December 2012

Royals sign outfielder Endy Chavez to a minor league contract for 2013

The Royals today announced the club has signed outfielder Endy Chavez to a minor league contract for 2013.  The Royals plan to announce the club’s Major League camp non-roster invitees at a later date.

Chavez, 34, is an 11-year Major League veteran.  He made his debut in 2001 with Kansas City after the Royals selected him from the New York Mets organization in the 2000 Rule 5 Draft.  The 6-foot resident of Valencia, Venezuela, is a career .269 hitter with 118 doubles, 32 triples, 26 home runs, 229 RBI, 341 runs and 100 stolen bases for the Royals (2001), Expos (2002-04), Nationals (2005), Phillies (2005), Mets (2006-08), Mariners (2009), Rangers (2011) and Orioles (2012).  The left-handed hitting and throwing outfielder appeared in 64 regular season games with Baltimore last season, also playing in three Division Series games against the Yankees.

FOX Sports Kansas City to televise Royals marathon on Christmas Eve

FOX Sports Kansas City will replay five of the best Royals games of 2012 in a marathon of Royals programming on Christmas Eve.

The 10 ½ hours of baseball will start Monday, Dec. 24 at 12:30 p.m. with a replay of Royals Rewind: Season Review, a 30-minute look at the 2012 season.

Replays of five of the most compelling games televised on FSKC in 2012 will start at 1 p.m. The full schedule and game descriptions are below. Each game will be condensed into a two-hour window.

The Royals Christmas Eve marathon will be available on FOX Sports Kansas City and FOX Sports Midwest in western and central Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa.

Royals Christmas Eve marathon on FOX Sports Kansas City – Dec. 24

Times Central | Schedule subject to change

12:30 p.m.   Royals Rewind: 2012 Season Review

1 p.m.           May 3, 2012: Yankees at Royals

                     The Royals build a 4-1 lead behind Danny Duffy and hold on after great plays by Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer in the 9th for a 4-3 win.

3 p.m.           June 14, 2012: Brewers at Royals

                     Jarrod Dyson scores the game winner in a wild 9th to give the Royals the sweep.

5 p.m.           June 17, 2012: Royals at Cardinals

                     Billy Butler hits a pinch-hit homer to tie it in the 9th and the Royals win it in the 15th.

7 p.m.           Aug. 19, 2012: White Sox at Royals

                     Jeremy Guthrie carries a no-hit bid into the 7th.

9 p.m.           Aug. 28, 2012: Tigers at Royals

                     Royals score eight vs. Tigers ace Justin Verlander, and Mike Moustakas knocks in the go-ahead run in the 8th.

 

New Royals scheduled to attend FanFest

The Royals have announced that pitchers Wade Davis, Ervin Santana and James Shields will be among the participants at the 2013 Royals FanFest presented by Sprint and Teva Neuroscience.  A portion of the proceeds from the event, set for Saturday, January 19 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kan., will benefit Royals Charities.

Santana, acquired from the Los Angeles Angels on October 31, and Davis and Shields, acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on December 9, will join Manager Ned Yost and other current and former Royals at the event.  Current Royals scheduled to appear include the following:

Billy Butler

Bruce Chen

Aaron Crow

Wade Davis

Danny Duffy

Jarrod Dyson

Alcides Escobar

Chris Getz

Johnny Giavotella

Alex Gordon

Luke Hochevar

Greg Holland

Eric Hosmer

Mike Moustakas

Salvador Perez

Ervin Santana

James Shields

Will Smith

Everett Teaford

Ned Yost

* Please note that participants are subject to change.

Royals FanFest will feature more autograph opportunities than ever before, with continuous autograph sessions with current and former players and club personalities planned throughout the day.  Additional highlights include select interactive games for kids and roundtable discussions with players and front office executives.  In addition, ARAMARK and Royals Charities will sell the latest merchandise and unique Royals memorabilia at the event.  

The club’s 2012 Major League Award winners – shortstop Alcides Escobar (Joe Burke Special Achievement Award), pitcher Greg Holland (Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year) and designated hitter and 2012 All-Star Billy Butler (Les Milgram Player of the Year) will also be recognized during Royals FanFest.  Fans may visit www.royals.com/fanfest for updated event information.  

Season ticket holders may purchase discounted tickets and will receive exclusive access to Royals FanFest from 9-11 a.m.  Royals FanFest will then open to the general public at 11 a.m. and run until 6 p.m.

