo is on another level.
In conjunction with Major League Baseball, the Royals today announced their 2011 regular season schedule. Opening Day is scheduled for Thursday, March 31 when the Royals host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a 3:10 game at Kauffman Stadium. It marks the fourth time in franchise history that the Royals have opened against the Angels, with the first three meetings in Anaheim (1971, 1973 and 1975). MLB adopted the recommendation of The Commissioner’s Special Committee for On-Field Matters to begin the regular season earlier and mid-week to avoid playing World Series games in November.
Kansas City’s home schedule includes Interleague matchups against St. Louis (May 20-22), Arizona (June 21-23) and the Chicago Cubs (June 24-26). The series between the Cubs and Royals will be the third in Kansas City and first since 2000. The teams last met in 2001 at Wrigley Field. The week of August 15-21 will feature home matchups against the New York Yankees (August 15-17) and Boston Red Sox (August 18-21).
The road Interleague schedule consists of visits to St. Louis (June 17-19), San Diego (June 27-29) and Colorado (July 1-3). Kansas City will visit San Diego for the second time and first since 2004. The Royals last played at Colorado in 2007.
Kansas City’s holiday schedule sees the Royals at home on Mother’s Day (May 8) vs. Oakland and Memorial Day (May 30) against Los Angeles, at Texas on Easter (April 24), in St. Louis on Father’s Day (June 19), in Chicago on July 4th and at Oakland on Labor Day (September 5).
The month-by-month home breakdown is as follows: March – 1; April – 15; May – 16; June – 15; July – 10; August – 13; September – 11. The longest homestand will be an 11-game stay from May 30 to June 9 that opens with a Memorial Day matchup against the Angels. Kansas City will have three nine-game road trips (June 10-19, June 27 – July 6 and August 23-31).
Kansas City’s home schedule includes 59 night games and 22 daytime contests. In addition to Opening Day and Memorial Day, the Royals will play three weekday games at a new start time of 3:10 p.m.: June 1 vs. Los Angeles, June 9 vs. Toronto and September 14 against Minnesota. The Royals host Baltimore in a 1:10 start on Thursday, May 5. The schedule also includes a pair of Saturday matinees at 12:10 p.m. on April 2 vs. Los Angeles and April 16 against Seattle.
Standard start times for all other contests at Kauffman Stadium in 2011 are:
Monday through Friday: 7:10 p.m.
Saturday: 6:10 p.m.
Sunday: 1:10 p.m.
The complete 2011 schedule with game times for home contests is at royals.com. Times for road games will be announced at a later date. The game dates and times are subject to change.
Ned Yost knew on Sunday night that it was a possibility that Willie Bloomquist could get traded. He received the final word yesterday at 1:25 pm, just 45 minutes before first pitch.
Yost knows that the defense needs to improve a great deal. He said that much more goes into defense at the Major League level than players making plays – so much of the defense revolves around the pitching plan. A team has to be consistent as a pitching staff to be consistent as a defense.
Chris Getz is still a little foggy after suffering a concussion on Sunday. Yost said that Getz is making improvements, but still has some lingering symptoms and will be held out of action for now. Yost saw first-hand what a concussion can do to a player when he had Corey Koskie in Milwaukee. Koskie never played again after suffering a concussion. That incident prompted Yost to change his thoughts and become much more cautious when it comes to a player returning from concussions.
The NW Arkansas Naturals, KC’s Double-A affiliate, have advanced to the Texas League Championship. The Naturals defeated Springfield 8-4 on Monday to capture the best-of-five series. NW Arkansas hosts Midland at 7:05 on Tuesday night as the championship series gets underway. Congratulations to Brian Poldberg’s squad and best of luck in the finals!
For more information on the Naturals, visit their website at www.nwanaturals.com.
Congratulations to catcher Brayan Pena, who was named A.L. Player of the Week today for the week of September 6-12. Brayan batted .435 on the week and ranked among the A.L. leaders in RBI (T-1st, nine), hits (T-3rd, 10), batting average (T-3rd, .435), total
bases (T-7th, 16) and slugging percentage (10th, .696). In addition, Brayan threw out 40 percent (2-of-5) of runners attempting to steal a base. Way to go Brayan!
The Royals have traded utility man Willie Bloomquist to the Cincinnati Reds for a player to be named or cash considerations.
