The Royals will launch the 2011 Royals Caravan presented by Fox Sports Kansas City as they visit fans in St. Joseph, Mo., and Omaha, Neb., on Thursday, January 20. A number of current Royals players and front office officials, as well as Royals legends, will take part in the annual Caravan event with trips to Midwestern towns throughout January.
This Caravan trip will include Royals outfielders Alex Gordon and Mitch Maier, pitcher Luke Hochevar and Royals Hall of Famers John Mayberry and Frank White. A tentative schedule of Caravan events is listed below and at royals.com/caravan.
Following the one-day trip, the club will host the marquee off-season event, Royals FanFest, taking place on January 21-22 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kan. The best place for fans to meet their favorite Royals, FanFest features appearances from more than 40 current, former and future players, interactive games for fans of all ages, main stage programming and much more. Additional details can be found at royals.com/fanfest.
2011 Royals Caravan presented by Fox Sports Kansas City
North Caravan Trip: Thursday, January 20
Participants: Alex Gordon, Luke Hochevar, Mitch Maier, John Mayberry, Frank White
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Meet & Greet at Hy-Vee – 201 N. Belt Hwy. in St. Joseph (Hosted by KFEQ Radio and St. Joseph Cablevision)
4-5 p.m.: Visit kids undergoing treatment at Omaha Children’s Hospital – 8200 Dodge St. in Omaha (Hosted by Omaha Storm Chasers)
*Private event, but members of the media are welcome to attend
5:30-7:30 p.m.: Meet & Greet at Ultimate Baseball Academy – 4225 S. 121st St. in Omaha (Hosted by Omaha Storm Chasers)
The Royals announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a one-year contract for 2011 with left-handed pitcher Jeff Francis. The deal is pending a physical exam. Consistent with club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Francis, who turned 30 last Saturday, is 55-50 with a 4.77 ERA in 150 career Major League appearances, including 149 starts, for the Colorado Rockies from 2004-2010. Last season, he posted a 4-10 record with a 5.00 ERA in 20 games (19 starts) as he returned in mid-May from left shoulder surgery that sidelined him for the entire 2009 campaign. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound southpaw was a key component of the Rockies rotation from 2005-2007, winning 44 games including posting a 17-9 record with a 4.22 ERA in 34 starts in 2007. That same season, he went 2-1 in three postseason starts including starting Game 1 of the World Series as he helped lead the Rockies to the National League pennant. His 55 career wins place him third on the Colorado all-time win list.
The Baseball America and USA Today Minor League Player of the Year in 2004 was selected by Colorado in the first round (ninth overall) in the 2002 Draft out of the University of British Columbia. Francis competed for his native country in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006. Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Francis and his wife, Allison, currently reside in Denver, Colo., with their daughter, Cameron.
Francis will take part in a media conference call later today. Check back for a summary!
The Royals and KWTO-AM 560 in Springfield, Mo. have entered into an agreement for the station to carry the Royals Radio Network.
KWTO, founded in 1933, is one of the strongest and most iconic radio stations in the Royals’ eight-state region. The 5,000-watt signal can be heard throughout southwest and western Missouri, including the Lake of the Ozarks and Kansas City, throughout a majority of eastern Kansas, into Oklahoma and in northwest Arkansas as far south as Fort Smith. Locally-owned and operated, KWTO-AM 560 will carry all 162 regular season Royals games.
The Royals Radio Network will continue to be one of the largest in baseball in 2011, consisting of over 90 affiliates in eight states.
The Royals Hot Stove radio show kicks off tonight at 6:00 Central on 610 Sports in Kansas City and worldwide on royals.com. Archived broadcasts will be available at royals.com. Denny Matthews and Ryan Lefebvre are tonight’s hosts. They will talk to GM Dayton Moore about the upcoming season.
Royals Hot Stove will air on Thursdays from 6:00 to 7:00 Central through spring training. Bookmark the link below to follow the live shows and podcasts!
On Wednesday night, the Royals agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Luke Hochevar on a one-year contract for 2011, avoiding arbitration. Consistent with club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
The 27-year-old Hochevar was 6-6 with a 4.81 ERA in 18 games, including 17 starts, for the Royals in 2010. He missed two and a half months with a right elbow strain before returning to the big league club in September. The Royals’ first-overall selection in the 2006 June Free Agent Draft is 19-32 with a 5.60 ERA in 69 career Major League appearances, including 65 starts.
Fans from all over the world visit Around the Horn in KC on the web and through Facebook. Here’s our visitor map from the last few hours. It changes constantly – you can see recent visitors from all over the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, plus places like Australia, Germany, Greece and Japan. As we all embark on the 2011 season, we think it would be fun to share your stories here on the blog. Here is what we’re proposing:
1. E-mail us a picture (firstname.lastname@example.org) along with a paragraph or two about you and your family (where you are from, your interest in the Royals). From time to time, we’ll post pictures and an update on where our fans are located. (Tip – your odds of making the blog improve SIGNIFICANTLY if you are wearing Royals gear in the photo)!
2. We’re looking for photos from all over the United States and, if possible, all over the world. If you live in the six-state region around Kansas City (Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma), then please send a photo from a vacation or work trip outside of the region (a famous place you visited, an away game that you attended, spring training, etc.).