Ticket prices for Royals FanFest are as follows:

Adult Advance                                                                  $12

Adult Day of Sale                                                              $14

Youth Advance                                                                  $6

Youth Day of Sale                                                             $8

Season Ticket Holder (Advance Only)                       $6

Season Ticket Holder Youth (Advance Only)          $3

* Please note that youth prices are for children ages 6-17.  Children five and under will be admitted free.  Discounted tickets for Royals Season Ticket Holders must be purchased in advance.

Fans may secure Royals 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 will also be available at the Overland Park Convention Center on the day of the event. 

 

Royals sign outfielder Xavier Nady to a minor league contract for 2013

The Royals announced today that the club has signed outfielder Xavier Nady to a minor league contract for the 2013 season.  The club plans to announce Major League Spring Training invitations at a later date.

Nady, 34, has played 11 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Padres (2000, 2003-05), Mets (2006), Pirates (2006-08), Yankees (2008-09), Cubs (2010), Diamondbacks (2011), Nationals (2012) and Giants (2012).  He is a career .270 hitter with 101 home runs and 406 RBI in 939 games.  The 6-foot-2, 215-pound right-handed hitter and thrower split 2012 between the Nationals and Giants organizations, playing 59 games at the Major League level.  Nady’s best season came in 2008 when he hit .305 with 25 home runs and 97 RBI for the Pirates and Yankees.

James Shields and Wade Davis introduced in Kansas City

ShieldsDavis1Newly acquired right-handed pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis donned Royals uniforms for the first time today at a morning press conference.  General Manager Dayton Moore and Manager Ned Yost joined the media session.

Yost said that Shields and Davis “have winning flowing in their veins”. He is excited with these additions plus Jeremy Guthrie and Ervin Santana, noting how important it is to have five consistent starters. The aforementioned pitchers currently line up as KC’s first four, with Yost foreseeing a spring battle for the fifth spot.

Shields_jerseyYost saw the 2012 All-Star week as a turning point, noting the big crowds for all of the events that week.  He is excited for the possibility of a similar “phenomenal atmosphere” at Kauffman Stadium in 2013.

Shields echoed Yost’s comments, noting the passion and drive of the fan base. Shields settled in with a number 24 jersey, though he has worn 33 for most of his career.  That number is currently held by Jeremy Guthrie. Lighthearted negotiations for 33 are ongoing, with Shields knowing that he may have to find a pair of shoes (or two) for Guthrie, who likes his sneakers.

Davis_uniformMoore and Yost were asked about the importance of a winning culture, something that is hard to put into numbers. Yost cited his experiences in Atlanta, where the addition of a few key pieces were the difference as the Braves went from worst to first. Moore spoke about Zack Greinke and his return from anxiety issues. Moore believes that the culture – from the front office to the media – helped Greinke get to where he is today.

Speaking of Greinke, Davis was asked about a May, 2010 start in which he tossed 7.0 shutout innings in a 1-0 Rays win over the former KC righty. Davis remembered it fondly and is ready to have more opportunities as he returns to a starting role.

Royals sign three players to minor league contracts for 2013

The Royals announced today that the club has signed three additional players to minor league contracts for the 2013 season. The club plans to announce Major League Spring Training invitations at a later date.

Left-handed pitcher George Sherrill, 35, is 19-17 with 56 saves and a 3.77 ERA in 442 career Major League appearances, all in relief, for the Mariners (2004-07, 2012), Orioles (2008-09), Dodgers (2009-10) and Braves (2011). The 2008 American League All-Star made just two appearances for Seattle in 2012 before undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left elbow on May 4. Born and raised in Tennessee, the current Utah resident has held left-handed batters to a .186 batting average in his Major League career.

Dan Wheeler, who turned 35 on Monday, is 25-43 with a 3.98 ERA in 589 outings over a 13-year Major League career for the Rays (1999-2001, 2007-10), Mets (2003-04), Astros (2004-07), Red Sox (2011) and Indians (2012). Born in Rhode Island but now living in Florida, Wheeler split the 2012 campaign between the Cleveland Indians and Triple-A Columbus.

Outfielder Willy Taveras, who will turn 31 on Christmas Day, is a seven-year Major League veteran who has compiled a .274 career average with 195 stolen bases for the Astros (2004-06), Rockies (2007-08), Reds (2009) and Nationals (2010). The Dominican Republic resident led the National League with 68 stolen bases in 75 attempts for Colorado in 2008. Taveras is currently batting .280 with eight stolen bases in 39 games for Obregon in the Mexican Winter League.