The 32-year-old Bloomquist was hitting .265 in 72 games for the Royals with 10 doubles, a triple, three home runs, 17 RBI, 31 runs scored and eighth stolen bases in 13 attempts. He signed a two-year contract with Kansas City prior to the 2009 season.
Today’s revised lineup:
Dyson 8; Aviles 4; Butler DH; Fields 5; Betemit 7; Yuni 6; Ka’aihue 3; Miller 9; May 2; Hochevar 1
Dyson to start
Jarrod Dyson will make his first Major League start in today’s game against Oakland. The left-handed batter is going to face left-handed pitcher Bobby Cramer, but Yost believes the matchup won’t bother Dyson. The manager said he needs to find out if his lefty batters can hit southpaws in the big leagues.
Yost also discussed Dyson’s ability to run the bases, saying the outfielder is definitely not intimidated to steal because he knows he can be successful on his pure talent. Yost believes Dyson is capable of stealing the tough base even if a pitcher or catcher is unusually fast on their release and throwing times.
Starting pitcher Luke Hochevar is scheduled throw about 80 pitches today, depending on how he feels.
The Kansas City Royals have signed outfielder and former Miami Dolphins and University of West Virginia quarterback Pat White to a minor league contract.
“We are excited about the level of interest Pat has in becoming a Major League player and being a Kansas City Royal,” Director of Baseball Operations Lonnie Goldberg said. “Any time that you can add an athletic-type player to your organization, you try to do it. We know the NFL may still be an option and we have discussed that with Pat, but are excited that he is open to the idea of playing professional baseball for the Royals.”
An outfielder at Daphne (Ala.) High School, the 24-year-old White was a fourth-round selection by the Anaheim Angels in 2004, but chose to attend the University of West Virginia on a football scholarship. While at Daphne, the left-handed hitter and thrower batted .487 his senior season with a .974 slugging percentage and 28 stolen bases leading to a second-team High School All-American selection by Baseball America. While at WVU, the 6-foot, 190-pounder was selected by the Angels again in the 26th round in 2007, by the Cincinnati Reds in the 49th round in 2008 and by the New York Yankees in the 48th round in 2009.
Following a redshirt season at West Virginia in 2004, White served as the Mountaineers’ starting quarterback from 2005-2008 before being selected by the Miami Dolphins in the second round (44th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. White ran for 81 yards on 21 carries last year during his rookie season before being released on September 5, 2010.
While at West Virginia, White was a two-time Big East Offensive Player of the Year (2006 and 2007), winning two Big East titles and two BCS bowl games (Sugar Bowl in 2005, Fiesta Bowl in 2007). He remains the only starting quarterback to win four bowl games and has rushed for more yards than any quarterback in NCAA Division I history.
Kansas City third base prospect Mike Moustakas has been named the Minor League Baseball Joe Bauman Home Run Award winner for the 2010 season.
Moustakas tied for the minor league lead with Angels’ prospect Mark Trumbo with a combined 36 home runs for Northwest Arkansas (AA) and Omaha (AAA). By virtue of a 124-122 advantage in RBI for the season, Moustakas won the first tiebreaker over Trumbo. He will receive the Joe Bauman Trophy and a check for $7,200, representing $200 for each home run hit, at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla., on December 6.
The Royals first-round pick (second overall) in 2007 combined to hit .322 (156-for-484) with 41 doubles, 124 RBI and 94 runs scored, posting a slugging percentage of .630. His RBI total was the second-most in all of minor league baseball.
The 21-year old Northridge, Calif., resident has accumulated several other honors throughout the 2010 season, including being named the Sporting News Minor League Hitter of the Year and a Baseball America 2010 first-team Minor League All-Star. He will represent Team USA at the Pan American Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico in October. Moustakas was also selected as the Royals’ George Brett Minor League Hitter of the Year and the Texas League Player of the Year. Moustakas was also honored as one of five finalists for the USA Today Minor League Player of the Year.
Former Royals’ farmhand Craig Brazell won the Joe Bauman Award in 2007, combining to hit 39 home runs for Wichita (AA) and Omaha (AAA). The award was established in 2002.
The Royals return to Kansas City on Monday, September 13 for a six-game homestand. The Oakland Athletics visit Kauffman Stadium for a three-game series, September 13-15, which opens with a special 2:10 p.m. matinee on Monday prior to the Monday Night Football game at Arrowhead Stadium. Following an off day on September 16, the Royals host the Cleveland Indians for a three-game weekend set, September 17-19.