3. If you can’t send a picture, we would still like to hear from you with your location (email@example.com).
We want to take a moment to thank everyone who stopped by the blog or followed our posts on Facebook in 2010. MLBlogosphere, the community blog at MLBlogs.com, recently listed the top blogs of 2010. Around the Horn in KC was ranked 15th among the top 100 “MLB PRO” blogs from across all of baseball. The “MLB PRO” list includes blogs from players, front offices, broadcasters and more. We appreciate your help and with your continued readership, we believe that we can retain our spot or go higher in 2011! Do you have an idea for a blog post or topic? Feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also catch our quick posts on Twitter @aroundthehornkc.
We are 80 days away from Opening Day at Kauffman Stadium (March 31 vs. the Angels)! The field is blanketed in snow at the moment…here’s a look…
Kansas City Royals 2011 Spring Training tickets will go on sale this Saturday, January 8 at 8 a.m. Central Time. Tickets will be available online at www.royals.com/springtraining, in person at the Surprise (Ariz.) Stadium Box Office or by phone at 800-745-3000. Spring ticket packages are available now by calling 623-222-2222.
Kansas City’s 32-game Spring Training schedule features 16 home games at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz. The club will also face the Texas Rangers as the visiting team on February 27 and 28 in Surprise.
Several season tickets package options are available, including a 16-game Royals package, a 7-game Royals package and a 31-game Surprise Stadium package for all Royals/Rangers home games. Royals season ticket packages (7 and 16-game) range from $91 to $320 while the 31-game packages are available from $403 to $620. 7-game packs for pre-selected games include a bonus game on February 27 against Texas.
Ticket prices for the 2011 Spring Training season are: $24 for lower dugout seats, $21 for upper dugout seats, $18 for infield seats, $14 for plaza seats and $7 for lawn seating. Individual game tickets are also available for the Home Run Party Tent ($30), which includes a buffet and one drink voucher. Parking for all Surprise Stadium Spring Training games will be free.
For those wishing to purchase tickets in person, the Surprise Recreation Campus Box Office is located at:
15960 N. Bullard Avenue
Surprise, AZ 85374
Royals’ pitchers and catchers will report to Surprise on Monday, February 14. Workouts for pitchers begin the following day, Tuesday, February 15. The remainder of the squad will report on Friday, February 18 and begin workouts for the 2011 campaign on Saturday, February 19.
Do you blog or tweet about the Royals in a social media setting? We have an exciting new opportunity for you to get a behind-the-scenes look at the 2011 Royals FanFest presented by Sprint and Teva Neuroscience!
Through the first-ever FanFest Digital Digest contest, select fans who blog, tweet or produce viral videos will be chosen to report on FanFest, set for January 21-22 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kan., as a social media journalist.
Fans selected for this one-of-a-kind experience will have access to exclusive interviews with General Manager Dayton Moore and select players, a behind-the-scenes tour of FanFest, and the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the event before the general public during a preview event on Thursday, January 20.
For the opportunity to cover FanFest from a social media perspective, fans may visit www.royals.com/digitaldigest and complete the online application. Applicants must be available to participate on Thursday, January 20 at 4:00 p.m. at the Overland Park Convention Center. In addition, applicants must agree to post content related to their FanFest experience to their social media accounts within 24 hours of attending the event. The contest is open to all fans 18 years old or older.
In addition to appearances and autograph sessions featuring current, former and future Royals, fans can also kick off the 2011 season at Royals FanFest with new interactive games for all ages, main stage programs and more. Royals FanFest is supported in 2011 by WDAF-TV Fox 4.
Tickets for Royals FanFest may be secured 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 are 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. 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.
The Royals announced today that the club has extended 23 non-roster invitations to 2011 Major League Spring Training in Surprise, Ariz.
Among the 23 non-roster players will be six of the Royals’ Top 10 prospects according to Baseball America, including first baseman Eric Hosmer (ranked #1), third baseman Mike Moustakas (#3) and left-handed pitcher John Lamb (#4). In addition, the ninth-rated prospect according to Baseball America, right-handed pitcher Aaron Crow, is a member of the 40-man roster and will be in camp. The Royals are inviting 13 non-roster pitchers, three catchers, six infielders and one outfielder.
The Royals kick off the 32-game exhibition slate on February 27 against the Texas Rangers as the visiting team at the Surprise Recreation Complex. Individual game tickets will go on sale this Saturday, January 8 at 8 a.m. CT. The tickets will be on sale at the Surprise Stadium Box Office, through Royals.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Mail orders and several multi-ticket packages are available now at 623-222-2222 or by visiting www.royals.com/springtraining. For more information, including information on special Spring Training travel packages, fans may visit royals.com.
Pitchers and catchers report on Monday, February 14 with the remainder of the squad scheduled to arrive on Friday, February 18. The first full squad workout is scheduled for Saturday, February 19.
The 40-man roster can be found at http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/team/roster_40man.jsp?c_id=kc. Here is the full list of non-roster invitees, with their position and age listed:
Louis Coleman, RHP (24)
Tim Collins, LHP (21)
Danny Duffy LHP (22)
Chris Dwyer, LHP (22)
Blaine Hardy, LHP (23)
Gaby Hernandez, RHP (24)
Patrick Keating, RHP (23)
John Lamb, LHP (20)
Luis Mendoza, RHP (27)
Zach Miner, RHP (28)
Mike Montgomery, LHP (21)
Steven Shell, RHP (27)
Will Smith, LHP (21)
Cody Clark (29)
Ryan Eigsti (25)
Salvador Perez (20)
Joaquin Arias (26)
Irving Falu (27)
Johnny Giavotella (23)
Eric Hosmer (21)
Mike Moustakas (22)
Lance Zawadzki (25)
Brett Carroll (28)