Shields and Davis speak to reporters on conference call

Newly acquired starting pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis spoke with the KC media today. Here are some notes:

Shields is looking forward to getting to Kansas City. He remembers the great baseball fans from his trips here with Tampa Bay. He loves pitching at Kauffman Stadium, which he described as a gorgeous park.

He believes that the Royals are definitely on the right track and is most impressed by the club’s defense.  Shields, who turns 31 on December 20, spoke of his conversation with General Manager Dayton Moore and how they talked about a “win now” approach.

Shields prides himself on going deep into games and saving the bullpen. He doesn’t put too much pressure on himself and is comfortable being “the” guy.

Shields said that Davis has a powerful arm, tremendous stuff and is a competitor. He believes Davis learned a lot this year in the bullpen.

As for Davis, he is ready to make that return to the rotation after relieving in 2012, noting that he started working out during the World Series. He doesn’t believe that his smaller workload in 2012 (70.1 IP) will restrict him as he returns to starting. The 27-year old is excited about the move and the opportunity that it presents for him. He described Shields as a staff leader, a big personality and an absolute competitor on the mound.

Royals acquire pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis along with a player to be named or cash from Rays in exchange for Myers, Odorizzi, Montgomery and Leonard

The Kansas City Royals tonight acquired right-handed starting pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis and a player to be named or cash considerations from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for minor league outfielder Wil Myers, right-handed pitcher Jake Odorizzi, left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery and third baseman Patrick Leonard.

Shields, who will turn 31 on December 20, has established himself as one of the premier pitchers in the American League. He followed up an All-Star campaign in 2011, in which posted a 16-12 record with a 2.82 ERA and finished third in the A.L. Cy Young voting, by posting a 15-10 record with a 3.52 ERA in 33 starts with Tampa Bay last season. In 227.2 innings, Shields allowed 208 hits, walked 58 and struck out 223, just two shy of his career best set in 2011 and the third-most in the league. Shields is joined by the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and the Tigers’ Justin Verlander as the only four pitchers in baseball to record at least 220 strikeouts in each of the last two seasons.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound right-hander has compiled an 87-73 career record with a 3.89 ERA in 218 games (217 starts) all for the Rays since making his debut in 2006. Since tossing 124.2 innings in 21 starts during his rookie campaign, Shields has won at least 11 games, made at least 31 starts and topped the 200-inning mark in six straight seasons. He joins the Jays’ Mark Buehrle, the Giants’ Matt Cain, the Yankees’ CC Sabathia and Verlander as the only five pitchers in baseball to post at least 200 innings in six straight seasons. In 2011, his 11 complete games were the most by a Major League pitcher since Arizona’s Randy Johnson had 12 in 1999.

Shields and his wife, Ryane, reside in Clearwater, Fla., with their two daughters. The couple is active with a number of charities specifically geared toward foster children and James was the Rays recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The 27-year-old Davis made a combined 64 starts for the Rays from 2009 to 2011 before pitching exclusively in the bullpen for Tampa Bay in 2012. He went 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA last season, allowing 48 hits and 29 walks with 87 strikeouts in 70.1 innings. The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder made 29 starts in both 2010 and 2011 and finished fourth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting after posting a 12-10 record with a 4.07 ERA in 2010. Davis is 28-22 with a 3.94 ERA in 118 career outings, including 64 starts. He is 25-22 in his career as a starter with a 4.22 ERA, including an 8-2 mark with a 3.38 ERA in 30 games (18 starts) against A.L. Central foes.

Davis and his wife, Katelyn, reside in Lake Wales, Fla. Davis organized the Full Count Foundation to help children who are at risk or have special needs or chronic illnesses.

Myers, who will turn 22 tomorrow (December 10), was the 2012 Baseball America, USA Today and Topps Minor League Baseball Player of the Year after hitting a combined .314 with 37 home runs and 109 RBI in 134 games for Northwest Arkansas (AA) and Omaha (AAA). He was the Royals’ third round selection in the 2009 June Free Agent Draft.

The 22-year-old Odorizzi went 15-5 with a 3.03 ERA in 26 outings (25 starts) for Northwest Arkansas and Omaha in 2012 before making two starts for the Royals in September, going 0-1. He was acquired by Kansas City in a six-player trade with the Milwaukee Brewers on December 19, 2012.

Montgomery, 23, split his season between Omaha and Northwest Arkansas, posting a 5-12 record with a 6.07 ERA in 27 starts. He was the Royals’ supplemental first round selection (36th overall) in 2008.

The 20-year-old Leonard batted .251 with 14 home runs and 46 RBI in 62 games for Burlington (R) in 2012. He was the club’s fifth-round pick in the 2011 Draft.