The homestand is packed with great giveaways and special events, including a Joakim Soria T-Shirt Tuesday, a Halfway to St. Paddy’s Day celebration, the second Girls Night Out event of the season, and more.
Monday, September 13 – Oakland Athletics vs. Royals, 2:10 p.m.
· Hy-Vee Royal “Nite” – All Hy-Vee Level tickets (excluding Hy-Vee Reserved Box) are just $5. www.royals.com/fanvalue.
· PARKING NOTE FOR ROYALS/CHIEFS DOUBLEHEADER – Fans will be asked to exit the Truman Sports Complex at the conclusion of the Royals game unless they have purchased two-pack parking for both the Royals and Chiefs games. Two-pack parking may be purchased for $32 (cash only) as fans enter the tollgates. Fans attending the Royals game only may enter the complex using a Royals parking pass, parking purchased in advance at royals.com or by paying $10 (cash only) at the tollgates.
· Viva Los Royals presented by Sprint – The pregame celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Outfield Experience. Fans can enjoy dance performances from el Grupo Atotonilco, as well as live music from Gustavo Cornejo, Kontrolando Show and MRM courtesy of La Super X-1250 AM. www.royals.com/viva.
· Joakim Soria T-Shirt Tuesday – In conjunction with the Viva Los Royals celebration, the first 20,000 fans receive a t-shirt featuring two-time All-Star Joakim Soria courtesy of Sprint. www.royals.com/tshirttuesday.
Wednesday, September 15 – Oakland Athletics vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m.
· Elvis Night – Break out your blue suede shoes and join us for Elvis Night! The pregame party starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Outfield Experience with Elvis impersonator E-Rock taking the stage at 6:00 p.m. A costume contest will follow at 6:50 p.m. with the chance to win a Royals prize pack. KCMO 94.9 FM morning show host Dick Wilson will also be on hand for a live remote throughout the pregame event. www.royals.com/elvis.
· Buck Night – Hot dogs, small Pepsi products, peanuts, Twinkies, Gameday Magazines and scorecards for just $1 each all night long. www.royals.com/fanvalue.
· INK College Night – www.royals.com/college.
· Halfway to St. Paddy’s Day – The annual Halfway to St. Paddy’s Day celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Outfield Experience. The festivities will feature a performance by local Irish band Flannigan’s Right Hook and green draft beer. Ticket packages, which include a game ticket, $6 in loaded value for concessions or retail purchases, and a green and white Royals cap, are available at www.royals.com/irish. Please note that the pictured cap is exclusive to the Halfway to St. Paddy’s Day ticket package.
· Hy-Vee/Pepsi Fireworks Fridays – A spectacular fireworks show after every Friday home game.
· Bases Loaded 4-Pack – www.royals.com/basesloaded.
Saturday, September 18 – Cleveland Indians vs. Royals, 6:10 p.m.
· Girls Night Out presented by Chevy – A special pregame happy hour is set to begin at 3:30 p.m. in the Outfield Experience for those with Girls Night Out VIP ticket packages and will open up to all ladies at 4:30 p.m. The event will feature mini spa services, product sampling from Hy-Vee and Pepsi, entertainment from Howl at the Moon dueling pianos, and a fall fashion show from Macy’s. Girls Night Out media partner 98.1 KUDL will be on hand, and NBC Action News anchor Christa Dubill is scheduled to emcee the event. Fans can purchase a Girls Night Out package, which includes a game ticket with $6 in loaded value, a specially-designed Royals t-shirt and a $5 donation to the American Heart Association, online at www.royals.com/girlsnightout or by phone at 1-800-6ROYALS. Please note that the shirt is exclusive to the Girls Night Out ticket package.
· 610 Saturday – Enjoy great food, live music and activities for fans of all ages prior to the game in the Outfield Experience. www.royals.com/610saturday.
Sunday, September 19 – Cleveland Indians vs. Royals, 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.
TRAFFIC REMINDER: The Royals remind fans that Stadium Drive is currently closed at Raytown Road. To access parking on the west side of Kauffman Stadium, fans may proceed on Raytown Road past Stadium Drive and enter the Truman Sports Complex through Gate 5. To access parking on the east side of Kauffman Stadium, fans may continue on Raytown Road approximately one mile past Gate 5 and enter the complex through Gate 4.