In this afternoon’s pregame media conference, manager Ned Yost was asked about his feelings on today’s home opener, and how he felt about his team at this point in the season. Yost said he would much rather have today be a regular day, but he and the team really enjoy the home opener and have been looking forward to it since spring training. Yost stated he really likes the way the team has been playing the game, and the way the starting pitching and bullpen have been performing early in the season. He then went on to say that the mindset of the club is different this season, emphasizing the belief that the team can compete every single day, and the goal is winning baseball games, as compared to the development of young players in addition to winning games in previous seasons. Yost also touched on the maturation of the offense this season, and particular the ability of young players to compete during each at bat without the effect of their previous at bats on their conscience.
The importance of the Royals home opener was the next question asked to Yost. He stated that the opener is much more important to the fans, but is also significant for the players. He then went on to compare the current Royals team to that of the 1991 Atlanta Braves and their similar make-ups and identities. The Braves, during the 1991 season started slowly, and then went on to win their division and compete in the World Series after finishing in last place in the previous season. Using that comparison, Yost said that the season is long, and that the process of wining takes time, emphasizing that nothing is won or lost in the first week of the season. He stated that the club wants to come in and put on a good show for their fans, but that it’s not life or death during the first homestand.
Yost’s final question was about the effect of starting pitcher James Shields to the team and the offense in particular. He stated that the team really feeds off the knowing that Shields will keep them in every ball game, and that the offensive knows they can score runs when they need to get back in the game.
- Monday is the 45th home opener in Royals history, the 41st since the club moved into Kauffman (formerly Royals) Stadium in 1973.
Events taking place outside of the stadium:
- Greater Kansas City Day: The Royals team up with more than 1,300 volunteers for the 26th Annual Greater Kansas City Day! Royals Hall of Famer John Mayberry, who is serving as honorary co-chair, will join several Royals & Chiefs Alumni as well as other local celebrities to sell a special Royals edition of The Kansas City Star on street corners throughout the city. Proceeds from the sales help send kids to Rotary Youth Camp and support other deserving children’s charities. Be sure to buy a paper from the volunteers on area street corners! Or donate at kcday.org.
- Radio remotes: 20 local radio stations will be broadcasting live from The K starting at 8:00 am. Fans will be able to interact with radio talent, including those from 610 Sports Radio.
- Drum lines from Blue Valley High School and North Kansas City High School will be performing outside the gates and in the parking lots from noon to 2:00 p.m.
- The parking lots at Kauffman Stadium open at 9:00 a.m. All ticket gates to Kauffman Stadium open at noon.
Check-in to Kauffman Stadium using the MLB.com At the Ballpark mobile application April 8-14, and you could receive a free MLB.com t-shirt. Download MLB.com At the Ballpark before your next trip to the Kauffman Stadium.
Events taking place inside the stadium:
- Fans can enjoy free face painting and balloon art in the Outfield Experience. The artists will be located at Gates A and E from noon until the top of the second inning.
- The band Red Guitar will be performing at the Hy-Vee Cool Zone area inside Hy-Vee Gate B from 12:45 to 2:50 p.m.
The Grain Valley High School Jazz Band will perform on the Outfield Experience Stage prior to the game.
2:30 p.m. – that’s the time that you’ll want to be in your seat so you can watch the entire pregame ceremony!
On-field ceremonies include:
- Dr. Charles Wheeler will be recognized as the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat honoree. Wheeler served as mayor of Kansas City, Mo., from 1971 to 1979, overseeing development including the opening of the Truman Sports Complex.
- Royals Alumni will be introduced at 2:35, followed by the Twins starting lineup.
- The 2013 Royals will be introduced, beginning at 2:43.
- A special video will highlight the 40th anniversary of Kauffman Stadium.
- Jamie Splittorff, son of late Royals Hall of Famer Paul Splittorff, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Royals Hall of Famer John Mayberry will catch for Jamie. Paul Splittorff started and won the first game at Royals Stadium on April 10, 1973. Mayberry drove in four runs, scored four times and hit the ballpark’s first home run in KC’s 12-1 win that evening over Texas. Steve Pack, a long-time season-ticket holder, will deliver the baseball.
- The Royals will join a league-wide Moment of Silence for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy prior to the national anthem. The Moment of Silence will also honor Luke Bresette. The 10-year old Royals fan and resident of Overland Park, Kan., passed away as result of an accident at the Birmingham-ShuttlesworthAirport on March 22.
- The giant American flag will be presented by airmen from Whiteman Air Force Base.
- The Star-Spangled Banner will be performed by country music artist Tate Stevens, 2012 winner of The X Factor. Stevens is a native of Belton, Mo.
- After the anthem, designated hitter Billy Butler will be presented with his Silver Slugger Award and left fielder Alex Gordon will receive his second Rawlings Gold Glove.
Broadway performer Annie Edgerton will sing God Bless America during the seventh-inning stretch.
The Royals take part in the second of three openers today – Philadelphia’s home opener at Citizens Bank Park. You can tune into the 3:05 Central start on FOX Sports Kansas City or the Royals Radio Network.
Kansas City lineup: Gordon – LF, Escobar – SS, Hosmer – 1B, Perez – C, Moustakas – 3B, Cain – CF, Francoeur – RF, Getz – 2B, Davis – RHP
Philadelphia lineup: Revere – CF, Rollins – SS, Utley – 2B, Howard – 1B, Young – 3B, Brown – LF, Nix – RF, Kratz – C, Kendrick – RHP
Kansas City Game Notes (PDF file): Game_4_Philly_4-5
Trivia Fact: Bruce Chen has pitched in 39 Major League stadiums. He has not appeared at Citizens Bank Park.
The first series of 2013 wraps up today, with Jeremy Guthrie on the mound for KC in the 1:10 start. You can tune in on FOX Sports Kansas City or the Royals Radio Network.
Kansas City lineup: Gordon – LF, Escobar – SS, Butler – DH, Moustakas – 3B, Perez – C, Hosmer – 1B, Francoeur – RF, Dyson – CF, Getz – 2B, Guthrie – RHP
Chicago lineup: De Aza – CF, Keppinger – 3B, Rios – RF, Dunn – DH, Konerko – 1B, Viciedo – LF, Ramirez – SS, Flowers – C, Beckham – 2B, Floyd – RHP
Kansas City Game Notes (PDF file): Game_3_vs_CWS
Trivia Fact: Jeremy Guthrie enters today on a five-game winning streak, the longest of his career.
Ervin Santana makes his Royals debut in today’s 1:10 start at Chicago. You can tune in on FOX Sports Kansas City or the Royals Radio Network.
Kansas City lineup: Gordon – LF, Escobar – SS, Butler – DH, Moustakas – 3B, Perez – C, Hosmer – 1B, Cain – CF, Francoeur – RF, Getz – 2B, Santana – RHP
Chicago lineup: De Aza – CF, Keppinger – 3B, Rios – RF, Dunn – DH, Konerko – 1B, Viciedo – LF, Ramirez – SS, Flowers – C, Beckham – 2B, Peavy RHP
Kansas City Game Notes (PDF file): Game #2 @ CWS
Trivia Fact: Ervin Santana posted his first Major League win on May 23, 2005 vs. Chicago (while with the Angels). Santana tossed a complete game shutout in just his second start!