Around the Horn perspective: “You Don’t Know Bo”

Bo marquee 2
The newest ESPN “30 for 30” airs tonight (December 8, 8 C.T. on ESPN) after the Heisman Trophy announcement and features a winner of the Heisman – one Bo Jackson. Bo’s story is one that always has sports fans saying…what if? What if his football injury had not happened?

While the injury was devastating, the film has a lot of humor as it traces Bo’s story from Bessemer, Alabama to the current day. We’ll leave most of the details a surprise and just say that this is a MUST SEE for any Royals fan (or sports fan or…anyone, for that matter).

You’ll see interview clips with: George Brett, Mark Gubicza, Royals beat writer Dick Kaegel, Royals Hall of Fame Director Curt Nelson and Royals Senior Advisor Art Stewart.

Below are details on my perspective as to how the “30 for 30” unfolded.

In May, I received a call from Kelsey Field, associate producer of “You Don’t Know Bo” for Radical Media. I helped her with background information and photos. She wanted to get in contact with people who knew Bo during his time in Kansas City. Jackson signed with the Royals in 1986 and many of the people who knew him have moved on. He was signed by Ken Gonzales, who sadly passed away in 1994. I checked with former scouting director and current senior advisor Art Stewart, who is a great baseball storyteller. He knows Bo well and was more than happy to speak with Kelsey by phone.

Fellow media relations staffer Dina Blevins arranged a time for Hall of Famer George Brett to talk with the production staff by phone (so they could get more information for the eventual on-site interview). Kelsey worked with our media relations boss, Mike Swanson, to arrange a date for production in Kansas City. Radical’s staff had several other stops to make – including Jackson’s hometown in Alabama, Auburn, L.A., Chicago and Nike’s headquarters in Oregon. Radical had to match up their schedule with interviewee availability of George Brett, Art Stewart and Dick Kaegel. And don’t forget…we had to work around our own busy schedule with the All-Star Game on July 10!

Radical’s team visited Kansas City on July 17 and 18. They took exterior shots of The K on July 17. The next morning, they interviewed George Brett and spent time with him on the field. Members of the staff had a few minutes between interview segments with Art Stewart and Dick Kaegel. I suggested a trip to the Royals Hall of Fame to get b-roll of Bo Jackson items that were in storage. They met with Royals Hall of Fame director Curt Nelson. Film director Michael Bonfiglio was so impressed with Curt that he asked him to interview for the piece!

When you wake up each day, you never know what may happen. Curt knew that the “30 for 30” crew was coming to Kansas City, but he had no idea that he was going to be interviewed. As you watch the story unfold, you’ll see Curt’s comments were in several parts of the film. Curt hired me in the marketing department nearly seven years ago. He is a good friend and I am happy that he got the opportunity to share his views of Bo’s story.

Enjoy the show!

Royals FanFest set for January 19

 The Royals have announced that the 2013 Royals FanFest, presented by Sprint and Teva Neuroscience, will take place Saturday, January 19 at the Overland Park Convention Center.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit Royals Charities.

Royals FanFest will feature more autograph opportunities than ever before, with continuous autograph sessions with current and former players and club personalities planned throughout the event.  Additional highlights include select interactive games for kids and roundtable discussions with players and front office executives.  In addition, ARAMARK and Royals Charities will sell the latest merchandise and unique Royals memorabilia at the event.  

The club’s 2012 Major League Award winners – shortstop Alcides Escobar (Joe Burke Special Achievement Award), pitcher Greg Holland (Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year) and designated hitter and 2012 All-Star Billy Butler (Les Milgram Player of the Year) will also be recognized during the event.

Season ticket holders will have the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets and will receive exclusive access to Royals FanFest from 9-11 a.m.  Season ticket holders will receive this special discount offer today through a personalized email.

Following the season ticket holder exclusive access event, Royals FanFest will open to the general public at 11 a.m. and run until 6 p.m.

Ticket prices for Royals FanFest are as follows:

Adult Advance                                                                   $12

Adult Day of Sale                                                               $14

Youth Advance                                                                    $6

Youth Day of Sale                                                                $8

Season Ticket Holder (Advance Only)                          $6

Season Ticket Holder Youth (Advance Only)            $3

* Please note that youth prices are for children ages 6-17.  Children  five and under will be admitted for free.  Discounted tickets for Royals Season Ticket Holders must be purchased in advance.

Beginning today, fans may secure Royals 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 will also be available at the Overland Park Convention Center on the day 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.

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