Bruce Chen: Funny off of the field, serious on it
Left-handed pitcher Bruce Chen is a character in the clubhouse and away from baseball (such as the below picture from the Royals Celebrity Golf Tournament). His humor even reached Kauffman Stadium’s CrownVision this season with a starring role in “High Five Somebody” and another feature called the “Bruce Chen Joke of the Day”. Fittingly, he was the starting pitcher on June 4 when Will Ferrell joined fellow comedians/actors Bobby Cannavale, Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, Horatio Sanz and Jason Sudeikis at Kauffman Stadium. Ferrell’s rallying cry of “C’mon Chen!” will be remembered for years to come.
Chen, the funny man off of the diamond, cited his business-like preparation in today’s conference call with the media to discuss his Joe Burke Special Achievement Award. All of the hard work since his “Tommy John” surgery in 2007 culminated in his last start of 2010 as he tossed his first career shutout on October 1 vs. Tampa Bay.
While Chen is proud of the accomplishments (the shutout, his first save, 12 wins to name a few), he is already looking forward to next year. Chen had just completed a workout before the conference call. The free agent is spending time this offseason at his home in Surprise, Ariz. and has received permission to train at the Royals complex.
Chen is grateful that the Royals gave him the opportunity to show what he can do both prior to 2009 and 2010 with minor league deals. He likes the organization and the direction that it is headed in. While Chen is open to returning to the Royals, he believes that he will have several choices this offseason and will leave all of the contract talks to his agent.
He closed the call by thanking everyone who voted for him and stating how honored he was to win the award.
Make sure to check back tomorrow as the Royals announce the 2010 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year. The winner will join media for a conference call at 3:30 p.m. and we will recap the call here.